Paris query: looking for old traditional places
- Elchilango Mar 6, 2008 04:30 PM
I will be in Paris, which I know quite well, for my 50th birthday. I really am not interested in Michelin stars, young chefs, endroits de mode, etc. I would like to eat some of the old standards but done as they should be done: Frisse au Lardon, Confit de Canard, Coq au Vin, Cassoulet, Bourride, Choux Croute, Ile Flotante. And I would like old-time "Amelie" Vie en Rose anti-hip ambience. It's not that I am not knowledgeable or sophisticated about food (I have written a restaurant guide) it's just that I have not had the old standards/cliches and I like "real" food, or, as Julia said "food on a plate". And I would like to conserve my ridiculous anachronistic imaginary vision of Gay Paree intact. Can anybody help me?
I always enjoyed "Josephine Chez Dumonet" 117 rue du Cherche-Midi 6eme which is very traditional. Good classics and quite large portions, so they allow you to order half portions if your appetite isn't large.
The other option is to go to places like "Benoit" or "Aux Lyonaise" both these are owned by Alain Ducasse and are designed to preserve the traditional old style bistro with good quality cooking.
Generally Paris is very traditional and proportionally few restaurants push the envelope (i.e. compare and contrast with Spain). However, this traditionalism tends to mask lots of average/poor cooking and there is a lot of bad confit, choucroute etc. So you need to choose carefully.
Also, the Chez Georges in the 17th near Porte Maillot (my wife had both salade frisse avec lardons and a huge Ile Flotante there), Thoumieux in the 7th, and Allard in the 6th.
A place I love is Le Plomb de Cantal (rue de la Gaité, metro Ed. Quinet. Solid and simple but wonderful aligot, confit, magret, etc., crowded, great staff and attitude. I hesitate to give the tip because one thing I love about it is you never hear English there. But, hey, the cat's out of the bag and you sound like a deserving person! So enjoy!
I vote for Le Duc de Richelieu, 5 rue Parrot, near the Gare du Lyon.
The menu is full of classics, esp. Burgundian/Beaujolais. When last there I had jambon perseille with the best cornichons ever (and they drop the entire crock), the BEST filet au poivre ever, and a tangy St. Marcellin. Washed down with a rich St. Nicolas de Borgeuil and a luscious, cherry-ish Chiroubles (their house Beaujolais Crus are spectacular). All that plus coffee was maybe 32 euros, but they have bargain menus too. I was jealous of the gentleman's tripe sausage "en Pouilly" next to me!
Best of all the service is spectacularly friendly and just as efficient. They make everyone feel like a regular.
I will never miss this place when in the City of Light.
BTW, Elchilango, your post is how I feel about Paris, too!