The Gourmet Gazette is bringing you a new series on the bistros of Paris which have historically been unique gathering places for people from all walks of life to mingle, a French style melting pot. They are so typical in fact that there is a campaign underway for the bistros and café terraces of Paris to be put on UNESCO’s Intangible Cultural Heritage list . These remain places to tuck into authentically French and hearty fare like rich veal stew and poule au pot, chicken in the pot, so dear to Henry IV of France who wanted all the French to have one every Sunday. They are also often outfitted with a traditional zinc-topped bar in carved wood and closely tucked together tables backed by comfortable bench seats with backs (the banquettes) where in typical Parisian bistro tradition animated discussions, sometimes between perfect strangers, are played out.
A case in point is the Bistrot Valois, tucked away in a hidden square across the street from the Palais Royal and the French Ministry of Culture. Here the bistro tables play host to fresh seasonal fare and products emanating from some of France’s finest craft producers. Specialties include rich veal stew and plates of foie gras and a delectable baba au rhum. Laurent Chainel who has the title of master restauranteur has been at the helm of the establishment since 2013 and has focused on retaining its authentic bistro ambiance while offering fare made with finely purveyed ingredients.
Chef Sébastien Lescent has been turning out homemade dishes for the past 17 years including remarkable terrines and using only the freshest of fish for the fish dishes. A nice touch are the assortment of wines by the bottle or the glass which are hand picked by Mr. Chainel himself and there is even a wine that he elaborated himself, the Cuvée Valois, a smooth Cahors.
The bistro, which sits on a square reserved for pedestrians, offers a soothing environment away from the ambiant noise of a capital city.
©The Gourmet Gazette
1 Bis Place de Valois
75001 Paris, France
+33 (0) 1 42 611 35 04