Tag Archives: Christophe

Christophe by Barbra Austin


This restaurant is now closed.

Practical information

Former location: 8 rue Descartes, 75005

Reviews of interest 

John Talbott (2013) “Three of us had the sublime sweetbreads on mashed potatoes that even I swooned over, and Colette had some beautiful veal cooked to perfection. All of us shared in two chocolate mousses which were again classic and superb.”

Aaron Ayscough (2011) “…one of the greatest meals I’ve had in Paris, replete with well-chosen natural wines at prix caviste, many from unexpected vintages, and meats – almost nothing but meats – selected with the kind of care one normally associates with high-caste arranged marriages.”

Barbra Austin (2011) “…a culinary bright spot in a Paris neighborhood full of student bars, kebab shops, tourist traps…The menu is filled with marquee monikers: Bordier butter, steaks aged by super-butcher Desnoyer, greens grown by Annie Bertin…”

Food Intelligence (2011) “Les produits sont effectivement impeccables et la réalisation des plats à l’instar de jeunes poireaux (Annie Bertin), crème crue balsamique et lard croustillant (10€) ne manque pas de coeur. Quand au ris de veau meunière et purée de Pompadour,  il pourrait être inscrit au patrimoine mondial des gourmand…”

Alexander Lobrano via T Magazine (2009) “…grilled duck breast with pear-turnip compote, and a lemon mille-feuille made with the Menton lemons…The culinary passion and excellence of this kitchen — Philippe even makes his own puff pastry — stunned me.”

Julot (2008) “The place clearly advertises that it has all the best ingredients one must have those days in Paris: porc basque, boeuf de Coutancie, bread from Du Pain et Des Gâteaux, etc… Prices are rather friendly considering the ingredients and the skills used…”

Chrisoscope (2008) “Je reste sur une bonne impression de Christophe, mais dans le genre bonne cuisine de bistrot de quartier, j’ai plus près chez moi.”

François Simon (2007) “…un gastro comme on les aime. Une addition douce et des formules dans tous les coins.”

John Talbott (2006) “The only disappointments were the crummy décor… and service that ground to a halt after the dessert was served (an old, familiar problem.)”




Photo by Gustavo Devito via Flickr

Eating & Drinking the Latin Quarter

The Latin Quarter gets a bad rap from those who only know the tourist-clogged rues de la Huchette or Pot de Fer. If you haven’t been back in a few years, you’ve missed the food and wine renaissance that’s taken place amid the Roman and Medieval monuments.

Best for Breakfast or Afternoon Coffee

Eric Kayser baguettes

Eric Kayser – his original bakery can be found at 8 rue Monge (closed Tuesday). A few doors south at #14 is another outpost with bar seating and tables outside – a better option if you’d like to stay and have coffee with your croissant. They sell sandwiches at lunchtime, too. Closed Monday.


Coutume Instituutti – coffee and other beverages in a bright and airy space with reliable wifi. A few Scandi-inspired nibbles (it’s inside the Finnish institute) are served for breakfast and lunch. Closed Monday.

sugarplum cake shop

Sugarplum Cake Shop – carrot cake and other American sweets, along with refillable drip coffee from Café Lomi and sometimes-working wifi. Open 12-7pm (afternoon only) Tuesday-Sunday. Closed Monday.

Best for Lunch

Café Le Papillon – this one is a dive, but has great charm. It has for years been the cheap lunch spot of choice for many of the merchants who work on the rue Mouffetard. The only change in recent times has been the addition of a framed photo of Joel Robuchon and Eric Ripert dining here during filming for an episode for Anthony Bourdain’s show No Reservations (video above).

Terroir Parisien

Terroir Parisien – dinner is also great, but you can’t beat this place for the price/quality/efficiency ratio at lunch. Get in and out with a plat du jour or haute croque monsieur without needing a reservation or  two hours to devote to lunch. Open every day.

Best for Apéro


Brewberry – beer fans will want to pay a visit this haven where Cécile Delorme sells hundreds of different brews, ranging from traditional Belgian to cult Norwegian. A rotating selection is stocked cold for immediate consumption, and there are a few tables outside for sipping on the sidewalk. Closed Monday.

Café de la Nouvelle Mairie – this feel-good bistro is also worth a visit for lunch or dinner (or breakfast, for that matter – they open at 8am), but it is hands down our favorite spot in the ‘hood for apéro. Owner Benjamin Forty is a great fan of natural wine, and his list will please novices and industry types alike. Plenty of options at this hour for nibbling from their long list of charcuterie, cheese and other snack options. Closed Saturday and Sunday.

Maison Claudel

Maison Claudel Vin et Whisky – this neighborhood newcomer is both a shop and tasting space for their dual obsessions, wine and whiskey. The shop sells 300 references for each, and those who want to sip on the spot can choose between 24 wines and 80 whiskeys by the glass. Leather club chairs and a selection of small bites make this a great stop before dinner. Closed Monday.

Best for Dinner

Dans les Landes

Dans les Landes – small plates from the Landes and Basque regions with well-priced wine and plenty of seating for larger groups. A few tables on the terrasse if the weather is nice. Open every day. Note: Julien Duboué sold Dans les Landes in July 2014 to open a new place near the Bourse. We haven’t yet returned to try it under the new management. 

Les Papilles

Les Papilles – over by the Luxembourg Gardens, this is a popular spot for those who want to drink great wine at caviste prices and share simple family-style cooking. Closed Sunday and Monday.


Sola – a special place near Notre Dame that marries French and Japanese influences. Topped many critics’ lists when it opened in 2010, and they accept bookings online. Closed Sunday and Monday.

Best for Cocktails

curio parlour

Curio Parlour – a tiny cave filled with dead animals and intricate cocktails, from the team behind Experimental Cocktail Club.

Exceptional Shops

For Cheese


Androuet – the rue Mouffetard location of this historic maison is by far the best of four fromageries on a small stretch of street. Managed by the bearded and knowledgable Guillaume, who speaks good English if you’re struggling with your cheese vocab. Special mention for their tunnel-aged Bethmale du chèvre and (in Spring) their selection of young, fresh goats’ cheeses, including Le Bambois. Closed Monday.

laurent dubois

Laurent Dubois – one of the most expensive and exceptional cheese shops in the city, which is what we’d expect from a Meilleur Ouvrier de France (MOF). Special mention for their long-aged Comté, the Camembert stuffed with Calvodos-soaked apples and marscapone, and their boundary-pushing exceptionally long aging of cheeses like Fourme d’Ambert, Charolais, and Sainte-Maure de Touraine. Closed Monday.

For Chocolate


Mococha – chocolate fanatic Marie-Hélène Gantois is selling the creations from not one but three master chocolatiers, including Fabrice Gillot (an MOF from Dijon), Jacques Bellanger (an MOF from Le Mans) and Patrice Chapon (who twice won the prize for the best chocolate in Paris). You can fill a box with chocolates from all three if you want, or take a sachet to nibble on the go. Follow her on Facebook to keep up with her wonderful schedule of seminars, ateliers and tastings. Closed Monday.

Let me help you with that, Franck.

Franck Kestener – it doesn’t hurt that he’s young and handsome, but that’s not why we’re in love with this shop from the Lorraine-based MOF chocolatier Franck Kestener. No, the primary reason is his L’Atlantique bar with its buttery sablé base, bitter dark chocolate and salty caramel. There are plenty of other bonbons to love, but don’t leave without buying this bar. Open every day.

For Pastry

Gregory Renard

Gregory Rénard – this small shop near the Censier-Daubenton metro might not look like much from the outside, but this is my underdog favorite for macarons in Paris. His version of caramel beurre salé is extra salé and, to my taste, the best in the city. Salt lovers will also like the chocolat-fleur de sel. Be sure to also taste the punchy cassis-violette and the weirdo groseille-coquelicot (gooseberry poppy flower). Prices are so low (one euro a piece) that you don’t need to hold back. Closed Sunday.

carl marletti

Carl Marletti – if you can get past his exuberant use of decorative silver leaf, Carl Marletti makes very good pastries. Closed Monday.

For Wine

fontaine aux vin

La Fontaine aux Vins – hand-written signs, small production growers’ wines, and a wonderfully sweet staff to advise you – this is the only wine shop on the rue Mouffetard that’s worth your time. Closed Monday.

Caves du Panthéon – an impressive selection near the Panthéon and Café de la Nouvelle Mairie. Closed Sunday.


Lead photo by Gustavo Devito via Flickr