Thursday, August 25, 2016

Art and Food Pairing™: Dorothy’s Gallery and Waly-Fay – Part 2

Less than a 10-minute walk from the Gérard Bloncourt photography exhibition at Dorothy’s Gallery is the West African restaurant called Waly-Fay.

Waly-Fay façade
© Discover Paris!

This dining establishment has been operating at 6, rue Godefroy-Cavaignac for 19 years. This summer, it is only open in the evenings. You can go there for dinner 7 days a week, from 7 PM to 2 AM.

Just about everything on the menu at Waly-Fay is fait maison (house made). Fatou Sylla, who hails from Saint-Louis, Senegal, is the chef.

We were seated in the extension of the restaurant to the left of the door at Number 6. This section looks like a traditional Paris bistrot. Its windows can be opened to the sidewalk to permit al fresco dining, which we enjoyed that evening.

We forewent alcoholic beverages as before-dinner drinks and opted instead for jus de gingembre (ginger juice) and jus de bissap (hibiscus flower juice). We found both to be quite refreshing.

Jus de gingembre (left) and jus de bissap (right)
© Discover Paris!

In a futile attempt to avoid overeating, Tom and I decided to split a starter. We selected boudin noir and received two plump, savory blood sausages served with a dollop of chutney made from chopped sautéed bell peppers, cooked onions, and spicy mustard. Three thinly sliced rings of raw, red onion served as garnish. The boudin was finely textured and delightfully spicy.

Boudin noir and pepper and onion chutney
© Discover Paris!

An exquisitely fresh baguette with crispy crust and soft crumb was served with this course. We enjoyed scooping portions of the boudin and small spoonfuls of chutney onto the baguette and finished the entire basket of bread before we knew it. We remembered too late that we’d each get a huge side dish of some starchy substance (rice, sweet potato, or manioc) with our main course and that we’d likely not be able to finish it because we had eaten so much bread!

For the main course, Tom selected a dish called “A Dash of Soul” – a chicken breast coated with a mixture of crushed pecans, paprika, garlic, cumin, and oregano. It was served with a small portion of barbecue sauce, a disk of carrot and cabbage coleslaw, and a large portion of fried white sweet potatoes. Tom enjoyed this dish – he did not leave a single morsel on his plate.

“A Dash of Soul”
© Discover Paris!

I ordered my favorite Senegalese dish, Yassa de poulet. I received a steaming bowl of this delightful preparation of stewed chicken and a plate of long grain rice that could have easily served four persons. The yassa consisted of two drumsticks and a thigh nestled in a sauce of cooked onions, diced carrots, several pitted green olives, a few morsels of chopped tomato, and a wedge of lime. It was exquisitely prepared, but I expected it to have a stronger citrus flavor. A small spoonful of pepper sauce from a tiny goblet served alongside added just the right “kick.”

Yassa de poulet with rice
© Discover Paris!

As I feared, indulging on the bread during the first course left me with insufficient appetite to enjoy this dish fully. I chose to leave part of one drumstick, some of the onion mixture, and 90% of the rice unconsumed so I would have room for dessert.

And speaking of dessert, what could be better on a warm summer evening than ice cream and sorbet? I ordered glace au gingembre (ginger ice cream) with rum-soaked Corinth raisins and Tom ordered sorbet au corrosol, which is made from soursop. He had to choose another dessert when the waiter emerged from the kitchen to tell us that the restaurant was out of this selection. He chose the flan de coco as a replacement and devoured it with pleasure.

Flan de coco
© Discover Paris!

The ginger ice cream was more like a ginger ice – it was not exceptionally creamy and it was not as sweet as I had anticipated. I received two American-sized scoops of this iced dessert, which was artisanally made, but not on the premises. The fresh morsels of ginger provided marvelous bursts of flavor and I ate it with relish.

glace au gingembre
© Discover Paris!

We conversed with our friendly servers for a while after finishing our dessert, happily paid our bill, and wandered off into the evening.

6, rue Godefroy-Cavaignac
75011 Paris
Open every night from 7 PM until 2 AM
Last call for orders at 12:30 AM
Telephone: 01 40 24 17 79
Metro: Charonne (Line 9)


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