In my (unadmitted) quest to discover all the fun restaurants in the Batignolles quarter, I was able to suggest Le Club des 5 when planning a dinner out with Chéri and our artist friend Barbara. I had walked by it many times and it has such a fun delightful interieur that seems to dram me in, that I couldn’t wait any longer, so I insisted.
I wasn’t disappointed!
I do chose restaurants based upon décor and ambiance first, and food second. I feel that just as food presentation is important, so are your surroundings and the decorum in which you eat. I can’t eat in a messy room, for example.
So the Club des 5 is a charming little place that appeals to the nostalgia of the French as it refers to Le Club des Cinq, a series of books that all French kids would read. The stories are fun and exciting for kids, a band of five kids who go on adventures. The shelves dechorating the walls of the bistrot are full of these books, recognizable by the pink or green covers. In addition to these little books, the decor has red benches, collage wallpaper, and all sorts of nostalgia nick-knacks hanging here and there.
But it isn’t just décor that appeals to clients, the menu boasts traditional French cuisine (okay with a hamburger thrown in there for trendy measure) that people enjoyed throughout their childhood. Simple, good (caloric) food aka : hearty home made French food.
A team of five (funny enough) are behind this whole « show ». They created a group called La Bonbonnière, which has managed and grown 14 restaurants, in the span of four years. WOW. Their biggest project is the restaurant franchise they created in France called Les Fils à Maman (Mama’s boys) that has so far locations in France, Bruxelles and … HONG KONG!! Their oher restaurants include : Les Athlètes, Le Barbe à Papa, Le Cabinet de Sa Majesté, Le Captain B, Le Clan des Jules (which we have tried and loved!), La Prairie du petit resto and Le Clan des Belges.
Le Club des 5 is instantly welcoming because of its charming atmosphere, cozy and comfortable booths, and lovely skylight lighting that opens up the space.The menu is equally comforting as well. Duck, fish and beef are present accompanied with potatoes of all sorts or vegetables. It really does fit the home-cooked meal description, and although it is delicious, it isn’t complicated. There are even meals you can order that are reminders of lunch at the French school cantines. Aaaaah memeories I’m sure….
I had as a starter the Taglietelle de légumes marinées sur un lit de roquette : julienned vegetables marinated and served on a bed of arugula. It was perfect, and the vegetables were tender and packed with tangy flavor. And arugula, I’ll eat almost any dish with arugula in it.
The couple next to us ordered the kilo of côte de boeuf (basically a slab of beef) for two. We were all gaping at it like shocked and hungry creatures (including the two who had ordered it) and they even allowed me to take a picture of it. It was HUGE! Served with a pot of gratin potoatoes… it’s quite the bellyful I can imagine.
Chéri and I both ordered burgers. We couldn’t resist, they sounded so good, and burgers are comfort food to us. It was also quite huge and it was to big to pick up and eat like an American, I was forced to use my knife and fork (probably better when in France huh?).
Barbara had the magret de candard, which I had never seen served in that way before. Usually it’s all pretty and sliced very delicately with most of the fat removed. But this was another slab of meat (smaller than the beef) with the layer of fat grilled onto it (for flavor I am sure). It looked succulent and divine.
A delightful experience, where the food is good, plenty, and caloric (don’t go there if you are dieting for summer vacation), and the atmoshpere is friendly and fun and nostalgic. What I liked best was the cozy décor that instigated conversations, and I will go back to try more things from the menu.
Reservations are recommended as it is a trendy spot and fills fast. 01.53.04.94.73
57 rue des Batignolles, 75017 Paris
Opening hours are : Monday to Thrusday lunch and dinner are served : 12-2:30pm and 7:30pm to 10:30pm for dinner (Fridays and Saturdays they serve about an hour or so even later in the evening. Brunch is served Saturday and Sunday from 12-4pm. Monday lunch is closed.
Count around 40 euros per person for dinner with a starter, main dish and dessert with wine.