On a quiet street just off the busy boulevard Montparnasse, around the corner from such grandiose eateries as Le Dôme, La Coupole, and La Rotonde, sits the laid-back bistro Wadja.
Nick and I met here for lunch on a sunny day last week, and despite the long list of more expensive offerings, we thoroughly enjoyed the 14-euro, two-course lunch menu. As we do in these situations, we split a starter and dessert, so as to make up a three-course lunch that doesn’t put us into a postprandial coma.
After ordering beers, we started off with the lentil salad. It was good, with nice firm lentils and big chunks of meaty sausage. The lentils were dressed with a punchy red wine vinaigrette that really helped take the edge off the richness of the dish.
Next, I had the bacon-wrapped monkfish.
I didn’t know it would be wrapped in bacon when I ordered it, but I sure wasn’t about to complain. The fish was perched atop a bed of buttery, buttery cabbage. I wiped my plate clean with bread to sop up every last drop of the sauce.
Nick had the blanquette de veau, which, given its ideal look of uniform whiteness, doesn’t exactly make for an exciting picture. It tasted delicious, though (he let me have a bite). The veal was falling-apart tender in a flavorful, mushroom-studded sauce.
To top off the meal, we shared a near-perfect panna cotta. The texture was just right – softly set, with just enough structure to maintain shape en route from plate to mouth. The caramel sauce was buttery with a hint of salt. I only wish there had been some vanilla bean in the panna cotta.
As the lunch menu here is a chalkboard affair, I’m sure it changes regularly. I’d happily return to find out how the offerings change with the seasons.
On this day in 2008: Sufferin’ Succotash
Originally published on Croque-Camille.