posted May 30, 2018
14, rue du Jura
Metro Station: Saint-Marcel (Line 5) or Les Goblins (Line 7)
Type of cuisine: Modern French
Days & hours of operation: Mon to Sat noon - 2:00 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. - 10:30 p.m. Sun 11:30 a.m. - 2:00 p.m.
Credit card: American Express, Mastercard, Visa
La Dilettante is located off the tourist circuit in the 13th arrondissement.
Although the restaurant is narrow with limited seating, we were comfortable at our table. Tall white walls with tall windows, spot lighting, and large Edison lamps gave the dining area an open, modern look. Against one wall stands a shelf where wine and spirits are displayed for take-out sale. While we dined, popular music and jazz played over the sound system.
I ordered a bottle of Saint-Monon au Miel as a before-dinner beverage. A Belgian beer, it is flavored with honey, which provided agreeable sweetness to its slightly-bitter taste.
The restaurant does not offer a fixed-price menu, at least in the evening. We ordered à la carte from a list of seven starters ranging in price from 10€ to 17€, seven main courses ranging in price from 16€ to 20€, and six desserts ranging in price from 9€ to 10€.
I selected Asperges as a starter and received a plate containing two large white asparagus. Cooked firm-to-the-bite, they were accompanied by grated Parmesan, a white sauce flavored with miso, and red shiso leaves, a Japanese mint plant. It was an appetizing dish!
My partner opted for Burrata, a serving of burrata cheese in the shape of a small purse sitting on a mound of pureed eggplant that had been drizzled with olive oil. She was pleased with this selection.
The main course
I was in the mood for a hamburger that evening, so I requested the Burger de la maison, a large burger cooked medium-rare and served in a toasted, soft sesame-seed bun with lettuce, tomato, a slice of cheese, and pickled red onion. Very nice! That evening, I was convinced that burgers couldn’t get better than this.
My partner chose Poulet fermier fumé au foin, a serving of thin slices of smoked free-range chicken in a sweet sauce displayed on a bed of grilled, pickled, julienned carrots. She ordered roasted parsnips as a side dish and received two roasted parsnip halves served with several leaves of red-green lettuce.
Fresh country bread, sliced thick from a large loaf, was served alongside in a basket.
For the wine accompaniment, my partner ordered a Domaine Sibille Terres de Grès. With deep-purple robe and concentrated red-fruit aroma it went well with her starter.
I ordered a Cornet, a strong (8.5% alcohol), blond, bitter Belgian beer flavored with oak shavings during the brewing process. I enjoyed it with my hamburger.
I opted for a house specialty, a Charlotte au chocolat made with dark chocolate mousse in a ladyfinger shell. Nice!
My partner selected a Mousse au chocolat blanc and was served a large, shallow bowl containing two generous dollops of white chocolate mousse resting on nuggets shaped from chopped pistachios. The texture of the rich and fluffy mousse provided delightful contrast to the crunchy pistachios.
The bill for two, including two beers, two glasses of wine, two starters, two main courses, and two desserts, came to 105€.
The service was friendly, helpful, and efficient.
We enjoyed dining in this small restaurant and remarked that we were the only Anglophones there. Toward 8:40 p.m., the dining room became full of customers and was quite noisy with the sound of happy conversation.
Travelers to Paris seeking an authentic French dining experience should hasten to make a reservation at La Dilettante the moment they get to town.