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Paris bistro buzz: Frenchie

By Meg Zimbeck
October 3, 2012
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Meg Zimbeck

Open for only a handful of weeks, Frenchie is a bistro worth checking out. The fact that I've allowed a full six days to pass since my last meal there is a source of deep and personal regret.

I love its location on a tiny street at the very top of market street rue Montorgueil. I love the décor—exposed stone and brick, with timbered ceilings and chic industrial lighting. I love the friendly chef—the namesake frenchie who probably earned that nickname during stints at New York's Gramercy Tavern and with Jamie Oliver in London. Most of all, I love the inspired, careful and altogether delicious food.

The menu
Short and seasonal carte changes daily based on what's best at the market. Only two to three choices for each course, but every one of the available options looked delicious. Star starters during my visit included truite fumée, asperges (house smoked trout with green, purple and wild asparagus) and salade tomates cerises—a revelatory mix of heirloom tomatoes, baby basil, cherries, and white balsamic. The winning main was canard au miel carottes aux epices fenouil—a honeyed duck breast whose sweetness was balanced by shaved fennel and spicy carrots. For dessert, I passed on pavlova and went for tarte au chocolate amer, caramel au beurre sale—bitter chocolate tart with salted butter caramel. To say this was 'rich' would be an understatement.

The bill

At dinner, the prix fixe is €27 ($37) for two courses and €33 ($45) for three. Sharing two nice bottles between six people, our final tally was €42 ($57) per person for three courses plus wine. Less expensive wines are available by the carafe, and the lunchtime menu is cheaper at €16/19 ($22/26) for two or three courses.

The buzz

It's mainly French press at this point, but (English-language food blogger) John Talbott clocked an early and adoring review. En français, Le Fooding loved Frenchie, as did Le Figaro, L'Express, and blogger Chrisoscope.

The coordinates

5, rue du Nil, 2nd arrondissement, 011-33/1-40-39-96-19. Métro Sentier. Closed all day Sunday and Monday, and Tuesday at lunch.

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