Wednesday, July 23, 2008

bonsoir clara

with a rue Antoine dansart address, bonsoir clara was promising to be achingly trendy just with its locale. a stone’s throw away from various homegrown designer boutiques with their painfully minimalist displays, the kartell shop on the corner with its lust inducing starke ghost chairs and l’archiduc, I was envisaging a room brimming with arty type people and yummy mummys doing lunch in between shopping for more yummy mummy clothes – which might have made getting a table for lunch a difficult affair.

but thankfully for me, that wasn’t the case and I was easily seated by the window overlooking rue Antoine dansart. not that I have anything against yummy mummys. the lunch menu was written on a board – there wasn’t a choice for lunch, though a brief glance through the carte did seem to offer several chi-chi sounding dishes (which I admit that in a weak moment of yuppieness I might have succumbed to), such as tempura-ed courgette flowers with brandade and tomato emulsion.

so the lunch menu – I started with tomatoes with a tian of smoked mozzarella, drizzled with a light basil pesto-esque sauce – it was a somewhat pseudo space age take on insalata caprese especially with the dried tomato crisp sitting atop the mozzarella which brought to mind freeze dried astronaut food (and tasted somewhat freezedried), but other than the erroneous tomato crisp – it was a perfectly adequate summer lunch starter – the tomatoes were refreshingly sweet against the saltiness of the smokey mozzarella cubes and the punch of the basil.

the main course was a little bit of an oxymoron – it was titled something along the lines of roast beef carpaccio – and it was that – roast beef, but sliced so thin, and the middles so pink as to be rare. it was topped with an assortment of cubed summer vegetables – purple sprouting broccoli, carrots, mange tout, courgettes, lashings of shaved parmesean, a large handful of rocket, and drizzled over with a balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. it came with a cone of very thin waffle cut crisps. the dish could have done with a little more of that dressing, but that was perhaps my only substantial complaint – otherwise, for EUR 12.50 for entrée, plat and a very good coffee (with accompanying chocolate square no less), it was more than perfectly adequate for a middle-of-workday lunch.

ps. there aren’t any pictures simply because I committed the (usual) schoolgirl error of lugging my humongous camera all the way to work and down the cobbled streets through the throngs of tourists, but wisely forgot to also bring my memory card. so all these perfect shots I did attempt to take have been lost forever to digitalcameralblackholeness. oh well. any excuse for another lunch there.


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