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MIREILLE'S MUSINGS: A fantastic meal at Thoumieux

The photo above was taken after lunch at Thoumieux, 79 rue St-Dominique in the 7th. I'm a fan of chef Jean-Francois Piège; I originally met him at Ducasse's Plaza Athénée where he made one of the best meals of my life for a surprise birthday dinner. Now he's back to less fancy food and it's a delight.

The amuse was amusing but it worked: a kind of tuna fish of mashed sardines with vache qui rit (the cheese most French people grow up with!) served in a sardine tin can with bread loaf to die for and salted butter; calamar sauvage à la carbonara was a win-win, and the fish in tagliatelle worked wonders. Goujonettes de sole with a light tartare sauce was perfection, and so was fillets of barbue fish glazed with parmesan and served with spinach, the tiniest girolles and lemon confit in a silky creamy sauce; and the unusual profiteroles and cherry clafoutis from childhood were worth the gourmandise.

The room, however, is a disaster...not his fault or doing for sure. It's a bling bling kind with too many mirrors, a low ceiling and not much worth talking about...But in a different way the atmosphere was a refreshing experience for me: half-filled, the guests were all French, all enjoying bread, wine and dessert yet not one person even slightly overweight, as my US husband pointed out, and that was the first of many such experiences lately.