Not sure if I am using this word correctly, but if it means excellent food in a more casual setting (preferably at reasonable price), I am. I love La Regalade (my favorite non-Michelin 2 or 3 star in Paris), which I believe fits the above description; I am looking for other similar restaurants to go to when in Paris in early September. Similar meaning great, special food with non-Michelin 2 or 3 star formality.
I have never been able to secure a reservation at Le Comptoir de Relais which I understand might fit the bill. Chez L'Ami Jean?.
I welcome your suggestions. I am staying in the 6th in a very central location near the Seine; within walking distance (less than a mile-ish is a bonus). Thank you.
(I am actually thinking of booking La Regalade for two of my four nights there; is this crazy?)
Just went to Chez l'ami jean, based on Souphie's recommendations. It was great, exactly what you are looking for, I think. Stephane Jago was busy at work in the tiny kitchen with his staff, and the food, although certainly not of the refinement as you would find at a Michelin 3 star, was nonetheless tasty and unpretentious.
Le Comptoir du Relais (for dinner only, weekdays and not in August), Christophe (rue Descartes), Au Bon Accueil (rue de Monttessuy), Chez l'Ami Jean (rue Malar).
For more creative places (but probably not better), see also le Bistral, le Chateaubriand, la Bigarrade, l'Avant-gout. More traditional: Joséphine, le Quincy, l'Auberge Bressanne, La Fontaine de Mars. Less expensive: Au Dernier Métro, Fish.
For réservation at Comptoir, call at the last minute, it works more often than not (reservation books are artificially inflated as tables are reserved for hotel guest).