The Paris bistro is so classic, but also soooo monotonous. Everytime I go to one I see the same exact menu, and the same exact decor. Don’t get me wrong, both the food and the ambiance are classic Parisian, but sometimes I want to add a little excitement and flavor to my French dining experience. I’ve found myself consistently underwhelmed by the choices available to me each time I arrive at a friendly neighborhood spot.
This past Saturday, I was walking around with a friend in the Rue des Dames / Rue Legendre area of the 17th arrondissement, just close to where I’m living in Paris. Les Puces des Batignolles was one of the only places serving food Saturday at 4pm, as most restaurants close between the lunch and dinner services. We were looking for something besides French food, but when we saw the salads that everyone was eating outside, mixed with the playful, hip and vintage interior of the restaurant, we decided to stop. The interior is bright and happy, with walls / windows that open all the way up so you can sit inside but face the sidewalk outside. The walls and corners are filled with old toys and signs. As pleasant as the ambiance is, the food is twice as much.
For the first time during my trip to a typical French restaurant, I wanted everything on the menu. I really had a hard time deciding, and for this reason I’ll be back to eat more soon. The ingredients they used were insanely fresh, from the bright and colorful produce to the excellent cuts of beef. Each salad I saw served looked better than the last.
You can indulge in anything from foie gras or crispy gambas, to Italian antipasti or a seafood salad. Eggs and brunch (avec bulles à volonté, 28€), Thai salads or tartares, cuts of meat or duck, risotto, and bagels. For me, this was a winning menu, executed perfectly and with excellent quality of ingredients, and friendly service. Prices are slightly higher than normal but incredibly worth it. I’ll be back soon and I’m happy to have a new favorite place in my neighborhood!
Do you have a local French favorite? Leave a comment below.