Some things don't change and le déjeuner (115 euros) at the 2-star Le Grand Véfour in the Palais Royal remains, in my humble opinion, in terms of rapport qualité-prix, the best value in Paris.
Le Gallopin has been serving classic cuisine bourgeoise since 1876, so the question is why did I wait until now to discover it? Better late than never.
Le Mesturet is a classic Parisian bistro near the Bourse that overflows at lunchtime with an equal ratio of men to women in search of consistently good food and wine at reasonable prices in an atmosphere of conviviality–the very definition of a brasserie!
The classic red checkered, bistro tablecloths are a sure clue that you will be well-fed. The menu changes four times per year and the next rotation will be Spring, but today it was a mushroom fest. Dimitri poured glasses of a 2000 Sauvigy-Les-Beaune Aux Grands Liards from Jean-Michel Giboulot and we stayed with it throughout the meal. I started with three large ravioli stuffed with foie gras and cèpes and my colleague had a classic salade de haricots verts à l’échalote.
One senses that time has stood still when entering Chez Georges, a classic Paris bistro since 1964. Waitresses in black dresses with white aprons, crunchy radishes served with butter and salt as you are seated and handwritten menus. All of the classic dishes are served: marinated herring, paté de campagne, celéri rémoulade and of course, entrecôte, côte de bœuf, grilled sole, salmon in sorrel sauce, to name but a few.
My son's favourite Paris restaurant–No visit is complete without a family gathering-his sister, her husband, M, moi and his colleagues on the corporate shoots that bring him to Paris. Pascale greeted us and ushered us to our reserved table (absolutely necessary)and feasted on Côte du bœuf grilled in a fireplace accompanied by pan-fried pommes de terre cooked in goose fat and a selection of hearty wines at affordable prices.
Huîtrerie Régis in the 6th is a tiny space–only 14 seats, pristine with white tiled walls serving thinly sliced saucisson, huîtres, crevettes and a wine list dominated by Sancerres and Muscadets. Big beautiful, meaty speciales, fines de Claire, belons from Marenne Oléron, pink crevettes of substantial size, a little bread and butter, mignonette, if you wish, although I prefer to taste the salty Atlantic.
A small family-run gem tucked in between the rue du Four and la rue Guisarde on la rue Princesse. Either Juju or David will greet you at the door with a charming smile and a few words of English but the food is all-French, simple, wonderful and portions, even by American standards, generous. On my last visit I had a buttery foie de veau (calves liver sauté) that eradicated all memory of that charred, inedible product that my mother served on Wednesday nights.
Just a few blocks from the République Métro station at the junction of the northern end of the Marais and the 11th arrondissement Frederic Hubig has applied his talents into turning this classic old Paris bistro into a vibrant bistro du coin that attracts diners from all over Paris or like the couple seated to my left from Mexico City. A menu of bistro favourites was a prelude to the plateau de fromages Astier. David, my sommelier de fromages selected seven for me (my limit not his) including camembert au calvados, St. Marcellin, Époisse and a regale de Bourgogne aux raisins.
There are other things on the menu, but you don't come here for anything else unless you are a vegetarian. At Le Roi, you start off with a small bowl of the broth in preparation for the plate of marrow bone, boiled beef, potatoes, carrots and cabbage. Cornichons, sel de Guérande, mustard and a bottle of Côte Roannoise complemented this bistro classic. At 20 euros for the main course (broth is 5 euros extra) and 20 euros for the wine, it was as easy on the pocketbook as it was going down.
Chef Antoine Westermann earned 3 Michelin stars at Le Buerehiesel, the restaurant he opened in his native Alsace in 1969. In 2006 he took over Paris' struggling Le Drouant, home of the Goncourt literary prizes, and restored it to its former glory before selling and launching Le Coq Rico where poulet is king, or should I say queen?
Although the name BLUEBERY suggests Fats Domino in a satin suit hammering the ivories or breakfast at an IHOP, Blueberry is in fact a superb Japanese restaurant. Tucked into a narrow, hidden street just a few blocks from Saint-Germain des Prés, Chef Luu has fused classic Japanese sushi with California maki.
Elegance is in the details and at Mori Venice Bar it’s in the decor and the cuisine. Remodeled in 2010 in a blend of the crisp modern style of Philippe Starck and the refinement of Italy, you know that you are in for a rich experience from the moment you walk in. Murano glassware, Venetian mirrors, chandeliers made by a client–a veritable museum.
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