Serving up a selective French bistro menu rich in Lebanese influence, Montmartre offers a tasty homage to the most bohemian of Parisian barrios.
Tucked into the eaves of a small San Diego house, this little slice of Paris is a dream come true for the Franco-Colombian owner, Valerie Thuillier Espinosa.
Tired of telling other people how to realize their dreams in a high-powered position at consultants Cap Gemini, Thuillier traded her spreadsheets for an apron and a trademark bistro uniform that combines the red, white and blue tricolor of her homeland.
She took a leaf out of the books of her most successful clients and head hunted an expert to do the difficult part.
Her compatriot, Adrien Comberousse, best fit her hunt for an expert in French cuisine to take with her on her tropical adventure. The two haven't looked back.
Fresh from earning his culinary stripes working at the two Michelin star restaurant, Alexandre, in Garons, Comberousse runs a tight kitchen turning out a small selection of French staples to great effect.
Kick off your Bohemian French experience with a typical onion soup au gratin or homemade pate, the terrine de campagne and then choose from the restaurant's regular fish, seafood, duck, lamb and beef mains.
Be whisked away to Provence by the Magret duck served with orange and carrot puree or let the entrecote with challots slug it out with the lamb and ratatouille for your tastebuds' attention.
As well as creating a home-from-home for the growing ranks of French exiles trading Paris for the tropics, Montmartre does its best to cater to locals looking for a little je ne sais quoi at lunchtime.
A good value fixed menu (USD$7.50) that includes soup, a main and a juice, works wonders with whatever's fresh from day-to-day.
THIS IS WHAT WE LOVE
* Discovering a little Aladdin's cave hidden up in the eaves of a quaint San Diego house
* The authentic homemade paté served with a crispy French baguette
* Bread that doesn't come laced with sugar
* Entrecote cooked just as it should be by a French chef who learned his stripes in a 2 Michelin star restaurant
* French food with a subtle Lebanese twist running thought the simple menu
* A good value, bistro-style lunch menu that won't break the bank
* A fruity, Franco-Colombian, tangerine Crème brûlée you won't find anywhere else
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
* Montmartre is new and has a refreshing approach to customer service
* Montmartre's lunch menu has just one set of options daily
* The restaurant is upstairs with small door at ground level