Clotilde’s Corsican Sandwich

Le Sandwich Corse de Clotilde

[Clotilde’s Corsican Sandwich, as seen at Cojean’s]

I cannot begin to tell you how gratifying Chocolate & Zucchini has been, since the very early days. But this, having a sandwich named after me at one of my absolute favorite lunch places, is a benefit I clearly hadn’t foreseen. You must forgive my candor, but : how unbelievably cool is that, I ask you?

Okay, a little explanation is in order. Cojean is a sandwich and salad restaurant, founded by someone named Alain Cojean. Being a great fan of that place, I wrote a review for Bonjour Paris, and mentioned on C&Z that one of their sandwiches had been the inspiration for my Salade Figue et Poire à la Bresaola. This caught the attention of Fred Maquair, Alain Cojean’s associate, who liked C&Z and got in touch with me, to express his thanks.

I was delighted of course, but not half as much as a few days ago, when he sent me an email to let me know that a new menu was coming out, featuring a sandwich inspired in turn by my Tartine Corse, which was thus to be named, quite simply, “le sandwich corse de clotilde”.

“Aflutter with joy” is an understated description of yours truly, upon hearing the news.

Of course, I took a trip to Cojean’s as soon as I could, digital camera in hand, to immortalize the moment. I stepped in, right in the middle of the lunch rush, and quickly located my spiritual baby. “Nouveau“, said a little yellow label. “Le sandwich corse de clotilde”, said another, baby blue label. “Oh my”, thought I. I asked a waitress for permission to take a picture : “I’d love to take a picture of the sandwich corse de clotilde”, I said, “because um… you see, I am Clotilde.”

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Rose Bakery

Rose Bakery is a small bakery-cum-restaurant run by a French-British couple on rue des Martyrs, a few blocks from where we live. I love this place and find myself going as often as I possibly can, on my own or with friends.

A low semicircular wrought iron door opens onto a long and narrow room. Historically, this used to be a chartil, where produce merchants stored the wooden carts they sold their fruit and vegetable out of. The walls are painted white, with a large abstract painting covering the furthest wall. The floor is bare concrete and the tabletops are mat metal. The staff — all young foreigners — wears white aprons, the food is served in polished earthenware plates, and the combination of all this gives off a quietly chic vibe.

Rose Bakery

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Le Troyon

Update, spring 2004 : Le Troyon is now closed, but the same team now runs Caïus at 6 rue d’Armaillé in the 17th (01 42 27 19 20).

[Very surprisingly, Le Troyon does not give out little address cards like most restaurants do, so I don’t have a picture for this entry!]

Last Monday, my parents invited Maxence and I to dinner at Le Troyon, Maxence’s favorite restaurant in Paris. This was our fourth time eating there, we had raved about it to my parents, and they were eager to try it. The setting is elegant but intimate, and the service is professional yet friendly. They have a three-course menu that runs at 33 euros and changes every day but for some signature items.

As is the style in a lot of Parisian restaurants, the menu is hand-written in chalk on blackboards, that the waiters carry to each table for diners to read, propping it up on your table, or balancing it on a chair or a shelf close to you. I like the dynamic of that, because people squint, they turn their necks, they comment on the spelling, wonder about a word that they can’t quite make out, and is it “cul” or “col“, and they’re all looking in the same direction, instead of being isolated behind their own menu.

When you are ready to make your choice (or not, as is more often the case), the waiter will stand next to the board and answer questions, decipher the handwriting, describe dishes, give advice, discuss the choice of products. I love that part because that’s when I get to enquire about what this or that is served with, and how is it prepared, and do you recommend it, and will I like it, and does the chef like it, and where do you buy the bread, and what’s a good wine pairing, and how’s the business going, and can I work here? Until I feel everybody’s getting impatient and I just shut up already.

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