We got back to the Rathaus area in the early afternoon, just in time for lunch. I was determined not to overdo it on food Sunday, though we managed to walk enough that breakfast was effectively burned off. Several of the restaurants near the Sofitel were closed on Sunday, but we did manage to find an excellent lunch anyway when we found Le Plat du Jour. On Sundays, they offer a three course meal for 33 euros. Judging by the number of people sitting in the quaint front dining room, we could tell the place was a favorite with locals. We decided to see if they had a spot for us.
I was thinking there wouldn’t be any tables available, but it turned out they had another dining room in the basement of the restaurant. Since we didn’t have reservations, we had no issues with sitting in the “less desirable” part of the restaurant. To be honest, I kind of liked it down there because it was somewhat more private, although there was a large group of Germans down there when we arrived– four couples with a cute little blond boy who appeared to be about four years old and tiny twin infants who looked like they had been born within the past few weeks.
Our waitress was a lovely young woman who greeted us in French and cheerfully offered us an English menu. We mostly understood what was on the German menu, though there were a few words we didn’t know that turned out to be important, given the French penchant for serving organ meats. Neither Bill nor I had any trouble picking out suitable dishes. The waitress even laughed when I asked her if there were any mushrooms in the dishes I chose.
Bill tastes the wine…
I started with a fish soup. It was velvety smooth, with the essence of fish rather than big chunks of flesh in the broth. It was served with little pieces of toasted bread and a mustard sauce that reminded me a lot of Hollandaise if Hollandaise were made with mild mustard. I really enjoyed the soup and was raving about it as much as Bill was enjoying his salad, which was full of very fresh field greens and lightly tossed with a creamy dressing.
Soup and salad… Next to my bowl is a little plate with the toast and mustard sauce.
I chose the Scampi Provencal for my main course. It consisted of five grilled shrimps served on top of a light butter, garlic, and herb sauce and a small mound of herbed rice. I did see very thin shavings of mushrooms in the rice, but they were easily removed and didn’t affect the way the rice tasted. Bill had ox tail on noodles with a red wine sauce. He had never had ox tail before and his first taste was a resounding success. The meat was tender and succulent, shaped into medium sized balls that featured well with the tagliatelle style noodles. We washed lunch down with a very nice French Bordeaux, expertly served by our server, and a bottle of sparkling water.
Bill’s ox tail with red wine sauce…
For dessert, I had lemon mousse with orange garnish. Bill had a cheese plate. We capped off our meal with one last thing– double espresso for Bill and a cognac for me.
Dessert for me… cheese for Bill.
And the final bow…
Our leisurely lunch lasted a couple of hours and was a true delight. We didn’t leave stuffed because the portion sizes were not too large and we were able to pace the meal. The company was also delightful. The Germans who were eating at the same time we were had brought a very well behaved dog with them who was no bother at all. I was raving about that lunch as we left the restaurant. When I looked it up on TripAdvisor, I saw that out of 2755 restaurants in Hamburg, it was ranked in the top 5%. I can see why. Yelpers loved it too! If we ever go back to Hamburg, we must eat there again… and next time, we’ll make reservations.
If you come to Hamburg and like French food, this unassuming little bistro is a great place to dine!