Les Bistronomes

Les Bistronomes

Near the Palais Royal, Les Bistronomes offers a brilliant example of the city’s spectacular new cooking. The attractive bistrot, with a banquette running the length of the long narrow room and white-painted wooden beams overhead, is a very impressive affair. The welcome is charming, each table is identified by a small blackboard with the name of the person who reserved it, and a carafe of water arrives as soon as you’re seated.

Young chef Cyril Aveline was most recently sous-chef to Eric Frechon at the Hôtel Bristol, and that grande cuisine training is apparent in his beautifully presented contemporary French cooking. At lunch recently, a visiting New York friend and I devoured the delicious little ramekin of rillettes presented as an amuse-bouche. We were extremely impressed with our first courses—an impeccably cooked, pastry-wrapped pâté studded with a chunk of rosy duck breast and a knob of foie gras, served with pickled baby vegetables, for me; and a lentil salad with slices of morteau sausage and a creamy red-wine-and-mustard vinaigrette for her. “You’d never get food this good for this money in New York,” my friend marveled, and it’s true that the fixed-price lunch menus here—€26 for two courses, €34 for three—offer exceptionally good value.

With an excellent €22 bottle of Vinsobres, our main courses were outstanding, too—a perfect onglet with a gratin dauphinois and succulent chicken from the Dombes region with basmati rice in a light fresh-tarragon cream sauce. For a fine finish, the Reblochon cheese was perfectly ripened, and the rice pudding with salt-butter caramel sauce was excellent, too.

Dinner is only à la carte, but since Cyril Aveline’s ingredients are first quality and his style has such obvious haute-cuisine roots, the delicious meals here more than warrant the steeper prices.

34 rue de Richelieu, 1st, Lunch menus €26–€34, à la carte €50. Prices are approximate, per person without wine

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Alexander Lobrano’s book Hungry for Paris is published by Random House. www.hungryforparis.com

Find Hungry for Paris and more in the France Today Bookstore


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