Designer Philippe Starck has finally given we flea market lovers a smart, trendy, easy place to lunch before or after wandering the stalls. I’ve been a regular visitor to the Clignacourt market since 1980, and have furnished many a room with treasures gleaned from long and leisurely Sunday strolls. His Ma Cocotte, right at the parking entrance of the Paul Bert market is conveniently located, and since its opening in October, 2012 has been a surefire hit, especially at lunch on weekends, when no reservations are taken. So go early, and walk off the lunch as you stroll the aisles. The food here is nothing more than “correct” but if you go with that in mind, you’re not likely to be disappointed. The huge open kitchen sports a giant rotisserie, with roasted chicken and beef often on the menu. Simple salads of beets, lamb’s lettuce, and soft-cooked egg arrive fresh and perky, while the first course of smoked salmon is divine. The bread is outrageously delicious, and the wine list – which includes some well-priced Burgundies from Olivier LeFlaive – make the experience all that much more digestible. The restaurant is comfortable and not an “in your face” Starck experience. There is plenty of space for outdoor dining, the all-white bathrooms are a must visit, and service was as the French would say, without a fault.
MA COCOTTE, 106 rue des Rosiers, 93400 Saint Ouen, Tel: +33 1 49 51 70 00, Métro: Porte de Clignancourt
Open: Daily, 8 am-11 pm. No reservations taken at lunch on Saturday or Sunday. www.paulbert-serpette.com
Lunch and dinner: A la carte 28-40€.