Michelin stars, white linens, polished silver and polished service are all part and parcel of the Paris experience, but if you don’t want the wait – or the acute wallet damage – the City of Lights also offers a wealth of fuss- and faff-free bistros that will find the way straight to your heart with solid fare and superb wines. Century-old, one-starred stalwart Benoit is one such perfect example of this...
Behind a classically Parisian facade of red awnings and dentelle-lined windows, is this gorgeous vision of antique mirrored walls, etched glass panels, brass fixtures and inviting red leather and velvet banquettes. Coming out on heavy porcelain plates are all the time-honoured dishes that define French cooking, from cold appetisers like Lucullus-style veal tongue with romaine and mustard, to pan-seared beef in a rich bordelaise sauce, and the regulars’ favourite: escargots stuffed with a garlicky, herb butter. Sommelier Olivier Gresselin is on hand to help pair your picks with the perfect Bordeaux, then finish with the sinful signature profiteroles, smothered in a rich hot chocolate sauce. Yes, it’s always a bonne nuit at Benoit.
20 rue Saint Martin, 4th / +33 1 58 00 22 15 / lunch & dinner daily / benoit-paris.com