The intro has a quote “No wants tweezer cooking anymore,” but then there’s literally a picture of tweezers.
Things to do include restaurants:
Google reports Gregory Renard now permanently closed.
from a couple of weeks ago in Paris
For steak frites
Highly recommended for steak frites (and their steak tartare as a principal plate looked very good). Old school, small room, basically they’ll only cook it medium rare or lower and not much in the way of sauces for the sirloin (aka “faux filet”) steak. They do a peppercorn sauce for the rump steak. Apparently will get very upset if you ask for ketchup with fries, but that wasn’t me.
Tight but good wine list, with some nice options by 500ml carafe. Low markup also on some nice champagne like Jacques Lassaigne’s 2015 Clos Saint. Sophie.
I really enjoyed the appetizer tête de veau with a light sauce ravigote - deboned calf’s head with dijon mustard, shallots, big capers, and arugula. Very crispy edge, consistent gelatinous center that was between beef tendon and mung bean jelly, with juicy cheek portion that had a texture like fatty brisket.
get this and enjoy with crusty bread and a solid Côtes du Rhône
Good beef with a hard sear, rare in the middle, and excellent fries.
all 10 tables were full of French locals except for me and one Canadian woman.
For wine-focused bistros
Solid food and wine bistro with a small, changing menu of pate en croute, sweetbreads, a veloute, etc. I reserved dinner on the same day. Food is rather good, wine is nice with rather good prices (bottle of Jacques Lassaigne La Colline Inspiree, less than 100% markup), and this is kind of the comfortable and local wine-focused bistro that you want to return to.
Cerf (red deer) tartare with mayonnaise, crispy shallots, and mushrooms. Nice and light.
Signature ris de veau croustillant, or crisped calf’s sweetbreads. Winter version here had salsify fondant, endive, and spiced pears. The sweetbreads were cooked long and slow then seared fast to get it ultra crispy on the outside. Bouncy and smooth cuisson on the inside. Salsify was very nice as well, but the pears were a little bit too sweet for me.
Burnt clementine tart, like a creme brulee top. Very good.
228 Litres by Le Cave Pigalle (9th)
Excellent champagne list at very fair prices. This is now a crowded spot but I waited for about 15 minutes and snagged a seat at the bar. The food is alright but I hear they do some chef dinners, which look more interesting.
To me, this is a good place to meet with a friend for some wine before dinner nearby.
lamb chops with sunchokes
Le Saint Sebastien
Very good wine bar all around - friendly service, great wine list, and smart food. I got a same day reservation at the bar and had an enjoyable meal later in the evening. The restaurant was slammed nonstop, but the service never missed a beat. They were quite nice, even patient with some argumentative couple nearby who were both late and difficult.
After a complimentary pour of Pascal Doquet’s Arpege solera, onto a bottle of Salima et Alain Cordeuil’s Altitude 350m 2018. I’ve been loving Cordeuil’s wine for the last year, especially the Altitude 320m blanc de noirs, but this Altitude 350m blanc de blancs was even better. The solar 2018 vintage is approachable now and proved great with the poached fish. Sensitive, focused, dry, and balanced, not austere - persimmon, meyer lemon, guava cream, bit of smoke and minerals, and nice structure.
Saucisson of Iberian pork
Limousin beef tartare, hand cut for a chunky texture, with smoked padilla chili mayonnaise, fried sunflower seeds, smoked hay oil, shallots, and capers. Delicious combination and very smart - the delivery of smokiness and heat was latent, because of the mayonnaise and the thick but yielding beef texture. Taking a bite, you first notice the good quality beef, then the crispness of the shallots and fried sunflower seeds, then the smokiness from the hay oil and mayonnaise of padilla chiles they dried in house. The chef from Mexico, hence the touches of Mexcian ingredients here, but whatever its inspiration was, the tartare was a well-composed dish with a smart use of ingredients for how it ate. The balanced smokiness and heat, combined with the quality chunky-cut Limousin beef, kept this feeling refined and not the overtly tangy palette bomb that some steakhouse tartares can be.
Hake with tangerine hollandaise, sunchoke, and white cabbage. Excellent hollandaise, like a sauce Maltaise here, with a gentle sweetness and acidity balanced by the fish’s poaching juices mixed into the sauce. Smooth sunchokes and crisp white cabbage were nice complements.
Buttermillk ice cream, poached quince, and pumpkin seeds
the candle holders are old wine bottles - Nowack, Stephane Bernardeau, Labet, L’Anglore, etc.
My friend (who was a sommelier at a nice French restaurant in Shirokane, Tokyo) also suggested the following wine bars / wine-focused bistrots:
Chambre Noire (11th)
Liquiderie Bar (11th)
Chez Nous (6th)
Le Petit Verdot (6th)
For wine stores
There are countless options, but my two go-tos to buy wine for a dinner party and for bottles to bring back home are:
Delicatessen Cave (11th)
Le Cave Pigalle (9th)