Abbesses: Ebisu


Although this may look like dozens of other casual French bistrots around town, the chef’s impressive cooking skills and culinary creativity are several cuts above average, and help Abbesses stand out from the crowd. Ordinary-sounding dishes like pate de campagne, roast lamb, and salmon en croute are executed with confidence and flair, and showcase top-notch ingredients. The wine list matches the high quality of the food and represents excellent price performance.

Repeat visits are rewarded as the menu cycles through seasonal and more frequent variations. There’s a “cheese salad of the day,” for example, and the simple grated-carrot starter might be infused with cumin and similar spices during one visit and a refreshing dollop of horseradish the next.

There are also some adventurous daily specials like Roast Duck with Spicy Honey-Hazelnut Glaze – a wonderful balance of diverse but harmonious flavors. Desserts like Fondant au Chocolat and Profiteroles with Cinnamon Ice Cream are appropriately luxurious and gooey, and don’t skimp on size.

Abbesses’ very affordable wine list is another big draw – it includes a respectable selection of bottles in the under-Y6,000 range, gathered from various wine-producing regions of France. The waitstaff are happy to help you navigate the list based on your preferences and budget. After dinner you’ll find a serviceable assortment of digestifs such as Marc and Calvados to help you wind down your evening.

Budget around Y7,500-10,000 for dinner with drinks, and Y1000 for weekday lunch. No lunch on Saturdays. …continue reading