Just before I went away on vacation, I had an excellent going-away dinner with my friend Judy at Corneil, a pleasant, friendly and unassuming little modern bistro about a ten minute walk from where I live in the 9th arrondissement, a part of Paris that still doesn’t show up often on most visitors gastronomic radar despite its very central location.
The reality, however, is that this a great part of town in which to prospect for good, reasonably priced restaurants because my worldly, affluent neighbors know and love good food and also appreciate a good buy.I found out about Corneil, in fact, from my cobbler, whom I overheard recommending it to a customer. “La viande est extra, et c’est pas cher. Il faut prendre la cote de boeuf pour deux—quel Bonheur!” (The meat’s great and it isn’t expensive. You have to have the cote de boeuf for two—what a treat!) But first I had an excellent cold roast tomato soup and Judy a fine slab of homemade terrine de campagne, which was chunky, flavorful and served with a salt-glazed crock of cornichons as it should be. Next, the rib eye, a massive piece of perfectly cooked meat that came to the table sliced on a wooden carving board with sides of green salad and sautéed potatoes. Though succulent and flavorful, we couldn’t eat more than half of it (Judy later reported making a delicious steak sandwich the following day). We finished our bottle of house cotes du Rhone, an excellent buy at 20 Euros, over homemade plum tart, and I’m eagerly looking forward to going back and trying the rest of the menu, which includes rabbit in mustard sauce and cod with a sauce vierge.