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le bistrot paul bert - a review

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Restaurants & Bars

le bistrot paul bert - a review

gg | Nov 17, 2004 07:03 AM

last night took me to the southern tip of the 11th, and a small street and bistrot with the same name. warm, informal, old parisian feeling are the first impressions. smiles at the door, comfortable banquettes, and a chalk menu. the 28 e. prix fixe was to include the usual entree, plat, dessert combo. cute converstational waitresses made a good effort to translate the more difficult items. we were told about dessert or cheese tray, so we opted to share one of each, the dessert being something that had to be ordered in advance, as it was baked on site.
entrees: i had the coquilles st. jacques, which i've never ordered before. the waitress said they were spiced with heady things like cinnamon, and were popular enough to run out each night by 9 or 10. they were in fact excellent, 4 scallops in the shell, lolling in butter, chives, and a subtle and provacative spice melange of cinnamon, chili pepper, and...? great bread dipping, fine bivalve. my friend ordered the sauteed chanterelles, which were garlicy and buttery, and he seemed quite content.
plats: unimaginatively enough, i selected the entrecote a poelle, which turned out to be the nicest slab of beef i've received yet in paris. seasoned perfectly, pan fried to a nice medium rare (which i had to request, as the menu specified all meats are cooked "bleu") with a crispy exterior, and served with a side sauce somewhat like a bernaise, but less taragon and a touch sweet. sauteed wedges of potato got along swimmingly with the au jus.
my friend ordered the milk fed pig, which arrived as 2 somewhat meaty hocks, i think, in a nice reduction sauce redolent again of subtle exotic spices. served with a good disc of polenta. i know he wished for more meat, but loved the flavors.
dessert: the pre-ordered apple affair arrived, which was light, crispy baked pastery with fanned apple slices atop, and a sprinkling of powdered sugar. warm and satisfying. the cheese tray was a small butcher's block involving 6 or so cheeses of the usual varieties, all decently a point and temp. (brie, camembert, chevre, pont leveque?, aged gouda...) i took a small wedge of each, trying not to make a milk fed pig of myself; but after the large steak, etc., i wasn't overly tempted.
we enjoyed a bottle of red, which was probably more expensive than it should have been for the quality, and a couple extra glasses toward dessert that were just fine: some slightly spicy/sweet white to go with mes fromages, a red for my friend. (obviously i'm a real wine expert.)
fine experience overall.

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