Astier restaurant

Restaurant? Bistro? Brasserie? I’d call it an expensive neighborhood eatery that serves up traditional French food from a limited menu. All Parisian restaurants are expensive, which explains why I don’t eat out much. (To be truthful, I love cooking. I really enjoy buying good wine and produce and making nice meals at home.) But we were celebrating our upcoming shared birthday, Andreas and I, and had decided on this restaurant in the 11th arrondissement near Place de la République.

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Last night was cold and clear, a perfect winter’s night for walking outdoors. I took the metro to Parmentier then strode along the avenue de la République to this place.

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The interior was warm and welcoming … with a décor that hasn’t changed since the 1970s (or earlier.) It’s small inside with tables placed in a somewhat higgledy-piggledy fashion.

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I have a sixth sense about restaurants. I can walk in and pretty much know (more or less) what’s in store. This was my appetizer of snails. (Correction: I thought I was eating a modernized version of the traditional snail dish, because I had ordered snails. But I’ve just looked at the bill again and it’s marked “tartelette champignons” which means I was eating a mushroom tart!) In any case, it was delicious.

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Delicious lamb to follow. Do you see that tiny tureen of gnocchi on the left? That was for us to share. And the wine was disappointing, I’m afraid. I called it “flabby.” “Flabby?” said Andreas. “Unstructured,” I replied. In other words, limp. At 33 euros for the bottle, I had expected something better.

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The cheese tray was a hit.

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After dinner we walked to the Place de la République for a nightcap in the lobby bar of a hotel. I had Drambuie on the rocks. A mouse was scampering around the lobby. The staff saw it and did nothing (actually, they laughed.) We said something, but they still did nothing, other than offer us a drink “on the house”.

Two of my favorite Parisian restaurants – reasonably-priced, delicious food, fun places with lots of ambience – remain the Bistro Paul Bert and Le 6 Paul Bert, both on the same street. I drank a memorable Saint-Joseph Côte du Rhône at the 6 Paul Bert exactly three years ago. Here’s the link to that fun evening and restaurant review –

https://julietinparis.net/2015/01/01/2-gals-out-on-the-town-new-years-eve/

 

2 thoughts on “Astier restaurant

  1. Hi Juliet, first Bon Anniversaire. I do not know the restaurant about which you write, but your dinner looks interesting. As for the Wine, I looked at your bill, and I am inferring you drank a bottle of Laurent Cote du Rhone Il Fait Soliel. If that is correct, I looked at American prices for a variety of vintages and dealers. Prices are all in the mid to upper Twenty Dollar Range, retail. So if that is the same wine, your 33 Euro bottle charge seems fair enough. OTOH, you might have received a bad bottle. Did you mention anything to your server, or perhaps you simply thought the character of the wine lacking.

    As for Paul Bert, that is a restaurant we have visited, though it is far out of our usual Left Bank 6th Arrondissment neighborhood. It is the perfect bistro. On our most recent visit to Paris we were dissapointed with much of our dining, even at restaurants we have considered regular stops. I have no explanation, though my wife and I both were fighting colds, so that may have been the reason. Nevertheless, if you ever get into the 6th our two favorites are au 35 at 35 Rue Jacob

    http://restaurantau35.fr/en

    and Le Comptoir des Relais

    https://www.tripadvisor.com/Restaurant_Review-g187147-d719090-Reviews-Le_Comptoir_du_Relais-Paris_Ile_de_France.html

    Au 35 takes reservations, Le Comptoir does not, which is an inconvenience. Anyway, always enjoy your adventures….

    Sherm

  2. Hi Sherman and thanks for your greetings. Happy Holidays, by the way.

    As for restaurants, I guess I should be a specialist, being a Parisian, but I’m not. Other than those two favorites I mentioned, it’s basically hit and miss for the others. I won’t return to Astier. I also find many Parisian restaurants small and cramped which detracts from the pleasure. And oftentimes the portions are too small.

    No, we didn’t complain about the wine. Unless it’s really bad or has turned to vinegar, people here tend to just drink it whether it’s good or not. I mean, it was perfectly drinkable – and yes, it was the wine you mentioned – it just wasn’t to my liking. I like restaurants that have a really good wine list and a knowledgeable wine professional.

    Don’t know the two places you mentioned in the 6th. Thanks for mentioning them. I’ll be heading into the 6th sometime this week (I’m on vacation) to go to one of my favorite Paris destinations: Le Bon Marché department store and its Food Hall ! (They have an excellent wine cellar.)

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