L'Auberge du 15

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© Thierry Richard
© Thierry Richard
© Thierry Richard
© Thierry Richard
13th arrondissement

Top quality, serious classic French dining should be tried at least once on a trip to Paris. This doesn’t mean you have to spend thousands at big-name restaurants – there’s a new breed of bistros serving some of the best Parisian contemporary cooking at prices that, while not exactly cheap, won’t make you retreat to the nearest Quick drive-thru. L’Auberge du 15 is a little off the beaten track on a quiet street in the 13th arrondissement; it cultivates the air of a country brasserie, with Moroccan tiles lining the open kitchen and a hunting motif on the curtains. Not more than 10 tables fill the long room, carefully waited on by hip young things who add to that sense of being at the cutting edge between traditional and modern.

The seasonal menu shows a taste for tableside theatre and echoes a farmhouse kitchen – soup from a tureen, cake sliced on its stand, meat carved at the table. You might get a silky potage of chestnuts and ceps poured over a scoop of crème fraiche in the bowl, swirling together and studded with soft pieces of whole chestnut, or a starter of foie gras wrapped in cabbage leaves and cooked with a dense meat jus. Then perhaps a superb, elegantly pink rack of lamb, or a hearty dish of tenderest veal with sweet vegetables and a cream and white wine sauce: pure indulgence.

Wines start at around €30 per bottle and there are lots of reasonably-priced options, listed by region. If you want to try it out but don’t want to pay the full whack, there’s a lunchtime set menu for just €30 a head.

Venue name: L'Auberge du 15
Address: 15 rue de la santé

Opening hours: Tue-Thu 12mid-2.30pm, 7.30pm-11pm; Fri-Sat 12mid-2.30pm, 7pm-11pm
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Average User Rating

2 / 5

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"Top quality, serious classic French dining should be tried at least once on a trip to Paris." This is exactly what we were looking for but unfortunately our experience fell short. The food was excellent and the soup was sublime but the disconnect between the ambiance and the food ruined the experience. Instead of charming and warm with only ten tables, the lighting and furnishing felt like what you might find in a boring chain US hotel. There was only one waitress/hostess. And while she was charming, she was far too busy serving and pouring wine. We arrived at 8:40 and were not delivered our wine until almost an hour later. During our five nights in Paris, we had four wonderful meals with some truly outstanding food. This was by far our most expensive and least impressive. What was so disappointing is that it feels like if they just put candles and table clothes on the table, add a couple of staff and improve the wine selection it could live up to the billing.