Two addresses exist for this Paris bistrot. Number 6 and number 18 rue Paul Bert in the 11th arrondissement. I was running late the day I was to meet my friend there for lunch. And it was raining. (It always seems to be raining in Paris when I am running late, le retard des parisiens!!). As I hurried up the street, I stopped in the first address, number 6, thinking that I had finally arrived after a few bus correspondences, and a lot of walking. It’s a small and lively space at number 6 rue Paul Bert. No friend in site. The bar man indicated that there was a second establishment just up the road. Off I went, frustrated at myself for not calculating enough time to arrive at the agreed upon hour. Thank goodness for understanding friends who are happy not only to wait for you but to order for you, and know you well enough to do so!
I thoroughly enjoyed the surprise of having someone who had ordered for me. After some exuberant apologies, we were served almost immediately (another upside to having someone order for you when you are en route). My starter was deviled eggs with sliced truffle mushroom. It was good, although the truffle was not a very pungent one since I did not find that nutty flavor that truffles are so known for. Nonetheless it was good. My main course was fish, cooked to perfection. I cannot for the life of me remember what fish I ate though. A white fish, it seemed to be something close to cod. Seasoned with classic flair it was delicious and served with sautéed mushrooms.
What was the most remarkable about our meal though was the desserts. They were absolutely HUGE! I have never seem desserts so big, in France. We shared since there was enough to feed at least four people, not two. We had the tarte tatin (upside down apple pie) served with thick rich heavy cream, and the Paris Brest, a coffee flavored cream puff pastry to die for.
The decor was delightfully retro, but not to kitschy, kind of as if they had decorated back before retro was in. The staff was charming and attentive, even chatty after our meal, but then we were the last to lunchers in there.
For people visiting Paris and looking for authentic French cuisine, a true Parisian atmosphere, and great food with decent service, I highly recommend this lovely little address, far away from the over crowded tourist hot spots. Prices are in the mid to higher range, but you are getting quality (and quantity, servings were not tiny). The woman who served us explained that as what typical bistrot fare should be, copious.
Bistrot Paul Bert
18 rue Paul Bert, 75011
Closed Sundays & Mondays
Tel : 01 43 72 24 01