The original ‘Nénesse’, the owner Ernest, has moved on – but his replacements, a friendly family from the Le Sart area, are keen to maintain tradition, keeping the sign and the name. It’s a really old-fashioned restaurant, where time stopped somewhere in the 1960s – mismatched tiled floor, retro fittings, uncovered wooden tables dressed with pink tablecloths in the evening, ancient oil-fired stove. A simple approach that also shows in the food: bistro style at lunchtime and restaurant-quality come the evening.
Chef Roger Leplu, a Michelin-starred master previously at Chez Pierre, knows his stuff. Lunch is cheap (starters for €3.50, dish of the day €9.50), dinner reasonable (starters €8 to €16, mains €17 to €22, desserts €9), and the cooking does credit to traditional French recipes like stewed snails with mushrooms, Lyon-style pike dumplings, braised calf's head with gribiche sauce (chopped boiled eggs, gherkins, capers and herbs) and pear charlotte. There’s also a large choice of aperitifs, wines and after-dinner drinks: all in all, a pleasant and friendly place to get back to basics.
This restaurant serves one of Time Out's 50 best dishes in Paris. Click here to see the full list.