RESTAURANTS AND TAKEAWAYS
Eating out or in, close to the flat
Here is our (by no means exhaustive) selection of favourite local eateries. You're bound to find others: please write and let us know about them!
To sample a typical Parisian lunchtime atmosphere, try Le Rouergue on the corner of Rue de Tocqueville and Rue Jouffroy-d'Abbans (turn left on rue de Tocqueville and it's at the next junction). The pace is frenetic, with dishes served at breakneck speed to a time-limited working crowd. Le Dôme de Villiers, at the top of Rue de Lévis where the road joins Avenue de Villiers, is scarcely more leisurely. Both these places are busier at lunch than in the evening. Le Rouergue: 01 47 63 74 97; le Dôme: 08 99 10 04 18.
A quieter and more up-market experience is on offer at Chez Léon on Rue Legendre (which crosses Rue de Lévis: turn left off the rue de Lévis and it's on your right), where we have eaten both lunch dinner. There we have had a very competent filet of daurade (fish), crisp skin uppermost on a bed of mash flavoured with olive oil and herbs, a salad of Fourme d'Ambert (mild blue cheese), a pastie of shredded guinea-fowl, a perfectly judge steak. The chocolate millefeuille (special pastry) was well balanced in both taste and texture but a baba au rum was disappointing, floating in too much sauce. Prices are to match and watch out for extras: some menu items come with a supplement. Chez Léon: 01 42 27 06 82.
Fans of George Simenon's fictional detective Commissaire Maigret will be amused to find at Chez Léon a brass plaque next to one table assuring diners that the great man regularly ate there. Restaurants of this name do indeed feature in some of the books but this particular establishment is too recent to have served as the writer's model. One book, called Pietr-le-Letton, describes a hotel of this name, not in Paris but in the seaside town of Fécamp. Another Chez Léon is mentioned in Maigret à Montmartre, a different area of Paris, and there is another on Boulevard Beaumarchais (no relation to the Belgian chip-and-mussel chain of the same name). Still, it is common practice in Paris for restaurants whose names appear in Simenon's books to have brass plaques honouring the places where the famous dective is supposed to have refreshed himself when not enjoying Mme Maigret's cooking at home.
Opposite the flat is a small Lebanese restaurant and take-away, Marrouj. They are friendly, of average quality and above all very close. Further away on Boulevard Malesherbes (at number 94) is another Lebanese restaurant, regarded as one of the best in Paris: Rimal. Opposite on the far side of the same boulevard is its sister-shop, a take-away. There we have had chargrilled marinated chicken with humus and green tabbouleh, cracked wheat with parsley, lemon juice and olive oil, and flat bread. All was excellent as was the crisp, sweet backlava. Rimal will deliver at home, see its website, or phone Rimal on 01 42 27 61 22.
A real favourite with us is Le Bistro du 17 (108 Avenue de Villiers, 01 47 63 32 77), welcoming the evening patrons with a glass of champagne. The fixed-price menu was 42€ per person on our last visit. The service was a little supercilious but worth it for avocado served with creamy scrambled egg, perfectly cooked lam, scallops, profiteroles and their trademark dessert, two types of chocolate mousse.
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