Two Paris Bistros- Delicious Food at Reasonable Prices

Restaurant Pirouette in Paris

I discovered Pirouette, a stylish bistro located in central Paris near Les Halles, during my winter visit to France’s capital in January. The contemporary setting, with its soaring ceiling and huge windows looking out on a small square, invites one to relax, but the inventive food of talented chef, Tommy Gousset, would make any place shine. Gousset has done stints at Taillevent and Le Meurice in Paris and with Daniel Boulud in New York, and his talents were expertly honed in these great restaurants.

At dinner, our waiter brought two tempting amuse-bouches—an ethereally light cream of shallot soup capped with foam and a tartine topped with a flavorful cream and chorizo. Other highlights included a cream of artichoke soup with a soft poached egg and trompette de la mort mushrooms, an excellent ris de veau with duxelles, and baba au rhum with lime. At lunch a few days later, I started with a mouthwatering risotto de blé (made, I assumed, with wheat berries) set in a creamy broth and garnished with sautéed celery and bacon. My main dish, a dauraude grise (a mild white fish), served atop wild mushrooms and petit grenaille potatoes, succulently completed this menu.

Daurade Grise on a bed of mushrooms and potatoes at Pirouette

The prix fixe is 38 euros for three courses at dinner and 18 euros for two at lunch—a veritable bargain in Paris The staff was warm and helpful, and the setting inviting. I plan to go back on my next visit.

Restaurant Pirouette
5, rue Mondetour
Paris 75001
Métro: Etienne Marcel


Le Casse-Noix in Paris

Le Casse-Noix is a bistro I’ve been booking at regularly for the last few years. Located in the 15th arrondissement not far from the Eiffel Tower, it has an old fashioned ambience with the chef’s collection of nut crackers (a reference to the restaurant’s name ) displayed throughout. Chef Pierre Olivier Lenormand, an alum of the celebrated La Régalade in the 14th, never fails to please me with his creative menus.

Scallops on a bed of root vegetables with arugula at Casse-Noix

On a recent visit, I started with a glorious sauté of winter mushrooms topped with a poached egg and surrounded by a delicious foam, continued with a beautiful main course of perfectly pan-fried scallops served on a bed of  julienned root vegetables with a garnish of crisp arugula. My husband raved about his sliced duck breast set atop an Asian-scented mix of cabbage and carrots. My fresh orange and grapefruit tart and his riz au lait (rice pudding) with caramel sauce made memorable finales.

The service is always friendly at this spot, and the 34 euro prix fixe for three courses a terrific value.

Le Casse-Noix
56, rue de la Fédération
Paris 15
Métro: Bir-Hakein or Dupleix

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6 thoughts on “Two Paris Bistros- Delicious Food at Reasonable Prices

  1. Great suggestions, Betty. I’ll try them and let you know what I think. Since I live in Paris permanently and have a French family and we eat French food full-time, when we go out to eat, it’s generally Moroccan or Chinese or “other ethnic”. That’s why I love your suggestions for French restaurants. Keep them coming!

    Harriet Welty Rochefort
    author, “Joie de Vivre”

  2. thanks Betty for the 2 suggestions in you recent link. Can’t wait to hit the restaurants and wander through the grocery stores for specialties we can bring back to our hotel room or munch on while wandering the city. Linda Barger

  3. Hi Betty, this is Deb Susi from Columbus OH. I am friends with Michael & Patrick. My husband and I will be visiting Paris June 6-11, ‘24. We are traveling with another couple. We are staying in the Rue Cler area (7 arr)). The 4 of us have watched 3 of your Bakers Pin zoom cooking classes this past year. And, we attended the ProMusica fundraiser in November.
    Would you be kind enough to recommend 2-3 restaurants, please? I see that you’ve recommended the following Parisian restaurants, are they still some of your favorites?
    1. Restaurant Alliance in the 5th by the Seine. closed on Saturday & Sunday. 1 Michelin star! Restaurant Alliance 5, rue de Poissy 75005 Paris
    2. Semilla Restaurant located at 54 Rue de Seine. 75006 Paris.
    3. Pirouette, 5, rue Mondetour Paris 75001. 01-40-26-47-81.
    4. Le Casse-Noix 56, rue de la Fédération, Paris 15. 01-45-66-09-01

    • Hi Deb, I am just now seeing your message so I apologize for being so late in getting back to you.To answer your question, I still think Alliance is an excellent choice, especially for lunch when there is a tasting menu for 95 euros. And, Semilla remains one of my favorite places to eat in Paris. I have taken Pirouette off my list. Le Bon Saint Pourcain near St Sulpice, is a small unpretentious restaurant on my list that I think has very good imaginative dishes. We just returned from a trip to Paris in Feb and we had a delicious meal at
      L’Affable on rue St Simon in the 7th. I plan to put it on my list! And, we splurged and went to David Toutain a 2-star Michelin restaurant in the 7th on rue Surcouf. It was fabulous. I hope this helps. Betty

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