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The Quintessential Bistro

November 27, 2014
Le Bistrot Paul Bert

Almost every other week we bring you the newest taste-bud-tantalising additions to the French capital’s gourmand scene (have you tried Le Bon Georges or Yard yet?), but, as any Paris-born foodie can attest, it’s the tried and tested bistros that truly give the City of Light its warm and ambient glow. Le Bistrot Paul Bert, a friendly, old-fashioned dining room in the 11th furnished with mercury mirrors and well-worn leather benches is one such neighbourhood staple, having been serving up charming looks and faultless comfort fare for nigh on 15 years, and slowly securing icon status in the process.

As owner Bertrand Auboyneau will tell you, there’s only one place to start on the well-priced formule menu: the coddle eggs are a food critic’s fantasy – perfectly cooked with heavy cream, morel mushrooms and foie gras sauce. Follow up with the superb steak frites, another fixture on the otherwise seasonal blackboard list that often features nose-to-tail offerings like veal sweetbreads with sherry sauce, truffle-topped asparagus, or pan-fried octopus with lemon confit, all perfectly paired with natural drops from the 30-strong carte des vins selection. Regulars favour the raw-milk cheese platter over dessert, but sweet-tooths should save room for the lusciously light île flottante (reputably one of the city’s best) or the flaky puff pastry tart filled with hazelnut créme. Magnifique!

18 rue Paul Bert / 11th / +33 1 43 72 24 01 / lunch & dinner Tue-Sat