L’Atelier du Port is fast becoming one of the popular eateries in the area, so get yourself along there pronto, before it’s too late!
What a lovely surprise l’Atelier du Port at the corner of rues Bavastro and Bonaparte turned out to be! It hasn’t been open long. Having passed it many times I wondered what it was actually like – seemed always to be full until very late, a sure sign of somewhere with that ‘je ne sais quoi’, the French may also have a suitable term! So, when a friend organised her birthday party there, it was a not to be missed opportunity. Actually I only learned the name by accident since it isn’t evident outside.
The black awning outside hides a thin strip of tables mirrored on the inside by a similar strip tables, albeit a tad nicer. Then there is a sort of bar area with stools which face over le plan de travail which is the kitchen! It is decorated in black and white with writing of no particular relevance (to me) all over the black painted walls around the kitchen area. So there you have it, a nicely decorated, contemporary restaurant fitted into two narrow strips for diners. So what else is new??
Menus. I must tell you about the menus. They are on blackboards, handwritten, the boards standing around 1.5m high. What a cute idea except that with 10 seated people it is nigh impossible to read more than 3 or 4 of the entrées, let alone the rest of the menu! Solved by one of our crew hiking it up onto a bar stool, still not an easy way to choose when there is a group. The choice of items is very good in my book and wallet friendly (I like wallet friendly).
Did I tell you that all the staff on the night in question were female – no? Then now you know.
Food wise I had baby courgettes with parmesan – lovely. Someone else had cheese with more cheese lumped in and then cut into a large slice – took a bit, very yummy. In other words the starters went down very well with not one complaint (and, yes, there were French people amongst us, so if complaining was needed we were amply resourced).
The mains! What fun. A large chunk of us went for the veal, bad people, but were advised that there was only one portion available, which will cheer the anti veal community. So we were forced into choosing something else … actually this made everyone sample one of the other dishes. Ok, not plentiful, but tasty, served up in a sort of tin thing – maybe an affectation Niçoise, don’t know, should and will ask next time … oh yes, there will be a next time.
Staff wise. Lovely, lovely people. Amiable. Efficient. We will not mention a slight confusion with the orders, didn’t affect us at all.
For wine lovers there was a good selection at moderate prices.
Summary – A good place to while away an evening, perhaps saved for that special someone or 4 if you have wearied of that special someone. The prices mean it is somewhere you can and will want to frequent, croyez-moi!
All good. Go there.
L’Atelier du Port
45, rue Bonaparte
Telephone: 09 83 03 88 44
All photographs © Mike Colquhoun