Tucked in an out of the way corner of the 14th, Le Petit Baigneur provides a very French experience without the Parisian prices.
This small restaurant is big on charm with its rustic decor – think small wooden tables and chairs, vintage tin advertisements, and wine crates. Far from tourist throngs, it feels more “neighborhood-y” than “kitschy”. Plaid tablecloths with paper covering set a casual tone while the smallish tables make it well suited for cozy dinners for two.
The menu offers French home cooking-style dishes with a 2-course lunch menu for €17, 50 and a 3-course dinner menu for €29,50.
While not exactly a vegetarian’s delight, there are one or two fish dishes to select on the menu. The menu is strong on simple meat dishes such as Lapin à la Moutarde, Steak Haché, and Entrecôte Sauce Roquefort. The rabbit in mustard sauce was tender and delicious while my French companion was very content with his rib steak with blue cheese sauce (Entrecôte Sauce Roquefort). During two recent visits, the wine was well matched to our choices, and exceeded expectations.
The desserts range from cakes and tartes “du jour” to lighter fruit dishes and fromage blanc. The rich moelleux au chocolat didn’t disappoint and the creamy fromage blanc à la crème de marron (chestnut cream) tasted like anything but “diet” food.
The restaurant clientele was predominantly local with one or two Anglophones who seemed to have been brought by a local in the know. Service was consistently warm and friendly. We chatted amiably with our host after the first visit and he let us know that an American flight crew makes regular stops at Le Petit Baigneur.
Le Petit Baigneur does fill up after 20:00, even during the week. They don’t accept reservations for couples, so your best bet is to go early. They do accept Ticket Restaurant and credit cards. Reservation recommended for 3 or more. Closed Saturday lunchtime and Sundays.
Le Petit Baigneur
10 rue de la Sablière, 14th
M° Pernety, or M° Alésia
Tel 01 45 45 47 12
A Boston native and relative Paris newcomer, Sue Nally is the somewhat proud owner of a patchwork resume of jobs, interests, and previous addresses including New York City and Galway, Ireland. Frankfurt, Germany was most recently “home” for 9 years, where she gained writing experience with the former Woman Abroad magazine and coordinated a professional women’s networking group. She finds Paris inspiring as a graphic designer, and especially loves that it provides endless material for her hobby: collecting useful info on all places and things deemed cool and unusual.
We've dined at Le Petit Baigneur four (4) times during our holiday this year, and never been disappointed. The food remains traditional French, with no decline in quality.Of particular note this year was a Croze Hermitage house wine (Euro 18.90) that was an exceptionally good value IMO. The staff was, as always, courteous and helpful. Highly recommended. Arrive early, as the placed was packedd to capacity by 21:00 every time we were there.
Sue Nally has it exactly right. Petite Baigneur is the restaurant every one hopes to find in Paris and rarely does. If you're looking for "haute cuisine" or "nouvelle cuisine" this IS NOT the restaurant for you. Traditional French is on the menu, and without apology. Prices have gone up a bit since the original post, but it's reasonable to get away for about 70 Euros for dinner for two, including a starter, main course with veg, dessert and a bottle of the house wine. (2014 prices). The place is always crowded, so arriving by 20:00 is good advice. Make reservations if your group is bigger than 2 if you can.Frankly, I would prefer that this restaurants remain a Paris secret. It's too good too good to be spoiled by excessive popularity.
Check the hotel reviews, lots of cheap lodgings there.
Sounds like a great find. I’ll have to check it out the next time I find myself in that neck of the globe. Do you happen to know of any cheap lodgings?