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Monica Pileggi's Paris Restaurant List

by Monica Pileggi

Monica has traveled to Paris many times and enjoys having the opportunity to try so many great restaurants. She would return to any of these restaurants although her top favorites are: Bistrot de l'Oulette, Chez Janou, L'as du Fallafel, Chez Marianne, Les Ombres (for a splurge dinner), Vins et Terroirs, Le Petit Prince de Paris and Robert et Louise. The prices listed are what she paid for her meals. Exchange rate, ranged from €1.35 to €1.39 per dollar. Her friend Louisa often accompanied her on her travels.

By Arrondissement

2nd | 3rd | 4th | 5th | 6th | 7th | 18th

2nd Arrondissement

Bar-Restaurant des Varietes

Tel: 01 42 36 98 09
12, Passage des Panoramas

This place is located in one of the glass covered passages. Lots of shops and cafés. Paté Mason; Beef (very tender!) with potatoes and mushrooms. Glass of red wine (Cotes de Bourg Franc-La Fleur, Bordeaux). Total for one €14.

3rd Arrondissement

La Guirlande de Julie Restaurant

25, Place des Vosges
Tel: 01 48 87 94 07

Louisa and I started the evening with a glass of Kir (wine with a touch of black current liquor) and shared the entree (starter dish): Assiette de petits delices, which consisted of four small dishes: A tomato-type soup; hard-boiled egg topped with (something I can’t remember) and haricots verts (French green beans), a house terrine, and a salad with a red pepper stuffed with a crab puree. I had the Supreme de Canette rotie la cuisse en nem (duck), with a delicious spring roll stuffed with shredded duck, while Louisa had the Souris d agneau en couscous de legumes (lamb). I think this was one of the more expensive meals on this trip, as the portions were very small, although excellent in flavors and presentation. Total for one €33.

Robert et Louise

64, rue Vieille du Temple
Tel: 01 42 78 55 89

Come to this tiny restaurant if you want a good steak and make reservations, as the owner was turning away people after the restaurant filled up. This place seats about 26 and has for their stove a fireplace along the back wall. Out back they have a Turkish squat toilet. Louisa and I ordered the cote de boeuf for two for €40. It was well worth the price, as it was a huge cut of meat. Along with the steak we could order potatoes or a salad, so we got one of each to share. The steak was cooked perfectly rare, the only way to eat red meat in my opinion! With wine and an apple tart for dessert our meal each was €32.

Chez Janou

2, rue Roger Verlomme
Tel: 01 42 72 28 41
Make reservations!
Metro: Chemin Vert
Daily noon-3pm and 7:30pm-midnight

On our first visit I had Moules gratinees provencale (mussels); Risotto with scallops. Shared a bottle of white wine. Very good meal and we enjoyed sitting out on the terrace of this busy, noisy, smoky restaurant! Total for one €33.50.

On our second visit Louisa and I ordered the same dishes as our dinner back in 2007. The portions seemed to be larger. I had the risotto with four large plump scallops, and so did our companion, Elizabeth. Louisa had the pasta with escargot. We shared two appetizers: a mixed sautéed mushroom dish and baked mussels. The restaurant was 100% full at 8pm when we arrived. There is no smoking in the restaurants, so it was a treat sitting inside with the French. However, due to the non-smoking policy throughout France, many of the outdoor cafes are now filled with smokers. The place was very lively and such a typical French restaurant. Total for one €30/$40.50.

4th Arrondissement

Restaurant Chez Julien

1, rue du Point-Louis-Philippe
Tel: 01 42 78 31 64
Closed Sundays

I ordered the €25 menu. Fricassee mushrooms in a white wine sauce; baked salmon in a tomato Provencal sauce and vegetables; Nougat glas with a raspberry puree for dessert. Shared a small bottle of Sancerre red wine. Total for one €33. This was an expensive lunch but a nice start to my trip. We wanted to sit outside on the terrace (with a great view of the Saint Germain Church) but it was on the chilly side and the tables were not set up.

L’as du Fallafel

34, rue des Rosiers
Tel: 01 48 87 63 60

On one visit, since we had had an expensive lunch (at Restaurant Chez Julien), Louisa and I decided to go cheap for dinner. We each ordered their Falafel special (€6.50): a large pita bread over stuffed with falafel, hummus, grilled eggplant, cabbage, radish, tomato, cucumber. On the table was hot sauce, which we added to our sandwich. This was quite filling and so delicious!  We shared a small bottle of red wine (€9). Total for one €15.50

Another time, Louisa and I returned for lunch. We ordered (our companion too) the falafel special: A large pita bread over stuffed with falafel, hummus, grilled eggplant, cabbage, radish, tomato, cucumber. Yum! Delicious just like the last time! There was a long line of people waiting to buy their falafel sandwiches at the take away window. We decided to sit inside because the sandwiches can be quite messy to eat. We waited only 10-15 minutes for a table, as the service was fast with the waiters moving quickly to get people in an out. Total for one €7.

L'As du Fallafel Paris

L'As Du Fallafel, Paris

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Chez Marianne

2, rue des Hospitalieres-Saint-Gervais
(corner of rue des Rosiers)
Metro: Hotel-de-Ville
Tel: 01 42 72 18 86

This place (like l’as du Fallafel) is located right around the corner from where we stayed.  Chez Marianne is a very busy restaurant, has outdoor seating, as well as a take-away window. It was drizzling when Louisa and I went there to eat, so we sat inside.  We had stopped by the day before to make reservations and the man at the counter said no need to.  We arrived and there were just a few empty seats. The restaurant turns their tables quickly, so I understood his comment.  Chez Marianne serves Middle Eastern and Eastern European dishes.  Louisa and I ordered our own plate of four mezes (€12 per plate), all different, so we could share and have a good variety.  Wow, what wonderful food!  We had falafel, Kefte, hummus (the BEST!), sliced pastrami, tarama, feta cheese, grilled eggplant, olive tapenade, eggplant caviar (the waitress added this to our dish by mistake) and bread. Pita bread was extra, but the bread that was served to us was great: rye and a dark pumpernickel type bread. There were a lot more mezes to choose from and could have easily returned another night!  We shared a small bottle of wine.  We walked away stuffed! Dinner for one, €18. 

Bistrot de l’Oulette (formerly Baracane)

38, rue des Tournelles
Tel: 01 42 71 43 33
Metro: Chemin Vert - Bastille

This is a small restaurant seating about 30 people.  One waiter, Josie, took care of the entire dining room and the bar, while the two cooks in the back worked in a tiny kitchen.  He always had a smile on his face.  Louisa and I met up with some fellow “Fodorites” and Slow Travelers for dinner. The six of us shared a few bottles of house wine after we all started with an aperitif.  I had the pate with mushrooms followed by one of my best dishes on this trip: cassoulet. This is a hearty stew of beans, vegetables, sausage, gizzards, and duck.  I couldn’t eat all of it and I didn’t think to ask to take the rest back to the apartment (do the French allow doggie bags?).  Some in the group had dessert while Louisa and I had a Ricard, a licorice flavored liqueur. For one, €50. Excellent, excellent dinner.

During our second visit, dinner was delicious!! Louisa and I ordered the escargot appetizers. They were not served in their typical shells with butter and garlic, but with diced artichoke hearts and what looked like huge pine nuts, but I think they were blanched almonds. The appetizer was in a light green foamy sauce of some sort. Elizabeth had a cold asparagus soup. For my plat, I had the duck with potatoes au gratin and a salad; Louisa had a beef dish wrapped in a cabbage leaf and “stuffed” with a pate/foie gras. Elizabeth had sea bass. All of it was very good! Decadent desserts all around with a chocolate like fondant and I had a sort of apple pie with a crisp puff pastry on top and a side shot of icy/slushy Grand Marnier. Total bill was €150 with a nice bottle of white wine, recommended by our waiter, and a round of aperitifs or roughly €50/$67.50.

Le Caveau de l’Isle

36, rue Saint-Louis en l’Isle
Metro: Pont-Marie
Tel: 01 43 25 10 26
Open every day lunch and dinner

This restaurant is located on the Ile Saint Louis, which was about a 20 minute walk from my apartment in the Marais. I started with their terrine de foie gras de canard, confiture de figue, which was served with three slices of crusty bread and decorated with thinly sliced carrots. The fig pureé and foie gras made for a very nice combination of flavors. Next I had Cotes d’agneau grilles, ail en chemise, gratin Dauphinois (two lamb chops served with potatoes au gratin) – delicious! I ordered a small bottle of red wine. Although the food was very good, the terrine foie gras salad at Bistro Lepicurien was much better and with a larger portion of foie gras. Also, one disappointing thing was that the diners were all tourists. All other places I dined in had a good mixture of locals and tourists. Very good dinner, but I might not return here because of the tourist-only atmosphere. Dinner for one, €39.50.

Café Hugo

22 Place des Vosges

Café Hugo is in an excellent location in the Place des Vosges. We sat outside under the arches and enjoyed the atmosphere of this café. It should be renamed, as I didn’t think it was a café but more of great Parisian restaurant. All of us enjoyed the croque monsieur and side salad for lunch. Simple, yet delicious lunch for €8.50.

Leon Bruxelles

Place de la Bastille 3 bd Beaumarchais
Note: there are several locations of this restaurant around Paris and the surrounding area

Leon Bruxelles is a good place for an inexpensive dinner of moules (mussels). It’s a chain restaurant filled with locals and tourists who enjoy a heaping pot full of tasty moules. We started the evening with a kir (€4). I had the moules with a light curry sauce (not heavy in curry flavor) and Louisa had moules a la Provencale; both served with fries (€18.60). Elizabeth had salmon. For dessert, we all had Belgian waffles that were served with a decadent chocolate sauce. Dinner cost €23/$31.05.

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5th Arrondissement

Le Pot de Terre

22, rue due Pot de Fer
Tel: 01 43 31 15 51
Open Tues to Fri 12:00 to 14:30 and 19:00 to 23:00; Sat & Sun 12:00 to 23:30 

Salad with foie gras (€1.50 supplement); Grilled lamb in a tarragon sauce with whole garlic cloves; potatoes and a puree of peas, Crème brulee for dessert.  I noticed on the receipt later that they did not charge me for the foie gras supplement. Their web site offers a complimentary Kir coupon, which we brought with us.  We enjoyed sitting outside. This street (around the corner from rue Mouffetard) is filled with restaurants. Total for one €15.50.

Le Soufflot

16, Rue Soufflot, Paris
43 26 57 56

The three of us had the house special: Salad and quiche Lorraine. It was very good and reasonably priced for such a touristy area. It was nice to sit outside and people watch while we ate. Our waiter kept asking if we wanted any drinks, but we were thirsty for water. He was an energetic man, as he tried to lure people to this typical French café. Lunch cost €9.90 each.

Le Petit Prince de Paris

12, rue de Lanneau
Tel: 01 43 54 77 26

I had our hotel receptionist make dinner reservations for 8pm at Le Petit Prince de Paris. I dined there with my cousin several years ago and I really enjoyed. It was just a short walk to the restaurant, which is located in the heart of the student quarter. In fact, we had to pass two cafés that were filled with students enjoying their drinks and company.

The restaurant has a cozy, yet lively atmosphere and is decorated in dark reds and oranges. Music played in the background ranging from French songs to American oldies to songs from the 50’s. Tables were closely placed to one another. The place filled up within 20 minutes of our arrival. In fact, we had to squeeze into a corner table with two chairs and a corner "couch," which had colorful pillows to lean against. Our hotel receptionist had told us the restaurant would need our table by 10pm; however, once we were settled in, the waiter took his time serving us and we were never pressured to leave.

I had a delicious starter of escargot with a field green salad and roasted red pepper sauce, followed by chunks of lamb with potatoes and artichokes in a brown sauce. The Menu was €22 and of course, we had a bottle of wine. Total for dinner, each, was €28/$39.48.

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Le Petit Pontoise

9 rue de Pontoise
Tel: 01 43 29 25 29

For dinner, the three of us dined at Petit Pontoise, which was recommended by our friend Sandy. It was located about a 15-minute walk from our hotel. The welcoming dining room filled up quickly, mostly tourists. The night air was too cold to sit outside. There was no pre-fixe menu but only a la carte. It was our most expensive meal of the trip, but it was very good. I had a baked Camembert cheese topped with nuts and honey and a side salad, followed by a scallop dish with julienne zucchini and bean sprouts topped with a light vanilla sauce. It was delicious and not overly sweet. The portions were huge, which made up for the pricey menu, and I even gave some of my appetizer to Louisa and Elizabeth. Even Louisa shared some of her pâté appetizer. Reservations are a must at this popular place. Dinner cost per person €51.50/$71.59.

Restaurant Perraudin

Vieux Restaurant Typique
156, rue Saint Jacques
Tel: 01 46 33 15 75

I had set up two “Fodorite” gatherings at Perraudin. It’s quite a lively restaurant with tables set close together. On our first night, 12 of us met up for dinner. We had the back room to ourselves. The waiter did a great job in taking care of us and seemed very patient with our questions. The special of the evening was a veal dish with wide pasta and mushroom sauce, which I ordered. The meat was slightly overcooked for my taste, but it was very flavorful. I shared a bottle of Chardonnay with someone. Dinner for me thtat night was €31/$43.

Another night, 17 of us met up for dinner. We sat in the main dining room at two tables. We were a noisy but fun group! For my meal, I started with - profiteroles de chèvre chaud au coulis de tomate (goat cheese profiterole with tomato coulis) and then the chef’s recommendation of the evening: Steak with Roquefort sauce and fries. The steak was almost two inches thick and cooked saignant, very rare, like I like it: Mooing. Seems like most enjoyed their dinner, although I heard the Bœuf bourguignon was just passable. Our waiter, the same one from the first night, took good care of us and seemed to enjoy the fun we were having. A few of us kept changing seats in order to talk to everyone. We had several photos taken with several cameras that another waiter joined in to help take the photos. Finally we took pictures of the waiters! Dinner for me that night was €36.20/$50.32.

6th Arrondissement

Cremerie Restaurant Polidor

41, rue Monsieur-le-Prince
Metro: Odeon
Daily noon – 8:30pm; Mon-Sat 7pm – 12:30am, Sun 7-11pm
Tel: 01-43-26-95-34

Arrive early, as this place fills up quite fast for lunch.  The main room seats about 80 people. I had their house terrine, which was quite delicious (€4.50) followed by chicken in a cream sauce and white rice (€13).  A couple sitting next to me offered me a glass of wine, as I was only drinking water.

L’epi Dupin

11, rue Dupin
Tel: 01 42 22 64 56
Metro: Severes-Bablyone (then just one block to rue Dupin)

I met up with a fellow Fodorite, who lives in Switzerland, but was in Paris to meet her mother the next day. I had dined at L’epi Dupin several years back and wanted to try it again.  I was not disappointed. The place started to fill up at 7pm. We had 7:30pm reservations.  The restaurant has a €32 menu with several items to choose from for each plat, entrée, and dessert.  I had an asparagus salad, which was served with cabbage and a cream sauce, followed by Filet Canette – duck with peas, carrots and shallots.  The duck was cooked to medium-rare.  For dessert I had a baked peach with vanilla ice cream and a thin cookie wafer. We shared a bottle of wine (€16). After the first group of diners (mostly tourists) left (around 8:45pm - 9pm) the place refilled with local diners. Dinner for one €40.

Vins et Terroirs

66, Rue Saint-André des Arts
Tel 01 46 33 00 77

I found a place for lunch just before reaching rue Buci, which looked the least touristy in the area. There are two levels to the restaurant and I sat downstairs. The room was small with a bar on the backside, tables close together, dark red walls, and floral-shaped hanging lights. Three older French women sitting next to me were enjoying fish for lunch. I had a delicious house terrine, thickly sliced, and salad, followed by baked salmon and rice. The salmon was excellent and very moist. While in the restaurant, I listened to songs from Frank Sinatra, Aretha Franklin, and Dionne Warwick. Oh, how the French like American music. With a glass of white wine, I paid €14.90.

7th Arrondissement

Les Ombres Restaurant

Musée du quai Branly
25 Quai Branly
Tel: 01 47 53 68 00
Metro: RER C: Pont de l'Alma (from the St-Michel RER station; Or take the metro to Alma-Marceau and walk across the bridge). 

This was our splurge dinner.  Louisa and I both ordered the €95 tasting menu and it was fabulous!  We ordered an inexpensive bottle of red wine for €36 (highest bottle of wine goes for €600). Fresh baked bread was served along with a small dish of herring on top of a curry sauce.  I thought it was an unusual starter. Our dinner began: garden peas veloute soup flavored with fresh mint, crab meat and thin shellfish jelly.  The mint was not overwhelming and I could taste the hint of dill.  Next, we had the duck foie-gras terrine with sweet pepper chutney and grained mustard; grilled rare tuna, hot piperade and “Noirmoutier” potatoes cooked with salted butter; young lamb, cooked rare, flavored with marjoram and a spinach ricotta gnocchi (which really looked and tasted like a quiche). For dessert: “La grande Dame”: praline-flavored light pastry with lemon like “aux Ombres.”

This was a really wonderful dinner with excellent service, although expensive. Les Ombres is a place for a special occasion, especially having such wonderful views of the Eiffel Tower right in our face.  Once it was dark, the Eiffel Tower sparked at the top of the hour.  Very special indeed! I think the most unique dish was the soup.

La Terrasse du 7eme

2, place de l'Ecole Militaire
Metro: Ecole Militaire
Tel: 01 45 55 00 02

Simple lunch of a Croque Monsieur (toasted ham/cheese sandwich) with a small salad (8€); Glass of white wine (4€).

Pizza Tina

73, Avenue Bosquet
45 51 21 69

Pizza Tina is known for delicious pizza, I decided on the pasta carbonara. It was excellent and a huge portion that I couldn’t eat it all. I enjoyed it with a 1/4 carafe of white wine while chatting with the Sicilian owners. Lunch cost €19.

18th Arrondissement

Bistro Lepicurien

86 bis, rue Lepic
Tel: 01 42 51 25 51

This small bistro is located near the Place du Teatre but far enough away that there were no other tourists in the restaurant. I ran into some friends on a Montmartre walking tour, so we had lunch together. I had a salad with a nice thick slab of terrine foie gras de canard, thinly sliced duck, and gizzards.  For my main dish, I had the Filet de Rouget a la Provencale, a red mullet fish with an eggplant puree.  The salad was absolutely fabulous but I didn’t care for the fish.  The salad was large enough to enjoy as my lunch along with the bread, so I could have skipped the fish. Lunch for one €19.

Les Deux Moulins

15 rue Lepic
Metro: Blanche

This place was listed in my ‘Paris Walks’ guidebook. We came here for lunch after walking around Montmartre. This place reminded me of a diner from the 50s with its tables, chairs, and dining counter that matched the era. It almost seemed out of place in Paris. I had baked salmon and julienne vegetables, which were well prepared. Lunch for one, €10.20.

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