Lentils with Morteau sausage.
34, rue de Richelieu, in the 1st Arrondissement.
01 42 60 59 66. Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
Bistronomie is a word that was coined to describe the early-aughts trend that found chefs who had worked years in high-end, starred restaurants opening casual, reasonably priced bistros. The term certainly applies here—chef Cyril Aveline was sous chef at the Bristol—but Les Bistronomes would be a fine Paris bistro by any name.
The welcome was professional and we were led to our table, though we could have found it ourselves; diners’ names are written on slates that rest on the chair rail behind each table. It’s a narrow room with windows overlooking a passage between the rue Richelieu and the Palais Royal, recently renovated but with all the classic details left intact.
The menu is mostly classic, too, with Paris bistro favorites like leeks vinaigrette, pâté en croûte, lentil salad with Morteau sausage, onglet de boeuf and parmentier of pigs’ feet.
But there are surprises in the presentation. I didn’t know lentils with Morteau could be pretty, but the plate arrived polka-dotted with dressing, the lentils hidden under a flower of the sliced sausage and a leafy green headdress. Pâté en croûte was a mosaic of meats flecked with jade parsley and creamy foie gras, with pickled carrots and beets standing in for the usual cornichons.
Onglet de boeuf with gratin.
The parmentier of pieds de cochon was a rich composition of buttery purée (with not only potatoes but, we thought, parsnips) and sweet pork that fell apart luxuriously—if luxury can be associated with pigs’ feet. The massive onglet was seared rare, surrounded by a sauce of shallots and vinegar, and served with a creamy potato gratin.
Riz au lait is, of course, on the dessert list, along with a chocolate pot and roasted pears.
As at many Paris bistros, the prices at Les Bistronomes are lower at lunch, when two courses go for 26 euros, and three are 36 euros. At dinner there are more choices but no fixed-price menu. Main courses start at 24 euros, shifting the price point somewhat radically between lunch and dinner.
In a nutshell: Serving classic dishes, well-executed and artfully presented, Les Bistronomes offers more evidence that the Paris bistro is alive and well in the 21st century.
Price check: Fixed-price lunch menus, 26 euros and 36 euros. Dinner, à la carte only, with main courses starting at 24 euros. Wines start at 18 euros, with about half of the bottles coming in under 40 euros.
If Les Bistronomes sounds good, you’ll also like the sophisticated Bistro Volnay. Read a full review here.
8, rue Volney, in the 2nd.
01 42 61 06 65. Mon–Fri, noon–1 a.m.
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