I know someone who’s a BIG fan of Nana Mouskouri. So when her ladyship announced her last world tour (she keeps pulling that trick every 10 years, and every 10 years we happily fall into the trap) I didn’t think twice about it and booked a pair of tickets for the evening of the 5th. But no evening of song is complete without a dinner and a little wine beforehand to lift the spirits, so I also booked a table at la Place Deschamps.
Located right in the hearts of Place des Arts, Place Deschamps is a scenic piece of indoor architecture that also happens to be a wine bar from the same family as le Seingalt, next door. Serving a bistro-like pre-theater menu, it’s a popular meeting place for famished arts aficionados in search for a quick bite that won’t knock them off before the curtain goes up.
Thank god we made a reservation; the place was packed when we arrived (make sure to reserve the high table under the natural light, everybody around you will die of envy). Hubert was our designated waiter and swiftly explained the mix-and-match nature of the menu. Each starter and main course was to be paired with a side dish of our choice to make a complete plate. Ok, got it. Our starters arrived promptly. Smoked duck filet for her, Garlic Bourgogne escargots for me. The former was accompanied with a fig salad… topped with a seriously pink coloured dressing. A bit surprised, we tasted it nonetheless. The verdict? A pleasant hint of strawberry and good fruits, so all good :). The duck itself was a delight; fine pieces of cured meat with clear reams of fat to bite into. As for my escargots, they were as I expected. Happily oily and garlicky, there was more than enough for me to scoop the bottom with pieces of bread. Joy. For mains, she ordered the seafood gratin while I opted for a plate of smoked trout, salmon and blinis. The gratin was an endless provider of lobster claws, shrimps and scallops – they just kept coming! When I mentioned it to Pierre-Vincent the manager, he blushed slightly and answered almost under his breath ‘’well, that’s how we roll here’’. Well let me tell you friend, I like how you roll. I ordered a spinach salad with my plate. A consistent kitchen, they also served it with the dear pink dressing ;). I found the blinis plate quite clever. With the ingredients individually displayed for us to assemble, it was simple and playful. It was almost time for Nana, which made us rush a bit through dessert. Lemon pie for her, Panna cotta for me, and two allongés, as usual. Hop hop hop, Nana was not going to wait for us. In line with the theme of the evening, she greeted us with a German interpretation of La vie en rose.