“Pop-ups, so hot right now, pop-ups.” -Hansel
When a little bird told me that Chef Taku Sekine from Dersou would be Taku-ing it up on Sunday at La Cave à Michel, it became evident that this would be Priority One for Sunday afternoon. After spending a significant amount of time moving around my busy Sunday schedule of sitting around drinking coffee, I happily rounded up some friends to join me.
This was my first time to visit La Cave à Michel, next door neighbor to Le Galopin, and it won’t be the last. Cute space, friendly staff, and they even remembered names as they handed out orders. I felt like a regular after ten minutes. “Here you go, Julie.” “Oh, thanks, bestie, you’re the best. …ie.” Eat, eat. Laugh, laugh.
We took over the spot in the far corner and ordered one of everything, except the bouillon (which a friend said would be difficult to share, though something so trivial has never stopped me before).
Vietnamese salad, chou rave in kimchi, and a do-it-yourself deviled egg (which had a delightfully still slightly runny yolk).
I am physically salivating thinking about that duck. Pavlov never would have guessed how quickly I could be conditioned.
The Asian lemongrass pork ribs deserve a photo shoot of their own.
Continue inappropriate saliva issues.
We ordered a second round of Vietnamese salad (would kill for that dressing, or at least badly injure someone in exchange), the duck tartare, and two more plates of ribs. I requested a whole duck and a rack of ribs but settled for normal portions.
“Listen, Taku, I was thinking we could become best friends and you could teach me how to make that salad dressing. Or if you want me to club someone in the knees in exchange for any of these recipes, I’m down.”
Considering the friendliness of Fabrice, the somm, and the cuteness of this space, it’s clear I’ll be returning soon. And considering how much I want to hurt people for Taku’s food, it’s clear that I’ll be making Dersou a regular stop in my rotation, and you should, too.
Update: I have since returned to La Cave à Michel, over and over again. Chef Romain Tischenko cranks out fresh market-focused small plates that never disappoint. If you show up early, you might have the bar all to yourself, but soon, it will be packed to brim. It’s standing room only, and I tend to think the best spot is in the back corner where you can spread out your food and wine with a group of friends over the counter against the wall and share bottles & plates. I love the ambiance, love the food, love the wines. It’s officially a go-to spot.