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Restaurant Review: Les Enfants Perdus

Nick Forrester writing for VINGT Paris

Lese1With a number of new and well established restaurants along the canal, there is plenty of competition for the recently re-opened Les Enfants Perdus. The quality of all these restaurants gives a very good indication of what most of us have known for a while – that the canal-side area north of République is moving up in the world, but this restaurant seems to offer something a little bit different from the norm. 

Les Enfants Perdus is located just north of the canal on Rue de Recollets. It has three stylistically different areas – the bar/cafe, the restaurant and the conservatory – which provide a nice atmosphere that welcomes all, from students to professionals. With their lunchtime formule (15 euros) and plats (between 14-19 Euros), they are in competition with many of Paris’s mid-range brasseries, though in reality they are a fairly upmarket bistro/restaurant. 

Sampling the lunchtime formule, the starter of Caponata & Salade de Mâche was a very simple entrée, the raisins secs providing a particularly nice addition to the perfectly cooked roasted vegetables. It was presented on a black slate, the roquette was dressed with a sweet balsamic vinegar.

The two main plates on offer were equally well presented. The Cassoulet au Poulet was served in a small black casserole dish, with chicken, potatoes and a delicious tomato and thyme gravy. The Colin de L'Alaska was well cooked, according to my neighbor, and also looked delicious. 

At the weekend, brunch (18 Euros) is served all day. The four courses of Tartine, Oeufs en Cocotte, Salmon Fumé and Tarte aux Pommes (plus coffee and orange juice) were a satisfying and delicious way to spend a Sunday afternoon. Of particular note was the Oeufs en Cocotte, which was served in a ramekin with a well seasoned milky sauce. The Tarte aux Pommes's flat, flaky pastry crust with thinly sliced apples, and served with a sweet caramel sauce, was excellent. 

I visited a week later and enjoyed the lunch formule again, which offered an entrée of Soupe à L'Oignon with a Tartine mozza, followed by an Onglet Grillé, Girolles Sautées or Aiglefin au Four (Haddock). It is the small and delicious additions like the Tartine Mozza and Girolles Sautées which make Les Enfants Perdus stand out against old favorites like Le Poisson Rouge and L’Atmosphere, both round the corner.

It's a place that takes a real interest in its dishes: sourcing good quality produce, creating a variety of dishes, and not charging over 20 Euros for a single one of them. They proudly announce that all their produce is ‘born, raised and slaughtered in France’ and the formule and brunch menus are constantly changing to reflect this.

Les Enfants Perdus is obviously a labour of love for its proprietor. Named after the lost boys in J.M. Barrie's Peter Pan, the restaurant does have an imaginative touch which seems to be lacking at so many other overpriced and ordinary brasseries and restaurants. 

Les Enfants Perdus

9 rue des Récollets, 

75010 Paris

Tel. 01 81 29 48 26

Bonapart Paris apartments

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