Dish: Boeuf Bourguignon
Where to find it: Pierrot
A cosy, understated haunt popular with foodies for its authentic ‘goût du terroir’ (or, traditional home cooking), Pierrot sources its meat from the pastoral-pretty Aubrac region in Massif Centrale. It’s no wonder then, that its kitchen ladles up a wickedly succulent boeuf bourguignon with a fat quenelle of buttery mashed potato. This simple, chic bistro is also renowned for its housemade foie gras de canard.
Where to find it: Au Bistro
No bigger than a postage stamp, traditional old-timer Au Bistro hands out bibs to keep your vintage YSL spillage-free while you savour every last morsel of grandmère's cooking, elbow-to-elbow with bankers and shopkeepers on their lunch break. The snails here, soused in hot, herb- and garlic-infused butter, are not for everyone, but don’t knock ‘em till you’ve tried ‘em.
Dish: Tarte Tatin
Where to find it: Bistrot Paul Bert
Pack your Spanx and a hearty appetite for the mega portions and to-die-for desserts at local foodie and oenophile go-to Bistrot Paul Bert. A quintessential Parisian eatery replete with mirrored walls, crisp linens and Bentwood chairs, it pulls off all manner of bistro classics with aplomb – from steak-frites to terrine de campagne – but our hands-down favourite is the sticky, plump wedge of tarte tatin (upside-down apple tart) served with a dollop of crème fraîche.
There’s plenty of patina to distract the eye in antique-mirrored, oh-so charmant, neighbourhood staple Le Pantruche, but the chef's pride is in plating up familiar fare with just a whisper of foam. The fresh, creamy, homemade foie gras de canard confit, however, has not been meddled with in the slightest, and is modestly swaddled in the traditional layer of lemon-yellow fat.
Dish: Coq au Vin
Where to find it: A la Biche au Bois
Steeped in a dark, thick, luxuriant sauce, the chicken in A la Biche au Bois’ coq au vin has been slow-cooked for so long the meat simply falls off the bone. But that’s not the only reason to visit this relatively tourist-free enclave near the Gare de Lyon. Oeufs mayonnaise, boeuf bourguignon, in-season game, and the usual Gallic greats are all excellent, not to mention, reasonably priced.
Where to find it: Le Relais de l’Entrecôte
There's no menu at Le Relais de l’Entrecôte. Just tell the chef how you take your steak (pff! bleu, of course), before ploughing into a salad, two helpings of beef with a ‘secret’ green sauce and frites parfaites, plus a sinful selection of desserts. Arrive early or prepare to queue.
Au Bistro / 8 rue du Marché St-Honoré, 1st / +33 1 42 61 02 45 / 8am-11pm Mon-Fri, 8am-4pm Sat / aubistroparis.fr
Bistrot Paul Bert / 18 rue Paul Bert, 11th / +33 1 43 72 24 01 / lunch & dinner Tue-Sat
Le Pantruche / 3 rue Victor Massé, 9th / +33 1 48 78 55 60 / lunch & dinner Mon-Fri / facebook.com
A la Biche au Bois / 45 ave Ledru-Rollin, 12th / +33 1 43 43 34 38 / lunch Tue-Fri, dinner Mon-Sat / facebook.com
Le Relais de l’Entrecôte / 15 rue Marbeuf, 8th / +33 1 49 52 07 17 / lunch & dinner daily / + branches / relaisentrecote.fr