Bistrot Paul Bert
Just the word “bistrot” conjures up images of casual unpretentious places to eat – but not all Parisian bistrots are equal. These days, most are content on looking the part but not following through with quality products on the menu.
Over in the 11th, Owner Bertrand Auboyneau is a local hero for keeping an outstanding neighborhood place alive – documented in his “Bistrot” book co-authored with French food critic François Simon. Saturday lunches are legendary, when the three rooms that make up the Bistrot Paul Bert are filled with food industry friends enjoying family-style meals with great bottles of wine.
Furnished with authentic flea market finds, everything about the Paul Bert feels generous, friendly and welcoming. The jovial owner is behind the zinc bar, locals are happy to see one another and the oversized quality linen napkins hint at the substantial portions of fantastic comfort food & wine to come.
Although the extensive chalkboard menus follow the seasons – the coddled eggs with cream & mushrooms, rare filet steak & crispy frites, and sole meunière are thankfully always there. There is a prix fixe chalkboard menu BUT the separate daily special menu is where you’ll find the coddled eggs and Sarawak filet that everyone is raving about.
Great food calls for exceptional wine and Bertrand’s carte des vins does not disappoint. It is one of the best in the city, showcasing natural wines sourced directly from the men & women making their nectar with love.
The best way to end a meal here is with the incredible raw-milk cheese platter or the Paris-Brest puff pastry filled with hazelnut cream.
Did you know… that a ”bistro” doesn’t function like a restaurant? In concept, service will always be brisk as there are just a few people juggling all the tables and orders at once. Once you are presented with the chalkboard menu, you’ll be expected to make your decision fast because the next table is waiting for it. Not to worry, once you’ve ordered, you are encouraged to relax and enjoy your meal with your companions. Need something else during your meal? Just get the passing servers’ attention and they’ll get it to you in between doing the same for everyone else.
Prix Fixe: 18€ & 36€ (Entree + Plat + Cheese or Dessert), A La Carte Sarawak Beef Filet: 34€.
UPDATE: Great news! In addition to lunch & dinner Tuesday – Saturday, Paris’ favorite classic bistro Le Bistrot Paul Bert will now stay open throughout the afternoon offering a “Petit Faim” menu (little hunger menu) from 2pm to 6:30pm.
A country terrine (9€), Jambon de Paris with salad (12€), omelette (10€) with cèpe mushrooms (15€), duck foie gras on toast (16€), sauteéd eggs and ham (9€), cheese plate (9€), a daily-changing hot plate of the day (14€) and desserts like their famous Paris-Brest, crème caramel and Baba au Rhum (8€).