Food and wine pilgrims are willing to climb the hill for this Belleville institution. Raquel Carena tends the fire, offering her own brand of bistro cooking, sometimes delicate, sometimes hearty, always heartfelt. Her husband Philippe’s wine cellar is one of the best in town, with an emphasis on small independent producers and natural wines. Don’t expect a smile from him, or really anyone else working there, just be glad that this place exists. The lunch menu remains one of the best deals in town.

 An absolute favorite

Practical information

Address: 3 rue Jouye-Rouve, 75020
Nearest transport: Pyrenées or Belleville (11)
Hours: Closed for lunch on Saturday and all day Sunday and Monday
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 43 49 39 70
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Average price for dinner: 40-59€
Style of cuisine: Bistro

Reviews of interest

  • The New York Times (2011) “This two-room place looks as if it put itself together with a design fee of zero. Yet it’s attractive and hip, at least in the style of an older generation… There are elegant touches, however, like the lovely water carafes sitting on the bar, and the easy, affordable and instantly likable wine list. Pintade — guinea hen — was cooked perfectly, the dark meat braised and the white roasted, along with mushrooms and cabbage cooked in butter.”
  • Le Fooding “Cette année, sérieux rafraîchissement: devanture moderne, murs d’un beau blanc, banquettes neuves et cuisine agrandie, où Raquel fait encore plus de flammes. La preuve: super tartare de maquereau au vinaigre fumé (11€), colvert en deux cuissons au gingembre et gelée de groseilles, lapin en ragoût de champignons et vin rouge, crème de chocolat amer… Philippe, moins causant, vous en apprendra quand même une ou deux bonnes dans le registre des secrets de cave: vacqueyras Sels d’Argent 2010 d’Eric Pfifferling, chenin d’Anjou Les Rouliers 2009 de Richard Leroy ou fitou des Mille Vignes.”
  • Timeout “Star pastry chef Pierre Hermé visits this cheerful little bistro and wine bar high up in Belleville at least every two weeks to fill up on Raquel Carena’s homely cooking with the occasional exotic twist… If the food weren’t so fantastic, it would still be worth coming for the mostly organic wines. Le Baratin attracts gourmands from all over Paris – so be sure to book.”
  • John Talbott (2011) “The ardoise is incredible – 18€ for 6 firsts, 3 mains and 3 desserts or cheese… Madame had the beet salad topped with chopped eggs, M. the museau vinaigrette and I the best of the three, chicken livers topped with tasteless chopped peanuts and salad.”
  • Le Figaro (2011) “Que ce soit sur la formule déjeuner, à un tarif défiant toute concurrence pour cette qualité, ou à la carte, le soir. On ne cherche pas l’épate ici, ni la sophistication, juste la précision et le goût.”
  • François Simon (2011) “…une cuisinière comme il en existe plus à Paris…il y avait un menu dégustation et moi, qui aie une sainte horreur de cela, suis tombé sous la cavalcade, ravi et content : artichauds, bar  au vinaigre fume Tosazu, bouillon de poisson, calamars de Santander, cervelle de veau, au sel maldon, aiguillette de bœuf, barbue du Guilvinec, ris de veau, compotée de coing.”
  • Gilles Pudlowski (2010) “Il y a l’ambiance de bistrot parigot comme dans le temps, la déco sobre et dans le vent, la compagnie de soiffards intellos qui ne boivent pas n’importe quoi et font attention au contenu de leurs assiettes, les jolis crus de Philippe Pinoteau, plus, bien sûrs, les plats pleins de vivacité, de malice, de fraicheur, de simplicité, de sincérité de la douce Raquel Carena.”
  • Figaroscope (2008) “…temple originel des vins dits « nature » dans la capitale…”
  • Alexander Lobrano (2008) “… every time I go to this restaurant, I fall in love with her food all over again… [Carena] cooks from her heart and also cooks from a winsome artistic sensibility that she’s probably still unaware of. Think a sort of gastronomic Grandma Moses, or a cook who paints with broad strokes of sincerity, innovative, and wit.”
  • François Simon (2007) “La simplicité sortant du puits, toute nue et savoureuse.”

 Additional images

Le Baratin by Meg Zimbeck boudin noir

Le Baratin Paris bistro photo Meg Zimbeck comfort food

Le Baratin Paris bistro photo Meg Zimbeck fish