Lunch at Le Bouillon Chartier in Paris! This authentic restaurant is so popular because of its simple French cuisine and old fashioned French classics.
Here is my next restaurant review: the popular Le Bouillon Chartier in Paris!
We could book a train ticket to Paris from Brussels and back at a very favorable price if we were quick, an email from Thalys assured us one fine morning in June.
First class, WiFi, with drinks and also meals for €55 per person. Bargain! So we checked the website, clicked away like mad and then ended up booking 2 tickets for Paris.
So that is how we end up in Paris for 3 days a couple of weeks later.
We arrive at 10am at Gare du Nord, find our way to the hotel by subway, leave our luggage there and hit the city to visit district #9 and #2.
This is also a very lively neighborhood housing the Opéra Garnier, the Galeries Lafayette, the Olympia Concert Hall, le Passage des Panoramas, the Folies Bergère Cabaret, le Grand Rex Cinéma and much more.Around noon we find ourselves near the Grands Boulevards subway station.
The hubs shakes a handful of lunch addresses out of his iPhone.
One is rather iconic and has already 116 years on its palmares. Its name also rings a bell because a foodie friend of mine was here just a couple of months ago and was lyric about the place.
I take that as a decision then!
Le Bouillon Chartier
You can find Le Bouillon Chartier in a small alleyway on your left when you enter Rue du Faubourg Montmartre, leaving Boulevard Montmartre behind you.
Step inside and wait until a waiter brings you to a table. Mind you, this place can be terribly busy so try to be early for lunch. Once you’re seated, enjoy the Belle Époque interior. This used to be a train station! And it is a classified historic building as well.
FYI: bouillon here doesn’t mean the clear broth but it is also a definition for a restaurant selling decently priced if not cheap food. Chartier is also the family name of the brothers who started the business.
Classic French Cuisine
Le Bouillon Chartier is known for its classic French cuisine.
Oeuf dur mayonnaise (hard-boiled egg with mayo, €2,20), charcuterie (€4), paté (terrine de campagne, €3,80), celeriac remoulade (€2,70), foie gras (€7), snails (€6-€14), confit duck (€9,80), choucroute (€10,80), steak tartare (€9)…
And there are also a couple of sweet desserts and a selection of cheeses to finish your meal with.
French Classics @ Le Bouillon Chartier
I take a look at the menu.
And I feel like this one is going to be a tough nut to crack here at Le Bouillon Chartier.
In the end we go for the leeks in vinaigrette sauce (poireaux vinaigrette, €3,50), herring and French potato salad (filet de hareng, pommes à l’huile, €3,80) for starters.
We choose fresh sea bass with fennel seeds (bar rôti au fenouil, €13,50) and low-temperature braised lamb with white beans (today’s special offer, €12,50) for mains.
And of course a crispy white wine to wash it all down (€19). The hubs tastes the wine and gives the waiter a thumbs up.
The bottle is kept in an ice bucket on our tiny table.
Our starters arrive about 2 minutes later after placing our order.
Which is not surprisingly because they are both cold.
Good, because we are hungry.
In comes the leeks: succulently soft and smooth leeks covered with a creamy vinegar sauce made out of olive oil, mustard and vinegar.
The herring fillet is nicely silky and flaky.
The French potato salad consists of cooked waxy potatoes, raw onion, olive oil and a little vinegar.
A delicious classic.
Yes, I guess that we are off to a good start here!
We are sitting at a table for 4 and since the cool waiter made us sit opposite to each other the seat next to me is taken by a gentleman in a black suit.
Odd perhaps but we don’t mind.
Within 10 minutes the place is literally packed.
The queu outside is growing and growing. The gentleman next to me orders the oven-roasted sea bream with a fresh herb sauce (daurade royale au four sauce vierge, €13,00).
And it looks finger licking delicious…
Here come our main dishes flying out of the busy kitchen right around the corner, within 10 minutes after finishing our starters.
My fresh sea bass is absolutely gorgeous.
The perfect size for 1 person. Next to it are baked potatoes with chives. The fish is super fresh and perfectly cooked. The fennel seeds give it a pleasant flavor. Fish and fennel seeds, I like that combination.
The hubs gets a deep plate with a generous serving of stewed white beans and slices of lamb. The beans are to die for. Unfortunately the lamb is a tad undercooked for his taste though.
The waiter clears our table and then notices the half eaten plate of lamb. He offers to bring an extra portion lamb and beans instead.
But since the portion was huge already, he declines the offer saying that he is stuffed already.
Or are we?
How about some dessert?
The sweet desserts look good: choux chantilly (cream puffs filled with whipped cream, €3,10), crème de marron vanillée (chestnut spread with vanilla, €2,80), baba au rhum with whipped cream (€4,60)…
But the cheese selection is what we are more interested in.
Blue cheese (bleu d’Auvergne, €2,60), camembert (€2,60), goat’s cheese (€2,60)… The hubs’ most favorite cheese is also available: Pont l’Évêque (€2,60).
And I decide on fresh cheese (fromage blanc de campagne, €1,90). This is a soft and rich cheese made of cow’s milk, resembling quark cheese.
It comes with a bag of sugar but I eat it plain and simple.
Fast & Efficient
It has been 45 minutes since we stepped into Le Bouillon Chartier…
And we have already finished our speedy lunch for a total of €58,30. Yes, the service here goes pretty fast in Le Bouillon Chartier. The waiters are like whirlwinds, work hurriedly and efficient which people might mistake for rudeness perhaps.
It is true that as soon as you have finished your meal and drinks, the staff ill suggest dessert or coffee but if you don’t want any you mostly receive your check within a minute.
Eat, pay and go.
But would I go again to Le Bouillon Chartier? Yes sure, the food is more than delicious and the prices are definitely dirt cheap for Paris standards!
Le Bouillon Chartier
7 Rue du Faubourg Montmartre