Close by the Eiffel Tower, in the rue Saint-Dominique, in the seventh arrondissement of Paris, are three restaurants owned by the chef Christian Constant. Le Violin d’Ingres, Les Cocottes de Christian Constant, and Café Constant offer slightly different menus and differ too in style and ambiance. The locals know the street as rue Constant! How fortunate those locals are to have these three establishments on their doorsteps!
During our stay in Paris, we were treated to dinner at Les Cocottes by our godson, who wanted to give us a memorable dining experience. Not one of us was disappointed. From the moment we stepped through the open door to the moment we left, the staff were super friendly, efficient, unhurried, but totally natural. Nothing was too much trouble. Language was not a problem, we used our French, but they were happy too to explain the dishes carefully in English. Our table had been booked for seven o’clock, and already by that hour the restaurant was almost full. It remained so until we left, just after ten.
The menu was quite extensive and with the specials of the day, we had difficulty choosing our dishes. But eventually two of us decided on the special starter of Poached Egg with asparagus, peas and parmesan in a delicious sauce, whilst my partner enjoyed six oysters.
I was then delighted by my main course of Steamed Cod fillet, with seasonal vegetables with olive oil and lemon honey vinaigrette – Dos de cabillaud cuit vapeur, quelques légumes à l’huile d’olive, citron et miel – whilst my friends chose the Magret de Canard.
Everything from starter to dessert was served in little cocottes, cast iron pans which are perched on wooden boards, which keep the food wonderfully hot. Rice pudding doesn’t sound too exciting as a dessert but the Riz au lait à la vanille de Madagascar was delightful, absolutely full of flavour. Our godson, a chocoholic, could not resist La Fabuleuse tarte au chocolat de Christian Constant.
The other essentials of an excellent dinner, a bottle of Bordeaux, delicious bread and good coffee, all played their part in what was a wonderful evening with friends. The food was excellent, the produce seasonal, and the price very correct for both the quality of service and the dishes themselves. I shall look forward to my next visit to Paris; this is a restaurant to which I very much hope to return.