It’s too bad they’re closing next week for summer vacation, because Zoe Bouillon is serving up an ideal summer lunch. I’ve walked past the cute canteen on rue Rébéval many times, but today was the first time I’d eaten there. I doubt it will be the last.
A soup joint might not seem like the best place to eat on a warm July afternoon, but Zoe is cooking up (or mixing, rather) some delicious chilled soups, perfect for summer. I met my friend Celine there for lunch on Monday, and we were delighted with the fresh, seasonal offerings. The soups and salads are available à la carte or as part of a formule: from 9 euros for soup and a sandwich, salad, or slices of savory cake, to 11 euros for soup, sandwich or salad, cake and dessert. We went with the simplest menu, though both of the freshly baked cakes looked so good, we both had to ask for a slice of each.
There was the mozzarella and herb, green with fresh herbs, and the goat cheese with eggplant and zucchini, which was still slightly warm from the oven. Both cakes were incredibly moist with a pleasantly browned crust.
For the soup, I chose the chilled gazpacho andalou, a refreshing and savory blend of tomatoes and herbs. It was served with a sprinkling of crumbled oeufs mimosa (hard boiled eggs), which provided a satisfying dose of protein.
Celine opted for the chilled cucumber-mint soup, which was incredibly cooling.
The service here is pretty much non-existent, though the staff are friendly and accommodating. The soups are served in plastic cups and the cakes on paper plates. Spoons, forks, knives, and napkins are disposable, too. (A little surprising to see so much waste at an establishment that otherwise seems to respect food and nature.) Orders are taken at the counter, and you bring your meal to your table on a brightly colored tray. When you’re finished, you bus your own table. It’s bare bones, but it probably helps to keep the prices low.
A restaurant with seasonal fare and reasonable prices in one of my very favorite Parisian neighborhoods? I only wish I could swing by for lunch more often.
On this day in 2009: Le Rouennais (Another lovely lunch.)
Originally published on Croque-Camille.