A little background: It took years working in the field (The Greenhouse in London) and months at Le Sergent Recruteur before chef Daniel Baratier and sommelier Alexandre Céret treated themselves to their own place. In the former and memorable Rino, their set menus stitch together both heavyweight and paysan techniques in a modest setting filled with wooden tables, taupe suspension lamps and mouse grey benches.
My visit: While researching for places to eat in Paris, I was particularly looking for dignified temples of haute cuisine, new bistros guaranteed to stand the test of time and out-of-the-way restaurants where I will unlikely to lay eyes on another tourist. I stumbled upon Les Déserteurs, which was also later highly recommended to me by one of my favorite instagrammers.
Les Déserteurs offers two dinner menus – 4 courses set at 45 € and 6 courses for 60€. I went with the the 4 course menu as I was still full from my exceptional lunch at Septime. We started off with the asparagus accompanied by fig leaf oil, confit garlic cream, black elderberries and lace crisp which was delicious and deceivingly simple. The elderberries added the welcome flavors of spring into the dish.
I was stunned by the “Paris Brest” salad. The combination of the warm cabbage, hazelnut and vinaigrette was amazing and addictive. I could have easily eaten a pound of this, two if I wasn’t already so full.
Our duck breast arrived in an intensely flavored pearl juice alongside a delicious roasted turnip puree and fresh artichokes. The meat was cooked to perfection – the skin was crisp while the breast was still pink in the middle.
Our meal ended with a rich, velvety hazelnut mousse with a touch of licorice and the creamy chocolate sorbet created an incredible balance of flavors. This was inhaled in 2 minutes flat.
Verdict: Like most restaurants in Paris, this place is tiny and a bit cramped but the simple yet innovative food and friendly service compensated for it. The staff was very knowledgeable and were very generous with their time explaining each menu item. Les Déserteurs is definitely worth a visit. Do book well in advance.
Happy eating 🙂
46 Rue Trousseau, 75011 Paris, France
+33 1 48 06 95 85