L’Auberge Bressane, 75007

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It’s not that there is a dearth of high-quality restaurants in this part of the 7th. You only have to stumble a couple of paces in any direction before you land upon L’Arpege, La Fontaine de Mars or L’Ami Jean… not to mention Jean-François Piège or David Toutain or Il Vino…

It’s just that Auberge Bressane hits the spot at every single level.

Auberge Bressane, as the name would suggest, specialises in Burgundy cuisine. Think creamy sauces, soufflés and lots of chicken dishes with the signature Poulet de Bresse.

It’s a traditional restaurant; the tablecloths are emblazoned with the regional flag and images of the fleur de lys, the menu is also beautifully illustrated and the wine list proffers a range of Burgundy crus to die for.

Our table of four had: a dozen snails, foie gras, and a couple of Comté cheese soufflés. These were followed by coq au vin, the apparently famous chicken in a vin jaune sauce with morel mushrooms (which I highly recommend!!) and hearty partridge dish. Dessert (not that we needed them!) consisted of a caramel soufflé, apple and calvados soufflé, crêpes suzette and the most enormous baba au rhum I have ever seen.

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Everything was absolutely delicious and the portions were more than generous. Even the chips (fries, if you’re from the other side of the Atlantic) were on point. Could not fault a single thing.

Our waitresses also fully deserve a special mention. They were the embodiment of professionalism all the way through the evening. They were very happy to patiently explain the dishes to us in English, the wine service was spot-on and we never had need for anything. Serving soufflé or flambée-ing crêpes suzette at the table was not able to faze them one bit either.

Speaking with one of the waiters outside as he was on a cigarette break, he told me that he couldn’t remember how long he had been working at L’Auberge Bressane… but it was at least five years on and off. That showed.

 

It’s not easy to find snails, frogs legs and coq au vin on the menu of the trendy restaurants anymore.* Those staple dishes fell victim to the bistronomie movement a few years back. L’Auberge Bressane is a great choice if you are looking for a classic French gastronomic experience. It suits both entertaining visiting parents and romantic dinners.

As you can see from the menus above, the prices are not for everyday eating (main courses between 25 and 40€ and wine from 30€ to upwards of 300€)… but this restaurant would be perfect for a special occasion, birthday or anniversary.

*Check out Café des Musées if you happen to be on the rive droite / Marais area. They also offer a traditional menu but without the same professionalism (or price point!) of L’Auberge.


Essential Information

Address: 16 avenue de la Motte-Picquet, 75007
Telephone: 01 47 05 98 37 
Website: Auberge Bressane
Opening Hours: Open for lunch and dinner every day of the week, except Saturday lunch. 
Reservations: Recommended. Call a couple of days in advance. 

Le Fourbi, 75007

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Le Fourbi is a new cocktail bar that’s popped up in the very sleepy 7th arrondissement. (Opened September 2013.)

Between La Tour-Maubourg and Ecole Militaire, two gorgeous Italian brothers – twins, to boot – who made their names in Paris as DJs have now teamed up with a top barman to offer a winning combination.

Cocktails, music, food, wine, all in an old brothel! The boys opened up their bar over the summer, initially for friends and family only. They’ve cleaned up the place thoroughly since its more seedy days and have adopted a real mix’n’match of themes and influences.

There is pop art of naked women on the back wall, a fox jumping through a mirror (rather reminiscent in style of the Curio Parlour), a tiled ceiling (echoing the Ball Room) and beautiful glass lights over the bar.

Downstairs, where there was previously just a single bed and a dingy shower, is now a little kitchen which is turning out Italian aperitivo style dishes.

After hours, the lights go down and the music goes up. The sound-proofing (a feature from the bar’s less-than-reputable past that they haven’t changed) means that the night can continue until 5am without disturbing the neighbours.

A glass of wine (Italian, of course) will set you back between 6 and 10€. A cocktail is very reasonably priced at 10€ a pop (but it is worth paying the supplement for a better-quality alcohol.) There’s not the attention to detail or the level of service that you get in the bars in high-end cocktail bars, but then we always knew that it’s dangerous to get accustomed to the likes of the Sherry Butt, Experimental and Le Coq. In short, this is a fun place to hang out and I would highly recommend it.

 


Essential Information

Address: 25 bis, rue Duvivier, 75007
Telephone: 01 43 79 14 32
Website: Facebook
Opening Hours: Wednesday to Saturday, from 8pm-2am (late nights until 5am.)
Reservations: not necessary. 
Suggested footwear: some nice patent heels would not go amiss…  

 

Coutume Café, 75007

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A great place to have up your sleeve. These guys were some of the first on the craft coffee scene in Paris a couple of years ago, and although they’re still at the top, they’ve lost some ground to the hipster newcomers.

This very industrial interior welcomes yummy mummies in their yoga-wear from 8am (on weekdays) and the trendy but hungover on weekends from 10h. Very anglo-saxon – you won’t have to make too much effort to get your coffee, cookie or scone – and it will served with a friendly smile

You come because you were out partying at Silencio until 4am and you need a refuge to rehumanise before strutting down the chic shopping streets. Watch out, you might bump into your ex-boyfriend.


Essential Information

Address: 47 rue de Babylone, 75007
Telephone: 01 45 51 50 47
WebsiteFacebook
Opening HoursOpen every day until 7pm, from 10am on weekends and 8am during the week.
Suggested footwear: casual and comfortable.


Hugo et Victor, 75007

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My latest ‘coup de coeur‘ is a boutique called “Hugo et Victor.”
Why is it my favourite? Because it is beautiful. I haven’t stepped foot in such a beautiful shop for a long time. It is jaw-droppingly stunning.
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Black, white, sleek and modern, it’s far from your average patisserie or chocolate shop. Walking in, you appreciate that this is somewhere seriously special, with such a high level of attention to detail that you are seduced immediately. Everywhere you look, everything you smell, your senses are in overload!
The chef-pâtissière is Hugues Pouget, who used to be the Executive Pastry Chef for the three-starred Guy Savoy in Paris and who also won the French Dessert Championship in 2003, before deciding to open up his own place in 2010.
The shop actually made me feel like I’d just walked into a jewellers. Untouchable behind the glass counters, Hugues Pouget and his team’s creations are displayed like precious gems – and quite frankly, they deserve just as much respect and admiration.
They have three core flavours which they keep all year round: chocolate, vanilla and caramel. But on top of that, they have four or five other themes which change with the season. The most eye-catching for me was is the current autumnal chestnut theme. Just look at that Religieuse!
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I wasn’t exaggerating when I said at the beginning of this post that they think of everything. They have even an internationally-renowned expert sommelier working for them who finds wonderful pairings for each of the flavours. These are also available in the shop so you can buy the suggested wine at the same time as the pastry(-ies) – imagine what a magical finish that would give to a dinner party!
Just to make your mouth water a little, let me tell you that for all the caramel treats, they propose a young Pedro Ximenez (a sweet dessert wine made from very concentrated white grapes) and with the chocolatey items, they suggest a Fonseca Port – delicious!!
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A few days ago, whilst out on the Croissant Competition quest, and having been thoroughly disappointed by the croissant from Poilane, I knew this was the place to put a smile back on my face.

A moment later, with any drool hastily wiped off from around my mouth and with my little HV bag firmly in hand, I hot-footed it up to the river. I had ordered the “tarte aux pamplemousses” and it turned out to have been one of the best decisions I made that day. The grapefruit had been meticulously skinned so that there was no peel that could have diminished my enjoyment. Neither the fruit nor the sable-biscuit base could have been fresher and the crème pâtisserie just off-set the acidity of the grapefruit perfectly.

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At 5 euros 20 for a slice, it’s hardly cheap… but it was the absolute perfect pick-me-up and was worth every centime for me that day!
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Essential Information

Address: 40 boulevard Raspail, 75007
Telephone: 01 44 39 97 73
Website: Hugo et Victor, Facebook
Opening HoursMon – Wed: 10:00 – 20:00, Thu – Fri: 10:00 – 21:00,

Sat: 09:00 – 21:00, Sun: 10:00 – 19:00