My wife and I spent 4 days of an 8-day trip to France at the Hotel de Saint - Germain, at 50, rue du Four, in the 6th arrondissement. The hotel is small, but perfect for a visit to this section of Paris. We were there for such a short time that we decided to explore the restaurants nearby, and especially along Rue du Cherche Midi, a street lined with small shops, bakeries, butcher shops, and restaurants. Many, many restaurants!
We discovered immediately the bakery Poilane at 8 rue du Cherche Midi, where the bread was delicious. They operate a small restaurant named Comptoir Poilâne next door to the bakery, which we made our spot for breakfast each morning we were in Paris. We found delicious croissants, tarts, and flans, as well as beautifully prepared eggs and various kinds of sandwiches.
We went to dinner at the classic French Restaurant Joséphine Chez Dumonet, at 117 Rue du Cherche-Midi, where we found wonderfully prepared fish and beef bourguignon, as well as a fine list of wines by the glass, including a delicious wine from the Saint-Joseph region, a new wine for us.
The high point of this evening came after I mentioned to our waiter that this was my wife's birthday. At dessert time, suddenly the entire restaurant went dark and the whole waitstaff plus folks from the kitchen showed up at our table with a cake topped by a roman-candle kind of thing spewing flames and sparks, and the staff sung "Happy Birthday" to her in French -- truly memorable!
We also ate at Lancetta Ristorante (72 rue du Cherche Midi), an Italian restaurant, which while probably not the best Italian restaurant in Paris is certainly a good Italian restaurant, where we enjoyed a shrimp and octopus salad, risotto with pumpkin, and an exceptionally well-prepared sea bass.
The find of the week, however, was Sauvage, a small French restaurant at 60 rue du Cherche Midi, which is a wine shop during the day (floor-to-ceiling shelves crowded with bottles all around the room). At lunch and in the evening it is a truly first-class restaurant.
The wine selection by the glass is phenomenal (after all, an incredibly wide array of wines are always at hand from the shop's stock). The wait staff is very attentive, especially with wine recommendations, and the food was truly first-class. We had dinner there twice, enjoying beautifully prepared scallops, fish, and pork, as well as several wonderful ceviche dishes and very tasty desserts. We will remember the food and dining experience at Sauvage for some time to come.
If you get to the 6th arrondissement, do not miss La Grande Epicerie, at 38, rue de Sèvres (https://www.lagrandeepicerie.com/en.html), a three story building devoted to everything splendid about French cooking and wine. It's next door to the Le Bon Marché Rive Gauche and offers a full floor of French wine, a floor with a fish market, a butcher shop, a cheese shop, a fresh produce market, and shelves and shelves of prepackaged food, and a floor with a restaurant.
We of course know we missed much fine food by concentrating on this one section of Paris, but for this trip, our plans worked well for us.