Les Antiquaires: Finding a Good Paris Bistrot
Finding a good bistrot in Paris is not as simple as it once was. In fact, I have visited my share of over-rated bistrots and it is so disappointing. I crave that old-fashioned experience of the truly charming and warm neighborhood bistrot.
Upon the recommendation of friends, I visited Les Antiquaires, in the 7th arrondissement. Always crowded, I thought it might only be a place for tourists. I was pleased to find that the clientele is a mix of people from the neighborhood, businessmen/women, and tourists, because it is located in a well-frequented area.
As I entered, I was warmly greeted by the manager, Julien Malbec, who is very cordial. Mr Malbec and his wife, Mendhy, have overseen the restaurant beautifully, since it opened 2 1/2 years ago. The décor transports you to another era. In fact, historically, the Quartier des Antiquaires was the area where the Musketeers resided. The old wooden counter bar, the leather banquettes, and the ceiling from the Haussmannian era all add to the lively and warm atmosphere.
At Les Antiquaires, I found what I had been seeking – a bistrot where the dishes are traditional, the ingredients market-based, and the service professional but friendly. They offer the type of food that I look for when I desire a meal that is unfussy but well-prepared. Here you will dine on the traditional pavé de rumsteak, French fries made “à la maison”, foie gras that’s also home-made, as well as a choice of fish and other delights.
The desserts added to my satisfaction. They are all made at the the restaurant, including pain perdu, and of course, tarte tatin.
Les Antiquaires, 13 Rue du Bac, Paris 7th. Tel: +33 1 42 61 08 36. Open daily from 7AM – midnight. Prices: 11 euros for omelets; filet de bar 22 euros; other mains from 17- 25 euros.
Barbara Gerber is the France Today Ambassador for Los Angeles.
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