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Dec 10, 2011 04:15 AM

2 Weeks in Paris Part III- Le 122, Chez L'Ami Jean, Bistro Paul Bert

These last three are places we seem to have at least one meal in every time we are in Paris.

LE 122

Another of our favorite places, it is not only within walking distance for us but Farid and Sophie are very special hosts. We usually have at least one meal here during our stay. A “Phillip Stark-like” room but with such warmth and friendliness. We started with a terrine de gibier as well as a “Chicken Soup”. The flavorful terrine was primarily biche and the soup was truly outstanding. The depth of flavor in an almost clear broth (and with what my wife calls the “bits in the bowl”) was eye-opening. Mains were a backhoeffe of cod and a perfectly rare pintade. With 2 glasses of Billecart-Saumon; a glass of Girard Pouilly; a bottle of 2009 “Far-Ouest” Languedoc red; an old Bas Armagnac and 2 coffees the bill was 175E. There are more reasonably priced menus at lunch and dinner but this was our splurge meal for the trip.


IMHO you either “get” this place or you don’t. In our house there is a divergence of opinion here. That being said put on your big-boy eating pants; dress in layers (it gets warm inside) and go. Jego is one of the more social media savvy chefs in France. He posts the menu du jour on their Facebook page along with many photos. The menu options have been discussed here frequently. The Saturday night we were there we had the 55E chef’s menu. He prepared a silky soupe au parmesan, an oyster with topimbour in a spicy sauce, a spinach soup with poached egg, cod with beef cheeks, Eric Ospital pork tenderloin and then a series of pre-desserts, desserts and coffee. The night we were there they “blew” the breakers 3 times in the course of the evening (which is a regular occurrence). A long walk home was welcome at the end of the evening.


We enjoyed 2 dinners here over the course of 2 weeks, one with Parisian friends and one just the 2 of us. Our first dinner on a Saturday night is something of a blur. As we were finishing our meal a group of wine makers (who were in town for the Salon de Vingerons Independent) came in to say hello to M. Aboyneau. As they were acquainted with our friends the groups merged and a significant quantity of superb wine was consumed. In reading my notes the next morning I was obviously in a wine-induced fog but the special wines of the evening were a Tourraine red made from Pineau d’Auris and the Corsican wines of Antoine Arena. None of these are available to me here in the states and were exceptional.

We returned the next week and had a much quieter evening. We split a starter of fois gras maison mi-cuit with especially flavorful compote of quince, pine nuts, ginger and cardamom. The mains were a beef fillet with Sarawak peppers and a roasted leg of young venison (cuisseau de chevreuil). We ended with a perfectly prepared Grand Marnier souflee and cheese (a perfectly ripe Epoisse was the standout).

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    1. The night we were there the restaurant went completely dark for about a minute 3 times. Everyone started singing or applauding. This has happened on a previous visit also

      1. re: dennis855

        So it wasn't somebody's birthday but the diners treated it as though it were? Even better !
        Yes, lunch there is less intense, but dinner is often full of earnest up-cutters, especially when the rugby crowd is around.

    2. ' the special wines of the evening were a Tourraine red made from Pineau d’Auris .'

      Bet it was from Robinot, with a grey scarf-like label. Carried at a wine store, Cru and Decouvertes, across the street from Bistro: Le Paul Bert.

      1. Thanks for the great reports.

        I went to Bistro Paul Bert twice last year: the first visit was excellent (highlighted by that eggs/morels starter, and followed by ham steak)...the second visit was mediocre...glad it's churning out back-to-back good meals these days, as i want to like it.

        Sidenote: i love Corsican wines too, and they are rare in NYC, where i now live again.