Dinner at Bistrot Paul Bert in Paris

When I started researching after booking our Paris tickets, I thought of what I really wanted to eat while there. The first thing that came to mind was steak frites. From my early years, we often had steak with béarnaise sauce and some kind of potato sidedish for weekend dinners cooked by my mum. I learned to whip up my own béarnaise sauce somewhere around the age of 11, and since then, I have no idea how many times we’ve had steak, fries and béarnaise sauce. I think it is quite safe to say that it is one of my all time favourite dishes. So simple, yet so refined and so, so tasty.

When I googled “Paris’ best steak frites”, a name kept on coming up in my search feed: Bistrot Paul Bert. The Bistro seemed to be exactly what I wanted. It was decently priced, not snobby, but not too casual either. It felt like the essence of Paris to me. Steak, frites, wine, and rustic charm. We made a booking two weeks in advance and was given a table at 19:30 (when the restaurant opens) on Saturday evening. Since we underestimated the Paris Saturday rush hour, we arrived in our Uber about half an hour late to friendly welcoming staff.

Bistrot Paul Bert has a fixed menu with three dishes priced €42 a person. They also had a couple of off the menu specials written on a board. No dishes seems to be permanently fixed on the menu, as we had wanted to try their steak tartare, but it was unavailable during our visit. Anyway, we did a bit of mix and match and opted to start with a shared starter of “roasted French scallops with Kari Gosse butter”. This was really delicious as well as really simple. Sweet, succulent roasted scallops with great melted butter mixed with the seafood juices from the scallops. We mopped up the butter with bread and basically just mmmm:ed our way through the starter.

I’ve read about Paul Bert’s steak au poivre, or their steak frites with peppercorn-cognac sauce. Fortunately it was on the menu as a special in the shape of above medium rare beef fillet, excellent pommes frites and the best damn peppercorn sauce I’ve ever licked of a plate. Well I did not actually do that, since the frites were soggy enough (in a good way, they were crispy too) to use as vessels to transport the sauce to my mouth with. The steak was perfectly cooked and very tasty as well. But the sauce was the real star of this dish.

My partner’s flank steak with fried shallots and pommes frites. Also delicious. But not served with any sauce but the beef juices.

Almost as online-raved-about as the great steak frites were Bistrot Paul Bert’s Paris Brest. The Paris Brest is a classic French pastry, which basically is a choux pastry filled with a hazelnut praline-flavoured cream filling. Very rich, very delicious.

What I actually liked even more than the Paris Brest was the incredibly good Grand Marnier-flavoured soufflé. It had crispy edges, fluffy content and a delicious flavour of vanilla, and of orange from the Grand Marnier.

Our dinner at Bistrot Paul Bert was great. The place was buzzing, the food was fantastic, the service friendly and the wine potent. It was all I wanted from a Saturday dinner in Paris, and the best steak au poivre I’ve ever had. Very recommended!

Price €€+
We paid €120 for two, with a shared starter, two mains, two desserts, water and a bottle of red wine.

I used my hotel to make a reservation since my French is non-existent. I however called to let them know we were late and they spoke good English. They do not seem to have a website, but they do have a Facebook page.

Chez Minnà Corsican restaurant in Paris

Since we were arriving Paris quite late, in fact we both worked until Friday afternoon and then took the Arlanda Express airport train before boarding a SAS flight for Paris, we opted for dinner at a restaurant close to our hotel. Fortunately most of the restaurants around our hotel, Hotel L’Echiquier Opéra Paris MGallery by Sofitel, seemed great, so we chose one of the closest; Chez Minnà, a Corsican restaurant.

We arrived at Chez Minnà around 9 pm and I was happy the restaurant was pretty much exactly how I always has been imagening a busy Paris bistro on a Friday afternoon. It was busy, loud (in a good way) and the staff was friendly and efficient in a relaxed way. After realising we did not speak French, they also presented us with an English menu, which we had not expected. The interior was cozy – you’re quite close to the next table. Not that close, though.

The food, then. First, we tried their croquettes. Stuffed with Corsican cheese and ham. The crispy croquettes were served on a bed of mixed leaves with a dash of a tasty vinaigrette and some standard cherry tomatoes. It was tasty and had nice texture.

For main we had the tagliata. Tagliata is sliced steak on a bed of salad, a dish I usually relate to Italy. In this Corsican version, the steak and salad was complemented by fried sliced potatoes and a pesto-y sauce made with Corsican cheese. Rustic and delicious. We had both dishes with a tasty Corsican red wine, that I unfortunately have forgotten the name of.

All in all, Chez Minnà provided an authentic Parisian experience with nice interior, good service and prices, and of course, most importantly: good food.

Price and website

We paid €70 for two with a shared starter, two mains, four glasses of wine and a large bottle of sparkling water.

Website (in French)

Bonjour, Paris!

Last weekend we visited a place I should’ve visited a long time ago. By some reason, the closest I’ve been to the City of Lights is seeing the Eiffel Tower from a plane, when transiting at Charles De Gaulle airport. But now it was time, at last, for Paris! Since we’re as usual saving up on our vacation days, we left straight from work Friday, and got back home late Sunday, so it’s possible to do a weekend in Paris (at least from Stockholm) without using any of your precious days off. I though I’d share a couple of pictures from our short weekend visit.

Since we are silver level members of Accor’s Le Club programme we were treated to a complimentary drink in our hotel’s, Hotel L’Echiquier Opéra Paris MGallery by Sofitel, 1920s style “Le 38 Bar Lounge“. We were very delighted to find out that champagne was one of the possible selections, and we ordered a glass each of  Veuve Clicquot to start the party.

Our hotel had a very nice breakfast, that was served in the same room as the bar was in during night time. The spread was great, and what I had hoped for would be included on a Parisian breakfast buffet. There were numerous French cheeses, charcuterie, great bread (very important), decent scrambled eggs, bacon, fried mushrooms, fancy French butter in little paper wrappings and nice juice and coffee. Definitely my kind of breakfast. Très bien!

Since we only had one full day in Paris we had pre-booked Louvre tickets through Viator to save some time. I think the price was a Euro or two more a person than buying a ticket at the actual museum, but using this method, we could walk straight in (after the security check) instead of course queing to the ticket booth in the museum.

A famous lady in the Louvre.
After the Louvre, we walked to the small island on where the Notre-Dame de Paris is located.

The Eiffel Tower, or in French: Tour de Eiffel, opened in 1890 and a symbol for Paris and France. It was quite a walk from Notre Dame to the Eiffel Tower. But we walked mainly along the Seine and enjoyed the views and the walk despite there was actually snowing. So much for my idea of “meeting Spring in Paris” when I booked the tickets last fall. This shot is taken from Trocadero, where you get a nice elevated position for a good picture of the Eiffel Tower and views over Paris in general.

After the Eiffel Tower, we walked to the next sight, the Arc de Triomphe and the fancy boulevard Champs-Élysées. At this points our feet hurt and the step-tracker showed roughly 30000 steps or 20 kilometers. It was time to use the Paris Metro. We bought one single ride ticket each (€1.90 in 2017) and navigated our way back to our hotel.

Feet resting-champagne on our hotel room’s Parisian balcony.

Day two we sort of cheated and took an Uber X (worked really well in Paris by the way) to the Sacré-Cœur where we were treated to grey but great views over the city. Again, a great place to snap some pictures over Paris. We were told the area was a little bit rough, but we walked down through Montmartre towards the more central parts and thought it felt very safe.

Our walk ended at “Paris’ answer to Harrod’s”: the Galeries Lafayette department store. Here we found Angelina where we had an okay but honestly a bit dissapointing steak tartare with pommes frites and salad. The tartare was served quite cold, and felt a little bit soggy and almost wet. I might be wrong but I think I noticed a hint of ketchup in the flavour. I was not impressed, but on the other hand my travel companion liked the tartare.

One for the road. A final cocktail at the hotel bar before our transfer back to the airport and reality of another work week.