La Poule au Pot

La Poule au Pot is a looker. It's wonderful to walk in and witness the vintage wallpaper, the globe lighting, and the silver-plated serving chariot wheeling between Pepto-Bismol colored tables. It is at once a little elegant and also a touch cheesy. One can almost picture the 80s pop stars who used to slouch into these red banquettes, the mirrored pillars reflecting their manliner and sprayed hair. Today's Poule au Pot, having been recently rebooted by star chef Jean-François Piège, reflects something different - a desire for traditional cuisine bourgeouise and also the willingness (by some) to pay for it.

Yam’Tcha

Universally praised Franco-Chinois fare from Adeline Grattard, and all but impossible to book. The restaurant moved to a new location at 121, rue Saint Honoré, 75001 in June 2015 and converted their old space at 4, rue Sauval into a tea salon and to-go window selling delicious steamed buns (bao). 

Address: 121, rue Saint Honoré, 75001
Hours: Open Wednesday-Saturday for lunch & dinner. Closed Sunday, Monday & Tuesday.
Telephone: +33 1 40 26 08 07
Website / Instagram

COVID-19 UPDATE:
Following the easing of lockdown, Yam’Tcha is currently offering meals to take away or to eat in at Lai’Tcha (7, rue du Jour), its second restaurant open Thursday-Saturday noon-6pm (until 10pm for takeaway) and Sunday noon-8pm. It is also offering a menu called Dîners d’Adeline Thursday-Saturday at 7:30pm or 9pm. Reserve online or via email (reservation@yamtcha.com). It has a few tables outside.

Pirouette

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.

Hakata Choten

While the focus of this cheap and cheerful Japanese franchise is ostensibly the authentic tonkatsu ramen, the real highlight is the gyoza with a thick, crisp, seared crust and a juicy pork filling. The parent restaurant won the Prix du Concours National of Gyoza in Japan in 2004, and the dumplings truly are winners. The dining room is busy and the lines can be long, but the steaming bowls of ramen come out fast and are worth the wait. The counter seating on the bottom floor makes this a nice option for dining alone.

— Catherine Down, September 2015

Les Crocs des Halles

Practical information

Address: 49 rue Berger, 75001
Nearest transport: Les Halles (4), Louvre-Rivoli (1)
Hours: Closed Sunday & Monday; Open Tuesday-Saturday for lunch and dinner
Reservations: Book a day or two in advance
Telephone: 01 40 28 00 00
Average price for lunch: 40-59€
Average price for dinner: 40-59€
Style of cuisine: Meat
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Reviews of interest

John Talbott (2015) “We were greeted warmly, seated and overwhelmed by the list of offerings, all meat except for a coquillages starter and sole & chips main… Go?  I heartily urge you to.”

Figaroscope (2015) “Un sérieux antre viandard qu’une cave d’envergure rend encore un peu plus saignante… Moelle en brioche: de l’idée. Bœuf Kronos (bœuf taillé façon carpaccio et mariné): gentiment draculesque. Hampe de bœuf: jolie pièce, cuisson idoine.”

L’Express (2015) “Bon, je ne me tape pas la tête sur le billot pour commander le boeuf entier, j’ai même du mal à y retourner, vu qu’au bout de 5 minutes, le morceau est désespérément froid. Faut bien avouer que la maison manque un peu d’imagination pour la garder au chaud.”

Zébulon

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  (VerjusJuveniles,) Palais Royal quarter. 

La Régalade Saint Honoré

This second location of La Régalade has been full since chef Bruno Doucet opened the doors in spring of 2010. The formula (terrine + 3 classic courses for a prix fixe) has since been replicated at a third location in the 9th. Is it less special now that it’s a franchise? Some think so (see below), but it remains a good bet in central Paris, especially on Mondays.

– Meg Zimbeck, 2010

Nest

Practical information

Address: 9 rue Villedo, 75001
Nearest transport: Pyramides (7,14)
Hours: Closed Sunday; Open Monday-Saturday for lunch only
Reservations: Reservations Not Accepted
Telephone: 01 40 20 45 20
Average price for lunch: 10-19€
Style of cuisine: Vietnamese
Website   Facebook

Reviews of interest

L’Express (2014) “Une cuisine pour urbains connectés -la population du quartier- en mal de dépaysement. Traduction: les it-asiat’ à la mode US… mais sans les calories! Vegan rolls, banh mi burger, mais aussi quelques spécialités locales comme les chao tom, des brochettes de gambas marinées à la canne à sucre ou des salades croquantes et colorées.”

Les Tasters (2014) “Les plats dégagent une impression de légèreté et une certaine subtilité. Confirmée au long de l’après repas. Quelques aromates simples, de la coriandre fraîche et de bons produits produisent des accords délicats.”

Photo courtesy of Nest’s Facebook page