The bistros of Paris have historically been unique gathering places for people from all walks of life to mingle, a French style melting pot where animated discussions, sometimes between perfect strangers, are played out. In our ongoing series on Parisian bistros within the context of the campaign underway to have them listed on UNESCO’s list of Intangible World Heritage, The Gourmet Gazette takes you to l’Escient, a family-run establishment showcasing deliciously marinated and perfectly cooked meats and fish and a fine selection of wines.
A comfortable ambiance emerges inside L’Escient which means knowledge in French and the Méchin family, Catherine, Pierre and Claire certainly knows the business of offering locals and visiting gourmets a bountiful bistro experience. Pierre and daughter Claire are at the helm in the kitchen while Catherine, respectively wife and mother, imparts a warm atmosphere in the dining room where she welcomes patrons and proffers up her latest wine finds. The house serves only organic fruits, vegetables, dairy products and eggs while fish comes from sustainable small boat fishermen in Brittany, the Loire region and the Basque country. Roast prawns served with tarama is a nice appetizer while the cod from Brittany served in a watercress sauce is divine. But we particularly enjoyed the « barbecue » night held every third Thursday which honors the unique French art of grilling fish or meat to perfection.
And the house plays host to those wonderful closely tucked together tables backed by comfortable bench seats with backs (the banquettes) where in typical Parisian bistro tradition those creative conversations take place.
©The Gourmet Gazette
28 rue Poncelet
75017 Paris, France
+33 (0) 1 47 64 49 13