Les Fines Gueules restaurant in Paris | parisbymouth.com

Les Fines Gueules

On a lovely corner near the Place des Victoires, Les Fines Gueules adheres to the good-ingredients-prepared-simple formula. Warning: recent reader comments have raised concerns about the service.

Practical information

Address: 43 rue Croix des Petits Champs, 75001
Nearest transport: Bourse (3)
Hours: Open every day
Reservations: Last minute booking usually OK
Telephone: 01 42 61 35 41
Average price for lunch: 20-34€
Average price for dinner: 20-34€
Style of cuisine: French bistro
Website

Reviews of interest

Aaron Ayscough (2011) “Several things jump out at me about the list at Les Fines Gueules. There are only six whites. There’s a weird price jump throughout, with seemingly no wines in stock priced between 32€ and 60+€.”

David Lebovitz (2011) “It’s a place that’s on my radar because they have reliably good food prepared with excellent ingredients.”

John Talbott (2010) “has recently undergone a change in chefs…It seems totally unchanged – seamlessly transitioning from one chef to another…beautifully-marinated ceviche of sardines with chopped tomatoes and lovely greens and then moved on to the chunk of cochon, crisp on the fatty outside and tender and tasty…”

François Régis Gaudry – l’Express (2009) “Ca faisait longtemps que je n’avais pas tâté du tartare. On ne devrait pas m’y reprendre de sitôt, traumatisé par cette bidoche de piètre morceau…assaisonnée à l’emporte pièce…Du coup, une sensation de gras vous tapisse le palais, sans l’exciter une seule seconde…”

François Simon (2007) “…La viande vient de chez Hugo Desnoyer. Limpide. Clientèle aléatoire de quartier…”

Chrisoscope (2007) “De bons ingrédients (et du name dropping à la carte), un bon service, une réalisation réussie, c’était bon, pas bouleversant, certes, mais vraiment bien vu et bien fait…”

John Talbott (2007) “It’s not a wine bar, or bistrot or restaurant or brasserie – it’s all of the above and none of them, it’s sui generis…”

9 thoughts on “Les Fines Gueules”

  1. I ate Sunday dinner at the restaurant expected a great meal but left very disappointed. The bread and wine were good, and the appetizer with several cuts of ham and sausage was alright, but the main course was VERY average. I got fish which came with vegetables and it was REALLY lacking in flavor. It seemed as though the vegetables had been frozen and then microwaved. Also, it came to the table luke-warm and was cold after just ten minutes. I will not go back again, and I will not recommend this restaurant to anyone. I usually feel very comfortable coming to this website for great restaurant recommendations but I’m going to have to be more careful from now on! I don’t want to waste my money again.

  2. I led a group of four to a 22h00 dinner at Les Fines Gueules this past Friday evening, heeding the warnings strewn throughout the comments here by having my wife — who is French — make the reservation. I need not have bothered, though, as our experience was excellent in spite of the fact that I couldn’t keep my English to myself for the duration of the evening (or even through the first 5 minutes after having been seated). We were given a very nice table near the window on the 1st floor, the service was attentive and quick and pleasant, and the food and wine were terrific (I had a buratta starter that continues to tingle my tongue when I think of it three days after the fact, and the tartare that served as my main was the best I have had in 13+ years of testing the stuff (not the typical steak haché, oh no, but high-quality steak finely minced…perfect). I will definitely be looking to return…and soon.

  3. I went on Saturday evening, mostly because every other option in the city was shut and I can’t say I was overly impressed with the food or the service. While I wasn’t relegated to the ‘American Ghetto’ of the resto and I spoke to the staff in French, they treated my friends and I with barely concealed disdain. The service was slow and the food passable. I will not be recommending this to anyone.

  4. Hi Sarah: The difference between your experience this year, and last year, is a good example of how quickly places can change (unfortunately!) It was suggested to me that things have slipped here because the owners opened a higher-end place and perhaps weren’t paying attention here anymore. It’s also really hard to find good people to work in dining rooms in Paris because it’s a low-paying job, and difficult. Still, that doesn’t excuse it. But I’ve had some really slap-dash service in places, which is, indeed, irksome.

    I’ve been back a few times since I initially wrote my post about the place and found them less-attentive than in the past as well, and the food fine, but not necessarily as exceptional as it once was. I did bring a group there and they didn’t have our reservation (for 12!) – and they seated us outside and comped Champagne (at my request..) It’s too bad that people are experiencing less-than-favorable welcome at the restaurant, since it was good in the past.

  5. I have to say, I was extremely unimpressed with my meal tonight. Even though I called and made reservations, I was seated up in the “ghetto” as the previous reviewer mentioned with a waitress who did not know what she was doing. She forgot to bring me a knife for my lamb, left dirty wine glasses on our table, did not check on us, and served us champagne in white wine glasses!!!! The worst was the Cafe Royal which we had read about on David Lebowitz’s blog – the coffee was lukewarm, extremely bitter, and even though I had added sugar, it was all I could do not to spit it out. The room was hot and stuffy and we felt very ignored and treated as detested August tourists. All the french speakers were downstairs in the lovely windows and street and all the Japanese and Americans were up by the toilet with the incompetent waitress who couldn’t even tell us if they had dessert wines. I don’t know if it was because we were Americans, if it was because its August and they just don’t care but I won’t go back. Last year I was treated well, this year was horrible. Its too bad too because the burrata and mozzarella was excellent, the Sancerre crisp and cold, and the red wine (whose name I never got) interesting. My lamb was excellent but my companion’s sea bass was ordinary and so so.

  6. I would have to agree with Jack; I’ve been here three times: the first two times were great (back in 2011) but this past time was just awful. Having been seated in the “American ghetto” in the back of the restaurant (which is stuffy and hot), I was pretty adamant this time that we wanted to sit by the windows in the front. I speak good French and politely inquired, only to be made to wait for 10 minutes and then be led into the stuffy back room anyways; I protested and then we were finally seated in the front of the resto, which was full of French speakers. I really object to this segregation; it makes no sense. The French waitress then pointedly refused to speak to me in French; we ordered the Burrata entree (delicious) and the salade de tomates (grainy and extremely overly salted!); then the tartar (good, but we thought it was a bit grey looking compared to the diners around us…) and the regrettable swordfish (heartbreakingly thin and extremely dry, served with steamed veggies, which suggested a plate of diet food from the 1980s). Bad service, bad food; will not be returning.

  7. I think this place stinks. The wait staff was very unwelcoming, since we were speaking in English, and the fish was super stinky. I have lived in the neighborhood for over ten years, and am very disappointed in this excellent location for a restaurant.

  8. Jennifer – So glad it worked out. I’m not surprised you skipped dessert, after your day of macarons…

  9. Barbra –

    Thanks so much for the recommendation! We went that same evening and thoroughly enjoyed our meal. My only regret is that by the time we finished our starter and main course we didn’t have any room for dessert. Next time.

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