18th Arrondissement

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Bouillon Pigalle

22 Boulevard de Clichy (18)
Tel:  01-42-59-69-31

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

When I wrote about Bouillon Chartier in 2011 (see 9th Arr.), I said:  “You’ll probably want to see this restaurant, but maybe not eat there”.

Now, the historic bouillon model is being revived; cavernous, non-stop service, no reservations, very low prices, but in restaurants you would both like to see and to eat at.  For sure if our lunch at Bouillon Pigalle is typical, and that’s what Paris-based American food writer Alex Lobrano writes in the New York Times.  We tried his first pick; a great lunch at virtually fast food prices.

450 seats including 2nd floor covered/heated outdoor terrace.  A short line at 1:15.  1200 covers a day, 7 days a week.

FOOD

Large, traditional a la carte menu.  Classic French preparations:

Egg mayonnaise, three fresh half hard boiled eggs loaded with delicious freshly made mayonnaise; cold leeks with a complex vinaigrette; mushrooms vinaigrette; freshly poached salmon in an herb flecked sorrel sauce; lemon tart and baba au rhum.  We were pleased with our choices and admired the food being brought to other tables.  We would have been equally pleased had these been served in a 20 seat bistro.  And good bread.

SERVICE

Friendly, fast service with bilingual recommendations.

PRICES

Very low.  Eggs 1.90€, salmon 13.50€, dessert 3.10€, etc.

For 2, with two waters, no wine, 52.30€.

 

(1x) (2019)

Coq Rico (Le)

98, rue Lepic (18)
Tel:  01-42-59-82-89

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Michelle’s summary: “When a management knows how to run a restaurant, they get a lot of things right which others miss or get wrong.” Fair and on point. It doesn’t automatically follow that a rock star Michelin Chef succeeds in extending his or her brand (see Terroir Parisien 5th and 2nd, Allard 6th). Antoine Westermann is a Michelin starred chef from Strasbourg with an established restaurant in Paris (Drouant, which he bought and reorganized). He seems to know what he is doing behind the range, in wine and service, and in the office.

Le Coq Rico is all chicken and chicken derivatives (as in eggs), focused on a range of legendary chicken breeds poached whole, then finished to a stunning deep brown on an open kitchen rotisserie, presented whole, then returned neatly carved. Variations, but only roast chicken (or duck, guinea hen, goose, etc.). It couldn’t have been better.

Small modern/rustic space in residential section of Monmartre. High concept for cozy home style food. (And now open in New York. Also quite good with similar concept.)


A Fall, 2017 Sunday night dinner for four confirms all of the positive things experienced at earlier meals. Relaxed; low-key; small, but roomy; simple set of choices. One innovation a new breed of chicken, less fatty than the world famous Bresse. Same 98€ (for the table) still served with wonderful salad, frites, vegetables – more than we could finish, and delicious.

New York may come close to matching the food quality (with better desserts), but New York rents do not allow the luxurious pace of this simple, but wonderful meal.

FOOD

Salads, soups, terrines, egg dishes to start. Choose your bird or prepared chicken dish, 1⁄4 or whole served for 2 – 4 offered with frites, vegetables or macaroni, plus salad. Small dessert card. Appropriate but non-encyclopedic wine list.

If you have a craving for roast chicken, you couldn’t do better.

SERVICE

Friendly. Attractive. Bilingual. Informal, but professional and knowledgeable. They know the menu. Approachable and helpful. They make it fun. For Paris a rare feature: Doggie Bags.

PRICE

Not cheap. Quarter chicken 21€, and up from there. Whole premium chicken 85€ for two; with wine, entrees, desserts, 196€. Larger bird 3-4, 95€, so bring friends.

(6x) (2013-2017)

Ma Cocotte

106, rue des Rosiers (18)
Tel:  01-49-51-70-00

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

The deafening hype on Ma Cocotte has been a feature of virtually every major design magazine world-wide – and for good reason. It is a Phillippe Starck design masterpiece (don’t miss the bathrooms, down the Richard Serra-like stairs). But it is a restaurant, and to write that it falls short of the innovativeness of the modern design and mix of interesting materials of the purpose-built large space right in the center of the otherwise marginal neighborhood of the Clignancourt Flea Market is an understatement. Yet it doesn’t try to be much more than it is – simple food, no reservations, hip servers and a chic crowd. In fact, in all of its less appealing features, it is more American than any Paris listing in this diary.

FOOD

Very simple: Roast chicken, cheeseburger, mac and cheese, plus starters and terrific bistro style desserts. But don’t think about going for the food. It may be the best choice in the Flea Market, but having tried them all over 20 years, that says nothing.

SERVICE

Not out of work actors, but good looking young servers in jeans taking and placing their orders by hand held devices.

PRICE

A la carte. Two for lunch. 90€.

(1x) (2013)

Mascotte (La)

52 Rue des Abbesses (18)
Tel: 01-46-06-28-15

AMBIANCE/DÉCOR

Good seafood at reasonable prices remains a challenge in Paris. Fish is represented on virtually every menu, but the choices are limited. There are fish restaurants and oyster and shellfish brasseries, featuring a variety of raw oysters and grand shellfish platters. La Mascott is the latter. The shellfish is good. A range of cooked seafood dishes somewhat less so.

FOOD

Six oysters served with Mignonette sauce and brown bread and seasoned butter, four Madagascar shrimp, both outstanding. Dover sole (44€) and grilled St. Pierre served with accompaniments good, the sole particularly. Desserts offered, including sherbets from the renowned Berthillon.

What was missing in the meal and the large brasserie-like space was any energy or style, an impression heightened by walking to the restaurant from the Abbesses Metro stop a few blocks away. Along the Monmartre street we passed several crowded cafes, with happy people filling the terrace tables. Arriving at La Mascotte was a downer, notwithstanding the acceptable food.

SERVICE

A kind, reasonably attentive waiter.

PRICES

With wine, dessert and coffee, 174€

(1x) (2017)

(Photo from “Pinterest”)