The reports continue: based partly on Chowhound recommendations, we went to Au Bon Accueil for a one p.m. weekday lunch, having made reservations a few days in advance. Hubby and I had arranged to meet sister and her hubby at the restaurant; both couples ended up being late (we were just slow getting going and showed up at 1:20, they got lost in the metro and didnt make it until 1:35 or so.) However, we had both called to warn them, and they were most accommodating. We were seated at a spacious yet cozy half circle booth in the middle of the small main room.
By the way, fwiw, since returning I have found that Patricia Wells gave it a good review; see link below.
Unfortunately, my notes werent very good on this one, so I am missing some menu details. Guess I was just too busy eating and enjoying the ambiance. Maybe if sister Janet sees this she can chime in.
The restaurant was fairly full, with just a few empty tables. I felt slightly underdressed in pants and a sweater: no tourists, this was a local and fairly sedate business crowd and most were in business attire (suits and ties, pantsuits or dresses for women); though I think that was more a function of how they dressed for work than of the restaurant itself (or so we told ourselves anyway :-)).
Service was proper yet friendly, and of course, as this was Paris we never felt rushed, even though we ended up closing down the place after lunch (those business people got there a little earlier than we did, and had to go back to work).
In terms of cost/value ratio I would rate this as one of my favorite finds of the trip. It is a market-based, seasonal menu. Cross French bistro with Chez Panisse Café and you get a sense of the place (although this lunch was less expensive than my last lunch at CP Café!). All of us ordered the price fix, which had a choice of three items in the entrée and main categories, and a choice of any of the listed desserts on the menu to finish. Aprox 34 Euros for the price fix. There was a lovely amuse of a cream of leak soup. We followed with starters of rabbit terrine, which was very good, and a salmon and avocado dish that was out of this world: a piece of salmon sashimi, and a separate mixture of chopped salmon and diced avocado. Hard to describe, but a joy to eat. I think Janet tried the third entrée choice, but sorry, cant remember much about it other than that I wanted to steal bites! Brother in law had John Dory as a main; it was delicious. I had a roast mignon of beef, very flavorful if a little less tender than I would like, and fabulous whipped potatoes. Highlight of the desserts was Janets mango soup with tropical fruits (if there is mango on the menu of course Janet has to order it); subtle spicing and very unique, and where do they find those fruits in Paris, anyways?
They had a number of bottles of wine on special; we shared a Chauteau de Cardaillan Graves (99) from the specials board; I forgot to write down the exact price, but it was about 15 euros, perhaps a little less. Again, a good value. Total bill for four with price fix and wine just about 150 Euros. As I implied above, I thought it was a bargain for the quality of food.
Finally, this upscale bistro really is 'in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower' (to quote from Michelin); you walk out the door and there it is! I would think it would be a great choice for dinner, followed by a nighttime trip up the Tower. Highly recommended.