The sixth is the center of our Parisian universe.  Though we take up just a tiny sliver of its 0.8 square mile (about 300 square feet to be exact), we have spent a large chunk of our dining hours within its boundaries, everywhere from hole-in-the-wall joints to nicer sit-down restaurants to the well-frequented Monoprix supermarket for a meal back at home.  There remain many known and unknown gems to be sampled but we have no doubt that we will get through most of them, or fail trying.  After all, we love eating as much as we love living where we live.
 
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Five Baguettes
   
Pizza Positano
15, rue des Canettes
Closed Sundays
01.43.26.01.62
M° Saint-Germain-des-Prés

 
Euro - 9 to 16
The parents of one of Nez’s students, upon discovering that we live on rue des Canettes, recommended a place that was supposedly the best Italian in Paris.  There are quite a few Italian restaurants on this short and lively stretch and Nez does not quite remember the name.  For a long time, we suspected that it was Pizza Positano but could not be certain.

There is always a line outside the door (at least during the witching dining hours) and more than once we had heard one of the waiters apologetically turned away groups larger than two as the night approached closing time.  Figuring that we stood no chance of scoring a table, we turned to ordering pizza pies emporter.  It makes us feel, strangely, superior to the throngs of would-be diners to declare to the same waiter, when asked about our party size, that we were taking our food home.  He, with a full head of wavy hair like one of the Italian soccer players, would waive us into the cramped dining room – unlike most other restaurants in this neighborhood, there is no upstair or underground spillover space for diners – and allow us to order directly from the pizza chef himself.  That was followed by a nice wait outside where we got to tell people that “No, we’re not waiting,” not for a table anyhow.  Finally, our steamy hot pizza would be brought out to us with a hearty thank you and good night.  It is also cheaper to take away; you save a few euros off the menu price.  We feel a connection of sorts with him; he speaks to us only in French.
 
 
 
 
 
  Heaven for Riot is this plate of linguine:  Linguine con gamberi (18€), the secret – and real delight – is in the sauce and generous serving of garlic.
 
 

 
 
 
The pizza, which Nez proclaimed to be “the best” she has had in Paris, is amazing.  Though freshly baked right before your eyes in a brick oven, the hot pizza comes out with a delectable crust that is surprisingly not cooked to a crunch.  Named for famed soccer stars of both the Italian and French varieties, we like both the ones we took home. The Platini (12€; 10€ to go) (of the Michel Platini fame) is a hit especially with meat-loving Riot who revels in the sprinkling of ground beef and merguez on top of tomato sauce and mozzarella.  The Stefano (13€; 11€ to go) (just an Italian name and not named after any player, we know of, in particular) is a collage of ham, gorgonzola, and mozzarella over a bed of tomato sauce and topped with a dash of fine basil.  Nez raves about this combination; she is also a lover of cheese. One time, catching a whiff of a plate of calamari being delivered to a table, we even came home with a small tray of delicious calamari fritti (14€; 11€ to go), whose taste was greatly enhanced by a squeeze of lemon and a splash of Riot’s hot sauce.
 
 
 
 
 
  Sissi’s small, simple main course that capped a day full of eating:  Ravioli (ricotta, crème, parmesan, basilic) (12.50€).
 
 
 
 
 
We finally did make it to Positano for a sit-down meal one night when we had a pasta craving and could not trust simply walking into any of the many other nearby Italian joints.  Our waiter spotted us and promptly showed us to our table.  Space is of such a premium here that there is a well-choreographed sliding of the table for the person sitting on the inside to squeeze in.  We were somewhat crushed when our waiter took our order in English; he must have overheard our conversation.  Bummer.  But when he came back to apologize that the lasagna we ordered was not available, he caught himself after saying, “I’m sorry …,” and quickly switched back to French.  The magic remained in tact; we were back in the “in” group again, whatever that may be.
 
 
 
 
 
 
  All that walking turned Nez into an omnivore:  Pizza Platini, with ground beef and merguez toppings (12€).
 
 
 
 
 
  Yes, you can have that to go also:  The calamari fritti (11€ to go) had Riot as soon as it passed by him on the way to a table.
 
 
 
 
We shared the carpaccio (11€) over our small square table, its small size made the experience logistically possible and, more importantly, very cozy and special.  It was one of the best we have had, anywhere.  Unfortunately, Nez was getting full before she moved onto here penne quatre fromages avec Parme (15€).  She liked it but had trouble finishing. Riot did not have any trouble clearing his excellent linguine fruits de mer (21€).  The star of the plate was actually not the shrimp nor calamari, good as they were, but the cloves of garlic that really drove the taste home when combined with the tomato-based sauce.  Nez pronounced this to be the best pasta in Paris and Riot heartily agreed.  To have a go at it, they also agreed, one has to pay a pretty penny too.

We don’t think we’re the only one raving about Pizza Positano.  While waiting for our takeaway pizza one night our ears caught the sound of the familiar English.  “There! That’s the place,” said a passing American woman to her party that had come to a halt right in front of the restaurant, “it has the best pizza.”
 
 
 
 
 
  Chocked full of cheeses for a cheese lover:  Nez raved about this Stefano (11€ to go) of ham bathed in gorgonzola and mozzarella.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
  It’s not a meal without a proper entrée:  We shared this carpaccio appetizer (11€) over a small table built tightly for two.
 
 
 
 
 
  A very hearty pasta dish:  Nez had difficulty finishing this rich, but tasty, penne quatre fromages avec Parme (15€).
 
 
 
 
 
  It was love at first sight:  Riot spied a lucky kid eating this linguine fruits de mer (21€) when he came in for a take-out pizza and vowed to come back an get one for himself, and did.
 
 
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