7th Arrondissement

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153 Grenelle

153, rue de Grenelle (7)
Tel: 01-45-51-54-12

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

A “grande” restaurant in ambition. Small, formal, friendly. Limited menu.


Closed. Now an Irish pub.

FOOD

Pure, high style. Three – four choices; multiple desserts.

SERVICE

Formal. Proper.

PRICE

High/formula 59€.

(3x) (2009)

35° Ouest

35, rue de Verneuil (7)
Tel: 01-42-86-98-88

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

This critically well regarded small seafood restaurant is literally down the block from our apartment, yet until lunch in December we had never been in, despite the enticement of a 36€ formula lunch, unusual for a seafood specialist.

For lunch, a pleasant, cozy 10 table space. All French business people, most ordering the formula. No buzz, but warm and relaxing, with nice food. Perfect for lunch.

FOOD

For formula lunch, 3 entrée choices including fried squid or tempura langoustines. Main course cod or recasse, wine or water, and coffee.

SERVICE

Runner plus waiter. Do the job with good humor.

PRICE

A la carte menu typical for seafood: very high, making 36€ a bargain.

(1x) (2014)


RECENT UPDATE:

As of Fall, 2017, Closed. Now Les Climats Wine Bar.

Affriole (L’)

17, rue Malar (7)
Tel: 01-44-18-31-33

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Simple. Busy. Low on ambiance, high on food, without the energy of Epi Dupin, but similar mission and high level execution.


A complete redo. Now modern, with a full blackboard wall listing the menu. The food is (or has become) exceptional, particularly for the price. Busy. Booked; deservedly.

FOOD

Very good. Sophisticated for the price.

SERVICE

Cool. Professional. Unpretentious.

PRICE

Low/formula 38€

(1x) (2009)


(1x) (2010)

Arnaud Nicolas

46, Avenue de la Bourdonnais (7)
Tel:  01-45-55-59-59

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

A new (May, 2017) restaurant in the 7th; handsome, modern, small, spacious.  A specialist in charcuterie, but with a broader menu.  If our one lunch so far is indicative, this will become a regular stop.

FOOD

To call this restaurant and integrated pate takeout shop (“boutique”) a charcuterie specialist may shortchange the chef’s specialty.  These are pates of such delicacy, beauty, variety and finesse that they elevate the craft.  In addition, Michelle’s entrée of shrimp in a tempura-style batter, so light it resembled a single sheet of filo.  This was followed by roast cod and a vegetable accompaniment.  28€ for two courses!

I ordered a la carte, large servings each of two recommended pates, one en croute, served with a delicate green salad.  With wine, water and coffee, 70€ for two.  And according to the menu, much more where that came from.

SERVICE

Two waiters covered the room.  At lunch, all well-dressed businessmen, no women.  Efficient, but without the finesse of the room or the execution of the menu.

PRICE

Formula lunch:  two courses 28€; three courses 35€.  Plus a la carte.  At dinner, 62€ with three wines, 80€. Or a la carte.


As promised, we returned on our next trip for dinner. Every seat filled by middle-aged French (from the upper middle class residential neighborhood?)

Marinated salmon served elegantly, with unusual accompaniments. Lobster pate, both top notch. Lotte (monkfish) over lentils, quenelle de brochet. Both impeccable.

Modern, clean space lacks warm touches, but food and genuinely caring service more than compensate. A very carefully thought out and well executed meal at a fair price.

A la carte with 49€ wine, 164€ for 2.

(2x) (2017-2018)

 

(Photo from “Trip Advisor”)

Atelier de Joel Robuchon (L’)

5, rue Montalembert (7)
Tel: 01-42-22-56-56

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Try it, but recognize it has become a small global chain. Barely anything French left. Prices very high. Worth trying – once. Counter seating only. Limited ability to book.

FOOD

Excellent.

SERVICE

Professional; friendly.

PRICE

Very high.

(6x) (Pre-2010)

Au Petite Tonneau

20, rue Surcouf (7)
Tel: 01-47-05-09-01

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Sometimes you just want lunch. For us, that normally means “comfort” food, what used to be considered, in Paris at least, lunch, vs. a quaint memory of what food was. Largely, this Diary eschews trendy, hot, crowded, large, noisy and new. It is less judgment than preference.

Au Petite Tonneau, on a Left Bank block distinguished only by a concentration of other small restaurants in a neighborhood crowded with other old streets and small restaurants. Relates to the original Gorille Blanc (see 7th), the lamented L’Oeillade (see 7th), although the only female we saw was the one waitress. (Her filling-in husband/manager told us his wife owns the restaurant).

FOOD

The food was close to homemade. Simple, basic, fresh without visual artistry on the plate. Artichoke heart with poached egg and mushrooms, pan seared lamb, broiled scallops, scalloped potatoes, chocolate mousse and Tarte Tatin. Modest. Just cooked. Delicious.

SERVICE

Two cooks, One waitress. Charming fill-in husband chef. Caring. Attentive. Not particularly polished. Perfect for the Sunday afternoon multi- generation families which surrounded us.

PRICE

A la carte and 37€ menu. A la carte with 1⁄2 bottle Cote du Rhone, coffee, water: 138€.

(1x) (2012)

Auberge Bressane (L’)

16, av de la Motte- Picquet (7)
Tel: 01-47-05-98-37

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

This is real a French bistro; authentic, good looking, high energy. Busy, popular, open Sundays. Classic dishes, well prepared and served, with a deep wine list. Food served in large portions. Every bistro specialty. Not Michelin star quality, but dependable and enjoyable.

FOOD

Traditional bistro dishes plus a few atypical specialties (cheese or crab soufflé as starters, Baked Alaska for dessert), Lyonnaise sausage, coq au vin, scallops Provencal, grilled meats, chicken in cream sauce with morels). Some better than others; all served with verve. Some, but not all, prepared with care. Deep wine list.

SERVICE

Young, friendly bilingual servers. Warm greeting in a style which suggests old hands, but delivered by 30 year olds. The staff makes it fun while taking their work seriously.

PRICE

At dinner, a la carte, but reasonable for large portions, some quite inventive, most fresh and well- executed.

(4x) (2011-2016)

Auguste

5, rue de Bourgogne (7)
Tel: 01-45-51-61-09

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

A neighborhood location. Modern, small. Severe décor. Friendly, but cool greeting, service. Elaborate, delicious, but overly rich and complex food. Heavy on foams, etc.

FOOD

Fancy, beautiful, but too rich.

SERVICE

Formal. Reserved.

PRICE

Very high

(1X) (2010)

Aux Fins Gourmets

213, bd St-Germain (7)
Tel: 01-42-22-06-57

Aux Vieux Garcon
(New name as of mid- 2013)

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

According to the awning, founded in 1904. Also the date of the last paint job. That, plus its outstanding Rue de Bac/Boulevard Saint Germain location give it its charm. Less so the food and predictable menu, but convenient for the right mood.


New name. New kitchen. New owners and staff. And a paint job (see). Not a Michelin-track competitor, but a very well-located, friendly bistro which has turned a new page. Friendly staff proud of fresh, never frozen commitment and connections to their suppliers. Promising.

FOOD

Decent, but not much more.


Simple. Traditional, with some more unusual daily options at lunch. Salmon cake and tagine of veal, thin sliced beets wrapped around goat cheese and grilled whole calamari salad. Poached pear with spice cake. Comfort food with a twist. Reasonable wines. Well sourced bread.

SERVICE

Competent, but no better.


Unpolished, but helpful. Friendly. Proud.

PRICE

A formula menu which makes it a good candidate for lunch. Don’t bring high expectations.


A la carte with water, carafe of wine, coffee, 88€ at lunch.

(2x) (2011-2013)

Basilic (Le)

2 Rue Casimir Perrier (7)
Tel:  01-44-18-94-64

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

A handsome, modern art deco reproduction with a large heated terrace looking out on a small majestic park in the 7th.  On a busy Saturday night, full of casually dressed French friends and families.  The surroundings would support a more ambitious menu and execution.  Instead, a large printed menu which involves little actual cooking.  Mediocre execution, careless service and low prices.  Obviously a model which works for the neighborhood.  Like New Yorkers and Bostonians, many people prefer (or accept) a comfortable nearby address where they are known.  No lofty ambition, nothing modern, nothing traditional, as long as it comes with frites!

FOOD

A mammoth veal chop Milanese best shared, scallops with truffle-specked rich mashed potatoes, grilled cod.  Probably okay, but not better.

SERVICE

Waitress in black leather pants.  Waiter in loose jeans and untucked shirt.  They get the food to the table.

PRICES

3 main courses (1 shared), 1 68€ bottle of wine, 1 dessert:  196€.

(1X)(2018)

Photo from “Trip Advisor”

Billebaude (La)

29, rue de l’Exposition (7)
Tel: 01-45-55-20-96

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

There must be literally hundreds of Paris restaurants just like this one, small storefront, 32 seats in a warm square room with a bar on one side, blackboard formula menu offering three courses for 33€, six or so choices in each category. Indeed there must be more than 100 in the 7th arrondissement alone, including numerous on this small, short block. Some, like this one, have serious ambition and food, others a large supply of sauté pans overseen by untrained, but hardworking novices.

FOOD

They specialize in season in game. Out of season, a diverse, interesting menu. Each dish quite well executed. Pheasant terrine, pheasant in jelly, gravlax, supreme of pintade, several choices of fish, each with appropriate sauce. Home baked pastries, frozen Grand Marnier soufflé.

SERVICE

With every seat taken, one manager/waiter/wine server. He handles the entire room calmly, professionally and quietly.

PRICE

33€ for three course. With aperitif, wine and water, 201€ for four. Some wines by the pitcher.

(1x) (2012)

Bistrot Belhara

23, rue Duvivier (7)
Tel:  01-45-51-41-77

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

In the heart of the restaurant-heavy 7th, beyond the Invalides off Rue Grenelle; a small, brightly lit, traditional space.  A small bar, with white tablecloth-covered tables closely spaced in two parallel rows spread back toward the open pass.  Every one full.  An adult crowd, plus the requisite table of four Japanese girls.  A surprising number of Americans, evidently guests of nearby hotels.  A negative, but not nearly enough to spoil a very good meal comprised of unusual, original dishes.  Two and a half years old, and a very welcome, appealing addition to this Diary.

FOOD

Short menu, five or six choices in each category, plus one or two plats du jour.

Most part of the prix fixe, a few with supplements.

Beautiful, rich-looking fish soup with shellfish, sautéed baby squid over caramelized eggplant, a fricassee of octopus, foie gras and griolles.  Main course choices of roasted salmon, cod on plancha, what was described as sparerib casserole over beans (without bones).  Most tables displayed one of two terrific desserts:  berry soufflé or chocolate tart.

Medium-sized, but wide-ranging wine list.

At the end of the meal, a hot madeleine served from the oven and a mini-macaroon.  A friendly touch.

SERVICE

Two hard-working, competent waiters, plus chef, helper and dishwasher.  This is the way small Paris restaurants succeed today.

Service friendly, if harried.  In an effort to be friendly and approachable, English-speaking waiter first offered poorly translated English menu and tried to explain the 38€ formula, then pushed hard several dishes.  Was perfect for some foreign guests, an off-note for us, notwithstanding what I think were good intentions.

PRICE

Two formulas at 38€, no supplements, but including one soufflé, 76€, plus a 45€ wine, water and coffee, 135€.

A warm, friendly, truly Parisian experience with a winning format, and good and original cooking.

(1x) (2015)

 

Photo from “The Fork”

Bistrot de Paris (Le)

33, rue de Lille (7)
Tel: 01-42-61-16-83

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Busy neighborhood bistro with local business and resident clientele. Good menu. Competent execution. Stylish French crowd. Feels like the Upper East Side.

FOOD

Not ambitious, but reliable. Many regulars. Menu without flourishes. Good, well-priced plats du jour.

SERVICE

Professional, but not normally warm. Over time, waiters know the regulars.

PRICE

A la carte with plats du jour. Average 45€.

(7x) (2012 -2013)

Café de l’Esplanade

52, rue fabert (7)
Tel: 01-47-05-38-80

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Modern, chic café overlooking the Invalides. Beautiful location catering to Paris’ beautiful people, complete with uniformed car parker and luxury cars stacked in front. At a Sunday lunch, well dressed French families with a sprinkling of elegant elderly couples. None are there for the food, which is perfectly acceptable, but cautious and basic.

FOOD

Simple preparations across a fairly diverse menu. Fish, meats of high quality, but without imagination. The scene and being seen takes priority.

SERVICE

Surprisingly inexpert.

PRICE

High a la carte.

(1x) (2013)

Chez Les Anges

54, bd de la Tour-Maubourg (7)
Tel: 01-47-05-89-86

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

We were walk-ins. When we showed up at our reserved restaurant to find it had turned Thai (same phone number accepting reservations intended for its predecessor), we walked over.

Chez Les Anges is a venerable name. Forty years ago a 2-star restaurant. Possibly in the same location. This version same ownership as Bon Accueil.

FOOD

A formula menu in a more modern, more upscale location. Completely full. Food conceived, cooked and plated with finesse and style. Older crowd typical of the neighborhood. Plenty of a la carte orders. An appealing find at a surprisingly attractive price.

SERVICE

Professional, formal.

PRICE

At 33€, a bargain, plus a la carte.

(1x) (2010)

Cinq Mars

51, rue de Verneuil (7)
Tel: 01-45-44-69-13

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Some rustic charm. Good Left Bank location. Otherwise forgettable. Easily duplicated in innumerable similar spots in the neighborhood, often at lower prices.

FOOD

No better than fair.

SERVICE

Friendly, but amateurish.

PRICE

At Saturday lunch, at least, a la carte only. Expensive for what it is.

(1x) (2009)

Climats (Les)

41, rue de lille (7)
Tel: 01-58-62-10-08

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

I’ve read that Les Climats is housed in a former dormitory for unmarried post office employees. It has been a different restaurant since the advent of this Diary, and evidently several other restaurants before that.

The space is large and elegant, with a separate bar area, an outdoor garden and a bright garden room, plus a large dining room. The crowd at a recent lunch would have filled innumerable other nearby spots, but the space is too large for its own good. It needs a larger crowd to infuse it with the energy it requires.

It will be worth checking in again at dinner, a la carte or a 75€ six course tasting menu. Only Burgundy wines are served – many by the glass.


Positive changes in management, kitchen and service. The public seems to have responded.

FOOD

Two choices for each of three courses at lunch. Inventive, complex, good to look at and carefully prepared. Mushrooms with soft poached egg or octopus salad over burrata and sautéed eggplant, pheasant with brussel sprouts or a large portion of poached merlu, each with sauce and puree of parsnips. Very nice food in comfortable surroundings.


New chef, but food still outstanding.

SERVICE

Our waiter tried hard and meant well, but with a slight case of attitude. By observation, service, at lunch at least, might suffer from too little business (the restaurant has only been open since April) and a consequent reluctance to notch up service to match the food and wines.


Now, service and greeting couldn’t be better.

PRICE

36€/45€ lunch, plus a la carte, with two glasses of wine, water and coffee, 107€ for two.

At dinner, 75€ tasting, plus a la carte. The tasting menu appears to be the way to go.

Also a separate bar area with tapas-type menu.

(2x) (2013-2014)

Clos des Gourmets (Le)

16, avenue Rapp (7)
Tel: 01-45-51-75-61

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

In the upscale Alma neighborhood near the Eiffel Tower. Small, warm room. Modern cooking. Attentive, professional service. On a weekend night, every seat booked, mostly middle-aged groups, mostly locals. Not cool. Just what we hoped for.

FOOD

Modern dishes or modern takes on traditional dishes. Formula – sort of. Numerous supplements. Good food, instantly comfortable and likable ambiance.

SERVICE

Attentive and professional.

PRICE

The menu – including at dinner – 35€ with an average supplement of 10€ each. Relatively expensive wines, but a lovely meal, fairly priced.

(1X) (2011)