The previous incarnation from chef Philippe Damas was a perennial favorite near the Canal, known for seasonal cooking and wild game in season. A new team has taken over this neighborhood bistro and a recent lunch on the terrasse – summer gazpacho and steak with roasted rosemary potatoes – didn’t disappoint. Further “research,” particularly to see if the wine list remains as strong, is needed.
Address: 12 avenue Richerand, 75010
Nearest transport: Jacques Bonsergent (5), Goncourt (11)
Hours: Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner. Closed Sunday & Monday.
Telephone: +33 1 42 38 00 13
L’Angelus du Canal in pictures
Philou in pictures
What people were saying about Philou
Paris by Mouth (2016) our review by Meg Zimbeck “Chef Philippe Damas is showcasing the season’s best ingredients at this bistro near the Canal Saint-Martin. During the season, wild game (grouse, partridge, quail) is suburb here. In warmer months, the sidewalk terrasse is an appealing place to drink from the very affordable wine list. The chalkboard menu changes all the time and dishes are scratched off throughout the evening. Philou has the feel of an excellent and not overly ambitious neighborhood bistro, and it’s one where I’m happy to return again and again.”
Timeout (2014) calls Philou “refreshingly down to earth” and says “the menu, scribbled up on a blackboard, does a good line in seasonal specialities – game and seafood.”
David Lebovitz (2012) wants to love Philou, but they ran out of just about everything he tried to order. He does appreciate that “they have an ample list of wines by the glass (€4), 1/2 liter, or full liter (€26), all democratically priced.”
Figaroscope (2011) calls this one of the 15 Best bistros in Paris, praising the pheasant with caramelized endives and the efficient service.
The New York Times (2011) called the food “wonderful, sometimes perfect. Like the marinated sardines with parsley gelée, apples and horseradish. Also wonderful were a dead-on pâté with a jug of cornichons, pork cheeks in a gorgeous dark sauce with celery root cooked in stock.” Bittman also implied the Canal neighborhood was far-flung and dangerous, prompting the Great Eye Roll of 2011.
Not Drinking Poison in Paris (2011) calls this “a winningly sharp, modern bistro” with all of the criteria for success in place: well-priced natural wines, a solid market menu and the nearby canal, plus “engaged, reactive service” that was the runaway highlight of his meal.
Patricia Wells (2011) says that “bright and lively” Philou is “super loud, super fun, and a super bargain.” She praises the excellent wine list and admires the fact that Damas is taking old-fashioned ingredients like pig’s cheeks and calf’s liver and serving them “with a simplicity and freshness that is thoroughly appealing.”
Alexander Lobrano (2010) says that “if this bistro was in my neighborhood in the 9th, I’d eat here all the time. One way or another, it finds a solid place on my to-go list, especially since it’s also a very good buy.”
John Talbott (2010) tasted one of the best legs of lamb that he’d had in years and loved the partridge with cabbage. “For such a tiny bird it delivered a lot of pleasure.”
My cousin and I decided to us PBM to find a great lazy minute booking outside because the weather in Paris has been stunning this week. Philou was a slam dunk! We called and they had the best outside table reserved for us for an hour later that night. It has a great neighborhood feel and we were the only American accents in there that night. The wait staff was fun and kind with our weak attempts at French and directed us towards their favorites for the evening…Light flavorful fois gras made in their kitchen with this delightful brioche and miel as a starter. We cleaned the plate. Their ‘steak and potatoes’ Normandy beef with mushrooms and small potatoes was savory and a hearty portion, larger than many I’ve had here. We let them pair our wine carafes with each course and are glad we did. All in all a memorable meal and perfect choice. A great experience in the 10th!!!
Sorry, but I can’t understand the hype for Philou at all. Given the fact that for just a little more money you can eat at great places like Abri and Roseval, this shabby looking bistro is hopelessly overhyped. The food is “okay” at best (fatal lack of seasoning; a foul st. jacques in one dish), the wines are rather mediocre (to put it mildly), service is hectical and the room (on the evening of our visit at least) was smelly. Need I say more…?
Thanks for this suggestion (in your great for last minute booking piece). Philou was my top favorite in a week of eating in Paris last week 🙂
Thanks for this review. We recently went there ourselves and had a great experience. Quality food at reasonable prices, in a nice intimate restaurant.