|36 rue de Dantzig 75015 Paris, Tel: 01.48.28.23.66|
Rating Standards: 4-Stars = Extraordinary; 3-Stars = Excellent; 2-Stars = Good; 1-Star = Fair; NO stars = Poor
€ = Inexpensive: 30€ and under; €€ = Moderate: 31€-49€; €€€ = Expensive: €50 -75; €€€€ = Very Expensive: more than €76 (prices based on minimum 2-courses)
1-Bell = Pleasantly quiet (less than 65 decibels); 2-Bells = Can talk easily (65-70); 3-Bells = Talking normally gets difficult (70-75); 4-Bells = Can talk only in raised voices (75-80); BOMB = Too noisy for normal conversation (80+)
We walk by this restaurant all the time, in fact we live a block away from it. It's located right next to Parc Georges Brassens, interestingly, there's also another Tonton on the other side of Parc Georges Brassens on rue Brancion. This has been reviewed by several writers and bloggers and got mixed reviews, so I wanted to experience for myself.
We were meeting with friends Bill and Dan for our last dinner with them before they return to the states. Originally, we were going to have couscous in the 5eme, but unfortunately, I've been having foot problems and walking would be problematic. So, we had this great idea to go to Tonton since it's only a block away and we've been meaning to go. Plus alot of restaurants are still closed for the holidays.
|22€ for dinner|
We honestly didn't know how it worked, but the wait person told us it's serve yourself. On one side of the restaurant were the entrées and desserts and on the other side were 2-hot plates.
|I think it's a long last relative|
There were 2-boar heads as you entered the door, hmm, methinks they were real and I maybe related to one of them! I suppose it gives it that country home atmosphere, thank God, it's not in my home.
Another thing that struck me, were the bottles of wine displayed throughout the restaurant, and they had quite a varied selection.
The wait person told us that everything was volonté (all-you-can-eat)..., hmm!
|Incredible selections of wines|
It's a very simple restaurant, so there are no apéros. Therefore, if you want to have a drink or cocktail before dinner, e.g., kir, have one at a local bar, café or at home.
As I mentioned, the selections of wine were incredible. We even had a wall of wine behind us, I could have just turned around and picked one. We selected a malbec for 22€. The wine was excellent.
|Home made cornichons (pickles)|
We preceded with our entrées. It's not like an American buffet where you have a zillion choices, but the selection was nice. Different fresh vegetables and even a nice chunk of paté. And, I can't forget to mention the baguettes, they had a huge baskets of baguettes.
|Jack's plating, c'est joli|
Once we finished, we didn't know what to do with our plates. So, we left them and proceeded to attack the warm plates. But our wait person explained to us that once we finish our plates, we simply had to take our "used" plates and place them on the counter. Definitely a no frills service, but for some reason I didn't mind it.
|Traver de porc|
For the plat, you have 2-choices, a travers de porc (pork ribs) with pasta, and/or the lamb shank with white beans. Both dishes tasted fair. These 2-dishes lends itself well to sit in a warming plate for hours, and not get too weird.
|Agneau avec haricot blanc|
After the plat, you can go back for cheeses. There was a good selection of cheeses from soft cheeses such as camemberts, bries, and roquefort. They had a selection of hard cheeses as well from cantal to comte and even some sheep cheeses (brebis).
The desserts were non-descript. They were the proverbial fruit tarts in a heavy custard. You could also get a pudding or a dessert yogurt known here as fromage blanc.
I'm glad we went, since I have never been to a "buffet" style restaurant in Paris. It's like buffets anywhere, but the difference is that the choices are less, but what they do have is fair. I for one do not like buffets, except maybe in a select few casinos in Las Vegas.
This is an OK place to go as an alternative to a bistro or brasserie since the food is probably the same quality (refer to my blog on "Food for Thought"). It's quick, easy and simple. In some ways, it feels very French, but on the other hand, the buffet is a bit strange.
Would I go again, probably not.
Simply put, IT IS WHAT IT IS, a buffet., nothing more, nothing less...