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Warning: Don’t read this on a FULL Stomach!

Is it possible to have a bad meal in Paris?

Oh yes, but most of the time eating out in this city is wonderful — a feast for the senses.

I generally frequent the local bistros wherever I am staying there,  BUT I have a wishlist of older establishments that are on my fine dining wishlist.

My top three have sumptuous old-world decors right out of La Belle Epoque.

They are all at least 100 years, are renowned, and quite reasonably priced when you consider that just lunch at Le Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower runs about 230 Euros per person.

 

Le Train Bleu

 

Le Train Bleu ceiling

Le Train Bleu

You have likely heard of this one, located in, of all places, a train station, at the Gare de Lyon.  But not like any train station resto you have ever seen!

It is like walking into one of the grand salons at the Versailles Palace — chandeliers, gilding, wood paneling, blue leather antique chairs and banquettes, and intricately painted walls and ceilings worthy of  Michelangelo.

I would spend my entire meal looking up.

 

 

A lamb dish at Le Train Bleu

 

Here is the taste of the menu:

Roasted leg of lamb from our Regions
with potato gratin 40€
 
Veal ‘pot au feu’ with black truffles
with Winter vegetables 37€
 
Salers beef tartare seasoned to your taste
Fries and Mesclun salad 35€
 
Provencale-style saddle of lamb cooked medium rare,
with crunchy polenta and Nyons black olives 46€

Le Procope

 

Inside le Procope

 

The Café Procope, on rue de l’Ancienne Comédie, in the 6th arrondissement, is the oldest café in Paris that has been in continuous operation. It was opened in 1686  (inagine!) by the Sicilian chef Procopio Cutò and was a hub of the artistic and literary community in 18th and 19th century Paris. 

Le Procope Terrace

Again, it provides a gilded environment on the inside, but my goal is to sit outside in one of the tables hugging the facade at this restaurant!
 
Here is a sample menu of a Prix Fixe Menu.

Starters

6 large escargots de Bourgogne Label Rouge
or
Onion Soup 
or
Caesar Salad  suprême with Chicken, Parmesan, and romaine lettuce

Entrees

Butcher’s Steak, with shallot sauce and  frites maison
or

Cod fillet with sauce grenobloise, pured potatoes,

or

Duck Confit with parsley potatoes

Desserts

Tiramisu façon “Procopio”
or

Baba au Rhum, Chantilly maison

or 
Sorbet au citron, Limoncello

 “YES!  I will have all of the above please.”

Le Bouillon Chartier

A “bouillon” is a class of restaurants that usually serves traditional French cuisine, in particular a Bouillon (broth).

This restaurant was created in 1896 by two brothers, Frédéric and Camille Chartier, in a building resembling a railway station concourse.

The fun thing about this brasserie is that tables are sometimes shared if it is busy so you can often end up enjoying a meal meeting and making new friends.

And while the decor is very much old-world LITE, so are the prices!  I have left this menu mostly in French. See what you can recognize.

All yummy.

 

Classic Roast Chicken at Le Bouillon Chartier

 

Sauté de veau (veal) Marengo  11,20€

Choucroute alsacienne 10,80€

Pavé de rumsteack (rump steak) sauce poivre, frites fraîches 11, 40 €

Pied de porc (pork feet) “Félicie” grilles, frites fraîches 10, 50  

Tete de veau (calf’s head) sauce Gribiche, 11,80 €

Poulet fermier rôti, frites fraîches 9€

Is your mouth watering yet?

 

Paris Book Club

 

 

If you have ever wondered what it would be like to buy a house in the French countryside, this is the book for you?

In My Good Life in France, Janine Marsh’s journey begins with a trip across the English channel to pick up some cheap (but very good I am sure) French wine.  It is on that trip where Janine finds herself putting in an offer on a rundown old barn in the area of Pas de Calais. And voila, she begins her new adventure living in rural France.

Don’t expect another Under the Tuscan Sun story. There is no endless sunshine or sexy Italian men, although her husband sounds like a real doll. It is fantasy turned into real life with a lot of sweat, colourful characters, and a growing menagerie of cats, dogs, chickens, and ducks that have names like Gregory Peck and Ginger Rogers.

I was enraptured and now follow Janine on her website — https://www.thegoodlifefrance.com/

You can purchase this book here or by going to my BOOK CLUB Page by clicking here.

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22 Comments

  1. Catherine Willis-O'Connor on September 13, 2020 at 9:12 am

    I loved the restaurants in Paris. It was always an enjoyable experience.
    Thank you for sharing the ambiance and delicious plates.
    Leftovers for dinner tonight at my place.(no picture attached)
    Twink

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 10:07 am

      I sure have added a warning… don’t read this blog on a full stomach!
      Thank you Twink for the comment. Hugs, Diana

  2. Shardie Stevenson on September 13, 2020 at 10:53 am

    You’ve certainly wet my appetite and all my senses! Merci mon amie!! 💕
    Dining in a Paris Bistro …… I’m yearning to do just that again! Steak Frites and a glass of French Beaujolais and ….atmosphere that you can only find in Paris!
    Hopefully we can do this next year!

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 2:12 pm

      We have to keep the dream alive!
      Hugs, Diana

  3. Lagatta de Montréal on September 13, 2020 at 11:07 am

    How on earth does Bouillon Chartier keep those prices in central Paris (there are two branches, Grands Boulevards and Montparnasse – same menu). I’d like to be there for the confit de canard. I rarely eat red (mammalian, including pork and veal) meat any more, though I do eat poultry and fish. I do also note that there is a vegetarian plate for 6E50.

    Yes, Pas de Calais has pretty much the same weather as across the channel in southern England – no sunny Med climate.

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 2:11 pm

      I know!! I am not sure. It is certainly the least formal of the three I chose, and very popular if
      you have a group to go with I hear but would like to try either. Duck confit would be my choice too.

      Thanks Maria, always love hearing from you, Diana

      • Lagatta de Montréal on September 13, 2020 at 6:11 pm

        I’ll have to write down the recipe – it was just something I devised from what is now available at the market. I have to find recipes I’ll eat – I’m not far from “anorexic” these days, which is most atypical for me. I love cooking for friends – almost impossible these days. I’m glad to have lost weight as I’d carried some extra since menopause, but obviously not eating for a day is most unhealthy (vertige, light-headedness). The main components are homemade poultry stock (mostly from bones), an orange squash (ideally a potimarron/red Kuri if you have them where you live, cooked in the stock then purééd) and at least one celeriac, also cooked in the stock but in my case cut into fine juliennes. I no longer have a julienne cutter – if you do, cut them first and let them get more tender (but not mushy) in the stock. Use the herbs still in your garden or certain good ones available in stores – Krinos Greek oregano and some Lebanese sage sold in the Loblaws chains. And of course a dash of olive oil. I’m out of parsley but will add some tomorrow. I also really like a dash of mild jalapeno Tabasco sauce, which isn’t really hot at all, just very flavourful.

        • Diana Bishop on September 14, 2020 at 2:48 pm

          I can’t believe it! Thank you Maria. I love this. And will try it next weekend when I have some time. Weekends are the only time I can spend on cooking and I look so forward to it every week.
          It is starting to feel like soup weather already too!
          Thank you so very much, Diana

      • Lagatta de Montréal on September 13, 2020 at 6:31 pm

        https://fr.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bouillon_(restaurant) Yes, a bouillon was an informal restaurant where working people ate, perhaps the ancestor of the workplace cafeteria and “fast food” places, but far more formal than either. It was a step up from the soupes populaires that fed very poor people, which were usually charitable.

  4. Margaret Ann Gendreau on September 13, 2020 at 11:43 am

    Waking up to such wonderful food on a Sunday morning! What could be finer? Well, being there I suppose but otherwise you sharing these beautiful restaurants will keep us dreaming of the day we’ll be back to enjoying the city of light in person.

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 2:08 pm

      Yes indeed, that day is closer than it was 4 months ago! Thanks for the comment Margaret Ann!

  5. Maggie Sutrov on September 13, 2020 at 12:19 pm

    Gare de Lyon is on my list!

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 2:07 pm

      Let’s go together!

  6. Trudy Van Buskirk on September 13, 2020 at 3:04 pm

    My mouth IS watering!!!! Thanks for the photos AND the menus, Diana.

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 3:19 pm

      Trudy — I know. It made me so hungry when I wrote it. I have you on my list of people to call. I am away all this week but I will try as soon as I can.
      Thanks for the comment. Diana

  7. Lagatta de Montréal on September 13, 2020 at 3:15 pm

    By the way, I made some poultry stock and am making a bouillon or kind of soupe with a potimarron (a deep red-orange squash, popular in France – bought at Marché Jean-Talon, of course, as well as some céleri-rave). The latter is slightly bitter, like stem celery, and will go well with the slightly sweet squash. Obviously herbs and onion/garlic will be added as well. It is raining hard today in the last week of summer.

    Not going to open Bouillon Lagatta though. Restaurants and cafés here are facing serious problems (after the lockdown, still few people in offices) and many will not survive.

    • Diana Bishop on September 13, 2020 at 3:22 pm

      I would love to have that recipe. If you are ever able to send it to me, I would like that. No pressure though.
      I am thinking of asking my readers for their best French recipe.
      I would go to Bouillon Lagatta for sure… but understand. It is no time to start a restaurant.
      Cheers, Diana

  8. Lagatta de Montréal on September 13, 2020 at 6:44 pm

    I have restauranteur friends extremely close by. One of them with decades of experience is suffering right now. Stefano Faita’s pizza place seems to be above ground, but that is both takeaway and the fact that he has frozen products and pasta sauces for sale in a grocery chain here.

    Moreover, I’m a recent pensioner. Of course I continue to work, but as a translator, copy editor etc. Not carrying around heavy pots.

  9. Heli Vogrin on September 13, 2020 at 7:05 pm

    Can’t wait to go back to Paris to try all 3 of those restaurants!
    Nice to have you back blogging😃

    • Diana Bishop on September 14, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      Thank you Heli! I appreciate the comment as always. Diana

  10. Kirsten Defays on September 14, 2020 at 6:56 am

    I truly enjoyed reading your blog and was surprised by the affordable prices. I look forward to your future blogs.

    • Diana Bishop on September 14, 2020 at 2:45 pm

      I know eh? Food is still pretty reasonable in Paris and France. There are of course the super expensive places but my experience is that the local bistro is still the best place for a wonderful meal.
      Thank you so much for the comment Kirsten. I love hearing from you!
      Diana

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