Le P’tit Fernand

Le P’tit Fernand

A hangout for neighborhood regulars in Saint Germain des Prés, Le P’tit Fernand definitely looks the part of an old-fashioned bistrot—a miniscule front room, a narrow corridor lined with tables for two, and a slightly larger back room, all decked out with red-checked tablecloths, rattan chairs and a vintage patterned tile floor (along with some new and highly original upturned-bottle lighting fixtures). There’s a big blackboard menu to be propped up near your table while you choose, and a staff of gregarious young cooks and waiters right out of photos by Robert Doisneau. It’s actually part of a small family of bistrots whose owners run a well-known butcher shop in the central market of Tours, so the meat is particularly good—try the morceau du boucher—but there’s plenty of choice on the board. Depending on the season, you might find a “tartare” of spicy chopped avocado and (cooked) crawfish, foie gras ravioli, baked eggs with mushrooms, magret de canard with cherries and mushrooms or filet of salmon with zucchini puree and basil. Desserts include a melting chocolat mi-cuit, vanilla crème brûlée or trendy salted caramel ice cream. Wines are available by the glass or carafe. It’s a cheery place for a delightful, low-key dinner or lunch—and you can feel free to order just two starters if a light meal is all you want. Exceptionally good value in this increasingly upmarket area.

7 rue Lobineau, 6th, Métro: Mabillon. €25–€30 per person without wine.

Originally published in the November 2009 issue of France Today; updated in April 2011

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