Intimate and Authentic French Bistros in Paris

How can we all help Paris after the devastation of Notre-Dame? Visit and enjoy her delights.  (FYI – I put up a post on Notre-Dame de Paris, but it was so engrossing and depressing last week, I just couldn’t email it out to everyone.)

A balm for our spirits could be French food.  And, what better delight than enjoying plate-licking delicious French food! Are you ready for an eating marathon at intimate and authentic French bistros? It really is not such a gluttonous idea if you consider the walking all day long.  And, if you can keep yourself from devouring the incredible bread before the meal arrives. (Plus, I have really decided the bread in Paris is different. It doesn’t make me feel bloated and full. Imagination?)

Here are five restaurants that will complement a week-long visit to Paris.  Gratifying and all-out pleasure – French bistro dinners.  That’s right, choose healthy and light or go full bore to revel in cream sauces and foie gras! Or, balance it all out by enjoying a little of all of the bountiful variety that keeps French food lingering in the memory for years.

The photos are much better at explaining the atmosphere of each place than I can describe. So, take a look.

Le Comptoir in the Hotel Relais Saint Germain

What many people used to call a “nouveau” bistro, but now it is known for solid bistro dining. On the weekdays, Le Comptoir has a set menu with a choice for the main course. On the weekends get in line and dine choosing from a menu. Yves Camdeborde makes the menu each day after checking what is available and in season. They are generous with the delicious food coming out of the kitchen. Seating outside is delightful in good weather and completely manageable when the weather is cool.

Le Comptoir dining room

Studio apartment sized dining room of Le Comptoir.

 

Le Comptoir cheese board

Did someone say cheese board after dinner???

 

photo on wall of Le Comptoir

Hmmm, makes me think of, “you can use every part of the hog, except the….”

Le Comptoir
Hôtel Relais Saint-Germain
9, Carrefour de l’Odéon
75006
http://www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com/en/savourez-les-restaurants.html
Tél.:  +33 (0)1 44 27 07 97
Métro:  Odeon
Telephone to make a reservation, or ask your hotel to telephone on your behalf.

Josephine Chez Dumonet

Josephine Chez Dumonet looks exactly like the classic bistro that it is. Through the door is a zinc bar on the right and tables to the left and filling the rest of the restaurant. The host is super friendly and ready to help. Like many places, the restaurant’s reservations are kept in a big, thick book on the bar. Generous portions, so you may consider ordering a half portion if available.

In the vintage dining room, order slabs of foie gras, morels stuffed with foie gras, beef bourguignon, steak tartare…. For dessert, a Grand Marnier soufflé that is over the top perfect – and enormous. Plus, an apple galette that is as thin as a crepe and perfect for dessert if you just want a taste of something sweet after dinner. Enjoy the locals enjoying this oh so Parisian restaurant.

reservation book at Josephine Chez Dumonet

Welcome….name for the reservation, s’il vous plait?

 

foie gras at Josephine Chez Dumonet

Foie gras, did you say??? One slab or two?

 

perfect dessert at Josephine Chez Dumonet

Perfection… if you can only have one more paper thin morsel.

 

Little friend at Josephine Chez Dumonet

Petit ami at Josephine Chez Dumonet

Josephine Chez Dumonet
117 rue du Cherche Midi
75006
Tél.:  +33 (0)1 45 48 52 40
Métro:  Duroc
Telephone to make a reservation, or ask your hotel to telephone on your behalf.
Only open on weekdays.

La Bourse et La Vie

With a tiny footprint on the street, you can easily miss this jewel. But, simply turn back if you miss it and you will not be disappointed. In the small plush dining room with green velvet everywhere, you will have attentive and patient service. Daniel Rose and Hugo Richier create some modern takes on the classics. Like pot-au-feu, leeks in vinaigrette, sweetbreads… Intimate, quiet and delightful.

oysters and leeks at La Bourse et La Vie

Elegant and delicious!

 

pot-au-feu at La Bourse et La Vie

Pot-au-feu….. incroyable.

La Bourse et La Vie
12 Rue Vivienne
75002
Tel.:  +33 (1)0 42 60 08 83
http://www.labourselavie.com/en/
Métro:  Bourse
Can reserve online

Chez l’Ami Jean

Find the best butter ever right here on the tavern tables. That is why it is nearly impossible not to eat a whole basket of bread! Basque cuisine in the center of Paris. High energy, tables interact, waiters are fun, super nice and they encourage the fun. From the open kitchen, you can hear chef yelling. But, that is because he wants the food delivered to the table immediately, so you, the diner, can enjoy it – NOW! The atmosphere here is relaxed and fun with lots of wood and brick and close tables – often seems communal. Always changing menu depending on what Chef Stéphane Jégo finds appealing.

l'ami jean charcuterie

What to choose first… And, look at that butter!

 

steak at l'ami jean

Oh my, scrumptious steak, with a bite of boudin blanc on the side for good measure!

Chez l’Ami Jean – Stéphane Jégo
27 rue Malar
75007
Tél.:  +33 (0)1 47 05 86 89
http://lamijean.fr/en/
Métro:  La Tour-Maubourg
Can reserve online

l’Assiette

Although l’Assiette may be off the typical visitor’s path, it is worth a visit. It is a neighborhood restaurant that welcomes visitors. David Rathgeber performs in this kitchen now and the dining room is simple, yet elegant with painted glass panels on the ceiling. The host and waiters could not be more accommodating.

L’Assiette is a very French restaurant serving generous portions of French favorites. Try cassoulet, escargot (with lots of garlic and butter perfect for the bread on the table!), rillettes, and sweetbreads. For dessert, order the crème caramel au beurre salé (custard with salted caramel sauce on top) and watch your friends’ eyes roll back in their heads.

cassoulet l'assiette

Cassoulet – for 3? Order appropriately!

 

creme caramel au beurre sale at l'assiette

It may look unassuming but watch for eyes rolling back in the head.

l’Assiette
181, rue du Château
75014 Paris
Tél.:  +33 (0)1 43 22 64 86
https://restaurant-lassiette.paris
Métro:  Mouton-Duvernet or Pernety or Gaîté
Can reserve online

Le Relais

Le Relais is a new restaurant in the 11th arrondissement worthy of your interest.  From lerelaisrestaurant.fr:  the Relais, “carefully sourced all its producers to compose ultra-fresh cuisine with local accents, with products from Paris urban agriculture and its surroundings.”  And, talk about local ingredients!  They grow plants and herbs on the roof and cook them in your dinner!  Plus, they find the remaining ingredients as close to their location as possible.  The dining room is elegant and simple with an inviting air.  Support the locals!

Le Relais
10 rue de la Vacquerie
75011 Paris
Tél.:  +33 (0)1 70 38 64 14
https://www.lerelaisrestaurant.fr/en/
Can reserve online

 

For all restaurants, telephone 24 hours ahead of your reservation to reconfirm. Or, ask your hotel to do this for you.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated with new content.

Tags: , , ,

Submit a Comment

Comments are reviewed and must adhere to our comments policy.

restaurants

Sign Up for The Paris Newsletter

Food. Dining. Cooking. French Cuisine. Shopping. Bon Appétit!

You have Successfully Subscribed!