January 07, 2006

Paris restaurants: Some of my favorite good and decently priced restaurants in Paris

Stephane, Even though I do not travel to Paris on business as often as I used to, I still have a good stock of nice addresses. Nowadays I privilege bistrots- type restaurants that specialize in traditional French cuisine, but with a flair for creativity, and above all, whose chefs use good products. I attach of course a great importance to what Americans call ''value'' which for me is a good price-quality ratio, especially when restaurants offer '' menu-cartes''. Also I would never consider a restaurant with an overpriced wine list, which I found out during my last trip to Paris in October, is more and more frequent there, especially since many restaurateurs felt obliged to lift their prices when the Franc was replaced by the Euro. Let me know if some of your contacts try some establishments listed below. I am always interested to learn from recent end-users whether or not I should keep or remove an address from the list. Note of Caution: I cannot guarantee that all these resataurants are still owned by the same persons in 2007, therefore I decline any responsability for meals that might not fit your expectations after reading this guide. March 2007 A word of caution: Mots prices are probably inacurate in july 2007 ALAIN MAES’s FAVORITE RESTAURANTS AND BISTROTS IN PARIS Places where you can eat for less than 50 Euros Restaurants where you can have a good 3 course meal, for under 50 Euros (about 68 U.S dollars in July 2007) per person, including a glass of wine,coffee and tip, which is always included anyways. These prices date back to January, 2005 When a restaurant offers a ‘’menu-carte’’ (fixed price menu offering several options for each course) do not hesitate to choose it. It will allow you to taste a wider selection of dishes and creations from the chef for a substantially cheaper price than when you order ‘’à la carte’’ Note: The asterisk indicates one of my favorite eateries where I return quite often. From Sèvres-Babylone to Saint-Germain des Prés, the Seine River and the Latin Quarter (6 ème, 5 ème arrondissements) L’EPI DUPIN * 11 Rue Dupin PARIS 6 Tel : 01-42-22-6456 Closed on Monday for lunch, all day Saturday and Sunday, and the first three weeks of August Métro station : Sèvres-Babylone Average price per person: 35 Euros It is imperative to reserve a couple of days in advance, since this bistrot is very popular and has a limited number of tables, relatively close to each other. Very creative cooking based on intelligent mixes of flavors. Always try the new “plats du jour” especially those based on fish, great variations on interesting vegetables, and fowl. They change quite often in one of the most sophisticated and inventive but fair-priced (around 32 euros) « menus-cartes » in Paris, according to whatever the chef-owner (François Pasteau) found that morning at the market or based on his mood that day. Nice, and unpretentious environment. Sometimes you will be greeted in English and the service is most of the time very pleasant. Delicious homemade deserts based on chocolate and fresh fruits. Luscious sorbets. LES BOUQUINISTES 53 Quai des Grands Augustins PARIS 6 Tel : 01-43-25-45-94 Closed for lunch on Saturday and all day Sunday. Open in August. Métro Station : Saint-Michel Average price per person: 50 Euros This elegant ‘’design’’ bistrot, next to the Seine River, belongs to Guy Savoy, who owns one of the most famous and innovative 3 stars restaurants of Paris in the 17 ème arrondissement. The fare is half way between traditional ‘’cuisine du marché’’ based on simple but beautiful products and a trendy way of cooking. It is a safe bet but the place can be sometimes noisy, since too many foreign tourists sent by concierges visit it. But is a restaurant where the serious eater is well treated by a competent staff. If you are not too hungry, try the less expensive ‘’menu-carte’’’ LA ROTISSERIE D’EN FACE 2 rue Christine PARIS 6 Tel : 01-43-26-40-98 Closed for lunch on Saturday and Sunday all day. Open in August. Métro station : Odéon ou St Michel Average price per person: 49 Euros. This is the second restaurant of Jacques Cagna, whose eponymous, very good but much more expensive restaurant (that I love) is across the street. On the plus side you can eat there, until late at might, well prepared traditional French dish in the “ modernized cuisine bourgeoise » category. Especially good quality roasted duck, guinea hen, chicken lamb etc. with very decent and well-seasoned vegetables. Good selection of lesser-known regional wines. On the negative side this place is always packed, often with American tourists, noisy, and recently some dishes have become overpriced. Go there on a Monday or Tuesday night, either early or late. Relatively fairly priced ‘’menu-carte’’ (around 42 euros). Even better try a late lunch (around 28 euros) FISH (LA BOISSONERIE) 69 rue de Seine Paris 6 Tel : 01-43-54-34-69 Closed on Monday. Métro station : Saint-Germain des Prés Average price per person: 32 Euros Amusing and simple but cozy bistro owned by an American expatriate who has also a good wine shop nearby and a sandwich shop across the street. Therefore do not be surprised if you are seating next to English speaking guests. Very tasty Mediterranean dishes and a good selection of good wines from the Languedoc area. A good choice for lunch when you shop for cool clothes or visit the many antique shop of this beautiful and history rich neighborhood in the St. Germain Des Prés district. . Relatively cheaper lunch and dinner menus around 22 euros to 30 euros. For a substantial snack and to drink a couple of glasses of good regional wines: AU SAUVIGNON 80 Rue des Saints-Pères PARIS 7 Closed on Sunday and in August. Métro: Sèvres-Babylone Average price per person with a couple of glasses of wine: 20 Euros Very good ‘’ tartines’’ made with Pain Poilane, a well known baker located one block away, and very tasty Cantal cheese, dry cured or raw ham, mountain air cured dry sausage, rillettes, country pâtés, etc. Excellent selection of white wines from the Loire Valley (Quincy, Sancerre), and reds from Bourgueil or Mennetou-Salon. CHEZ MAITRE PAUL 12 Rue Monsieur Le Prince Paris 6 01-43-54-74-59 Open every day Metro station: ODEON Average price per person: 38 to 40 euros Once you are sitting comfortably and look at the immaculate white tablecloth, you could bet that you have been transported back to the late forties or fifties in an auberge in some distant province. There you can completely forget that you are still at the heart of the Latin Quarter and its vibrant environment. This is one of the last restaurants in Paris still attached to very traditional methods of cooking and serving food of yesteryear. The recipes are essentially the same since the restaurant opened more than 60 years ago and they focus entirely on hearty, but flavorful, dishes from the mountainous area of the Jura and Franche-Comté areas, near the Swiss border. Superb and rare vintages of wines from the Jura, including Vin de paille and Vin jaune, or Vin d’Arbois. Reserve a couple days before. A couple of miles away between the Montagne Sainte-Geneviève, the Pantheon, and Jussieu: LE BUISSON ARDENT * 25 Rue de Jussieu PARIS 5 Tel: 01-43-54.93.02 Closed on Saturday for lunch, Sunday and in August Metro: Jussieu Average price: 35 euros Owned and managed by two brothers (one of them is the chef), this delightful but small old-style bistrot offers a very astute, always original, ‘’cuisine of the market’’ and very attractive menus at decent prices (29 euros for dinner) .You may think that you are dining in a small provincial village café. Close to the Jussieu University it is always packed with college professors for lunch so it is better to go there at night, on a Tuesday or Wednesday for example. Call ahead. Very good nicely priced small Bordeaux. WARNING: I returned there in July of 2007 and it had changed ownership. The menu was much less interesting. I intend to drop it from my list. CHANT AIRELLE 17 Rue Laplace Paris 5 Tel : 01-46-33-18-59 Closed on Saturday for lunch and Sunday. Metro station: Cardinal Lemoine or Luxembourg Average price : 30 euros An oddity: The owner recreated the ambiance and ‘’sounds’’ of a village in his native Auvergne Mountains: Including a nice summer patio. You can enjoy simply but authentically prepared copious rustic dishes from that area, like stuffed cabbage, delicious country hams, pates, and cheeses, trout, beautiful blueberry tarts, etc. The wine list of inexpensive but exciting regional wines and spirits is worth mentioning. And you will relax while listening to the ‘’sound track’’ of birds, frogs, and river waterfalls. Their breads are pretty good too. A little shop at the entrance sells some local food specialties. It is far from being classy and airy cuisine, but it is worth checking for lunch. LES VIGNES DU PANTHEON * 4 rue des Fossés Sant Jacques Paris 5 01-43-54-80-81 Closed Saturday and Sunday and in August Metro station: Luxembourg Average price 37 euros A delightful charmer of a bistro, with its nice old zinc bar and booths in the first room and more sedate and comfortable settings in the backroom. The owner is a perfect and charming hostess. And the quality of the traditional food, marked by a subtle Southwestern accent, is very consistent. Beautiful terrines and flavorful duck. Great desserts. A very astute but limited wine list offers some interesting regional wines at decent prices. From the Pont Neuf to the old district of Les Halles, and past the Pompidou Center. (1er and 3eme arrondissements) AU CHIEN QUI FUME 33 Rue du Pont Neuf PARIS 1 Tel: 01-42-36-07-42 Open on Sunday and in August. Métro station : Châtelet- Les Halles Average price per person: 40 Euros I found this place, in business since 1740, in 1963 when I was a student at the Sorbonne and continued to go there from time to time with the same renewed pleasure. This is one of the last remaining charmingly old-fashioned bistrots in the old Halles district, which was a typical good all-night eating place 50 years ago. Old customers as well as tourists are still decently treated there. The famous “smoking dog” is all over the place in warm and comfortable settings, but not in the chow, which is very traditional “old Parisian”. Very nice home-made foie gras for a very fair price. Good quality comfort food. Very nice wine list. Try the very attractive 3 course menus (around 32 euros) A good lunch stop after shopping. LA POULE AU POT 9 Rue Vauvilliers PARIS 1 01-462-36-32-96 Closed on Monday Metro station: Louvre or Les Halles Average price per person: 42 euros In the same area, a few blocks away from Le Chien qui fume, this old-fashioned long an narrow bistro with nice vintage posters on the walls welcomes, since 1935, eaters with a sturdy appetite for traditional comfort food: Its deliciously fragrant signature dish: chicken in the pot, traditional stews, Normandy style tripes, eggs cocotte with foie gras,) until 5 AM. It is a fine place to rediscover on a gray rainy winter day… Or after a mid-day visit of Le Louver or an early concert at St. Eustace. Good 30 euros menu. For a quick snack and a couple of glasses of good wine LA TAVERNE HENRI IV 13 place du Pont Neuf (on the Pont Neuf) PARIS 1 Tel: 01-43-54-27-90 Closed Sunday and in August Métro station : Pont-Neuf Average price per person with a couple of glasses of wine: 20 Euros Try some ‘’tartines’’ (super open-face sandwiches) and plates of good quality country and artisan hams, dry sausage, cheese etc. Also simple lunch dishes such as ‘’Croque-monsieur’’ But you go there for fantastic regional wines from the Beaujolais or Loire Valley that you drink by the glass or in small carafes. L’AMBASSADE D’AUVERGNE 22 Rue du grenier Sant-Lazare Paris 3 01-42-72-31-22 Open every day Metro station : Rambuteau Average price per person: 32 euros If you feel really hungry, depressed by the rainy and cold weather, and you never had a chance to eat a superb ‘’aligot’’ once in your life, then, after calling to reserve, rush there and enjoy the best that the volcanic area of the Auvergne has to offer in terms of gastronomy. Start by ordering a bottle of Saint-Pourçain, a marvelously easy to drink regional wine, and start with a few samples of local hams, terrines and other local amuse-bouches, and then be ready for an order of saucisse-aligot. This specialty is made of fresh cantal cheese curds heated in mashed potatoes with cream, butter and crushed coarse garlic until it produces unctuous stringy ribbons which are served directly from the pot into you plate at the table. The juicy and well seasoned ‘’saucisse auvergnate’’, or even a piece of roasted duck and a piece of rustic bread to accompany this incredibly rich dish are a must. Polish it down with a glass of another wine from this beautiful area. No need to plan for dinner if you go there for lunch. But you will not forget it. Besides the décor and the service are also very…comforting. From the Montparnasse area to the Ecole Militaire (14 ème and 7 ème arrondissements) LE BISTROT DU DOME 1 Rue Delambre PARIS 14 Tel : 01-43-35-32-00 Open on Sunday and in August Métro: Vavin Average price per person: 39 Euros The ideal spot to eat super-fresh and well prepared fish, shellfish and crustaceans in contemporary but comfortable settings, without losing your shirt. But never go there on a Saturday night when service can be hurried and the noise level quite high. The client base is rather cool and the décor, modernist in the ‘’early seventies’’ style does not excite me too much anymore. But altogether it is a relatively relaxed type of place where ‘’value’’ is the key word. L’AMUSE BOUCHE * 186 Rue du Château (at the corner with Avenue du Maine) PARIS 14 Tel : 01-43-35-31-61 Closed on Sunday and Monday and in August Métro: Gaîté or Mouton-Duvernet (easier to go there by cab) Average price per person: 35 Euros Minuscule but nicely appointed and very cozy restaurant of about ten tables very well managed for many years by a very nice, discrete, but very professional husband and wife team: Mr. And Mrs.Lambert. The prix-fixe ‘’ Menu-carte” (30 euros) which is limited but changes very often is very attractive and includes many creative and lovely dishes. Portions might prove to be a little too small for a solid American appetite, but the cuisine is so refined and well prepared that you do not leave the place with a feeling of frustration. Nice limited but well priced wine-list. Note of caution: L' Amuse bouche was sold to new owners in 2006 and I did not go there since that change occured LA FONTAINE DE MARS 129 Rue Saint Dominique Paris 7 Tel : 01-47-05-46-44 Open on Sunday. Closed in August. Métro : Ecole Militaire Average price per person: 40 Euros One of the most pleasant and relaxing old-fashioned bistrots in Paris. The warm decor is very comforting in rainy cold days and in the summer it is particularly enjoyable to be able to eat lunch outside when tables are set on the sidewalk next to the fountain. Problem is: There are a lot of tourists, American in particular, who are also fond of that place… The cooking is ultra provincial and traditional with a tendency to propose hearty dishes from the Southwest. Very good grilled duck filets and duck confit. The “petits pâtés chauds’’ are a very tasty appetizer. Good gigot d'agneau. But you can always rely on the ‘’plat du jour’’. Good selection of wines from the Southwest like a very good Madiran and a decent and reasonably priced ‘’Réserve F de M’’. I prefer the room downstairs. Prices have a tendency to get a little bit too high. IT IS IN THIS RESTAURANT THAT PRESIDENT OBAMA, FAMILY AND A COUPLE OF FRIENDS ATE ON JUNE 6 2009 DURING THEIR VISIT TO PARIS. From La Motte-Piquet-Grenelle to the Pont Mirabeau (15 ème arrondissement) LE TROQUET 21 Rue François Bonvin Paris 15 Tel : 01-45-66-89-00 Closed on Sunday and Monday and in August. Métro Sèvres-Lecourbe (its easier to go to this restaurant by taxi ) Average price per person: 37 euros An attractive different type of restaurant with a high price-quality ratio that offers a perfect mix of regional traditional Basque cuisine and creative contemporary cooking. There is only one ‘’prix-fixe’’ menu-carte that changes every day according to what the chef finds at the market. But nobody complains about the very limited choice of dishes since each of them is perfectly prepared, including the very creative and incredibly tasty soups that start each meal. Wonderful, nicely priced wines from the Southwest, particularly the Bearn and Basque country. It is imperative to reserve a couple days in advance if you plan to go from Thursday to Saturday. Only two seatings for the second at 9 PM to be less hurried. With vintage cartoons prints on the walls, the room is rather simple and rustic and the décor unpretentious. FONTANAROSA 28 Boulevard Garibaldi Paris 15 Tel : 01-45-66-97-84 Open on Sunday Métro : Cambronne Average price per person: 42 euros Go there for lunch in the summer to eat outside on a very enjoyable small terrace. Otherwise during the week have dinner in the very cozy and comfortable room of this reliable Italian restaurant offering pleasant service and flavorful food based on good quality products. The marvelous Italian appetizers buffet table where the grilled vegetable shine is a must. Very good pasta. But a bit too expensive… Good Italian wine list, but once again overpriced. STEPHANE MARTIN 67 Rue des Entrepreneurs Paris 15 Tel: 01-45-79-03-31 Closed Sunday and Monday and 3 weeks in August Metro: Felix Faure or Commerce Average price per person: 32 euros Several rather trendy dishes can be tasted in the very good and fair priced ‘’menu-carte’’ (32 euros). But the inventive chef-owner also offers a lot of creativity in several ever changing ‘’cuisine du marché’’ dishes that you can choose from a very attractive lunch prix-fixe (27 euros with wine), along with their delicious home-made breads, like thin sliced raw duck foie gras with wild grasses. Very peaceful book club ambiance when the level of conversations is not too high. From Gare de Lyon to the République and Oberkampf districts (12ème and 11 ème arrondissements) LA BICHE AU BOIS * 45 avenue Ledru-Rollin Paris 12 Tel : 01-43-43-34-38 Closed on Sunday, Saturday and Monday for Lunch, and in August Métro : Gare de Lyon Average price per person: 28 to 30 euros Forget about trends and Paris: In this noisy, smoky, sometimes overcrowded but authentically French provincial bistrot in business at the same spot since the nineteen twenties, you are back at the heart of old fashioned ‘’cuisine bourgeoise’’. But what a pleasure to taste savory rabbit, pheasant or duck pâtés and terrines, tender fillets of doe or young wild boar in properly reduced sauces, roasted wild duck or partridge… And never bypass some of the best French fries in Paris, made the old way in two separate frying baths. Some of their marvelous and very moderately priced small Bordeaux are by themselves worth the trip to this boring avenue near the Gare de Lyon train station. Service is simple but considerate. Expect to wait for your table to be free. The perfect place for a ‘’buddies’’ dinner on a Thursday night. At lunch, service can be hurried. LES ZYGOMATES 7 rue de Capri Paris 12 Tel : 01-40-19-93-04 Closed Sunday and Monday and in August Métro : Daumesnil Prix moyen : 30 euros The charming decor of this former butcher shop from the turn of the 19th century is a perfect spot for a tasty lunch with friends. The chef who trained with some of the best in Paris prepares very astute dishes halfway between creative modern cuisine and traditional French comfort food. Great regional wine list which includes some very good burgundies at reasonable prices. LES AMOGNES * 243 Rue du Faubourg Saint Antoine PARIS 11 Tel : 01-43-72-73-05 Closed on Sunday and Monday, and 3 weeks in August. Métro : Faidherbe-Chaligny. Average price per person: 35 euros The chef-owner, who was at one point the sous-chef at ‘’l’Archestrate’’, has been offering for more than 12 years, in a pseudo country inn décor which could be more exciting, one of the most innovative and reasonably-priced ‘’menu-cartes’’ ( 33 euros), for such a level of quality, in Paris. Without pretense but with a very precise cooking technique, he works tasty marvels with good quality simple products, especially great vegetables, which creatively offer unusual combinations of aromas. The wine list is full of small regional little known gems. WARNING: New Ownership. But I understand that it is still very good according to recent reviews. Le C’ AMELOT 50 Rue Amelot Paris 11 Tel : 01-43-55-54-04 Closed on Sunday, Saturday and Monday for lunch and in August Avoid Saturday nights which are too crowded and affected by a slow service. Métro : Chemin Vert Prix moyen : 35 euros Even though the decor, plates, and silver, seem to have been assembled from bits and pieces found in a flea market, and chances are that your table will be too close for comfort to the next one, you will enjoy a clever and very tasty ‘’cuisine de marché” in this establishment. The chef composes daily a short menu made of only a few inventive specials according to the season and what is best at the farmer’s market. The consistent quality of the ingredients and the imaginative precision of the cooking let you forget about the short list of options on the menu that is written daily on a blackboard. Good bargain lunches. Some attractive wines. ASTIER 44 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud * Paris 11 Tel : 01-43-57-16-35 Closed (unfortunately) on Saturday and Sunday and in August. Métro : Parmentier or Oberkampf Prix moyen : 35 euros When I need to boost my morale and crave for authentic provincial cooking of bygone times, I call a couple of old friends and we rush to this amazingly austere bistro which has been my favorite for years. You will feast on simple but so tasty classics as ‘’ lapin à la moutarde’’ (rabbit in mustard sauce), navarin d’agneau (young lamb stew with spring vegetables), veal blanquette, roasted guinea hen, incredibly savory terrines, marinated herrings in white wine, and the most spectacular cheese tray which can be chosen from an amazing daily changing ‘’menu-carte’ for the incredibly low price of 27 euros, including dessert. Astier has one of the best collections of small ‘’crus bourgeois’’ of Bordeaux at lovingly soft prices. Reserve and stay in the room downstairs. Finish with a marvelous ‘’prune de Souillac’’. Note of caution: ASTIER has new owners since 2006 and I did not return there since management changed. But reviews are still very positive. For a substantial snack and to drink a couple of glasses of good regional wines: LE CLOWN BAR 114 Rue Amelot Tel: 01-43-55-87-35 Closed For lunch on Sunday Métro : Filles du Calvaire Average price per per person with 2 glasses of wine : 25 euros This incredible bar next to the ‘’Cirque d’Hiver’’ has only a few tables but whether you sit down or you stand at the old ‘’zinc’’ counter to eat the ‘’ Plat du Jour’’ (special of the day which could turn out to be a very tasty like daube of beef or lamb with beans) or limit yourself to a plate of sausage, rabbit rillettes, or smoked ham, you will appreciate the special ambience and admire the very old art deco frescoes on the them of the circus which decorate the walls. Meanwhile enjoy a glass or two of very decent Beaujolais or Fitou and have a chat with other patrons. Very ‘’sympathique’’… Between the Champs-Elysées, Porte Maillot and the Gare de l’EST ( 8ème 9ème, 17ème CHEZ ANDRE 12 rue Marbeuf Paris 8 Tel : 01-47-20-59-57 Open every day. Métro : Franklin-Roosevelt Average price per person: 40 euros This old (since 1937) typical traditional Parisian bistro has remained faithful to its culinary traditions of yesteryear and has a solid following of ‘’regulars’’ who are not necessarily young or trendy. But it makes this ‘’antique’’ and warm place even more attractive and different in that ‘’hyper’’ and slightly depressing business and touristy district. It offers old style appetizers like ‘terrine de canard’’ or ‘’poireaux vinaigrette’’ (warm boiled leeks in a vinaigrette and parsley dressing), for the typical single male workers of the quartier who come here for lunch, and very honorable ‘’bourgeois’’ dishes like frog legs, leg of lamb with beans, veal normande, or bouillabaisse. Desserts like Baba au rhum and Clafoutis are deliciously obsolete. The few old waitresses still working there seem to be extras from a film shot in the late thirties. A comforting lunch stop in winter after shopping on the Champs Elysées which are 200 yards away. Le BALLON DES TERNES 103 Avenue des Ternes Paris 17 Tel : 01-45-74-17-98 Closed in August Metro : Porte Maillot Average price : 48 euros A typical old style (beautiful 1900 décor) Parisian ‘’brasserie’’ which has the advantage of serving pristinely fresh oysters and many other sea delicacies, traditional bistrot-style dishes like grilled andouillette with frites, or brandade with salad of greens, and nice pieces of tender beef anytime, even late at night. Very professional service and good regional wines. Problem is: its always very busy, so go late or early or call. It also has become a bit pricey… CAVES PETRISSANS 30 Bis avenue Niel Paris 17 Tel : 01-42-27-52-03 Closed Saturday, Sunday and in August Metro: Charles De Gaulle Etoile Average price: 43 euros Incredibly versatile wine bistro for those who love a very large choice of regional and traditional good quality wines. Very good, but relatively small selection of traditional ‘’cuisine bourgeoise’’ and country dishes including very fine pâtés and terrines LE CAFÉ d’ANGEL 16 rue Brey Paris 17 01-47-54-03-33 Closed Saturday, Sunday, holidays, and August Metro: Charles de Gaulle-Etoile Average price : 38 to 40 euros In this not too exciting ‘’hyper bourgeois’’ area, populated during the day by office workers, executives, and business people, and at night by older people and lost tourists, it is refreshing to be able to rely on such a well managed and satisfying bistrot a few blocks fron the Arc de Triomphe. The room is nicely appointed with non-aggressive contemporary touches like decorative tiles on the walls and confortable banquettes, with an open kitchen at the end. The food is a well balanced mix of modern classics, including good ‘’fish du jour’’ and traditional more ‘’country’’ type of dishes like kidneys or braised fowl. Good desserts based on chocolate and fruits. The best deal is the lunch menu (22 euros). L’ALSACO * 10 Rue Condorcet Paris 9 Tel : 01-45-26-44-31 Closed for lunch on Saturday and Monday, all day Sunday, and in August Métro : Poissonnière, or Anvers. Average price per person: 35 euros (for a ‘’serious’’ meal and a couple of glasses of first rate Alsatian wine) As far as I am concerned, this typical small ‘’winstube’’, in spite of a very modest and serves the most authentic and satisfying Alsatian food and wines in the French capital. During the long and cold winter days of Chicago dreaming of its ‘’ Choucroute garnie’’ warms me up. The owner, who can be either charming and talkative or aloof and cold according to his moods, buys its ingredients, especially its sublime cabbage in the small village of Krautergersheim, et its artisan sausages hams and other high quality pork delicacies from another village well known for its ‘’charcuterie’’. The flaming tart, the pear sorbet with ‘’williamine’’ brandy, and the fantastic selection of wines from Lorentz and other reputable growers are worth the detour. It can be noisy and very busy. Go there for a late lunch in the middle of the week just before a walk to Montmartre. Bon Appétit. Alain Maes October 2005

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