8, rue des Plantes, in the 14th Arrondissement.
01 45 40 40 91. Lunch and dinner, Mon–Fri.
When people ask me where to go for steak frites, Le Severo is where I send them. This Paris bistro, in a quiet residential area of the 14th Arrondissement, is run by William Bernet, a former butcher who honors the quality of his steaks by cooking them very well.
Well, but not well done: your steak will not be cooked past the rare side of medium rare. They’ll recommend “saignant” (bleeding), and it would be a shame to cook beef this good any further. The steaks here are aged from five to ten weeks, a surprisingly uncommon practice in Paris.
Le Severo is a small corner bistro, charming and a little cramped unless you score one of the booths along the window. The center of the space is anchored by a counter, behind which a single cook works in an open kitchen, serving up well-seared steaks, crisp golden frites and little else.
There is charcuterie to start—boudin noir, ham, a rosette d’Auvergne—and maybe a seasonal vegetable or two. Feeling a little tired of asparagus as spring was coming to a close, we chose a dish of sautéed girolle mushrooms, served just like that but lacking nothing.
You could also go straight to the main event. There were sweetbreads on the menu, and a cut of veal, too, but it’s otherwise beef in several forms: tartare, rumsteck (rump steak), fillet, faux filet and a magnificent côte de boeuf for two. All are offered with either fries or haricots verts.
My friend had the faux filet, sliced and fanned out on the plate. I had the thick pavé de rumsteck. Both were tender, juicy, well seasoned and encrusted with a wonderful sear. The fries are hand cut, freshly fried, served hot and crisp.
The wine list is fantastic, featuring small vignerons, mostly biodynamic or natural, with an emphasis on Burgundy and the northern Rhône Valley. Cornas from Allemand, Saint-Joseph from Dard et Ribo… these wines are exactly what to drink with this food.
Dessert was less impressive. Our apricot tart had a soggy crust and too-tangy fruit. I ordered it for the sake of science, not because I was hungry; I don’t think you’ll miss it.
In a nutshell: Le Severo is simply one of the best places for steak in Paris.
Price check: From 16 euros for tartare to 40 euros for the côte de boeuf.
If you’re craving a steak but wanting a more varied menu, try Le Bis du Severo, also run by Bernet, which serves more than just steak.
Le Bis du Severo
16, rue des Plantes, in the 14th.
01 40 44 73 09. Dinner, Mon–Fri.