Bistrot Paul Bert

This great local spot is an ode to the rare and  disappearing classic bistros that used to be prevalent in restaurant market. If you haven’t experienced a traditional, homemade French meal, this is the place to go! Offering great wine selections, friendly service and an unfussy meal, this is exactly what we needed after a long week of school work.

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They served warm sourdough bread! Any place that serves warm bread gets an automatic plus. I’m usually okay with cold baguette (but it has to be a good baguette), but on a cold winter night…warm bread can really hit the spot.

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To start, we both got the St Jacques au beurre, which I highly recommend so you can start off your meal light. The mains are on the heavier side. The scallops themselves were very well made. The buttery aroma hit us right when the plates were set on the table. Often times, scallops are either made with too much butter/oil and/or not cooked well enough…but this was done just right. Considering that it’s a bistro, I was surprised that they were able to cook scallops so well. Most often overlook the skills it takes to make a good scallop.

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My main was the poelée de petites seiches, which I loved, except for the creamy rice. I think I was expecting it to be like risotto, which I am not too fond off, and it turned out to be rice that was too creamy to be considered cooked rice, but not creamy and cooked enough to be considered risotto.  Though the citron taste was nice, I just couldn’t bring myself to finish it. This was probably the only downside to the dish, and to our entire dinner. But the octopus was fresh and retained its original flavor, everything I wanted it to be! The French usually eat meat, so it’s rare for them to have a focus on seafood and make it well.

The main my friend ordered, entrecote de boeuf avec frites maison, essentially a steak-frites, was also very well done. Steak-frites is a common dish you will probably find at a lot of bistros, but Bistrot Paul Bert is actually known for having one of the best ones.

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We ended our meal with soufflé au grand marnier and their crème caramel à l’ancienne. The second the souffle was brought in front of me, I knew it was going to be glorious. I shook the bowl a little and saw that jiggle that all well-made soufflés were destined to have. I took too long to take the picture so the middle looks like it’s sinking a little, but I assure you, this is actually the best grand marnier souffle I’ve had in Paris (and I’ve had a few). As for the creme caramel, don’t let the simplicity of the picture fool you. This was perhaps the most perfect pudding ever – creamy with the right amount of density and caramel sauce (and I’m not a fan of caramel), it was so good we didn’t want to finish it. What’s important is that both of these desserts were made fresh, which is a definite plus and probably contributed to how great they both tasted.

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Not sure how often their menu changes, but I would definitely love to go back and have their Paris-Brest too!

Bistrot Paul Bert
Address: 18 Rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris
Closed Mondays and Sundays.
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