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Paris Restaurants That Offer the Best Homestyle Cuisine



The arrival of and Autumn and Winter with its colder weather here in Paris often prompts us to think of home and hearth, or at least cosying up by the fireplace with a warm and satisfying meal in our belly.  When you’re vacationing or traveling on business, this isn’t often the first thing you associate with a world-class metropolitan city like Paris. But it can be found.

 

Paris is full of cosy little corners where you can tuck in next to a fireplace or warm heater on comfortable cushioned chairs, couches or benches and dive into your roasted country chicken (poulet fermier) with new potatoes sautéed in the chicken’s juices ; or perhaps a cassoulet is more to your liking ? These authentic southwestern stews made with white beans and cut up pieces of stew meat and pork sausages are a national dish and qualify every bit as comfort food.

 

Another favorite French comfort food is the cocotte which are the individual-sized stew pots in which they cook just about everything.  That could be a slow-roasted and braised lamb shoulder steeped in duck drippings  à l’orange or perhaps it’s the filet of duck breast itself, served with seasonal vegetables and the housemade sauce. Of course, homestyle also means sharing  amongst yourselves so here on this list you’ll find a few restaurants where a pot of paté, a bowl of gherkins and a big basket of bread are set in front of you to start your meal off right. 


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10
6th Arrondissement - Rive Gauche
La Charette des Beaux Art
Photo courtesy of La Charrette des Beaux Art


Beloved by all the students at the Ecole des Beaux Arts across the street, this is one of those neighborhood bistros locals love. In the evenings art students gather around to knock back pints of beer together or perhaps indullge in a plate of cold cuts and a carafe of vin de pays French red wine. Lunches are the most popular and for just a bit more than a song you'll have solid fare as appetizer, main and dessert with a coffee for good measure. It also opens early which is when you really see the local color dipping their fresh croissants in their espresso before heading off to work.


9
2éme Arrondissement
Chez Georges
Photo courtesy of Paige Donner copyright 2014


Here it's the food that will keep you coming back time and again. Tucked away just back behind Place des Victoires, the somewhat scruffed up d�cor and the less than perky service will just be passing distractions once you've had a taste of your meal. Steak comes served with either a pepper sauce or béarnaise; your salad frisée sports a warm poached egg and bacon on top; the wine list is highlighted which translates to those are the ones you can drink to your delight. Yes, they will keep track of how much you drink and charge accordingly but it saves you from having to make the decision as to whether to order a bottle or half a carafe. N'est_ce pas?


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9th Arrondissement - Grands Boul
La Régalade Conservatoire
Photo courtesy of Hotel de Nell

Now overseen by Chef Bruno Doucet, who bought out Chef Yves Camdeborde when he sold his successful La Régalade concept several years back, this location, though tucked away is near enough to Grands Boulevards to make it worth seeking out. Forget about personal space â€" the place is so popular that you may find yourself sitting within inches of your neighbor. However, the food will take your mind off the crowds. People flock here to try duck hearts with oyster mushrooms or hachis parmentier (shepherd's pie) made with rabbit rather than the plebeian ground beef. The dishes are tending a bit towards the nouvelle and less towards the country-style cuisine these days, but the ambiance is still homestyle, if served with the qualifier of "a tad fancy" before it.


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Besides serving hot, tempting, overflowing plates of food until 5 a.m., Chez Denise is most well known for its hot, tempting, overflowing plates of French traditional food. The proper name is what you see written here above but everyone just refers to this red-checked tablecloth mainstay as Chez Denise. The fare here appeals to those who like to chomp into true classics, such as grilled marrow bones. All the while rubbing shoulders â€" and elbows and knees â€" with your fellow diners invariably sitting altogether much too closely to you. But since this is a favorite of the late night after club and post-dancing crowds, by that time of day (er, night) people tend to be much friendlier anyway.


6
15éme Arrondissement
La Table du Bal
Photo courtesy of Le Bal Blomet


Though this restaurant happens to be attached to a fabulous and newly refurbished cabaret, it is a stand-alone destination in itself. Serving a traditional take on French homestyle meals, expect hearty portions of seared tuna served over squid ink risotto or lighter fare of seafood salad; Even if you're not a foie gras fan, the chef has sourced the best of the best from his home region in Provence. It's served with mango chutney to offer that exotic twist on a traditional French gourmet staple.


5
7éme Arrondissement


Its name means "good welcome," so you know that you'll be well received at Au Bon Accueil. The bistro's popularity continues to rise, and ma�tre d'h�te Dominique Giorza not only assists diners but is fluent in both English and Italian. Entr�es depend on the season and can include dishes featuring everything from skatefish to baby pig. Desserts are sinfully impossible to pass up. The husband-wife owners, Jacques and Catherine Lacipiére are dedicated to serving quality, market-driven fresh food accompanied small-producer wines from regions like Bourgogne and Cotes du Rhones. Laurent Fiot is the maitre d'hote and Kita Kitamura is in charge of the kitchen.


4
7th Arondissement - Eiffel Tower
Les Cocottes
Photo courtesy of Maison Constant copyright


Cocottes means casserole in French. And here at this Christian Constant restaurant on the rue he dominantes, rue Saint-Dominique, near the Eiffel Tower, that's all that's served. But is there any dish more soothing, more satisfying, than one that has been cooked in its own cast iron stew pot and then served hot in its stew juices right to your table? Or, this case, to your seat at the counter? Not if you're looking for a hot meal on a cold autumn, winter or early spring day. The other nice thing is that you can pair this mean with a starter served in a verrine ( a glass, sort of like a parfait but savory), a hearty salad, and his good solid signature desserts, such as the profiteroles.


Sur Un Arbre Perché
Photo courtesy of Sur Un Arbre Perché, Paris


This restaurant gets its name, "Perched on a Tree Top," from its ingenious décor which instantly makes you feel like you are dining in a tree house, or, alternately, from a tree swing. It also offers shiatsu treatments inbetween your appetizer and main course, or main course and dessert. With all these gimmicky perks, you might start to wonder if the food will be any good? Not to worry. It is very good. Thick cut steaks and more traditional than you'd imagine, though with an ever so slight Asian touch such as makis served with a few of the entrées.


2
1er Arrondissement
Café des Abattoirs
Photo courtesy of Café des Abattoirs photo by Paige Donner copyright 2014


This is a Rostang operation and it's all about the meat. Interestingly, too, it's run by the daughters of iconic French chef, Michel. Specialties here are thick, juicy cuts of Basque pork, black Angus beef, lamb and chicken. It's also a restaurant for sharing - as in plates of food shared amongst friends and family, like you do when you eat chez vous (at home). The service here is friendly and efficient even with its nightly booked-to-capacity popularity. If you are a wine buff, the servers will take pleasure in introducing you to some smaller producers and personal favorites; wines they themselves enjoy sharing with friends. The three levels of set menus cater to normal, large and extra-large appetites. Which is to say, you will not go home hungry.


1
6th Arrondissement - Rive Gauche


As prized for its turn-of-the-20th century decor (the etched ceramic panels of exotic plants, black and white floor tile and Charlie Garrey's painted ceiling of African scenes) as it is for its true brasserie food (authentic Alsatian fare), Lipp is more than a place to wash down sausages with beer. For over a century, the politicians, thinkers, writers and artists who have called Paris home have congregated here from Hemingway to former President Mitterrand. Reservations are recommended for dining, yet not accepted for sidewalk tables. It is possible to enjoy just a beer during off dining hours, but it is so much better to come for a meal.


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Meet Paige Donner

Paige's latest book, The Romantic Couple's Guide To The City of Love, Sexy Paris follows her earlier guidebook Paris On 4 Paws, A Dog Lover's Guide To The City of Light and her acclaimed...  More About Paige

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