“Table for one, s’ilvous plait“. I was spending the weekend in Paris alone. My friend Joyce had to pull out of our trip at the last moment leaving me dining solo. Recommendations in hand I headed to Sorza situated on the island of Ile-St-Louis in the middle of Paris. I don’t dine alone that often but here are certain guidelines that I think assist:
1. Choose your restaurant carefully. You don’t want one with big groups of noisy people. More intimate restaurants like Sorza are perfect although not so intimate that everyone else in there is a couple canoodling.
2. Make sure you get a a seat where you have a good view of the restaurant for prime people watching. Alternatively, looking out onto the street or close to the kitchen is also good for entertainment value.
3. A book or glass of wine is useful as an emotional crutch although try not to go overboard on the wine. Getting drunk by yourself is not a good look.
4. Finally, enjoy ordering exactly what you want. No need to worry about the garlic breath or whether you are the only person who wants dessert when the rest of the table does not…
So book in hand I snuggled into one of the shiny black lacquered seats at Sorza looking out onto the winding streets of Ile-St-Louis and ordered exactly what I wanted. The menu at Sorza is mainly Italian with a French twist. As is typical in France there is a menu of the day where you can choose any entree, main and dessert for 34 euros.
To begin the Parmesan souffle served with a rocket salad. The food at Sorza looks stunning and the souffle is no exception rising out of its searing hot ramekin. It is the airy and light while still conveying the sharp, rich taste of the Parmesan. The only fault is the large hunks of Parmesan scattered over the rocket salad, shaved Parmesan would have been much better.
My main course is faultless. I have ordered the braised souris d’agneau which my waitress kindly explains is a shank of veal (pictured). It is Italian in its robust flavours and the way that the meat falls of the shank after the slow cooking but pure French in the perfect presentation. The shank stands proudly to attention on the plate all glossy from the rich sauce and accompanied by a cornet of courgettes, tomato and aubergine. I have just found a little bit of food heaven all by myself.
I am completely full at this stage but there is always room for dessert so I opt for the French toasted panettone and caramelised pears. I am not sure what is particularly French about the way that the panettone is toasted however the sweet, rich bread and the sugary pears are a knockout combination and an excellent end to a perfect solo meal.
Details: 51 Rue Sant Louis en I’lle, Paris, France 75004 (Ph +33 1 43 54 78)