Contact Us





Light (on the wallet) dining


Richard Ouzounian
staff reporter

PARIS –They may call Paris "the city of light," but when it comes to dining, it can prove very heavy on your wallet indeed.

The tasting menu at some of the city's most famous restaurants can run as high as $275 per person, without wine.

But there are also hundreds of charming bistros and brasseries where you can still have a superb three-course meal for less than $50. Here are six places where you can dine in style without breaking the bank.

CAFÉ CONSTANT, 139 rue St-Dominique; 7e; 01-48-04-88-28: Christian Constant is one of the city's great chefs and his elegant (but expensive) Le Violin d'Ingres is down the street from this simple but marvellous bistro. The pork terrine is sublimely earthy, the quenelles de brochet lighter than a spring breeze and the mousse au chocolate an inspired rebirth of that old cliché.

LE VIEUX BISTRO, 14 rue du Cloître-Notre-Dame, 4e; 01-43-54-18-95: In the shadow of Notre Dame, this bistro is "vieux" in every sense of the word. The lace-curtain décor makes you think you're back in the 1920s and the cuisine is old school as well. But if you're looking for a menu that runs to the likes of escargots in garlic butter, boeuf bourguignon, and a tarte tatin drenched in heavy cream, this is the place.

BOFINGER, 5-7 rue de la Bastille, 4e; 01-42-72-87-82: Just off the Place de la Bastille, this bustling place has been delighting diners for nearly 125 years. It's packed from noon till midnight, but it's the place to come for impeccably fresh shellfish and Alsatian classics like la grande choucroute (a fragrant casserole of sauerkraut and smoked meats). There's also some lighter French dishes (if frites can ever be considered light).

LE GRAND COLBERT, 2-4 rue Vivienne, 2e; 01-42-86-87-88: Remember that dreamy French restaurant where Diane Keaton dined with both Keanu Reeves and Jack Nicholson in Something's Gotta Give? Well, this is it, in all of its shimmering glory. It's a boisterously jolly place beloved of large family groups who all seem to be having a good time. So will you, if you order their steak tartare, roast chicken and profiteroles, stuffed with ice cream and drenched in chocolate sauce.
MA BOURGOGNE, 19 Place des Vosges, 4e; 01-42-78-44-64: On the northwest corner of the Place des Vosges, one of the loveliest parts of Paris, you'll find this gem. It's a perfect place to relax, sip some wine and let time stand still. If you happen to be hungry, the food is simple, hearty and good. Their specialties are meat salads, with one made with smoked duck and duck liver proving especially tasty.

LA FERMETTE MARBEUF, 5 rue Marbeuf, 7e; 01-53-23-08-00: This hidden treasure, a couple of blocks off the Champs Élysées, has been around since 1900. During World War II, its stunning leaded-glass ceiling was covered to hide it from the Nazis and forgotten until 1978 when it was rediscovered and restored to its former glory. The food is an equal knockout, with a prix fixe menu at $45 that would let you enjoy, for example, mussels baked in pastry with a saffron sauce, roasted duck breast and crème caramel with a bourbon vanilla topping. Sheer bliss on every level.





Tame Domain - Best Prices On the Web

News | About us | History | Gallery | Contact Us | Retirees | Links | Benefits | Humour