12 Rue Marbeuf, 8th
Tel 01 47 20 59 57
M° Franklin D. Roosevelt
Located in the exclusive shopping and nightlife district of the Champs-Elysées, this traditional French bistro has been a landmark since 1937, popular with monied locals and tourists alike. The atmosphere is formal but not stuffy, with typical Parisians wait staff in black and white serving food with a hurried, professional air. I had the impression they were trying to maintain the reputation of the grumpy Parisian waiters, but I caught them off-guard, being friendly or more than one occasion. The atmosphere is generally boisterous, with groups of friends at some tables and a few solo regulars happily reading their paper. There are two small rooms, tables are packed in tight. Don’t come with a huge pile of shopping bags…there is nowhere to put them!
The menu includes all of the traditional French favorites: scallops, foie gras, snails, oysters, veal kidneys, rack of lamb, and Bouillabaisse on Fridays. The seafood platters for two are huge and delightfully messy. There are wines by the half bottle and glass if you’re not thirsty enough for a bottle. There’s a fixed-price menu for €35, and à la carte will run about €40, unless you go nuts on the wine. A great deal for this gilded neighborhood! Reservations a must.