When a neighborhood restaurant is full on a random weekday afternoon to the point they have to deny walk-in customers, chances are 1) the food’s pretty good and/or 2) they offer an attractive lunch deal. In Le Bélisaire’s case, it was a little bit of both.
We heard about Le Bélisaire from friends who had just moved into the 15th arrondissement. They were in turn directed there by some students from Le Cordon Bleu whom they had befriended in the local pub. Recommendations from professionals are taken seriously here in our household, so we soon found ourselves ensconced in an intimate corner of the petite restaurant one afternoon for lunch.
The market driven menu changes frequently, and that day our options for lunch (21E for 2 courses, 24E for 3) tended on the guilt-free, refreshing side, like the cool dish of shrimp in brightly flavored chive mayo, perched on top of a piece of paper thin sesame-flecked pastry and sweet peppers.
We had cigars for mains, P’s stuffed with slow-stewed beef sitting atop an earthy dice of mushrooms and wine sauce, a lighter interpretation of the hearty boeuf bourguinon.
My main was the Mediterranean counterpart to his Burgundian dish, inspired by italian cannelloni, that large cylindrical pasta usually stuffed with ricotta cheese and served drenched in tomato sauce. In place of the pasta however were thin mandolin-ed slices of lightly grilled zucchini, and the stuffing minced fish. It was a very fresh and healthy dish with surprisingly punchy flavors due to the addition of capers and fresh herbs.
The dessert menu lacked imagination but fortunately the creme brulée was above-average.
From the effusive welcome to getting the check, the service was prompt and correct. And it was the chef who was the most friendly while making his rounds, shaking hands with everyone and even giving a few bisous to regulars. Given our big appetites, I think both the husband and I wouldn’t have minded larger portions, but everything else at this well-run local bistro was excellent, worthy of their well-loved status in the neighborhood.
Address: 2 Rue Marmontel, 75015, Paris