Early Friday evening and you know how it is: rough week, throw yourself onto unmade sofa bed and start swiping aimlessly on the ipad. You feel hungry but everything feels like too much effort – yes even those 10 steps to the kitchen. So whilst aimlessly swiping, you think I should just check my bank account to see how overdrawn or potentially not (ha!) with 4 days left before payday. As if by some stroke of magic there in big black letters is next month’s salary just in time for the weekend. You look out of the window and it is still light at 7pm and warm. There certainly won’t be many more Friday nights left like this. That was the situation I was in last Friday at 7pm.
I couldn’t face transport and so thought a walk to a neighbourhood restaurant with seating outside was in order to celebrate being paid early and the wondrously light early autumn evenings. Where could I go – hello Simone!
The reclaimed tables outside the restaurant look out onto Boulevard Arago whilst keeping guard of the small intimate dining room and open kitchen with the whole room bathed in light.
There were a few free tables outside and a couple of diners who had the same idea as me to enjoy the last of the mild evening weather. Even without a reservation I was offered a choice of two tables outside although inside all the tables were taken. I may not have been sitting under the stars but I was definitely in the spotlight!
The beauty of Boulevard Arago is the width of the pavement so the cars seem so far away and people who walk past the restaurant and outside seating area don’t brush past your table but keep a respectful distance.
As it was a celebration of sorts I decided wine was in order. Wine can only be ordered by the glass or bottle and even though it was the start of the weekend a bottle was still too much. Mercifully the wine by the glass list was short – a choice of 3 reds or 3 whites. I spied an old friend Sancerre and ordered a glass. I forgot how good white wine is after all the red wine is good for the heart talk. Well bugger the heart I might have to go back to white.
The menu is short and well thought out. It is a menu for someone like me who takes an age to decide what to order and then suffers from food envy when she spies what the neighbouring table ordered. Thankfully here there are only 7 starters, 2 mains and 3 desserts to choose from. I chose the sea bass as a main dish with no starter. I sat and stared out at the Paris traffic whizzing by and smelled the slightly chilled air as I sipped my sancerre awaiting the main course. If looks were anything to go by this main course promised to be showstopping I thought as the plate was placed before me:
The fish was perfectly grilled and the bed of chopped celery, carrots, onions and grilled courgettes was a delight. I cleaned my plate.
Unusually for me I ordered dessert after all it was pay day. A ganache of chocolate finished off with slithers of candied grapefruit. It was nice but not the ending I was hoping for after my show stopping main course. What I really would have preferred was another glass of wine and no dessert. I may have to ask them to do pichets of wine for solo diners!
Simone opened in July 2013 and I think after that meal I will be seeing a lot more of Simone although next time I will have to book as I want to sit inside!
33 Bld Arago 75013, Paris