The bistronomie movement has given the French capital’s culinary scene a sense of life that it was on the verge of losing. It gave the city its culinary mojo back. A relative latecomer, but much-loved proponent of the bistronomie movement has been Les Deserteurs. Opened by Alexandre Ceret and Daniel Baratier who previously worked together at the Greenhouse in London and Le Sergeant Recruteur, this tiny space occupies the site that formerly housed Rino in the Rue Trousseau in the trendy 11th arrondissement.
Contrary to Giovanni Passerini’s Rino, the cooking at Les Deserteurs is 100% French, using superb produce from around the country. As the menu here changes regularly, it is clear that cooking like this is fairly risky business. On a recent visit, we were particularly impressed by a dish of green asparagus, cockles and cauliflower. The inherent sweetness and depth of flavour of the asparagus paired remarkably well with the other elements on the plate, resulting in an asparagus dish that was both comforting and captivating at the same time.
Another excellent dish was a pomelo cheesecake. Essentially a lighter version of a classical cheesecake, this dessert was served with a bitter pomelo sorbet that cut through the richness of the cake, making it a deceptively light and refreshing dish to finish off the meal.
Les Deserteurs is a place that offers remarkable value for money. At lunch, menus start from as little as 28euro, which is really hard to beat in Paris. Pair this with the superb wine list and relaxed atmosphere and it is easy to see why Parisians and tourists alike flock to this place.