One's Memorable, Another's Just Dull

PARIS - La Zygotissoire, a small rotisserie restaurant at the edge of the trendy Bastille neighborhood, is perhaps the city's best buy today. Where else can you have a delicious, can't-finish-it-all three-course meal, with coffee, for 80 francs? And the food is not just O.K., it is memorable and inventive.

On the 80-franc ($13) menu, one might begin with a chicken-wing salad, made up of a quartet of moist, beautifully roasted chicken wings set on a bed of greens; move on to a faux filet cooked on the rotisserie, and sauced with shallots, then top it off with a dessert of homemade ice cream or sorbet. A la carte starters include the brochettes de legumes anchoiade, excellent brochettes of zucchini, tomatoes and eggplant, with a delicately flavored anchovy sauce and a small green salad alongside. Good main courses include a filet of sea bass grilled on the rotisserie, or a filet of bar, on a bed of Swiss chard greens, served with a round gratin of the celery-like whites of chard.

The wine list offers some offbeat surprises, such as the rarely seen Ladoix, a worthy red from the northernmost village of the Cote de Beaune, and almost always a bargain.

The restaurant shares ownership with the popular 12th arrondissement bistro, Les Zygomates. - It has been a long time since I had a meal in Paris as boring as the one I had the other night at the trendy, and generally good-buy,
Campagne et Provence: The welcome was as chilly as a day in December, the food dull as dishwater and the service amateurish.

Walk in with a reservation, suggest you might be seated at that nice sunny table in the window and the head greeter shrugs, suggesting that when he puts people there they always ask to be seated elsewhere. (So when the restaurant is half empty, why not let the customer choose?) Everyone on the staff (including the chef) seemed to want to be elsewhere.

A salad advertised as mesclun was nothing other than a tangle of mixed greens - no herbs, no verve, a few shavings of Parmesan and strips of ham. Equally unimpressive was saffroned rabbit with a ''risotto'' of epeautre, or ''poor man's wheat'' - a dish that sounded promising but turned out to be something that might have come from a packaged TV dinner.

Only the wine list - with Alain Brumont's robust 1994 Madiran Meinjarre - and the wholesome sourdough bread from l'Epi Gaulois in the 14th arrondissement saved the evening.


La Zygotissoire, 101 Rue de Charonne, Paris 11.

Tel: 01-40-09-93-05; fax: 01-44-73-46-63.

Closed Saturday lunch and Sunday. Credit card: Visa.

80-franc menu. A la carte, 130 to 160 francs,
including service but not wine.


Campagne et Provence, 25, Quai de la Tournelle, Paris 5; Tel: 01-43-54-05-17; fax: 01-43-29-74-93.

Closed Saturday lunch, Sunday, and Monday lunch. Credit card: Visa.

120-franc lunch menu and 180-franc and 215-franc dinner menus including service but not wine.