25, rue St.-Victor, in the 5th Arrondissement.
01 44 31 54 54. Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily.
Having had the good fortune—and the emphasis is definitely on “fortune”—to dine at the three-star Michelin restaurant Le Meurice, I was happy to learn that I wouldn’t have to save up for a few more years before I tasted Yannick Alléno’s wonderful cooking again. Chef Alléno recently opened a casual Paris bistro in the 5th, the much more affordable yet equally enjoyable Terroir Parisien.
The open, window-lit dining room is built around a central bar—great for walk-in or solo diners. A chalkboard at the entrance lists the fresh products that make up the menu, along with their producers, giving emphasis to the locavore mission of Alléno’s new locale.
We jumped right in with a few different starters. The charcuterie plate branched out from the typical saucissons with items like jambon persillé (ham in a gelatin layered with spices) and a terrine of pot-au-feu (a gelatinous slice of beef and vegetables). The onion soup came deconstructed—and therefore much easier to eat—with chunks of cheese, croutons and onions waiting in the bowl for a pouring of warm, salty broth. I had the museau, which is technically the pig’s snout, but when it’s pounded thin and served with a delicious vinaigrette sauce, it registers simply as a tender piece of light meat that melts in your mouth.
For main dishes, we indulged in a thick slice of tender boeuf français that was juicy and flavorful. The meat is served alone on a plate, but there is a selection of sides to choose from; the spinach and mushrooms were a nice addition, and you can never go wrong with salty frites. I had a lamb Champvallon, which consisted of soft mutton chops under a layer of onions and sliced potatoes crisped to a golden brown. This dish was a hearty and perfect cure for all the rain that Paris has been having.
The cheese course included four cheeses that we wish had been explained to us before the waiter left, but we were able to suss out the brie and bleu pretty easily. With the help of the menu, we learned that the other two were Saint Jacques and Merle Rouge. We ended with the expertly crafted flottante, with stiff meringue floating atop a light bed of custard drizzled with caramel.
In a nutshell: Terroir Parisien serves dishes with the freshest local ingredients, expertly prepared by the Michelin-starred chef Yannick Alléno, in a casual setting for an affordable price.
Price check: Dinner: 35–50 euros per person.
If you like Terroir Parisien, save your money and try Yannick Alléno’s three-Michelin-star restaurant, Le Meurice. Read the review.
228, rue de Rivoli, in the 1st.
01 44 58 10 10.
Mon–Fri, lunch and dinner.