I was saddened to read a piece in today’s “FOOD” section of the NEW YORK TIMES titled “In Paris, Expensive Tables Sit Empty”
While the article cited several really expensive restaurants, they also called out two of my very favorite haunts – where the prices are not stratospheric – that also sit empty. One is Les BOUQUINISTES and the other is L’AMI JEAN. Both about 80 Euros per person including wine.
“It’s fear of terrorism,” said Cedric Jossot, Les Bouquinistes’ manager.
Les BOUQUINISTES is a modest but chic little 50 seat restaurant with a creative menu from Guy Savoy that sits on the Left Bank across from the book stalls along the Seine. (SNAG table # 6 in the window and you’ll have a “postcard” view of Notre Dame)
L’AMI JEAN is a smallish Basque bistro in the 7th arr. near Les Invalide. When we were there last fall, diners sat elbow to elbow. ZAGAT survey gives it a 25 rating and says, “If the tables were any closer, you’d be French kissing you neighbor.” The menu is somewhat on the adventuresome side but not in a weird way. The RICE PUDDING will change your life.
Check out the photos of our PARASOLE culinary team dining at Les BOUQUINISTES… and the images of the dishes that we sampled at both places. Incidently, L’AMI JEAN dishes were featured at both SALUT’S last year as part of our nod to our ICONOC BISTRO’S of PARIS series. And YES….we served the RICE PUDDING.
So I worry about these two places. I worry that they may not survive. I’m surprised that they are thought of as target, and that’s really a shame because it would be a signal that a whole bunch of other wonderful little spots may not survive as well.
If this were in Minneapolis I would say, “Just get out there and patronize these restaurants. And go often. Don’t let the bastards win.”
But this is Paris… and folks just can’t hop on a plane and fly over there and help these places out.
One can only hope that Parisians and tourists get back on board.