On a pedestrian street behind the Théâtre de la Porte Saint-Martin, the Hôtel Providence plays up its past as a brothel (hardwood floors and a bar with lots of patina, Rococo mirrors, vintage light fixtures) by making eyes at passersby’s stomachs. On the beautiful terrace, we pause for a cocktail (like the Chambre 22 with gin, cucumber, lemon juice and fresh basil, €12), and keep things going with some simple but effective plates. The night we went: a poached egg over a green asparagus tartare with smoked duck breast and Comté (€11); reinvigorating Morteau sausage cooked over a wood fire, paired with roasted Provencal tomatoes (€19); before a verbena crème brûlée with citrus brunoise (€7). As for the wines, there are some sensual poisons: a white Anjou from the Château de La Roulerie (€5 a glass), a Bourgueil from Catherine and Pierre Breton (€6), a Chablis from the Domaine Gueguen (€40 a bottle). Plates €5-20, à la carte €25-35. // A.Be.