The Authentic Bistros of Paris
By François Thomazeau and Sylvain Ageorges
Translated by Anna Moschovakis
There may be a bistro on every block in Paris, but distinguishing the good from the disappointing isn't so easy: these little neighborhood restaurants look alike—zinc (or wood or pewter) bar, with small dining room, daily specials on the chalkboard, husband in the kitchen, wife up front. But the 51 bistros profiled here stand apart from the others by virtue of their food, often regional dishes native to the owners' home province, and wine, often a short but well-chosen list from small vineyards with which the owner has a longstanding relationship.
A few of these bistros profiled include:
• Le Petit fer a Cheval, where more than 20 select small-label wines are offered, and served to patrons seated on recycled metro benches or at the horseshoe-shaped antique bar. (p. 43)
• Le Temps des Ceries, which was once an annex to an old Celestine monastery. Legend has it that after the monks prepared their meals in the basement, a trap door would open and a sumptuously set table would rise into the dining room. Today, musicians drop by to play a few tunes while drinking a petit Bordeaux with the regulars. (p. 50)
• Bistrot Mélac's freshly baked organic bread, thick pavé steak, and wine conversant waiters dressed in "Say No to Water" t-shirts cannot distract from the charisma of owner Jacques Mélac, as he moves from table to table, treating each customer like an old friend. (p. 94)
Whether describing bistros famous or unsung, unpretentious or sophisticated, this beautifully photographed book presents a savory tribute to a quintessential French institution.
About the Author
Francois Thomazeau is a sports writer, an author of detective novels, and an editor—three professions requiring inspiration and perspiration (and time spent in bistros).
About the Photographer
Sylvain Ageorges is a photograher specializing in Paris.