Here’s a roundup of a few lunches I recently enjoyed in Paris. Clockwise from top left: A burrata sandwich at Verjus Bar à Vin; Salmon at Restaurant Legendre Idéal; Carrot cake & cheesecake at Sésame; and Fish & chips at Le Bloc.
Verjus Bar à Vin
47 rue de Montpensier / 1st arrondissement
Métro: 3 @ Bourse / 7 or 14 @ Pyramides
Tél: 01 42 97 54 40
**Closed Saturdays & Sundays.
One of the wine bars that had received a lot of hype when I first arrived in Paris was the restaurant and wine bar Verjus. After having drinks and some small bites there one night last year, I walked away thinking that the shoebox-sized wine bar served good wine, the shoestring fries were just ok and that it was packed with tourists. Would I go back? Meh. Well, after hearing all the accolades for the sandwiches they recently started offering and making friends with one of the former chefs, I decided to head back with a friend for lunch and it didn’t disappoint. Although there isn’t a vegetarian sandwich on the menu, my chef friend gave me a tip that I could still ask them to make me a vegetarian burrata sandwich. If you’re in the area, I definitely recommend either stopping by for a sandwich, or even grabbing one to go and enjoying it in the gardens of Palais Royal.
Restaurant Legendre Idéal
92 rue Legendre / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 2 @ Rome / 13 @ La Fourche
Tél: 01 46 27 15 18
I’ve been determined to try all the restaurants in our neighborhood and Restaurant Legendre Idéal in the Batignolles had been on my list for a while. So on one gorgeous weekday, I decided to head there by myself and have the 13 euro lunch special. The service was friendly, food was good and I definitely felt like I got my money’s worth. I can see myself returning for a weekday lunch tout seul or with Rio on the weekend.
51 Quai de Valmy / 10th arrondissement
Métro: 3, 5, 8, 9 or 11 @ République / 3 or 5 @ Jacques Bonsergent / 11 @ Goncourt
Tél: 01 42 49 03 21
**Open every day.
I had heard good things about Sésame, particularly its brunch, so I was looking forward to lunch there with Robin before picking up our costumes for the Versailles Masquerade Ball. Well, the service was stereotypical French. The waiter seemed more interested in playing on his iPhone and chatting with his coworker than helping customers. That would be fine since I’m used to this, but the food was nothing special. The quiche was merely average (I’ve even made better) and the carrot cake I was excited about was a disappointment. The silver lining in the meal was the delicious cheesecake that Robin and I shared. Perhaps I’ll try one of the salads next time and end with the cheesecake.
21 rue Brochant / 17th arrondissement
Métro: 13 @ Brochant
Tél: 01 53 11 02 37
**Open every day.
Le Bloc has been one of those restaurants I pass by on an almost weekly basis and think to myself, I really need to go there for brunch one of these days. So one sunny Sunday, Rio and I headed over there and were able to score an outdoor table so we could bask in the rare sunlight. The service was friendly with a waiter who likes to practice his English (without being too annoying about it), however, the food was just average. I knew going in that it wasn’t going to be anything spectacular since my friend had given me the heads-up about her own experience, so I wasn’t expecting much anyway though. All in all, I think it’s a perfectly fine neighborhood spot to go to for lunch or drinks – but don’t go out of your way for it.