Only open since a few months ago, in a small street behind the Pantheon, La Table de Colette mixes exquisite, inventive cuisine with a respect for the environment that is extremely rare for a restaurant.
We recently met chef Josselin Marie for a few explanations, as well as a very memorable lunch…
From the outside, the restaurant looks like a former office space, with a discreet entrance behind some black iron bars, but once you enter you can feel that the welcome at La Table de Colette is genuinely very warm.
The interior design is simple, bordering on generic, with lots of light wood, grey fabric, beige, brown… We’re guessing the idea is that the neutral setting makes the dishes ‘pop’ even more.
A large mirror on one wall makes the whole space feel very roomy, and large windows overlook a sweet interior courtyard. It’s somewhere that most people will feel immediately at ease.
We chose the restaurant initially for its fixed lunchtime menu at 39€. Other slightly more expensive fixed menus are available in the evening – for 59€ you’ll be served five dishes, and for 79€ you’ll be able to taste two starters, a vegetable-based dish, a fish dish, a meat dish, and two desserts!
However, these prices (not too dear considering what’s on offer) were not the only reason for our choice. La Table de Colette is a restaurant that actively tries to reduce its carbon imprint and be mindful about the planet, and not just superficially as some might.
The restaurant’s website gives more details about how they choose suppliers based on their respect for the seasons and use a special online tool to calculate which combinations of ingredients consume the least carbon. The restaurant’s electricity comes from 100% renewable sources and is supplied by Enercoop (the only 100% non-profit supplier in France), while the carbon produced by the restaurant is offset by trees planted by Ecotree.
All of a sudden, the prices don’t look too expensive at all.
So this is a restaurant that is very mindful of it impact on the environment, and that’s something we very much appreciate. Also, the entire team is so sweet! As my co-diner was a little late, they offered to take me on a tour of the kitchen so I could meet the person who cooks the in-house bread, the person who assembles the desserts… Everyone was really perky!
My co-diner had finally arrived, and we both chose the 39€ menu only available at lunchtime, with a vegetarian option requested for one of us. That wasn’t a problem.
Each dish was served by a waiter who knew every ingredient and cooking technique used, but with so much in every course, we found it very difficult to not it all down. “No problem,” the chef told us, “I’ll send you all the details tomorrow,” and he did! What a kind man.
Here’s what we ate…
And here are some photos of the dishes. Each came impeccably presented, the mix of tastes was perfect, often surprising, and the chef definitely proved that he has no lack of inspiration. Take a look…
The chef even wrote down the details of the three little cake that came with the espresso coffee at the end! A gâteau nantais, buckwheat and apple tart, and chocolate truffles.
If I had to single out one dish, it would be the slice of cabbage – so incredibly, incredibly tasty and melty after being cooked in the oven for very many hours. The three amuse-bouches served right at the beginning of the meal also stuck in our memory, and don’t even get me started about the sublime chocolate dessert…
Every dish that we were served brought new wonderment. It’s a real pleasure to eat such good food in a place with such a positive feel.
The prices are rather high perhaps, but not for the work (and care) that has gone into everything. We loved what was the cheapest fixed lunch option on the menu – imagine how the others must be!
In sum, this is a restaurant who’s reputation is going to build very quickly, with awards (stars?) undoubtedly to come soon. Get down there now so you can tell your friends you discovered it before everyone else!