I get asked for restaurant recommendations a lot, because people know I love two things: food and traveling! Herewith, I share with you some of my favorite Paris restaurants.
Most of these bistros are pretty traditional – you got your steak frites, your moules marinieres, your poulet roti and lots of good house wine – but I’ve thrown in a couple more creative / different types, too.
Le Petit San Benoit –this place is approximately 1,000 years old – tiny, crowded and utterly French. Pretty simple but fabulous bistro fare – mussels, steak frites, good house red. Tables are so smushed together, you can’t help but make friends with whoever’s next to you. In St. Germain.
Au Bon Accueil — amazing bistro food, total charm and the most amazing view of La Tour Eiffel, down the street. We sat outside on the sidewalk (at a table, with chairs, not, like ON the sidewalk … hee hee hee) and had a great meal and good wine. I can’t find a Web site, but the address is 14, rue de Monttessuy, Paris 75007. In the 7th, Trocadero Metro stop.
Fontaine de Mars — another great bistro, right in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower. Great patio out front. In the 7th. www.fontainedemars.com
129 Rue Saint-Dominique Tel: 01 47 05 46 44. Ecole Militaire Metro stop
Les Bookinistes — right near the Seine (Latin Quarter-ish). Definitely a more modern feel than the previous three, but again – fabulous food, a fun vibe (I went on Halloween night once and the maitre’ d was dressed as a vampire – how can you not love that?) It’s a Guy Savoy resto (he’s famous) but not prohibitively expense-y, but not a budget stop either. In the 6th, Saint Michel metro stop. 53 Quai des Grands Augustins http://www.lesbouquinistes.com/en/accueil.php
Aux Lyonnais — I tried to get into this place when Alain Ducasse (v. famous French chef, as you may know) opened it back in, like, 2002 or ’03. I finally went a couple years ago. Interesting food, delicious. We had a hilarious time here b/c no one really was into speaking English (like the staff), and my restaurant-French isn’t what it should be. When asking about a certain dish on the menu — Epaulette de something-something – I knew it was shoulder of something – and I accidentally asked if it was shoulder of fish – ahahahahahaa! Big laughing all around. Turns out it was indeed some kind of meat from a little woodlands critter that we don’t have here (probably some kind of fancy French squirrel or something, whatev), so I was excused for not knowing it and I think I ordered it and it was delish. In the Second, Bourse or Richelieu-Drouot metro stop.
And my fave of all … drum roll, please:
L’Epi Dupin — I about died of happiness here – it’s tiny, crowded and so good. Make a reservation NOW. More creative food than your typical bistro fare. I had this shredded, braised beef dish, served in a baked puff pastry shell, with diced tomatoes and Dijon ice cream on top. Shut up. And that was only my starter. Just go. Metro stop: Sevres – Babylone
www.ÉpiDupin.com – 11, rue Dupin – 75006 PARIS – Tel : 01 42 22 64 56 – e-mail : email@example.com
None of these are outlandishly expensive – just normal Paris expensive (stupid Euro – tho you might thank Greece for dragging the Euro down to a manageable level). Everything’s, like, 20 or 30, 35 Euros per person-ish.
Oh, another one that is getting a ton of buzz is Spring — opened, no less, by a Chicago guy (Daniel Rose). The Frenchies are going nuts over it. This is their blog http://springparis.blogspot.com/ I haven’t been, but check it out if you can.
Oh, how I love Paris. Bon voyage et bon appetit. I welcome more suggestions!