12, rue Papillon (9)
Except to make two unrelated points which follow, this was an entirely forgettable restaurant, otherwise unworthy of this Diary or of using a precious night in Paris on.
Observation #1: Be careful of names. A friend passed along a tip, a new personal favorite: Hugo’s. We went to Hugo in the 9th. Subsequent research confirmed it was completely unrelated to Hugo’s in the 5th, which we were advised to try. Our Hugo was a bust!
It was an unseasonably warm night. We decided to walk, knowing it was a good distance.
We left the 7th, crossed the river, traversed the 2nd and entered the 9th, about 50 minutes through areas we had never been before, at least on foot. We passed – literally – several hundred eating venues – fast food, slow food, cafes, bars, brasseries, bistros, French, pizza, burgers, tapas, Asian of every type, North African. Most full of young French people, especially those with outdoor seating. Virtually not one would fit the taste criteria of “French restaurant”, traditional or modern, high end or simple bistro, which is the focus of this guide. For reasons of budget or neighborhood, this is not where young people in Paris congregate. A phenomenon not unique to France.
To give the restaurant its due, it was not bad, merely forgettable.
Low a la carte prices, or 39€ three course menu chosen from menus. Quite good foie gras and salmon tartare, swordfish (unusual in Paris) with roasted potatoes and sautéed vegetables, an unacceptable fruit tart with dough off peak freshness.
One busy maitre d’/waiter/runner did it all for the 15 tables, of which half were full.
One of the least expensive three course meals with wine we can recall in Paris, 78€.