The Bistrot Paul Bert currently holds the #4 ranking in our list of favorite Classic Bistros in Paris. The Bistrot Paul Bert boasts of the most charming dining rooms and patrons in town, appearing to first-time visitors like the Paris bistro of their dreams. Their menu is torn straight out of the classic bistro playbook, with options like steak frites, andouillette, soufflé and tarte Tatin. Compared to many other bistros, Paul Bert shines bright because of superb ingredient souring and careful cooking. Owner Bertrand Auboyneau is a real wine lover and supporter of vignerons, and his list is a joy to drink from. Overall, while many long-time fans will admit that it’s not quite at the level it once was, Le Bistrot Paul Bert remains a top recommendation for anyone wanting to experience a classic bistro in Paris.
Where can you find a great baguette in Paris? Below we’ve listed and mapped the bakeries who have placed among the top ten winners in the city’s annual competition to determine Le Meilleur Baguette de Paris. Look for the bakery that’s nearest to you, or focus your efforts on those who have finished first – we’ve indicated the Grand Prix winners with a heart.
Frenchman Thomas Abramowicz spent a year training in central Texas and tracking down everything he would need (meat, wood, Bourbon) to open the first authentic smokehouse in Paris. Beef is king here, in the form of slow and low smoked brisket and gigantic ribs, but barbecued chicken, baby back ribs and pulled pork also feature on the short menu. Vinegary cole slaw and steamed vegetables instead of baked beans or mac & cheese, but you can still expect to finish with pecan pie. Or just have another Bourbon – there are more than 50 to choose from – including impossible to find Pappy Van Winkle’s and a 22-year Elijah Craig – plus a handful of craft beers and natural red wines. Read the backstory here.
Address: 3 rue Richer, 75009
Nearest transport: Cadet (7), Grands Boulevards (8, 9)
Hours: Closed Saturday and Sunday; Open Monday-Friday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Book a few days in advance
Telephone: 01 47 70 67 31
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L’Office in photos
What people are saying
Have you been? Leave your own opinion about L’Office in the comments!
John Talbott (2014) “The newest chef, Konrad Ceglowski, is a master of protein with fruit and veggies… seduced, successfully, by the sauteed calamari with a creamy fennel sauce, zucchini and squid ink. It was superb, no other word for it.”
Verjus currently holds the #2 ranking in our list of our favorite Tasting Menus under 100€. I never tire of returning to Verjus, which has one of the most creative and affordable modern tasting menus in town. Chef Braden Perkins is self-taught, disciplined and obsessive. He makes time time for travel in order to take inspiration from chefs around the world, returning home to refine and personalize their best ideas. When he wasn’t happy with the produce available from local sources, he partnered with other chefs to cultivate a more direct network from farms in Normandy. The result of all this is a tasting menu that mixes a modest amount of meat or fish with some of the best vegetable creations I’ve ever tasted. Six very small dishes (snacks) are followed by homemade bread and butter, three more substantial dishes, and dessert for 78€. Perkins’ partner Laura Adrian has put together an incredible wine list that is heavy with organic and biodynamic producers, and her wine pairings for the tasting menu (55€) are spot on. On a practical note, there’s a private room that can be booked for 8-12 people, and the kitchen is known to accommodate a wide range of dietary issues with advance notice.
At this beautiful restaurant in the underserved district just north of Les Halles, serious technique is brought to bear on beautiful veggies and offal alike. The consistently delicious dishes, the polished room and the very good wine list all add up to something that’s much greater than the bargain prices should allow. There’s a prix fixe at lunch for only 15€, and diners can go à la carte at lunch or dinner for 36€. Chef Tomy Gousset departed in 2016 to open Tomy & Co, but Pirouette remains a solid bet.
Ellsworth currently holds the #3 spot in our list of favorite restaurants for small sharable plates.
Following their success with Verjus, where the more elaborate formula of dégustation + wine pairings has drawn a loyal following of happy locals and visiting celebrities, Braden Perkins and Laura Adrian have decided to open something more casual. Let’s call it “serious casual” because at Ellsworth (named for Perkins’ grandfather), foods that you might see at a county fair are elevated through careful sourcing and a sincere spirit of DIY. The fried chicken from Verjus Bar à Vins has moved over to Ellsworth, leaving the former as more of a place for drinks and snacks before or after dinner at Verjus.
David Toutain currently holds the #5 position in our ranking of favorite Tasting Menus over 100€.
David Toutain, who brought acclaim to Agapé Substance before jumping ship back in December 2012, returned to the Paris scene with this signature restaurant in 2013. His meticulous and conceptual cooking highlights seasonal produce, with vegetables often playing the starring role. This is by no means a vegetarian restaurant, but Toutain’s ability to bring out the beauty in oft-ignored roots reminds us of his former boss Alain Passard.
Be sure to specify when booking that you’d like to be seated downstairs in the main dining room. They’ve recently added a number of small tables in a cramped and airless room upstairs near the bathroom. Surely these bring in more money, but dining there is another (far less interesting) experience altogether.
This popular restaurant and wine bar run by Drew Harre and Juan Sanchez is a sort of Anglo haven, excellent for a quick glass, a solo dinner at the bar, or for those times when you’re just tired of speaking French. The wine list is populated by small producers, many of them organic and bio-dynamic, with fair prices and plenty of options by the glass. They’re open every day, and we often find ourselves here on a Sunday or Monday when so many other restaurants are closed. Compared to their sister restaurant Semilla, the more gastronomic option across the street, Fish is the reliable bistro and a genuine Saint-Germain institution.
After L’Office and Le Richer (one of our favorite new openings of 2013), Charles Compagnon is back with another gift for the Faubourg. If he has run out of ideas for restaurant names, the same cannot be said for the dishes coming out of his kitchen. The compact menu with 3-4 choices per course contains plenty that we want to eat: well-roasted duck with coco beans, corn and kale, and an egg yolk ravioli with ham and mushrooms that was satisfyingly reminiscent of one of our favorite dishes at L’Office. Beyond the very good wine list, special attention has been paid to other liquids, starting with their own café Compagnon (roasted by Coutume), including a beer called La Maryse created in collaboration with Dirk Naudrs from De Proef, and finishing with a selection of very special small batch eaux de vie from Christoph Keller at the Stählemühle distillery. Like at Le Richer, this place is open every day with continuous service from 8am to midnight. No reservations, but you can wait (or eat, or drink) at the bar.
One of our Favorite Paris Restaurants (small sharable plates).
Boasting one of the city’s best selections of wine by the glass, Freddy’s is a great call when you want to share some delicious nibbles while perched on a stool, especially at odd hours or on Sunday & Monday when many other places are closed. With high quality and reasonable prices, this place draws a serious crowd. Come with a large group or at peak hours (anything after 7:30pm) and you’re not likely to find a spot. Come early to dine alone or with a friend and you’ll be in for a treat with interesting food and wine plus great people watching.
One of our Top 50 Paris Restaurants (small sharable plates). If you want a taste of Gregory Marchand’s cooking without the challenge of scoring a reservation at Frenchie, this sister wine bar is a great option. However, there are caveats. A victim of its own popularity, Frenchie Bar à Vins is often chaotic, loud, and (for folks who don’t wish to perch on stools) a little uncomfortable. But chaos and noise, when combined with creative and delicious small plates, not to mention a fascinating wine list, can combine to make for some wonderfully memorable evenings. You shouldn’t go if you need to be seated and fed right away, or if you’re not willing to flag down a friendly server to beg for what you need. Go for rowdy fun, and by all means go early, like right when they open at 6:30pm. Either that, or after the major rush passes, after 10pm. Arrive during peak hours and you can expect to wait for a fairly long time out on the cobblestones.
Frenchie currently holds the #5 ranking in our list of our favorite Tasting Menus under 100€. 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.
We first discovered Quina Lon during her pastry chef days at Au Passage and then Martin. Her pastries, never too sweet and always utilizing the freshest ingredients, were evidence of time spent in some of the best kitchens in the world (Dinner by Heston Blumenthal, Mugaritz). She partnered with her sister Francine, who holds an equally impressive CV (Eleven Madison Park, Dinner by Heston Blumenthal) to open Muscovado in 2016. The breakfast and lunch menus, which change often, are served Wednesday through Friday. Saturday and Sunday feature a special brunch menu from 10am – 5pm including classic egg dishes, coffee from Belleville Brûlerie, and of course their in house pastries that are available all day, everyday. They’re experimenting with also serving dinner on Thursday and Friday nights, but you may want to confirm that by calling for a reservation.
Haven't sorted out your Thanksgiving holiday plans yet? No need to freak out. We've rounded up a few resources to help our American readers, as well as any locals who'll be sharing the table this year.
L’Ami Louis has been the subject of one of the most deliciously harsh critiques ever published. And while I adore reading A.A. Gill’s particular brand of snuff review, with lines like “the cramped tables are set with labially pink cloths, which give it a colonic appeal and the awkward sense that you might be a suppository,” I find myself in the uncomfortable position of defending L’Ami Louis. It’s uncomfortable because L’Ami Louis is one of the least proletarian places I’ve ever been, and exclusivity is a great part of the appeal. This is, I understand, at odds with our mission to help unconnected visitors find great places to eat while in Paris.
Results from the annual competition to name the city’s best baguette – the Grand prix de la baguette de tradition française de la Ville de Paris – have just been announced. This year’s winning baguette was made by bakers Mickaël Reydellet and Florian Charles from La Parisienne at 48 rue Madame in Saint-Germain.
Mensae currently holds the #3 ranking in our list of favorite Modern & Creative Restaurants in Paris. In a simple dining room, way up on the Belleville hill and not far from the sprawling Buttes-Chaumont park, some of the best bistro fare in Paris is being served. Comfort food like frogs’ legs dripping in garlic butter and crispy pork belly with braised cabbage share space on the menu with brighter fare like confit trout with beets and horseradish, or a falling-apart lamb shoulder with creamy beans and preserved lemon. There’s a lunch menu at €20, a three-course dinner menu for €36, and a wine list with many good bottles for less than €35 – all of which make this an exceptional value for Paris.
The Michelin Guide has just released its 2016 designations, and for the first year in a while there’s actually something to discuss. Here’s a quick summary of the wins and losses, with a few choice words about Ducasse and links to reactions from other writers.
Chez la Vieille occupies an unassuming corner at the intersection of two quiet streets, Bailleul and l’Arbre Sec, between the Louvre and what’s left of Les Halles. It was opened by the formidable Adrienne Biasin back in 1960 and catered – like most restaurants in this neighborhood – to a clientele of workers from the nearby Les Halles market. When the towering iron and glass pavillions were torn down in 1971 and the market was transferred to the sanitary suburb of Rungis, the “old lady’s” place remained as a comfort for locals who were (and still are) mourning the loss of “the belly of Paris.”
Hovering fifty feet above the corner of Sèvres and Babylone is the image of a hipster eating a hot dog. The waxed tips of his mustache curl up as he gazes down upon the sidewalk scene below: an elegant woman wearing a camel trench coat is loading her shopping into a car. This is the line for valet parking at the city’s most expensive department store, and madame’s bags are bursting with jars of bacon jam.
Between now and October 17, Le Bon Marché (LBM) is celebrating New York’s most populous borough with their Brooklyn Rive Gauche festival. Throughout the department store and their next-door food hall La Grande Épicerie, black water tower display stands direct shoppers to kale chips, artisanal matchsticks, and beard cream.
The annual ranking of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants has just been announced. El Cellar de Can Roca in Girona (Spain) now wears the crown and Copenhagen’s Noma has fallen to #3 with Osteria Francescana in Modena (Italy) sneaking up to grab second place. Here’s a look at where Paris ranks among the best in the world, according to this jury.
Between September-December 2014, we anonymously tested all nine of the Paris restaurants that hold three Michelin stars, along with seven others that are considered to be shining examples of haute cuisine.
In discussing the three-star restaurant L’Ambroisie, which ranks among the most expensive in the world, people often bring up a quote by chef Bernard Pacaud. “Someone’s first meal here is never their best,” he once said. “It takes at least two or three meals for us to learn the customer and for the customer to learn us.”
This was true for food blogger Adam Goldberg, who wrote a scathing report of his first meal at L’Ambroisie. After returning more than twenty times, however, he declared “I am now certain that this is the finest French restaurant in the world.”
More than 100 years ago, a tire company named Michelin began telling people about their best options for eating while motoring around the country. Travelers wanted to know what was worth a detour or a special journey, and that’s still the case today. The question I’m most frequently asked by our readers is where to go for a special blow-out meal. You want to celebrate a birthday, an anniversary, a victory. You want to seal a deal, whether business or pleasure. You’re willing to drop some cash, but you don’t want to feel like a fool.
Until now, I’ve had a hard time answering this question. I know well the landscape of the city’s classic bistros, modern French restaurants, and food-loving wine bars, but this class of two- and three-star tables is a different terrain entirely. There’s an obvious barrier to understanding these restaurants: the staggering, outrageous, almost immoral price of a meal. Prior to this project, in which I anonymously tested every three-star restaurant in Paris over a period of twelve weeks, I had only visited a handful.
A second effort from the folks behind Pirouette, here with a chef who trained in Japan and his arsenal of anywhere-East-of-here flavors. The two-course 20€ lunch menu on the day of our visit included gnocchi with gingered sea bass, plus steak with caramelized shallots and tempura shimeji mushrooms. The three-course 45€ menu (available lunch & dinner) is a roster of French standards with exotic inflections, like my dish of perfectly cooked turbot accented with nori and encircled by delicate nests of interwoven fennel and shallot strands. If there’s anything to shrug about, it’s the interior. Design choices that worked well in the shadowy space of Pirouette appear here, in the shadow of the centuries-old Palais Royal, as painfully new. In any case, Zébulon’s arrival is great news for anyone hoping to eat well before or after a visit to the Louvre, and a welcome addition to the increasingly interesting (Verjus, Juveniles,) Palais Royal quarter.
The reliably cynical Fox News network has been broadcasting an interview with Nolan Peterson (photo at right), a supposed security expert and confirmed bozo who has declared Paris to be dotted with “No-Go Zones” where “in just a ten-minute cab ride from the Eiffel Tower, you can be walking through streets that feel just like Baghdad.”
Baghdad, eh? How wonderful for Baghdad if their streets are also filled, as these districts are, with modern bistros, craft breweries, natural wine haunts, vegan cafés, and spots for Philly cheesesteak. Not to mention a place that ranks among the World’s 50 Best Restaurants and a bakery that won the Best Baguette in Paris competition.
Inspired by a rebuttal by Sened Dhab, we decided to plot all of the wonderful restaurants, bars and shops that fall within these unterrorized borders. They are some of the most vibrant quarters in Paris and you shouldn’t hesitate for a single moment to visit.
It’s so nice when a restaurant delivers more than they need to, more than you expect to receive. When looking at a chalkboard menu filled with cheap small plates, one rarely hopes for anything more than simple products. But here at Au Passage, your 8€ octopus dish has undergone three days of preparation. There’s a quiet ethos at work beneath the blaring bustle of the dining room: staples are homemade (butter, bread, stock, charcuterie), vegetables and fish receive priority attention, and meat is served in a nose-to-tail spirit with every last offaly bit turning up on the menu. So much heart and creativity for so little money. Au Passage is not for everyone, nor is it trying to be. If the loud music, frenzied service, and worn-out interior turn some people away, that leaves more space for me.