My Parisian Restaurant Map

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Le Chardenoux

I recently went for a languid Sunday lunch to Chardenoux, Cyril Lignac's bistro in the 11th arrondisement.

If you didn't know any better, you would mistake it for one of the usual Parisian corner bistros, which is the image that it is desperately trying to convey. One look at the menu though and the prices will quickly tip you off to it's more privileged status.

Now I do not own a TV so I do not watch French cooking programs, which means that I don't bear the same hatred for Lignac as most Parisians seem to. I guess this made me slightly more objective when I was stuffing delicious morsels of plume Iberique in my mouth.

Firstly, the bistro itself is beautiful. Its art deco interior, golden mouldings and painted ceilings are somewhat reminiscent of Le Train Bleu, and has the capacity to transport the diners back to the 1920's. The food is scrumptious: typical bistro fare like cote de boeuf or ris de veau figure on the menu, but their preparation and presentation is far beyond what you expect to get at any local resto. The dishes are creative twists on the usual classics, and a quick glance into the kitchen revealed a staggering array of copper pots and pans, which is always a good sign in my book. Even the service is delightful. The wine list is long, but definitely not the most impressive part of the experience. Better to stick with one of the cheaper bottles (starting at around 28 euros), than splurge on one of the more expensive yet not necessarily better vintages.

All in all, Chardenoux was a lovely surprise. A family bistro (notably full of old people, also always a good sign) preparing the classics while taking them to a completely new level of refinement, the decor is beautiful but the prices are on the high side if you order a la carte. I would definitely recommend going for lunch during the week where they have a good prix fixe menu for around 30 euros for 3 courses. And do be sure to reserve well ahead.

Le Chardenoux
1 Rue Jules Valles, 75011 Paris
Metro: Faidherbe-Chaligny (line 8)
01 43 71 49 52