La Régalade Saint Honoré

This second location of La Régalade has been full since chef Bruno Doucet opened the doors in spring of 2010. The formula (terrine + 3 classic courses for a prix fixe) has since been replicated at a third location in the 9th. Is it less special now that it’s a franchise? Some think so (see below), but it remains a good bet in central Paris, especially on Mondays.

– Meg Zimbeck, 2010

Practical information

Address: 106 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
Nearest transport: Louvre-Rivoli (1) or Les Halles (4)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 42 21 92 40
Average price for lunch:  40-59€
Average price for dinner: 40-59€
Style of cuisine: French bistro
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Reviews of interest

John Talbott (2015) “Better than ever say I.”

Le Figaro (2015) “Le petit génie de la métronomie, le talent de durer, toujours cette terrine à discrétion lâchée en début de repas comme une poignée de main, des plats terriens filant doux, des recettes où le bon sens gagne un style, un riz au lait anthologique et désormais le bon train d’une broche athlétique à rôtir volailles et gibiers. À croire que même sur la Lune, l’adresse ne broncherait pas.”

These reviews are from the previous location at 123 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001

Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2014) “La Régalade’s terrine, once a gesture of frankness and generosity, has devolved into the opposite, a dainty little bouquet of awkwardness for each table to stare at… Saint-Honoré serves the best food of the three locations, in my experience. A veal cooked two ways in a gleaming emerald cress sauce was fulfilling as it was eye-catching.”

Les Grands Ducs (2011) “…tout ce que l’on aime à Paris : un emplacement plein centre, un décor agréable, clair et sobre, et les assiettes affutées et imposantes de Bruno Doucet.”

Alexander Lobrano (2010) “…I’d strongly advise anyone who loves good food and a bargain to make a bee-line for the new La Regalade Saint Honore…Doucet’s food at this new address is baldly delicious…”

 

18 thoughts on “La Régalade Saint Honoré”

  1. John Blaser says:

    La Régalade Saint Honoré: Everything a great restaurant is not

    Every once in a while, it’s important to experience a restaurant like La Régalade, because it helps you appreciate all of the things truly great restaurants do well. That’s because nothing about this restaurant is great – not the food, the wine, the atmosphere, and definitely not the service. Worst of all, the restaurant management doesn’t seem to notice or care.

    We arrived without a reservation, and the restaurant was crowded, so we were led to the back of the restaurant (past several empty tables) up a wooden staircase to a small, dark loft space with three empty tables. I actually tripped while climbing the stairs, since the steps were just flat pieces of wood with open backs. No big deal for me, but the next guests to be exiled to this space included an elderly woman with a cane, who would have fallen if she hadn’t saved herself by grabbing the back of my chair for support. Okay, I’m thinking, it’s France, and perhaps they’re a heartier and less litigious lot than Americans.

    Skip ahead to the main courses, which is where the dinner really fell down those stairs. My wife ordered a cod dish that had good flavor, but a mushy texture – not the flaky, just-cooked silkiness that would have made us close our eyes and take a moment to savor it. I ordered the pork belly with peas. While the peas were just right, the belly was hammered. To get a hard seer on the outside, the chef had completely over-cooked the inside. Worse, I question whether the cut was even a pork belly – it had almost no marbling or fat, except for a chunk of hard, inedible gristle. I wondered how anything hard could find its way into a cut of pork belly and whether someone was trying to get rid of a leftover pork chop, hoping I wouldn’t know the difference. The stringy, well-done, and flavorless shoe leather on my plate reminded me of the dry, desiccated pork chops that American mothers of the 1970s cooked to death and foisted on their children, creating an entire generation of adults who loathe pork chops.

    After performing exploratory surgery looking for a bite of the pink, unctuous fat that normally makes pork belly a religious experience, I left the remains of this unsuccessful necropsy uneaten. When the waiter removed our plates, he did ask if I had liked it, but when I answered “no” and told him why, his only response was “well, that’s the way we cook it.” When I persisted in explaining that pork belly should be fatty and melt in your mouth – and definitely not have any hard bits that can’t be chewed – he grudgingly offered to mention it to the kitchen. He returned several times to serve other tables, without a word to us about the disappointing dish, so when he came back with dessert, I asked him what “the kitchen” had said. He looked at me blankly and mumbled a few words; clearly, he hadn’t mentioned it to anyone, and “the kitchen” hadn’t asked why a dish had come back missing all of the peas, but with most of the meat remaining. Apparently, a guest not eating the main protein is not cause for concern. It was only when we were getting ready to pay – downstairs at the bar, because the handheld credit card machine wasn’t working – that our server hastily told the manager about my disappointment with the pork belly. The manager simply handed me the credit card receipt to sign and said “I took it off the bill.” At no point did the words “I’m sorry” pass his or the waiter’s lips. Nor, during the meal, did the waiter ever ask if he could get me something else. (Come to think of it, ours was possibly the only French waiter in my experience who didn’t say “Bon appétit!” when serving our dishes. Maybe he already knew it would be a forlorn hope.)

    Admittedly, Le Régalade got a few things right. Two dim stars of the night were the appetizers. I had a raw salmon dish that was beautiful to look at, with a wonderful, firm texture, though a bit under-seasoned. My wife had the squid and squid ink risotto, which also was very good, though a bit salty. For this dish, though, we thought the chef missed an opportunity with plating: Rather than serving this dark purple dish in a black bowl (at first I didn’t even see the risotto under the squid and garnish), a white or lighter-colored bowl would have better accentuated the color of the ink.

    Beyond the first dishes, however, nothing knocked our socks off in a positive way. We ordered wine with each course, but it was clear that our server didn’t know much about wine or the restaurant’s wine list, such as it was, which comprised only six wines by the glass. Our questions about the wine received short, uncertain answers. At a great or merely good restaurant, our server would have been more knowledgeable or trained to summon the restaurant’s sommelier or manager to give more educated recommendations, but our server didn’t do either, perhaps thinking we weren’t worth the effort. (Throughout the meal, his sneering demeanor suggested a low opinion of us or perhaps of all Americans.) The wines ended up being unmemorable and one-note, barely standing up to the food they were meant to complement.

    In the end, what bothered us most about La Régalade was not the disappointing food, wine, service, and stairs – it was the utter lack of interest or concern shown by the waiter and management. Even a good restaurant can have a bad night, and local tastes and expectations could be different than mine, but when guests are clearly not having a positive experience and actually complain, the restaurant manager and staff should notice and make some effort to turn things around. Taking an item off the bill is the bare minimum. How a restaurant responds when things go wrong can say more about its quality than when things go right. La Régalade just wanted us to go away. And we were only too happy to oblige.

  2. Dave says:

    We were there on a Friday in late September and had an excellent meal. They were busy, but we got what we needed, and I realized after experiencing French restaurants for the first time on this trip that sometimes it helps me to just let the server/waiter set the pace, after all they know the place, right? The Grand Marnier souffle was perfectly delicious. I emailed for reservations two months ahead and got a prompt reply, we waited just fifteen minutes past that time. Excellent food, we’d go again in a heartbeat.

  3. Jan E. says:

    Not quite what I expected based on your reviews. Food is decent, traditional Bistro fair: soup was good, my steak had too much fat on it but was otherwise ok, and my salad was drenched in dressing. The rice pudding however was excellent. My problem was the service – inattentive. We didn’t get offered any bread and it was difficult to get the waiter’s attention (granted, it was busy and they were jamming). The temperature was at least 28 ? inside (no fresh air), and last but not least they pretty much were out every wine I wanted to try (how do you run out of reds by the glass?). All in all a bit disappointing…

  4. Karen says:

    Thank you again Meg for 3 fabulous tours!!!! Can’t wait to visit again next year.
    I know that La Regalade Saint Honore was listed as a favorite on this site. Perhaps we went on an off night but our experience was the complete anthithesis. The meal started off well with good terrine and cornichons but that was where the quality stopped. Filet of beef was listed as a special for an additional 10 euros. So my daughter and I ordered it. It was the worst pieces of beef I have ever experienced in a restaurant. It was so tough, full of grisel and fat and we couldn’t even cut it with a steak knife. The chef should be ashamed to serve such quality meat. My other daughter’s duck was equally fatty and not edible But the meal ended on a note that really exemplified the entire meal. There was a LONG BLACK HAIR in my daughter’s rice pudding. Very unpleasant indeed. So I am not sure if the chef left to go to the new La Regalade leaving this one in disarray or we just visited on a very very very off night. Just thought I would let you and your readers know. We had other amazing meals during the week and would definitely not recommend anyone go to visit this restaurant

  5. Bernice says:

    wow, I would like to thank Michael Marco for the reservation email. I used Google translate and my limited French vocabulary to inquire about a reservation and I got a response within 5 minutes!
    One reservation down…

  6. lovingparis says:

    I went here for my birthday in December 2012 and was not disappointed. Best meal for the value. I would, however, book a week in advance unless you want to be offered the early hour of 7:30 or 8, when the resto is a bit painfully empty waiting for the more chic parisians to arrive.

  7. The Mouth says:

    Thanks for the reply! I hope this encourages other readers to try and email their request in French (using Google Translate if needed).

  8. traveller27 says:

    Dear Mouth,
    we usually make an attempt in our humble but obviously understandable French and get a friendly answer in French by La Regalade St Honore.

  9. The Mouth says:

    You guys are great – thanks so much!!

    Just out of curiosity, do you write to them in English, or make an attempt in French?

  10. Michael Marco says:

    Hi Mariana (and Meg):

    Here is the email address for making reservations: laregalade.sainthonore@yahoo.fr

    I am not sure how I found this last year, but when I emailed them to get a res, they responded promptly and charming.

    Good luck.

  11. traveller27 says:

    The e-mail address is: laregalade.sainthonore@yahoo.fr.
    Usually they respond within 48h. We always reserve via e-mail and it has always worked out perfectly.
    Enjoy!

  12. The Mouth says:

    Hi Mariana: we’ve confirmed that it’s the correct number. They may not always answer if it’s the middle of lunch or dinner service, or if they’re closed (on the weekends). Unfortunately, we don’t have an email address for them and not many Paris restaurants respond to reservation requests made by email, so you’ll need to keep trying by phone. Good luck!

  13. Mariana Lima says:

    Hello, i have tried to call the restaurant intending to make a reservation but the phone number did not answer. Is there an email? THANKS!!!

  14. Ronak says:

    Really enjoyed this restaurant – cool ambiance and a fun bistro-style experience. Squid Ink Risotto was just incredible. Heck of a deal for 35E. Try the 2010 Borie La Vitarele Saint-Chinian – Cuvee Les Cres; the best bottle we had in Paris restaurants.

  15. The Mouth says:

    Hi Bill,

    We’re not sure what their policy on that is. Many restaurants don’t accept reservations that far in advance because clients often forget or change their minds in the intervening months, but you should give them a call and try!

    Best wishes,
    Meg

  16. Bill says:

    Planning a spring 2013 visit to Paris and want to eat at La Regalade. How far out do they accept reservations?

    Thanks in advance for any information.

  17. Meg says:

    Hi Victoria,

    They are closed on both Saturday and Sunday. You’re welcome to call the restaurant for additional confirmation if you need.

    Happy planning!

  18. Victoria says:

    A Parisian friend recommended La Regalade for an upcoming visit to Paris from Boston. But he said the place is in fact open on Saturday from 7-11 pm. Can anyone confirm?

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