Le Villaret is a winelover’s dream. Located in Paris’ hip 11th arrondissement and run by Carla da Motta Vega, this small restaurant is one of the best places in Paris to drink great wines at a reasonable price. Think Raveneau, Cecile Tremblay, Grange des Peres, etc. at prices that are well below retail. Thankfully, however, this is a restaurant that does not only boast a great wine list, but also serves delicious food.
The kitchen at Le Villaret dishes up copious portions of bold dishes. This is no fussy style of cooking with overly complex presentations. Instead, the kitchen here serves up lovely terrines such as a paté en croute with figs. This is packed with flavour and dotted with dried figs, giving a touch of sweetness. An intelligent take on a classic we would like to see on restaurant menus more often.
Equally good and no less to the point is the roast rib of beef for two. A huge portion of perfectly roasted beef is served with nothing but caramelised shallots and young potatoes. This is product-driven cooking of serious quality. The beef is tender and packed with flavour; well-rested and paired expertly with the caramelised shallots this cries for something such as a Poyeux from Clos Rougeard.
Le Villaret is not a place for anyone looking for overly refined cooking. Instead it is a bon vivant’s dream come true: a place in central Paris that serves lovely, classical food and has a wine list that offers plenty of inspiring, fairly priced options.