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"Le Villaret" Paris?

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Does anyone have any input on the Paris restaurant called "Le Villaret"?
It has a very high food rating and very low price point on Zagat (not that that means anything) but there is no mention of it by any Chowhounds. Although, I may have just answered my own question! Oh well, I'd still like to hear a report.


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  1. Michelin 2004 which for me has always been -relatively- reliabele rates it with one (of 4 possible) forks. But the additional statment "can be seductive" or "seduce you" should definitely be worth, to give it a try. Could be a hidden gem. And very often the places not mentioned or low rated are on their way up.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Marc

      I ate there many years ago and it was sublime
      I'm going back in march and hope to have a report when I return

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      Bill Strzempek

      It has been on my list to try for years since my two French sources give it thumbs up for its very warm welcome and genial atmosphere, and both mention its use of delectable or imaginative pairings of vegetables to main courses, such as roast leg of lamb w/ jerusalem artichokes, or rabbit with stuffed prunes. One source mentions the cheese course as being unexceptional, but supposedly they have a separate list of special wines that one should ask for. If you go, please report back!

      One warning: call ahead -- they close for 15 days each December.

      1. We were there in Feb, '06 and it was great. Like all places in Paris, people smoke. I cannot grok that at all...

        In any event, wonderful dinner and an amazing cheese course.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Josiah

          not anymore - a smoking ban has been in place since Jan 2008 - now you can eat and drink smoke free!

        2. Perhaps it hasn't been written up here because it is a little out of the way (hard to find street near Republique). Lebey and other guides love it. We went for lunch last year and liked the atmosphere - pleasant room and all French customers - but we both made the mistake of choosing the fixed lunch menu, which was not exciting. We shall return.

          1. I couldn't make it happen last month. They were closed until Jan. 9th over the holiday, and Atelier de JR took precedence. It's in the neighborhood, so we'll hit it next time.

            1. a gem hidden on a small side street. went two years ago and had a good meal. my duck entree was only ok but the rest of the meal was great. they also gave us a complementary crock of rillettes.

              1. Le villaret is one of my favorite restauarants..I have eaten there twice-both times in a a one week period back in 2001, and as a chef myself and lover of food, le villaret embodies to me what great restaurants and dining experiences are all about. My meals were amazing and yes it is a bargain, but it is truly about the soul of the food; lotsa "parts", i.e. offal, hand written menu which I believe changes daily...I always recommend Le villaret to friends, et al traveling to Paris

                1. I am going to Paris in August. Anyone been to Le Villaret recently? I heard one of the original owners passed (could be wrong!), just seeing if there's been any change since these older, amazing reviews. Anyone know?


                  1 Reply
                  1. re: carlyg

                    Guess i'm little late to answer carlyg questions about Le Villaret, well yes the owner Michel passed away about 2 years ago, but the place is still (and was already bought) runned by the Chef Olivier Gaslain. The food is still great, i am well placed to say it as a former Villaret employee. If any of goes there in December check the Foie Gras terrine, and try to be there when he receives truffles. Oh and also my own favorite the foie gras soup with oysters it's quite something. So if you go to Paris go and check the place but always give it a call you might be surprised how this place gets overcrowded even if its the middle of the week.

                  2. We had the prix fixe lunch shortly before Christmas. The food was excellent--homemade boudin noir with escarole salad, creme de rouge barbe (cream of red mullet soup with bits of the smoked fish), sanglier (wild boar) stew, a milk chocolate "mille-feuille" with tangerine sections, and a poached pear with ginger spice cake and an oval of gently flavored ice cream served on its own spoon. The wine list is excellent as well. Patricia Wells lists it on her website of current favorites.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: kittle

                      Hit it on Thursday night. An excellent bistro by all measures. The bill for 2 with a 50 of house CdRhone and one dessert was 110 euros.

                      I was still bitter about the lousy meal I had at Senderens when I went.

                    2. I've been going to Le Villaret for 10 years. I've always really liked it and looked forward to going every time I'm in Paris. It's gone way downhill. My dinner last night was actually terrible. I started with a ragout of artichokes and asparagus that was bland and skimpy (for 16 euros!). Then my poulet fermier aux olives was a thin drumstick over a bed of mushy blettes with two olives that were the black kind you get out of a can and that had nothing to do with the rest of the dish. There was no flavor ... I left half of it on my plate. The rhubarb clafoutis at the end had been burned (big char mark) and then warmed up in the microwave ... it was tepid and soggy. The service was bad and at times actually rude. When we tried to pay our bill the waitress said she was too busy and it was too cramped so we should just pay on our way out (like at a diner). And the place is no longer a deal ... first courses like that for 16 euros?? I won't go back any time soon. Very disappointing.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: philguy

                        Oh no! Anyone else been lately?

                        1. re: Fuffy

                          I've never been, but people I tend to believe tell me that it is a very good place that tries to not be on the international radar and therefore is often obnoxious and bad with those they think are tourists. Again, just hear-say

                      2. Out of the trio, Le Pamphlet, L'Astier, and Le Villaret, I preferred Le VIllaret. All were very good to excellent experiences and I've hit Astier twice since January.

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: Busk

                          Soup is correct that the Anglos have always adored Le Villaret (a chef house guest from N. California insisted on going and gave a glowing report) and maybe there's a difference whether you are or not, but I've eaten at both all-American and all-French tables and while Colette found both the service and food lacking before the rest of us, there are so many other great places to go to, why bother with inconsistency and service. Of the three named, I'd do Astier, the ambiance and food are great (just tune out the English).

                          John Talbott

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            I ended up going to le Villaret. I did not care for the setting (or the location -- got my GPS stolen and my window broken) but the service was OK, the food was more than decent, and the wine list was out of this world. It seems to me that this wine list is the main reason to schlep to Villaret.