As a type, the wispy Paris student with holes in his soles is alive and hungry, and you will find him here, tucking into mountain-man portions of chicken, tripe, snails, tuna, and baby squid—all à la basquaise (with onions, tomatoes, and green and red peppers). Apart from the plasticized tablecloths, patterned cement floor-tiles, and salads delivered in stainless-steel mixing bowls, the real tip-off that you’re not at the Ritz is the potatoes. They’re offered as a main course, fried with cured ham and Cantal cheese. Or is it the escalope of veal hanging over the sides of the plate in buckets of caramel-colored cream that says it all? It would be peevish to point out that the food is leaden. So let’s just split the difference and call it "gripping."
Congratulations to Mei Lin, winner of Top Chef Season 12.