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Butcher’s delights: Deux Où Trois Choses

Deux Où Trois Choses is a carnivore's dream, à la Française. Très bon. But clearly vegetarians and other animal-averse diners won’t find much to sink their teeth into here.

Image for Butcher's delights: Deux Où Trois Choses
Photo by Alexander McBride

While the local culinary favourite Schlesisch Blau was undergoing renovations, the team temporarily set up shop down the street at Köpenickerstraße No. 10. When it moved back to its original location at No.1, the owners decided to make a “bistrot lyonnais” out of the temporary locale. Deux ou trois choses is a large, bright space with simple wood furnishings, a fireplace and a poster for the 1967 Godard film (2 or 3 Things I Know About Her), from which it borrows its name.

If there’s one thing you should know about this place, it’s that authenticity is high on the agenda, starting with a regularly remixed menu whose sparsity is conversely matched by an impressive selection of French-only aperitifs, from a gentian root liqueur called Julie F to pastis to Picon, excellent Rhone, Burgundy and Provence wines (order the white Côtes de Provence, which boasts a bio label and luscious mouthfeel), Badoit water and a basket replete with bread and butter – as it should be.

It didn’t take long before our knowledgeable all-black-clad waiter sporting a diamond-incrusted Lego cross of his own making around his neck brought us an amuse-gueule, a razor-thin portion of tête de veau (yes, calf’s head). Decidedly, no one knows better than the French how to slice up innocent young animals! More evidence of that came in the shape of the ‘assiette de cochonailles’, a gourmet plate of pork head delicacies: delicious aspic the French tenderly call ‘Fromage de Tete’ (head cheese), and a well prepared cold cut of cheeks with a side of lentil salad, three types of mustard and sautéed potatoes on the side.

When our main act came we weren’t disappointed with the generous portions and quality ingredients. The healthy chunk of loup de mer (sea bass) on a bed of beetroot and radicchio was perfectly cooked – although it lacked a sour kick to enliven the blander salty and bitter flavours. The wild boar – two pieces, one stewed, one roasted, with potato strudel and creamy savoy cabbage – reminded us of a good night at Schlesisch Blau: flavourful, rich and filling.

Clearly vegetarians and other animal-averse diners won’t find much to sink their teeth into here, with the exception of the hearty onion soup, stripped from its usual gratinéed crust – instead the cheese came as a spread on top of a large crouton floating amidst the long onion slices.

There’s only one dessert per night; ours was a chocolate mousse allegedly made with olives and definitely served with two halves of a poached pear, a perfectly executed classic. With dishes ranging from €3.50 to €18, this is a recommendable place. Too bad the superior quality of the ingredients isn’t always matched by flavour. Is that why they bring you glass jars filled with their ‘trademark’ quartet of home-pickled chutney – green tomato, pineapple, plum and pumpkin – to season up your food?