In Paris, Long Leisurely Lunches Are Sublime. We Enjoy the Artistry of David Toutain.


Cod with foraged greens and morels

Why do I believe that lunch is the best way to enjoy a gourmet, i.e. michelin starred, meal in Paris?   Consider this.

  • It is easier to get a reservation.
  • You are awake.
  • For those of us that don’t eat as much the courses tend to be smaller.
  • It is a steal.  That’s right, compared to dinner, a steal.

On each trip to France we try to eat at least one outstanding meal and this one featured a visit to David Toutain.  His one star Michelin restaurant, opened in 2014, is located at the border of the 7th and 6th districts.  The chef, who trained under Allain Passard and worked at great restaurants such as L’Arpege, brings the food of his youth, spent in the lush farms of Normandy to your table.  And for our palates this means something that we are now used to but can be lacking in Paris: an ingredient driven tasting menu. The ingredients, fresh and often foraged, are the stars of his show.  Throw in some minimalist sensibility, a fine sense of design and a coastal emphasis and you have a winner.

On arrival around 12:00 we were seated upstairs.  Florence immediately caught the slight, we were steered away from the every day local lunch crowd. Put the tourists out of sight.  I didn’t care, in fact to me it felt like a private dining experience for the two of us tucked away from the noise in the library.



I am not going to give a detailed review of every plate that we enjoyed. I will let the pictures talk and note that the meal was incredibly balanced, thoughtfully plated, beautifully designed and innovative.  Service was professional if a bit stiff.

Afterwards think about this meal and what you would pay for it including a 1/2 bottle of Saumur red for me and two glasses of Sancerre for Flo.

The menu at lunch offers three tasting options, we chose the least expensive (55 euro) and the middle one (80 euro) and they took it from there.  What followed was a show of flavor, texture and color.

Amuse?  Beet carpaccio


The most amazing brioche nest.


The menu started.

Black sesame soup with seaweed roll and juniper.


Cod without the morels for Flo (don’t worry we shared them).  Even the darn foam was delicious.




And a savory egg custard in shell.



Lamb two ways.


Haddock.  Two kinds of carrots.  Eggplant.


Even the crackers impressed.


Desserts.  Many.

Coconut mousse.


Mixed fruits and ice cream over vanilla cream.


Espressos were needed.


But they were not done with us. Look carefully at the bowl, those are tea smoke infused macarons. You see them, the light grey circles.


Two and a half hours later we walked into the 7th and back to the Yellow Flat via Rue Saint Dominque laughing.  The sun was shining and the Eiffel Tower gleamed.   Paris was perfect.

Oh yes, the cost for two including the morel supplement was $216.  That is with tax and tip.

Worth every centime.


Reservations were relatively easy by email, staff was very responsive.

Address 29 rue Surcouf, 75007 Paris

Phone +33145501110



Cakes, Desserts And Lots More. Paris Bakeries Part 3: Enjoying The Patisserie.

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The Patissier

Exploring and Enjoying Parisian Bakeries Part 3.

Sweets, Desserts and Much Much More.

There is truly no way to do justice to the depth and variety of delectable goodies available at a good Parisian Patisserie in one article.  You will find an often overwhelming selection of tarts, chocolates, pastries, cookies and macarons (which seem to be everywhere these days).  Some will be familiar to you, others will be new and they are worth seeking out.   Think variety and you will not be disappointed.


Classic Bakery Counter

Tarte Aux Fruit or Fruit tarts are commonly found in both individual and large. The quality is very reliable even in less than great bakeries. Choices include mure (blackberry), citron (lemon), fraise (strawberry), framboise (raspberry) and poire (pear).  Many tarts will mix fruits for design and color.  Fillings range from simple glazes to rich creams.  The best ones run simple like this:


Perfect glaze and crispiness

Eclairs. I confidently wager that Paris has the best eclairs on earth with a variety of fillings including chocolate, coffee and vanilla creams.  Take a moment to read my review of Patiserrie Stohrer and then consider going there.  It was that good, the bakery is a throwback to Paris in the 1700’s and Rue Montorgeuil and the area around it are worth the trip.


Yes, since 1730.

Macarons.   These small almond based cookies or cakes with creme fillings have conquered Paris and apparently the world.  But honestly, is it worth waiting hours in line for one at La Duree? Better to pick some up at their stand at CDG airport on the way home and wow your friends. Macarons come in a cacophony of flavors and colors and are not in any way to be confused with coconut Macaroons.







Creampuffs are called Choux. The name means “little cabbage”.  If you can find them, try a Chouquette: small puff pastries without filling covered in sugar. Sort of a French donut hole.


Les Chouquettes

Opera.   An intense rectangular chocolate mousse cake covered in dark chocolate and often decorated lushly even featuring gold flake on occasion.

Canele.  This Bordeaux specialty has a distinctive caramel burnt sugar flavor and unique shape.  They are dense almost chewy perfect along side a shot of espresso.


Canele, pride of Bordeaux.

Chocolates.  Many bakeries will feature a display of chocolates to add to the party.

Bakery Chocolates

Bakery Chocolates

Recommendations in the neighborhood:

There are two pastry shops worth seeking out close to the Yellow Flat.  First is La Patisserie De Reves located across the Champ De Mars on Rue De Bac.  A visually engaging combination of classics and innovation that is really quite spectacular.  About 20 mins walk. 93 rue du Bac, 7th, +33 1 42 84 00 82. Métro: Rue du Bac.

The second is Desgateauxetdupain, an easier walk and again a lighter and innovative take on traditional cakes.  63 boulevard Pasteur, 15th, +33 1 45 38 94 16, Métro: Pasteur. Open Mon, Wed-Sun 8am-8pm

Though not in the neighborhood, Bontemps Patisserie, a young and dynamic new bakery in the Marais is turning out heavenly cookies called sable’, a cross between shortbread and sugar cookies with a crumbly nutty texture. Small drops of intense flavor made with a fine delicate hand.

Patisserie with amazing cookies in the Marais

Patisserie with amazing cookies in the Marais

bonempspatisserie  57 rue de Bretagne in the Marais+33 1 42 74 10 68  Metro Arts et Metiers.

For a completely different experience try these two patisseries, unusual in terms of both flavors and experiences with very different lineage.

While you many not think of Algeria as home to baked goods, consider visiting La Bague De Kenza. Think dates, almonds, baklava, rosewater and honey.  Order an assortment. 233 rue de la Convention, 15th, +33 1 42 50 02 97. Métro: Convention.

Sadaharu Aoki As obvious by the name, this Japanese owned patisserie turns out exquisite chocolates that must be seen to be appreciated.  Located at the border of the 6th, 7th and 15th districts. 35 rue de Vaugirard 75006   +33 01 45 44 48 90

exquisite candy

To learn more about how to enjoy Paris bakeries go to the first two blogs in this series.  You can read more about how to find the best Breads and get an overview of how to choose a great bakery here.

As always enjoy!


Is Paris A Deal For US Visitors This Year? It Certainly Was At Le Pario Paris 15.


You may have heard that the dollar has gained strength against the Euro. It certainly has, moving from a high of 1.30 last winter to a range of between 1.06 and 1.10. That is a lot of extra buying power for US visitors.

So, is Paris a deal for US travelers?   My answer is yes, but keep in mind that Paris will always be an expensive city on a par with others like New York. But when the subject eating out comes up, Paris is a deal worth traveling for.

On the first day of a recent visit to Paris, I had the pleasure of putting this math to the test and dining at Le Pario, located about 10 minutes walk from the Yellow Flat. It’s a chic small bistro run by Edward Jacinto, a Brazilian chef who previously cooked for Christian Constant who in turn has several successful and delicious restaurants on Rue St Dominique that were previously enjoyed and reviewed.


Jet lag notwithstanding I was excited to get out and enjoy a good lunch, having suffered (well not really too badly) through years of the 1.35 and up euro.

Le Pario is located at 54 Avenue Emile Zola in the 15th. The setting in this local favorite was warm and not just in temperature. Lunch was full of locals, mostly businesspeople who unlike many of us in the US, they were enjoying a real meal and a glass or two of wine. Why we have stopped enjoying ourselves at lunch I do not know.


After being seated and finding that the prix fixe menu (limited in choice) was not to my liking (it was priced at 18 euro and 23 euro including dessert) I went back to the menu for lunch.


Before the meal a small amuse of gougieres, traditional cheese puffs arrived, warm and tasty. I ordered a glass of rose and a bottle of mineral water, just having landed and not being able to stomach the always a bit nasty Parisian tap water (eau plat) just yet. The rose was as it should be, dry and not cloying.

My appetizer was crab with an avocado mousse. The crab was pressed carefully into a block with served with finely cut leeks celery and potatoes, all showing the fine hand of the kitchen with the avocado mousse painted along side and dusting of Piment d’Espelette for emphasis.


Main course was a confit of cannette, (female duck). It consisted of a delicately braised duck thigh in a classic orange sauce covered with toasted hazelnuts served over a large ravioli stuffed with more the duck confit and a big bowl of what I thought were mashed potatoes but turned out to be a coarse apple sauce contrasting sweet salt sweet salt. The duck melted when touched.


Having a good bottle of mineral water to myself was a pleasure and a necessity for the jet lag I was now feeling with the help of the rose. The meal closed with an espresso accompanied by several mini pastries filled with caramel, a sort of dessert amuse.

Was this a deal? Do the math and decide.

Start with the dollar at 1.07 to the Euro and yes that is a nice place to start. From there compare your meal to US realities to get a true sense of what it costs. On a meal in the US of good quality and service, it is common to tip 20% and tax is around 10%. And here is the key; in France tip and tax are included. That means you have to deduct another 30% and that is before some of the other add-on charges that have started appearing as of late.

Keeping it simple, a 100-euro meal cost 107 dollars at today’s exchange rate.
Deduct 30% for tip and tax and the result, in true cost, that is that a 100-euro meal costs you 75 dollars.

For my lunch the cost 41.50 Euros. Now with a good exchange and our 30 % discount lunch came to 31 dollars. I would say that is a deal with confidence.  And if I had gone with the prix fixe it would have cost $19.50 including the rose.

As lunch came to an end, I sat watching an elegant grandmother feed her impeccably dressed and behaved granddaughter profiteroles in chocolate sauce as she laughed. I looked out at the Paris traffic and the end of the daily lunch scene. There was no doubt about where I was and just how good it felt.

Le Pario

54 Avenue Emile Zola, 75015 Paris, France

Phone:+33 1 45 77 28 82


To reach Le Pario from the Yellow Flat it is a 15 minutes walk.  The easiest way is to turn left out the door and walk to La Motte Picquet Grenelle metro.  Once there continue in the same direction on Rue De Commerce where you turn right on Aveneue Emile Zola, about the fourth street from the metro station.  It is about 10 to 15 minutes walk on Emile Zola, so be patient.

How To Enjoy (And Then Book) The Meal You Want In Paris.

DSC_0026The word enjoy keeps coming up again and again in my writing about travel and Paris.  Enjoyment. Pleasure. Adventure.  That is what we seek when we travel. And far too often we create expectations that can’t be met or we don’t do the simple things needed to make sure our trip is maximum good and minimum bad.

Eating, and in particular eating out, in Paris is a prime example of this yin and yang of joy and pain in travel and for that matter life.  Get it right and the moments become magic for you and those who share them.  Get it wrong and you pay top dollar or euro to be disappointed and wind up yelling at your kids.  Or wife.  Or just pissed at the world.  Not good.

For many of us travel to Paris means food, at least after the sightseeing is done.  Paris despite some articles to the contrary has a dynamic healthy restaurant scene  It offers a broad variety of places to eat ranging from tourist traps to Michelin starred palaces of gastronomy to trendy hangouts. This post will guide you through what we have learned over the years of eating in the City of Light with some simple rules to follow to help you have a good time.  It’s an overview so take it at that.


Before you do anything else, do your research.  We are lucky to live in an era of abundant food blogs and information. At the same time, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by the number of writer on the subject, so here are a few research tools for you to follow:

IMG_2096When you do the work think about your budget.  Stay comfortable with whatever choices you make.

Try not to travel to far from where you are staying, especially if your trip is less than a week. Keep it local.

Go out to lunch instead of dinner.  You will save up to 50% of the bill most of the time.

Look for the prix fixe menu.  This set menu will reduce your bill significantly as opposed to ordering a la carte.  Many restaurants offer a variety of prix fixe menus, appetizer and main, main and dessert or appetizer main and dessert and several choices from each category.


Once you have narrowed your search start reading.  Our favorite food websites include:

NY Times Paris.

Lots of comments on what is going on the food scene.

Time Out.  A detailed and accurate guide to Paris eating.

You can use Fodor’s, Trip Advisor or even Yelp once you have narrowed your choices, I don’t find the sites easy to work with when searching or innovative.



I enjoy these blogs a lot:

Ask your friends where they eat, it seems obvious but they may know someone who has a tip.

And of course, enjoy our own Yellow Flat guides to the 7th and 15th.

The Roses.

A couple of other things to note:

Many restaurants close on Sundays.

Tipping in Paris is not expected as service is included in the bill.  If the service is good you can ’round up’ your check making sure to leave a few extra euros to show you were happy.

Many restaurants have an English menu or someone who can help you.  Remember, they want to sell to you.

Tap water is safe but doesn’t taste very good.


Now you have found some top choices.  The next rule is to make a reservation.  It is worth the effort, Parisian restaurants are crowded and you don’t want to spend vacation time waiting in line.

There is an online system that allows you to search and find the restaurants website.  If you aren’t directed to it automatically, most will have an English translation, look of the letter EN or a UK flag.  From there you will find the reservation policy.

And most importantly, there is an excellent on-line reservation site is known as the Fork.  You can find it at  It works. Use it.It also has lots of guides as well  to every area and type of food.

If that does not work then call the restaurant.  That’s right.  Even if your French is scary bad if the restaurant is well know someone will speak English.  If not, find a friend (or travel agent) who speaks French and have them help.


There is not enough time and too many choices so enjoy every meal, even if it isn’t what you dreamed it would be.  And if you aren’t comfortable where you are, do what my French father in law would do.  Walk out and find another place to eat.   Then again he had five children and his wife with him but that is another story.

As always we invite you to share your comments with the Yellow Flat community!



La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix Paris. Loud, Basque and Rocking The House.

IMG_2129For so many years I have longed for easier happier (and reasonably priced) dining in Paris.  Places where you could unwind while you ate and have, yes, FUN.  I am happy to say that a class of informal eateries is emerging in Paris and I enjoyed several on my recent trip.

The first is La Cantine Du Troquet Dupleix, chef Christian Ethcebest’s latest addition to his changing group of restaurants.  It is a casual room where the idea is to stay loose and eat his hearty basque influenced recipes in an informal atmosphere.  For visitors to the Yellow Flat apartment, this is a great addition to eating in the neighborhood, only 5 minutes walk.

Sizes of the portions vary, we started with an enormous charcuterie platter big enough to feed 4. Yet the cheese plate that I finished with in lieu of dessert was miniscule for 9 euro although the jam along side it was great.


Along with the charcuterie we had a plate of crevettes on the plancha.  My eating mate Ron, a native of New Orleans and serious shrimp aficionado pronounced them brilliant.  They were exceptionally well spiced, reminding us of that famous gulf dish bbq shrimp, but without all of that butter.

les crevettes

Next up were the mains.  I ordered a wonderful Turbot (a european flatfish, part of the flounder family) in a rocking flavor forward spicy fresh tomato sauce with a lot of peppery olive oil that I sopped up after the fish was gone.  Best of they served it piping hot (a pet peeve of mine) skin on and cooked perfectly, the skin flaked off of the white firm meat with ease.


After checking with the waitress Ron ordered the scallops in a potato puree but without sauce.  Vegetarian alert here, always check the sauce in France when ordering fish, they can often use a meat stock.  I think they would have benefited from the sauce but were still good.


Dessert were so tasty my dinner partners would not share them with me while I enjoyed the cheese plate.  The simple homey gateaux basque was as always a favorite.    They served it with a fruit compote that is not pictured.


And the chocolate tart did not make it to my side of the table either.  Thanks Paolo.


I am a habitual sucker for a good deal and this time it did not workout well.   The restaurant serves full liters of red and white for around 20 euro  We had a Brouilly and then a Champingy and neither impressed.  I would go for a bottle next time and spend the money.  The flavors were dull.

While he has other establishments to oversee, the chef was there that night. He was a constant bundle of energy, overseeing the kitchen one moment and wiping down a table the next as only the owner would do.

Service was friendly, efficient and not overbearing.

Get there early, they do not take reservations and you can walk in before 8 and be seated.

By 9 pm the joint was jumping.  The place was loud.  People were having, yes, fun.

Total dinner for 3 with 2 liters of wine and several shots of calvados, 153 euro.  While not cheap certainly reasonable.


Le Cantine Du Troquet Dupleix

53 bd De Grenelle Paris 75015.  01 45 75 98 00

To reach the restaurant from the Yellow Flat, turn right on Rue Alassuer.  At the bakery on the corner turn left, you will walk past Park Dupleix and quickly reach Bd. De Grenelle where the metro runs.  Turn right and keep walking until you reach the corner where no. 53 is.  Remember, no reservations.

Walking Paris. The Rue St. Dominique 7eme. Urban. Sophisticated. Yummy.


Editors note:  You are viewing the original version of this post.  I recently updated it and you should read them together for the latest additions to this walk.  Here is a link to the update:

Walking Paris remains the best way to see it. At least in bite size pieces This walk focuses on one of coolest streets in Paris, the Rue St. Dominique. The walk will take about 45 minutes not counting stops for food, coffee or beer.  It will be tough not to so leave extra time.  You can combine it with a visit to the pedestrian friendly shopping street Rue Cler for a wonderful afternoon in the 7th.

The 7th district has some of the most expensive real estate in Paris and when you do this walk you will understand why.  Home to so many upscale restaurants, beautiful residential buildings, museums and parks, it is one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Paris to live in and to walk in.The walk starts from the Eiffel Tower.  Facing toward Ecole Militaire looking out at the Champ De Mars park start walking away from the Seine river.  Make your second left turn and head out from the park.  You are walking on Avenue Joseph Bouvard.  You will take to Avenue de la Bourdonnais and cross it to the start of Rue De Dominique.

You will see a beautiful corner cafe called Le Dome directly in front of you.  It calls you like a siren to sit and have a coffee and maybe an early snack.  Resist the urge. It is a tourist trap.

As you begin the walk you will notice something immediately, the street is full of food.  Bakeries, coffee shops, wine stores, all laid out beautifully in polished storefronts.  It is a feast for the eyes.

Starting out on your right is the empire of the well-known chef Christian Constant.   He has three restaurants on one block on the right side of the street, ranging from informal (Cafe Constant and Les Cocottes) to the more formal Les Violin.  All get very good reviews and Les Cocottes is loads of fun, an informal hip dining room focused on dishes served in small cast iron pots called Cocottes.  As I have reviewed most of the restaurants in the 7th (click here for the reviews) I won’t go into too much detail about them.

Next up is the very traditional Les Fontaine De Mars and the fountain itself which it is named for.  While Michelle Obama may have eaten there the food is not what it was.  It still looks great.

Take a moment and explore the side street at Rue De L’exposition where the exceptional bistro La Billebaude is found.  And this is a note to carry on, don’t hesitate to branch off for a block towards Rue De L’Universite or Rue De Grenelle and then return.  The side streets that radiate from RSD are just as interesting.

Feeling hungry?  Fantastic bakeries await you, Le Moulin De La Vierge at 64 (you will want to look at the stunning woodwork but remember this is a bakery and they are Parisians moving product)

And Patisserie Jean Maillot at 103.

What a pain au chocolat.

If that isn’t enough dough there is La Boulagerie at 85.

After this burst of activity continue on past Avenue Bosquet.  At the corner on your left is the American University of Paris.  Net up on your right is the aforementioned Rue Cler.  Worth a visit if you have time, just turn right.  If you are feeling thirsty then be sure to stop at Le Rouissilon on the corner of Rue De Grenelle for a local feel.

Return to RSD and continue on, stop and visit the Church of Saint Pierre De Gros Cailou.

I haven’t written enough about the stores believe me there are plenty.  From shoes, to designer clothes to pharmacies. Always more pharmacies in France.  And some of them sell unusual things like mirrors.

Soon you will reach Rue Malar with the so classic Cafe Malar on the corner and just up the block the infamous basque restaurant L’Ami Jean.

Here the side streets are elegant, full of small stores and unusual shops, take the time to walk up to Rue De L’Universitie and then back down to RSD.  This is a shoe repair store and like many in Paris they have a style that exists nowhere else.

If you look carefully there is a small passage running from Rue L’Universite to RSD called Passage Commun.  It has a working wood mill and a feeling of how this neighborhood was a long time ago.

And if you are in need of caffeine, there is the new Le Seven’s coffee at 58.  Next up is the Rue Sucrouf with, yes, another great group of places to eat.  It is overwhelming here, choose from La Poule Au Pot at the corner of Rue De L’Universite or two other quality bistros, La Petite Bordelaise and Au Petit Tonneau in the middle of the block.

All good things do end and you are heading to the end of your walk at Boulevard De La Tour Maubourg.  At 18 (on the corner of Rue L’Universite) you will find a branch of the famous caviar house Petrossian should you be feeling the need for luxury.

Look back up the block.  You should see the Eiffel Tower in the distance.  In this neighborhood it is always there.

What to do now? You can continue on straight to Les Invalides or a visit to the Musee D’Orsay.  Or turn around and reverse your trip.  You can head back down Rue De L’Universite or Blvd. Grenelle towards Rue Cler. Any way you choose, this is a great neighborhood walk in this great city. And if you aren’t hungry by now….

Should you want to finish this excursion by metro,  continue to Les Invalides, turn left and you will find the metro station Invalides at the bank of the Seine at the Quai D’Orsay.

Here is a link to map

And here is a list of the stores and restaurants reviewed, all located on RSD unless otherwise mentioned.


Moulin de la Vierge 64

Jean Millet 103


Le Cocottes Christian Constant  135

Cafe Christian Constant  139

Les Violin D’Ingres  135

Le Fointaine De Mars  129

La Billebaud 29 Rue Exposition

L’Ami Jean 27 Rue Malar

Le Poule Au Pot 121 Rue Universite

Le Petit Bordelais  22 Rue Surcouf

Au Petit Tonneau 20 Rue Surcouf

Petrossian.  18 Blvd. de la Tour Maubourg


Le Rousillion 186 Rue Grenelle

The Best French Bistros (and Restaurants) in the 7th District of Paris.

When visiting Paris, it is hard to find a better district to eat in than the 7th, that prosperous, gentrified and beautiful district that houses the Eiffel Tower and runs along the left bank to Blvd. St. Germaine. The 7th is home to 1,000’s of restaurants, it would take months just to eat your way through this district (and what glorious months those would be).

Now I have been writing about the paradox of French foods a lot in the past few weeks.  I have complained, rightfully, about the poor quality of food in parts in Provence that are overrun by tourists and urged visitors to Paris to stay at home  and use their kitchens for a meal or two so as to take advantage of the wonderful ingredients that Paris has to offer. But hold the phone.  Let’s not get carried away.  Nothing and I mean nothing beats the pleasure of a great meal out in Paris.

Eating out in Paris has changed and for the better.  It is in the past five years or so that cooking in Paris evolved as a new wave of chefs and creativity emerged with a style more in harmony with the demands of consumers and their shrinking budgets.  Not everyone can do the Michelin thing.

This transition has taken place in districts like the 7th and 15th which border the Yellow Flat.  The number of bistros that serve reasonable well thought out food in the area is great, you eat well and reasonably.  Many are still quite traditional in their approach but present quality in value, That being said, here are the results of my efforts to date, listed alphabetically.

Au Bon Accueil 14 Rue Monttessuy.   01 47 05 46 11. 

Thinking about a romantic meal near the Eiffel Tower with that someone?  Maybe an anniversary dinner? Well, this is one place to consider.  Very elegant and cool, muted tones hushed atmosphere refined chef and a  great deal with a  prix fixe at 35 Euro. The meal feels like it should cost a lot more. but it can be daunting.  Don’t be shy and ask for an English version of the menu if they haven’t given it to you already.  Reservations mandatory, if it is nice out get a sidewalk table with a direct view of the Eiffel Tower.  Recent internet reviews have called the current chef into question, has anyone eaten there in the past 12 months?

Au Petit Sud Ouest.  46 Ave. De La Bourdonnais.  01 45 55 59 59.

This charming almost raucous but always inviting homage to duck and all things Sud Ouest was reviewed in detail here:  It’s Magret and Foie Gras heaven, take your statins and red rice yeast pills beforehand.  Again, reservations are mandatory in advance.

L’ami Jean. 27 Rue Malar.  01 47 05 86 89. 

Bring the appetite and hold on.  Just across the Champ de Mars and a good ten to fifteen minute walk which you will be thankful for on the way home.  Large portions of true to their heritage Basque food from the south of France.  Very loud room and lots of fun but be forewarned, a French speaker will likely be needed to talk full advantage this evening.  Don’t be afraid, order things you have never eaten before.

La Billebaude. 29 rue L’Exposition.  1 45 55 20 96.

Our meal at La Billebaude this summer was sweet and wonderful.   This ‘bistro gourmand’ has a diverse and creative menu, often emphasizing wild game owing to the Chef’s hommage to the hunt (just look around at the art) although our meals were primarily fish.  Heading into August, the restaurant, almost empty put on a solid meal.

We ate well, a large plate of smoked salmon and foie gras (look at that slab) for appetizers.  Mains, were strong and dessert, some of the best profiterols ever.  Ever.  2 glasses of white wine, a bottle of a superb Sancerre Rouge Pinot), coffees all for 160 dollars for 3 of us.  Great value.

The Bistro de Breteuil.  3 Place Breteuil.  1 45 66 98 88

This once beautiful room has probably, well definitely, passed its prime and just is not a gourmet food destination.  It is a throwback, a place to relax and enjoy classic French dishes prepared in a fairly competent way and not to push the envelope.  So why go? To have fun! The atmosphere is classic, crushed red velvet and oversized paintings abound.  The prices are more than reasonable and when you let go of any gourmet snobbism you can have a great time. You are well advised to follow their formula approach, the key to this establishment.  For 36 euro you get the appetizer, main, dessert and a bottle of wine for every two people.  Come looking for gourmet, just roll with old school menu and relax. All in all go to have a good time if you are in the neighborhood but don’t expect a refined approach.  Not sure I would seek it out as a destination though.

Chez  Les Anges.  54 Blvd. La Tour Maubourg.  1 47 05 89 86. We have enjoyed eating at Au Bon Acqueil and lwere pleased that the same couple renewed a brasserie near Les Invalides on Blvd. Tour Marbourg and breathed life into this institution.  The room is decorated impeccably in modern cool and somewhat Zen tones and for once you can hear the people at your table easily even with a crowd.  As with most of the meals reviewed, the prix fixe menu of 36 euro allows you to afford an elegant meal at reasonable prices.  Be forewarned, you can spend here if you go off into the carte.

Les Cocottes Des Christian Constant.  135 Rue St. Dominique

Christian Constant has restaurants on this block of Rue St. Dominique.  This is the fun one, a casual almost dare I say Californian atmosphere centered around food served in ‘Cocottes”.  Cocottes are a symbol of French comfort food, small cast iron pots that retain heat and flavor.  They vary greatly, from pigs feet to lamb shoulders, all cooked until they fall apart except for the veal that I had.  I forgot that the French can serve meat very very very raw.  Had to send it back, but they accommodated me.  The room has a diner vibe, very modern with a long bar. Service is efficient but indifferent.  Prices are fair and the place is rocking. Perfect place to bring your kids or your inner kid.

Le Florimond.  19 Avenue De La Motte Piquet.  01 45 55 40 38.

Isn’t great to feel comfortable when you go out to eat?  Well taken care of by the host, the waiter and the kitchen. When I think of Le Florimond I see several images.  The host, so charming, the food, good and again very reasonably priced (a 35 euro prix fixe of appetizer, main and dessert) and the room.  So warm and inviting.  And finally the Chou Farcie, the stuffed cabbage. It is the recipe of the chef’s grandmother and worth the trip alone.   Reservations recommended.

La Fontaine De Mars.  129 Rue St. Dominique.  01 47 05 46 44.

The Rue St. Dominique is one of the cutest in the 7th on this great street full of small gourmet stores and restaurants.  Le Fontaine de Mars is a classic French bistro that will take you back a hundred years, ask Michelle Obama.  Expensive and most recent reviews denote a downward trend in quality that continues.  Give this one a pass, there is much better out there.

To reach the heart of the 7th from the Yellow Flat, go to La Motte Piquet and turn left.   Head across the Champ De Mars and get ready to enjoy your lunch or dinner. And best of all, there is that long walk home afterwards, take a moment and watch that Eiffel Tower sparkle.

Want to add to this list?  Comment and I will check out your suggestions, or write a review yourself.  I would love to see it.