"The evolving Francophile..."

My husband Jack has always wanted to live in Paris and learn French. I thought it would be good for him to achieve his life time dream. Hence, we moved to Paris in 2008. My first year was difficult. I started "missives" to relieve some stress and chronicle my life so friends back in the US could read what I am experiencing. I currently write about my food and travel experiences, which is my passion.

It is definitely a challenge to live here, but each year it gets easier, and quite enjoyable, in large part because I value friendships over locale. I have a love/hate relationship with Paris as do most Parisians, mais La vie est belle (but life is good)!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Bistro au Bon Coin -- Restaurant Review

21, rue de la Collegiale

75005 Paris

Metro: Goeblins
Rating Standards: 5-Stars = Extraordinary; 4-Stars = Excellent; 3-Stars = Average; 2-Stars = Fair; 1-Star = 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+)

  4 - Star...........................................................................................................................2 - Bell

We’re getting closer to September and more and more people are returning to Paris. Paris life is slowly getting back to normal. With that said, lunch with our good friend JT was long overdue.  He recommended we go to “Au Bon Coin" in the 5eme (note: there’s one in the 18eme as well). It literally means, “The right corner.” Physically, it’s very typically French from both the outside and inside. 

They had specials of the day, and today’s special was an entrée of liver with sweet potatoes and plat of veal with mashed potatoes.

To start off with, they gave us a little “amuse bouche” of petits-pois (peas) with a sprinkle of virgin olive oil. It was a lot of flavor packed in a small cup of goodness. So, the start seemed really promising.


Each one of us ordered a different entrée. (NOTE: menu has English translations). One person had the “Salmon tartare with seaweed and a light lemon cream”.  It was really good. The salmon was pink, natural and not nitrogen injected.  It was hand chopped and the lemon and seaweed enhanced the flavor of the salmon. This was a hit.

I had the “Celeriac and crayfish in mayonnaise, quail egg, ‘avruga’ of smoked herring”.  It was also a cold dish, the combination of the celery, crayfish and mayonnaise was such a perfect balance. And, the poached quail eggs atop the dish was cooked perfectfly. This too was a hit.

Lastly, JT had the daily special entrée of “escalope de foie gras poêlée” which comes with sweet potatoes. JT hates sweet potatoes and asked them not to include it, which they did.  The foie gras was excellent, simple in its execution, but basic good foie gras with a hint of ginger.


Now this restaurant is known for their liver, so we all ordered the “sauteed calf's liver, red berries, blue berries and home-made mashed potatoes”.  Two ordered theirs rare, and I ordered mine medium. Unfortunately, mine was undercooked for my taste, so parts of the liver I did not eat; however, the parts I did eat were absolutely delicious, tender and not rubbery! The other two had theirs rarer than mine and loved it. The potatoes were excellent, they weren’t really mashed potatoes, they were chunky potatoes, which I prefer since I like texture in my food.


I passed on desserts and since I was already quite full I decided to forego my regular dessert plate of different cheeses and settled for a cappuccino.

One ordered the "crème brulée".  It was very classic and I actually saw them torching the sugar. And, I have to say that was some mean supersized torch, but did the trick. I had a little taste, it was nothing out of the ordinary, classically good.

Our other companion ordered the “Fresh nectarine, with fresh mint syrup and lemon sorbet".  He thought it was quite good and refreshing. And, it wasn’t cloyingly sweet.


This restaurant has had some mixed reviews. On the day we went we had an excellent dining experience.  This would a great restaurant for a foreigner to experience a typical French meal in an area of town not often visited by tourists. In fact, we were the only foreigners there.  Service was very good.

When we first arrived it wasn’t very crowded, but as soon as 1 pm hit it was fully occupied, so seems very popular with locals; hence, you should make reservations, which you can also do online.

For three of us the bill came to 140€, which included a bottle of “Ramontane Côtes Catalanes, a carafe of their house red, and two glasses of rosé, followed by a cup of cappuccino.

Would we return? absolutely!


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