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Jan 24, 2014 02:28 PM

Paris Bistro in Chestnut Hill opening

Holy Crap, the daily specials include frogs leg!

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  1. I'm really looking forward to this. Especially when they start the jazz club.

    1 Reply
    1. re: JanR

      Same here... Hope they book some of Philly's stellar players.

    2. Got reservations for Saturday. Probably get the steak frites.
      Went for drinks this past Saturday. Bartender was really professional. Wife had cocktails while I stuck w/ beer. All presented nicely. I like this place already.

      2 Replies
        1. re: JanR

          Valentines Saturday. I'm so sorry.:(

      1. Went last evening. Party of 4 (two couples) started w/ a gin martini (quite strong) and a bottle of Saison DuPont (a favorite) which was fine.
        For our meal we started w/ Long Island blue point oysters; which were large, deep and brine-y as promised, as well as the chicken liver pâté (had with brioche toast points:decadent) and the Cauliflower & Comte custard; the cheese really shined through in the finish.
        Entrees included Cote de Boeuf, Steak Frites, Rabbit Fricasse, and Crabcakes. Everything was done well particularly the rabbit fricasse which was moist and served w/ a tagliatelle. Sauce was light. The Crabcakes were a bit mayonnaise-y but I don't mind them that way.
        Desserts were Lemon Raspberry Crepe, Creme Brûlée, and Chocolate Grand Marnier (I had beer). I didn't get to try any but everyone seemed pleased.
        Wines were an off dry Vouvray followed by a Madiran; $28 and $30 respectively.
        Decor and atmosphere were all solid. Tiles floors, zinc bar, and heard "La Vie en rose" played maybe 6 times during the evening;P. Chairs are big and comfortable. Service was solid as well.
        We were are very pleased w/ our experience at Paris and plan to return many times.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Chinon00

          Hi Chinon, may l ask whose Madiran it was and what vintage ?
          As my 2001 and 2003's from Brunel are still tannic to drink, just wondering what you got for $ 30.
          Was the Vouvray either Aubussiers or Pichot ?

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Madiran, Chateau Viella "Tradition" 2010
            Vouvray, Sauvion, 2012

          2. re: Chinon00

            Thanks for the review. Going tomorrow night with a couple who were there on Last Sunday who loved it.

            1. re: JanR

              We went last night and really enjoyed it. We ordered a lot...oysters, duck confit salad, mussels with frites (excellent). Wonderful Beef ribs and the special cote de bouef. The service was very attentive and the chef came by to say hello. A very nice addition to Chestnut Hill. We love Paris (France) and this has the feel of a brasserie. Looking forward to the jazz club and trying the burger which looked fantastic. We love Heirloom and are happy that Chef Paris has given us another fine place in our neighborhood.

          3. We were there Saturday night with another couple. We weren't thrilled but would probably go back (and certainly to the jazz club when it opens). The place is authentic looking and very attractive. On Saturday night, the bar was packed and it took an extremely long time to get our cocktails and, later, wine. I didn't like the bread, which was dry. It tasted like a baguette from Acme and I doubt it was house baked. The butter was soft and unappetizing looking. I prefer it cold and served in an ramekin as they do in many bistros but I guess that is just personal preference. I do think, though, that bread should be delicious in a French bistro. My husband loved his beet salad. And I thought the mignonette which accompanied my oysters was very good -- as were the oysters. Three of us chose the short rib crepe special. It was under seasoned and there was barely any short rib in it, making the $24 price quite high. It was basically a crepe with a lot of white sauce poured over it. The sauce was advertised as containing gruyere but they were so stingy with the gruyere that we couldn't detect its presence in the dish. Only one in the group got a different entree. This was the cassoulet, which he found disappointing. My grand mariner chocolate mousse was tasty. However, I could not taste any gran mariner. I think we might just order multiple appetizers next time. For those who don't relish screaming at their dining partners: avoid Saturday nights. I wish I could have heard the Piaf I've read they play. The food is not up to the level of a Heirloom. I hope it improves as it is nearby and attractive. I sincerely hope the substance catches up with the form soon.

            4 Replies
            1. re: JanR

              With the review you just wrote, why would you return ?

              1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                Good point. Well, it's close, attractive, and the cocktails and appetizers were good. As I said, I would probably return for appetizers (sitting at the bar where, hopefully, the drinks come faster). I am anxious to experience the jazz club.

              2. re: JanR

                We were there on Saturday as well and we went w/o reservations (we knew they had none but was willing to eat at the 16 seat bar). Maybe it was because it was our first meal out w/o our kids (just had a baby 2 months ago), but we really enjoyed our experience at Paris. There were definitely a few missteps and they could most definitely improve upon things but, all in all, we thought it was a really enjoyable dinner.

                My first question is, what the heck is up with the Philly area not having many French bistros? It is so clear that this place was rammed (and, my guess, will continue to be rammed for a long time to come) because people LIKE classic French bistro food and the atmosphere that comes with it. We were dying for French food and, after some research, realized there are only about 6 places in Philly and the burbs to choose from. This is very strange to me. But, I digress. Like I mentioned before, the restaurant was crazy busy when we arrived around 745. We were excited (but nervous we would get a seat) that so many people were doing what we were planning on doing - eating at the bar. I love that people are doing it but I will say it most definitely slowed down the barmen/barwoman (who already seemed a bit slow/open month jittery?). I definitely understand what you meant about the cocktails taking a long time - if you even were able to get the bartender's attention. That said, I swear I drank the best Manhattan of my life. It took him like 5 minutes to make it, but it was damn delicious. The adorable teenage barback dropped about 5 glasses in our 3 hours there - not that adorable but I feel as though he was really trying to wipe those wine glasses clean.

                We finally got 2 seats at the bar around 830 when half the diners at the bar cleared out (Serpico is definitely right about Philly diners mainly wanting to eat at 7PM!). We ordered the oysters which we thought were fabulous. I actually liked the addition of the small diced cucumbers. Actually thought it complimented the Mignonette and oysters well. To each his own, though. Had the comte and cauliflower custard (totally like a sformato or souffle) which was delish as well as the pate which was very nice as well. Those buttery brioche toasts really made it. I thought the bread was really nice. Good crust and nice interior. Our butter was in a ramekin - I like that I could actually spread it. It was cold but not ice cold. Again, to each his own. We split 2 entrees - the steak frites and cassoulet (both we would like to think we are super picky about). The steak frites was really delicious - the fries PERFECT (honestly, bad fries on a steak frites can almost ruin this dish IMHO). The steak was a good size, perfectly seasoned and came out my desired temp. The cassoulet was very nice. After eating cassoulet all over Languedoc (and specifically in Castelnaudary), this is another dish we can be a bit snotty about. I think he did a pretty good job with it. I mean, I'm not sure he took 3 days to make it, but the beans had a nice tooth to it and the duck confit was perfectly falling apart. I would say that the sausage (was it toulouse?) could've been a bit better and could've been a tiny bit bigger of a piece given. Also, I felt that the piece of pork (belly I believe or was it shoulder?) could've definitely been a bit bigger. But, it was flavorful and heavy, exactly the way it should be. They say not to eat this dish in the summer and this version was a good representation of why that is true!

                Besides the bar flowing a bit better, there is room for improvement on the menu. Why not add it some other classics that may be liked by the more adventurous French food lover? Beef tartare please. Livers/Kidneys/other offal, please. And what about blanquette de veau? Stuff like that would really bring the menu to another level. I also think the frog legs should be on the permanent menu... just to kick it up a notch.

                NOt sure where they are going to put a jazz band. There were tables covering the entire place. Maybe next to the bar if they remove the tables? Too bad the front doesn't have doors that open to the street in the summertime.

                All in all a nice experience and we will be back.

                1. re: amysep

                  The jazz club will be downstairs. Thanks for the review.

              3. The crowd on Friday night attests to the need for a good restaurant in the neighborhood. Dinner there told me we are still waiting. The atmosphere and staff are fine, but even the most basic menu items need help. The seafood tower, which they call "Ice Bar" was ill conceived and poorly executed. The tower was too large for the amount of seafood it held, which I believe was adequate for the price. The seafood, however, should sit on a bed of shaved ice, not cubes. The shrimp were very good -- firm, large and tasty. The oysters seemed "tired," and were topped with chopped cucumber (were they trying to hide something?). The crab and avocado salad may have been good if it hadn't taken on so much ice water.

                The house salad -- come on, how hard is that? This was a run-of-the-mill spring mix over dressed with an oily, overly mustardy vinaigrette.

                The steak frites was ok. Actually, the frites were delicious. Also enjoyed the bread and butter.

                Hopefully, things will improve.