A while back I had a coffee date planned with Mlle Mary of Perch magazine (and Fox in Paris). We had planned on hitting a spot I had seen online in a random google search, that looked adorable, Café Constant. (Whomever did their website is quite talented, since from just glancing at their front page I was immediately drawn in and hasty to head across town to the place).
But once there, it didn’t seem as comfortable as I had hoped, and it just so happened that on the very same street, I had passed a place that I knew, and liked. This is the place where I first discovered that chocolate mousse could be dairy free! It had been YEARS since I had been there. The last time was roughly 5 or 6 years ago, with Chéri and a former colleague of his. It is a warm, friendly cozy place, and a perfect place for Mary and I to escape the (then) horrible, cold, rainy Paris weather, aka : the winter that wouldn’t end.
We retraced our steps and scooted into seats at the long bar.
There are many things I like about this place. To name just a few :
1. The location. One of the most charming commercial streets in the 7th.
2. They serve a whole menu full of « cocottes » cute little casserole dishes of all sorts of creative combinations. (These are not some 1950′s casserole meals made by your lonely Aunt Mona). Chef Christian Constant has a whole array of tantalizing choices. Such as : Pavé de cabillaud laqué au miel, gingembre, fenouil et carotte à la coriandre for 20€; or Sauté de veau à la tomate et au basilic, pommes ris
solées 19€. I can’t even bring myself to translate these, they sound too good in French!
3. Attention is paid to detail : Not only is the décor cosy yet chic and completely inviting, but there are hooks under the bar, and I even found a place to hang my umbrella on the back of my chair!
Oh and guess what, it turns out the first café that we turned down is under the same ownership! Chef Constant has three establishments on this very street in Paris, and one in Toulouse. A successful chef.
So, I wanted to treat myself to a chocolate mousse, but hadn’t eaten lunch (and it was getting late in the afternoon) so I was a bit hungry for something savory. I decided to be wild and crazy and order a serving of foi gras as a snack. Ridiculous I know, but totally decadent. I suppose I was being odd and un-French in eating such a delicacy as an afternoon snack, but it was so good…SO GOOD! I didn’t care. But then it was quite rich, and I was no longer in the mood for chocolate mousse by the end of my little duck fat indulgence. Which was really alright with me since I now make it at home like a pro!
The verdict : if you are looking for a place to have an afternoon snack, coffee, an evening meal, lunch whatever it is, you will not be disappointed by this delightful establishment, that is praised by the Parisians and the tourists alike.
135, rue Saint-Dominique, 75007 Paris
Les Cocottes is open every day from Noon to 3pm & from 7pm to 10:30pm
No reservations, so go early!