La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix
53, blvd de Grenelle, in the 15th Arrondissement.
01 45 75 98 00. No reservations.
Open daily, 7 a.m.–11:30 p.m.
A good dining experience at a Paris brasserie means many things. Sometimes it’s simply breaking bread with a good friend and sharing some laughs. Sometimes an enjoyable dinner can be attributed to the people and energy there. And, of course, sometimes a good meal is a straight-up good meal with excellent food and service. The perfect dining trifecta hits all three at once, and that’s exactly what happened during my recent meal at La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix.
I went with a dear friend from college. We ordered a pichet of a smooth and versatile Saumur-Champigny and started digging into the gossip from home. Being a food lookie loo, I couldn’t help but be distracted by the plate on the table next to us, belonging to a Frenchman eating alone. He caught me staring and proceeded to describe the couteaux à la plancha (razor clams) he ordered and specifically came to the restaurant to eat. Razor clams can be difficult to find, so I immediately changed my order to indulge in this delicacy, and I was not disappointed. The wonderful spiced vinaigrette paid compliment to the delicate fish and olives scattered on top. My friend started with a simple but freshly prepared eggplant caviar topped with Parmesan cheese and tomatoes—a perfect partner for the rustic, chewy bread.
We had arrived at the restaurant around 7:30 to snare a seat at this no-reservations address, and luckily we did, because an hour later the place was full and people were eagerly waiting at the bar. This is no real surprise, since wonderchef Christian Etchebest is behind this spot (along with another popular Paris resto, La Cantine du Troquet, and, formerly, Le Troquet).
I had newfound trust in our dining partner, so I also changed my main course to his recommendation of xistora, which consisted of several grilled, smoky sausages swimming in a shallow pool of light, buttery potato foam. It was a heartwarming dish, made even better when our neighbor shared his piment d’Espelette to give it an explanation point at the end of each bite. My friend had a nicely cooked cabillaud (cod) with some crispy bacon perched on top and a bed of a tomato-inflected beans below. Everyone was happy.
Dessert included opinions on French food, French people and some cheese from the Pyrenees served with black cherry jam. It was a fun evening with all the right fixins: outstanding food, great company and good conversation.
In a nutshell: La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix is an energetic neighborhood brasserie with high-quality food at a good price.
Price check: Starters, 6–14 euros; mains, 15–19 euros; dessert/cheese, 6–10 euros.
If you like the sound of La Cantine du Troquet Dupleix, you might be tempted by Philou. Read the review.
12, ave Richerand, in the 10th.
01 42 38 00 13.
Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
Editor’s note: For a gourmet walking trip, check out our DIY downloadable trips.