Our good friends Ron and Rena just came back from Paris with two good reasonable restaurants to recommend to everyone. Here are the reviews:
This restaurant is not for everyone. However, if you want to taste a working class bistro that has not been updated or remodeled since 1959, and wasn’t extravagant when it was built, don’t miss Le Sevres. The owners take their restaurant’s theme from the coast of Brittany but when I say working class I mean it. The 10 AM crowd is finishing up its aperitifs, beer and rose by 11:30 just as the lunch crowd begins to trickle in. There is nothing upscale about this place, it is utilitarian, and if I didn’t say it already, working class. Many of the guys having lunch never even bothered to take off their hard hats and it amazes me how they go back to construction jobs and heavy equipment after washing down a big lunch with wine and beer. As for the interior, the space has not been updated for 30 years or more and it is a relic of a bygone era. To find something like this in Paris today is like walking into a museum of Parisian culture, but it lives and adapts to the times. The 40ish owner whose long black wavy hair, toothy grin, and half shaven appearance takes nothing away from his sweetness. His wife is already at work behind the bar when he makes his grand entrance at 11 and greets all the old men in the bar with a combination of handshakes and kisses, and then apologizes to the stranger me, for not coming over right away to greet us. Now for the food. Don’t even ask, this patently down market place has fresh oysters on the menu and I saw a variety of dishes coming out of the kitchen that made this lifelong vegetarian crave the meat and chicken that was being served. I opted for fresh salmon quiche and salad drenched in the most amazing dressing I have ever eaten, and a side of baked, broiled, and fried potatoes with rosemary that were other worldly. They were unsalted and there was no temptation to put any. The quiche was nothing short of amazing with a crust like the grandmother of my dreams would have made. We had 25ml of the house wine, about 2 ½ glasses which brought the tab to 14 euros.
The restaurant is on a narrow heavily trafficked street opposite the children’s hospital. If you want an utterly delicious home cooked meal at prices which by Paris standards are laughable, and can embrace this journey back to the world of the Parisian working class emigrants who migrated years ago from Brittany and Normandy, don’ miss this. My sense is that any day now this building will be torn down by high rise developers and these gracious graceful restaurateurs will enjoy an early and rich retirement on the North Sea. Le Sevres, 96 rue de sevres, Paris 01 47 34 09 56 about a 20 minute walk from the Yellow Flat. Here is Rena at the restaurant.
Who says you can’t get a great meal in Paris for under 15 euros? Try lunch at General Beuret. This place has a simple interior, painted walls, wooden table tops, and if you peek in the back, a really serious kitchen. We had mussels, French fries, and a small pitcher of house wine (2 ½ glasses). The food was uncomplicated but the mussels were the freshest I’ve ever eaten in a delightful light sauce seasoned with fresh coriander. The pommes frites were hot and fresh, and the wine was an exceptional Syrah from Medoc. (Obviously that wasn’t on the pitcher but it was so good we asked). This is a local restaurant which is packed at lunch time. The staff is busy but extremely friendly and attentive. Total tab, 14 euros. 9 Place du General Beuret, Paris. 01 42 50 28 62 Hours 8AM to 2PM.