There are few restaurants in the French capital that have such a delectably Parisian atmosphere as Le Petit Rétro, which opened in 1904 in the 16th arrondissement and has a magnificent landmarked interior of Art Nouveau tiles in exquisite floral and vegetal motifs.
Now it’s been taken over by chefs Irwin Durand and Guy Savoy, head chef and owner respectively at the soigné Le Chiberta. Their simple idea for this much-loved place is to serve good, solid, traditional French food made with the finest seasonal produce, and not surprisingly, the restaurant’s been mobbed since the new menu launched.
To be sure, there are a few modish dishes (doubtless included to appeal to younger people who frequent the Costes brothers’ chain of restaurants with their identikit menus), including salmon and avocado tartare and vegetable gyoza; but otherwise starters run to beautifully prepared classics like pâté en croûte and bone marrow toast.
Superbly prepared main courses include local favourites like steak tartare and crowd-pleasing dishes that are too much trouble for many people to cook at home, including blanquette de veau (veal in a satiny cream sauce with mushrooms and baby onions) and veal sweetbreads with mustard-grain sauce and a
gratin of Swiss chard. Don’t miss the Paris-Brest or the pear clafoutis with vanilla ice cream for dessert. This convivial restaurant is a good address to bear in
mind for an easygoing, fairly priced meal in a beautiful Parisian setting.
5 Rue Mesnil, 16th arrondissement, Paris.
Tel. (33) 01 44 05 06 05
Average à la carte €55
From France Today magazine
Lead photo credit : Le Petit Rétro’s stunning interior © Alexander Lobrano
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