Frenchie restaurant in Paris |

Frenchie was wonderful – so good that you felt you were getting away with something – back when it opened in 2009. Then the tiny restaurant landed on every journalists’ “best of” list and was featured in every food travel show you can name. It became difficult, very difficult, to get a table. It became a challenge to even get through on the phone. This is when people stop rooting for a restaurant. This is when people begin to wonder whether it’s worth it, and honestly, is any restaurant really worth begging and pleading for? We’ve heard so many disappointed rants about Frenchie from people who suffered to get their table and felt unrewarded for the effort. We sympathize, but that’s not how we experience Frenchie. We go for lunch on Thursday or Friday, when it’s relatively easy to book. Or we make plans to go to their wine bar across the street and pop in to let the restaurant hostess know that we’d be happy to swoop in if there are any no-shows (this often works). When you don’t have to struggle to get in, it’s possible to experience Frenchie in the way that Greg Marchand intended – as an extremely good neighborhood restaurant. At the end of the day, that’s all Frenchie is. It’s not a site for spiritual awakening or the missing key to your vacation. But We’re awfully happy every time we eat here, and we appreciate that it’s one of the few attention-soaked addresses that seems to be getting better each time we visit.

 An absolute favorite

Practical information

Address: 5 Rue du Nil, 75002
Nearest transport: Sentier (3)
Hours: Open Monday-Friday for dinner, plus Thursday and Friday for lunch
Reservations: Book many weeks in advance.
Telephone: 01 40 39 96 19
Average price for dinner: €60-100
Style of cuisine: Modern French
Website   Facebook   Book Online

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Reviews of interest

Le Fooding (2015) “Son menu haute couture déroulé en cinq temps: thon blanc dans un gaspacho de tomates et fruits rouges à la réglisse; langoustines snackées, livrées du Guilvinec le matin même, avec aubergine, purée de miso et citron confit; dos de turbot, fondant, maquillé à l’encre de seiche, escorté d’une émulsion de coquillages, avec poireaux et haricots verts – magique avec le saumur blanc d’Antoine Foucault.”

Les Grands Ducs (2010) “On s’y régale d’assiettes diablement futées et originales (c’était quand la dernière fois que vous avez mangé de la betterave jaune?), exécutées superbement…”

Table à Découvert (2010) “… toujours aussi bien balancée entre accords vifs, fraîcheur et gourmandise.”

The New York Times (2010) “While the feel and food of Frenchie wouldn’t be out of place in Brooklyn or London’s East End, Mr. Marchand has the advantage of French training underscoring his seemingly informal offerings…”

Le Figaro (2009) “… deux petites salles de brique et de bois et ce tonitruant rapport créativité-prix..”

Alexander Lobrano (2009) “… this vest-pocket bistro in the Sentier, or old Paris garment district, is a delightful spot with really excellent food.”

12 Comments on Frenchie

  1. I made reservations WELLin advance for a special occasion.The reservation was for 9pm which was a little later than I had wanted.
    When I called to confirm I was asked to come at 9.15. When we arrived we were kept waiting in the street a good 15 minutes for our table.
    After we were seated we waited another 20 minutes to be served. Thus dinner started after 10pm and we were already past being that hungry.
    The food is certainly NOT worth the wait. Mayonnaise in the amuse bouche ( the drop of wasabi does not make up for it), very plain chicken as a main (called hen so that it sounds better), home-made foie gras (probably to satisfy the anglo crowd), not as good as the supermarket version and served with overly sour cherries. I could go on. The staff are reasonably polite but our waitress asked us if she should speak to us in English or French every SINGLE time she came to the table! Can’t she remember a simple detail in such a small dining room? I was very very disappointed in our meal. This place may be hip and trendy with an atmospheric dining room in a hipster part of town, but the food DOES NOT cut it. I felt like an idiot having worked so hard for a reservation. I won’t be fooled again.

  2. have been to the bar a couple of times in previous visits to Paris
    could never get a reservation at the restaurant
    this time I booked 2 weeks in advance and told there were two sittings – 19:15-19:30 and 21:15-21:30
    booked for two at 21:15
    got a telephone call from the restaurant yesterday afternoon to ask if we were still coming and excitedly confirmed even though I was trying to get some sleep and prepare for the evening me and my wife were so looking forward to….
    We arrived at 21:35 because the taxi driver had difficult time finding his way to this small street Rue du Nil.
    As we happily walked in we were bluntly told by the young lady who approached us that we were too late , that there was no available table for us and that this was a very strict policy they had.
    The young lady said she even tried to call my mobile phone (which I never carry with me at night) to check if we were coming .
    Needless to say we were deeply dissapointed .
    there was an available free table right there. We intensively but briefly protested, the chef was standing there with plates in his hands but, there was no way they would let us stay – we were given a straight “NO”.
    When we drove by the restaurant two minutes later we saw a couple crossing the street from the bar and seating dow at the table we saw was free.
    Frenchie certainly pays close attention to the food it serves but this is no way to treat a visiting customer who booked weeks in advance and just a couple of hours earlier confirmed he was coming.

    Surely a restaurant like Frenchie which, is quiet hard to get a resevation to , or any other restaurant for that matter, should allow for some unexpected reasonable delays in arrival.

    Frenchie should be taught a lesson on how to respect people – not just food !

  3. Had just had a meal in the wine bar across the street from the main restaurant. Dropped by and hung out about 45min and got a seat for two next to the kitchen “window” where food was prepped. Have to say the experience was a blast. Great food although we had a bit of a mix up and dessert preceded the main event…did not matter as the prep and careful crafting of the food was impeccable. Loved the sole served whole with a butter and giant caper sauce. Place is packed and yes, there are many tourists but many locals as well. Doubt it would be much different at a lot of high end restaurants in NYC, let’s face it people, this is Paris after all. Wine list was inventive and interesting, drank some Bouchard that is hard to find in the open market as he has become somewhat of a cultish producer. Overall the whole vibe was fun and buzzing on a Friday night, and you won’t fall over when the bill arrives at your table. I think if you want to avoid the hassle of reservations, pop into the wine bar and people watch with a glass of champers. The food will not disappoint.

  4. I made a reservation in August for October. no problems. Service, atmosphere, pace, menu, wine. Excellent. Even having Gregory himself stick his head out of the kitchen and ask us how our food was. If you’re writing on this page in English and complaining about the 7pm sitting being all tourists- what does that make you? we’re all after a great culinary experience, but consider where you are going and what you are looking for before you complain or speak above what you’re an expert at. If the food was “good” and the service sucked liked people are bitching about, would the place be doing so well? I for one can say this- i can’t wait for my next trip to Paris so i can go back.

  5. Reservations for us were easy to obtain (2 months in advance and online). Meal was great, staff friendly. Great experience.

  6. We just got back from a week in Paris. We managed to score reservations to Frenchie for a table of 4 at 9:30 on weeknight. Due to the difficulty of getting said reservation, we had very high expectations. I’m with Lynn’s opinion from above- it’s good, but it’s not that great. For people living in Paris, the food may be revolutionary but we could easily name 4-5 restaurants in San Francisco with a similar concept and better execution of the food. The service was definitely cold and the least friendly we’ve experienced in Paris in our last two trips there. We had a lot more fun at Itineraires last year and Fish (La Boissonerie), Coq Rico and Lilane this year.

  7. After waiting forever to try this place, I finally got a chance last week and I can safely say one of the best meals I’ve had in Paris so far. I got the oeuf poché with mushrooms as the starter which was just perfectly cooked and seasoned. The truite with what tasted like mandarin oranges was outstanding as were the desserts. I got just a single glass of wine which was well recommended to go with the meal. The only major dowside for me was the service – just cold and unwelcoming. For being the top restaurant that it is, it should do a lot better on hospitality. That’s the business they’re in.

  8. Hi Whitney, I wrote this on another post related to Frenchie substitutes, but I really feel Frenchie isn’t worth the wait/aggravation. It’s good, but not *that* good. The service was surly (as it was when I made my reservation in person 3 months in advance). The earlier seating was entirely Americans. With wine, it ended up being 70€/person, much more than we’d spend getting a better meal and service elsewhere. I too had felt like I *had* to go there, but afterward I felt a little duped.

  9. I agree whole heartily with Randy. I finally managed to get a reservation for October (4 months in advance) for when my parents come to Paris because my mother is just dying to try it. However, although I haven’t even eaten there yet I already have a bitter taste in my mouth due to A) how impossible it was to get through to them on the phone after calling for 45 minutes straight during the allotted 2 hour reservation window 5 days in a row, and B) how rude they were when I finally got through.

    And to non-french speakers and double beware, the guy who answers the phone now refuses to speak any English (even though later in the conversation he switched to strong English as he was frustrated with my french), so dust off your french dictionaries.

    I do hope the food is worth the agonizing experience getting in!

  10. I realize what becomes hard to become obtain, becomes most desired, but really, what happened.

    I haven’t been to the restaurant in a while, but thought it necessary to write about their customer service, or lack of. There’s no denying Chef Marchand makes some incredible food. Unfortunately, with popularity and fame comes customer service complacency. He has hired unruly front of the house staff, his reservation system or lack of sucks! It takes months to get a reservations, and just keep your fingers crossed they got it right. Just the other night, friends from US made reservations for a table for 4, months in advance in US. Prior to leaving for Paris, they once again confirmed Third time you’d think would be the charm, well you’d be wrong. They arrived in Paris last week, had concierge reconfirm. The restaurant said they only showed reservations for 2 NOT 4. So, they were left with no dinner reservations. Fortunately, they found a decent place, L’Hedoniste.

    I use to have friends from US call me to plead to me to make reservations for them, because at one point they weren’t answering their phones. So, the only way you could make reservations was in person. But currently I refuse to go anywhere near that restaurant, because of the horrible experience I had trying to make reservations for the last set of friends who pleaded to me. The attitude was like, “take what I give you, I can’t be bothered with all your demands.”

    The dining experience has to be about the whole experience, from the time you make the reservations to the time you leave the door. Yes, those types of restaurants exists in Paris, more so than not! So why put up with this type of crap. If Chef Marchand would give half his attention to the customers as he does the food, then that restaurant would be a winner.

  11. TIP TO ALL FOODIES NOT ON VACATION -IF you can get through on the phone (dropping by is more efficient) you can actually get a reservation at Frenchie until August 17th when they close for the summer – they are open Monday to Friday for dinner only. Food is memorable and very reasonable. Had an amazing sea bass (bar) in a fennel consommé last night followed by a pannacotta with raspberries and chocolate to die for…

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