Sea bream crudo.
La Table d’Eugène
18, rue Eugène Sue, in the 18th Arrondissement.
01 42 55 61 64 (reserve a few days in advance).
Closed Sunday and Monday.
While it’s not necessarily news, I had been meaning to go to the French bistro La Table d’Eugène for some time now. Several friends had declared it to be the best restaurant in Montmartre, with good value for the money. So on my last night during a recent stay in Paris, I went with my friends Maeggie, Jennifer and Loraine. For 50 euros per person, we enjoyed a stunning meal. OK, so some of us didn’t overindulge as much, namely the French and Swiss ladies, opting for only mains and desserts, but everything that each of us put inside our mouths bordered on perfection.
Two of us had the sea bream starter, which was served raw with a trio of uniquely colored radishes, some red-and-white striped and others yellow. It was light and beautifully seasoned, and went well with the Crozes-Hermitage white Burgundy I was drinking. The bistro, run by a husband-and-wife team, has a family atmosphere, with the husband in back and the wife up front, very friendly, almost grandmotherly, but very professional. The chef here, Geoffroy Maillard, worked previously at the Bristol, and his training is apparent.
Scallops with foie gras.
My friends had the scallop main with the perfect compliment of foie gras—who would have thought? And I enjoyed the sanglier, or wild-boar ragú, on a bed of parsnips, not mashed or puréed as you would expect but served in long, baked slices suggesting wide noodles, the way the Italians might serve the dish as cinghiale. Jennifer had the pork steak, which looked juicy and tasted exactly right. She and Maeggie, both of whom prefer reds, enjoyed one from Lalande de Pomerol, a region I had visited the previous weekend. Having elegant wines by the glasses has become de rigueur, and thank goodness for it.
For dessert we shared a lemon tart and a Montblanc, which were fine but not as stunning as the other dishes. I was glad I had opted for an appetizer rather than dessert. I got the feeling that the desserts aren’t being made in house, but I didn’t verify that hunch. Overall, the decor of the dining room is nothing exciting but not drab either. The bistro is located in the far northern reaches of the 18th Arrondissement, an area that neither many tripists nor many a Parisian normally gets to, but all of us would declare the bistro absolutely worth the trek.
In a nutshell: La Table d’Eugène offers excellent food at a fair price in the far reaches of Montmartre.
Price check: Dinner with wine is 50 euros per person or less.
If you like the idea of La Table d’Eugène but would like something closer to town, try Kitchen Galerie Bis.
Kitchen Galerie Bis
25, rue des Grands Augustins, in the 6th.
01 46 33 00 85. Tues–Sat, lunch and dinner.
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