La Balançoire

Restaurants , French Pigalle
Critics' choice
  • 4 out of 5 stars
  • 4 out of 5 stars
(1 user review)
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© La Balançoire

La Balançoire’s devilishly delicious details are a large part of its charm. Big wooden tables hold magnetised knives and forks in pretty patterns, a swing (the ‘balançoire’) sways gently in the doorway, jars of sweets and pickles are dotted about and mixed in with bits and pieces from second-hand markets, all creating an atmosphere of offbeat charm.

But it’s really the big chalkboard menu that deserves full attention, and the wine list. The manager, Antonin, will recommend vintages to match your dishes, and his staff are as knowledgeable and attentive as he is. The food changes according to the season or the mood of the chef, all imaginative versions of traditional French recipes: cream of lentil soup, casserole-baked eggs with mushrooms, caramelised duck cottage pie, French toast with Nutella, caramel poached pear, or a selection of miniature desserts for the indecisive. Before you leave you may well be offered one of Antonin's secret potions: caramel-, jellybean- or bubble-gum-flavoured drinks. All very easy on the palate; much like La Balançoire itself.

Venue name: La Balançoire
Contact:
Address: 6 rue Aristide Bruant
18e
Paris

Opening hours: Tue-Sat noon-5pm
Transport: Métro : Blanche ou Abbesses
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Nat
tastemaker

A cute restaurant just off the main tourist-filled street of Rue des Abbesses. Tasty and reasonably priced cuisine that is well presented by the friendly servers. This place has a fun, laid-back atmosphere with floating magnetic forks, bottles of candies and an actual wooden swing at one of the tables. I sat at the swing table once but have to admit that at the end of the evening was ready to sit on a regular chair!