10th Arrondissement

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Abri

92, rue du Faubourg-Poissonniere (10)
Tel: 01-83-97-00-00

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

On Mondays and Saturdays at lunch, Abri serves only its already legendary Japanese- style sandwich.

A tiny space with open galley kitchen and 14 seats at small tables. The room is otherwise undecorated, including no sign outside. The sign remains from the coffee bar which preceded it.

The sandwich was quite good, but Abri is one of the new English language blogger/magazine story hype restaurants in the tradition of Le Comptoir du Relais (see 6th), Frenchie (see 2nd) and Spring (see 1st).

Ironically, our lunch took place on the day following a major story in the New York Times which asked in the headline, can such restaurants “save” French food? I doubt Abri can, as if French food broadly requires saving.

It is not fair to doubt what dinner could be like without trying, but with the prep space so small it is hard to imagine cooking of complexity or finesse. But we might try next time.

FOOD

The sandwich was very good: thick sliced crustless brioche toast with an omelet, a fresh fried breaded pork cutlet, shredded cabbage, a slice of cheese and two condiments. Freshly made to order.

Abri attracts primarily French and Japanese on sandwich days, at least, for eat-in and take-out.

Sandwich, beverages, and a large madeleine for dessert complete the menu.

SERVICE

Not really service. And only in Japanese, but willing and with a smile.

PRICE

I cannot speak to dinner. Sandwich 13€. With two waters, two coffees and one glass of wine, 31€.

(1x) (2014)

Arlots (Les)

136, rue du Faubourg Poissonnière (10)
Tel: 01-42-82-92-01

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Les Arlots is a perfectly pleasant, small bistro in the marginal 10th. While reports point to gentrification, it isn’t yet intuitive that one walks the streets in complete comfort, although any such concerns are probably unjustified.

Very small, 28 seats, 22 in the street front main bar room, an unlucky 6 in the corridor between the kitchen and dining room. Earnest, dedicated, frenetic staff, friendly and bilingual. Largely French middle class, plus what seem like young neighborhood regulars. Small blackboard menu. Not unlike 25 others of similar character and history. For inexplicable reasons, Les Arlots hit the February New York Times lottery, followed by the Alex Lobrano blog and the Financial Times. Must have been a slow news day. Why and how some restaurants experience such remarkable and unique good luck while others languish for years in obscurity remains a mystery of the food (and journalism) worlds.

FOOD

Five or so enticing first courses:  white asparagus, beef cheek terrine, beet salad, fresh pea soup.  Of the plats, the most popular, a house made sausage, was out by the time we ordered.  Dish after dish appeared all around us at tables which ordered earlier.  With a choice of five, being out of one at 8:45 is a serious failure.  That left entrecote, cod or lemon sole meunière on the bone, but easy to filet, drenched in too much butter.  For dessert, wonderful cheese plate, chocolate mousse or strawberry crumble.  No wine list per se.  Sommelier/manager asks what you would like, brings to the table several options, all reasonable in price.  Our Cahors was right on at 29€.

SERVICE

Friendly and totally in keeping with the intended character of the restaurant, but frantic.  Hold onto the silver and pass the plates.

PRICE

A la carte.  Very reasonable.  Entrees 10€- 16€; plats 22€; desserts 9€.  For 2, 124€.

(1x) (2017)

 

 

Photo from “The Fork”

Chez Michel

10, rue de Belzunu (10)
Tel: 01-44-53-06-20

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Messy. Overall disappointing, in spite of/because of extensive hype. Many foreigners. Did not feel like a Paris restaurant. A profound let down in look, greeting, clientele, food. Highly rated, but highly disappointing.

FOOD

Good, but only just. Mostly fish.

SERVICE

Friendly. English speaking.

PRICE

Medium/formula with many supplements.

(1x) (2010)

Grille (La)

80, rue du Faubourg-Poissonniere (10)
Tel: 01-47-70-89-73

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

We ate at La Grille several years ago – pre-Diary. It was good, but eccentric, run by an elderly couple and decorated with her wedding attire. They have retired, the restaurant purchased by four younger friends. Mostly unchanged, but the few changes are for the better. Grilled meats and fish, some daily specials. A neighborhood place. If not memorable, surely enjoyable – enough to go back.

FOOD

Grilled Cote de Boeuf for two with béarnaise. Scallops with mache as plat du jour entree. Profiterole for dessert. Eight or so choices in each category.

SERVICE

The only holdover is the single waiter, older than the owners. Good at what he does and having a good time at it.

PRICE

A la carte. 120€ for two with wine and not the least expensive food choices.

(1x) (2010)