Recently I ate at one of those small neighborhood restaurants whose fame spreads beyond the quartier and people come from other neighborhoods, as well as from other countries, to eat at because it is très reputé.
Le Repaire de Cartouche (99 rue Amelot) is one of those restaurants in Paris. It’s known for very good food and an especially compelling wine list. The prices aren’t too high (although not too low, either) and you can eat very well without spending the equivalent of a three-star restaurant.
Almost immediately after we sat done, something seemed up. Within moments of handing us our menus, the waiter asked if we were ready to order. I was with Maria Helm Sinskey, a well-regarded chef from the Bay Area and co-owner of a vineyard, with her husband. I’d chosen the restaurant because they’re known for excellent game dishes and I figured it was something she couldn’t easily get back in the states.
As she pondered the wine list, the waiter told us we had to order our meal before we could order wine. When we said we needed a moment to scan the interesting wine list, he quickly turned and scampered away in a huff.