I'm dedicating this entire post to this restaurant due to the fact that it remains my favourite restaurant in Paris of all time and after coming here time and time again, my affection for this charming establishment has never withered. This is the granddaddy of all traditional French bistro/brasserie/restaurant, one that has spawn many inferior imitation (hello Balthazar). Unlike all these pretentious modern doppelgänger, Chez Georges is the real Mccoy. I would even go as far as to say if you have never been here, you have never been to a real Bistro.
Hidden away quietly on rue du mail, the facade and decor might look dated to passerby, but that is precisely its alluring charm. As you walked through the weather-beaten doors and led into the long narrow dining room, you could almost be in an old French movie set, rubbing shoulders with Leslie Caron and Maurice Chevalier. The table setting here is undoubtedly cosy, the matron'd and had to skilfully pull out the table to allow diners to comfortably slide into their seating before graceful replaced the table back to its former arrangement. No one batters an eyelid even during busy time as this is what they are accustomed to. The handwritten menu (printed English menu is available) here remain unchanged for years but you do get the plat du jour for those after something different. However, most diners returned for their reliable hearty menu options. Even the waitresses looks like they have been here since the bistro first open, clad in their austere black and white, marching thorough the dining room with military precision. Tables are properly set and changed in less than 2 minutes in between service and that's how efficient they are.
The food here is generous and and the portion sizing are huge. Potted goose (Rilettes d'Oie) comes in a large ceramic bowl plonked before you with a jug of pickled conichorns and limitless bread basket. The idea is to have as much as your heart desires and stop when you are contend. A word of caution as this velvety meat terrine is highly addictive and filling so remember to save yourself for the rest of your meal. It will be a shame to skip the puddings here. Their poached eggs in red wine (Œuf Meurette) is superb, perfectly poached eggs that oozes into the rich, punchy sauce that is both earthy and comforting, best mop up with some of the crusty bread. Their Frisée salad with crispy lardons and poached eggs are not to missed. Even simple faire like the Lentils salad was dressed in the most beautiful dressing - salty, sweet and tangy in equal measures, truly refreshing and moreish. The Escargots served here (options of 6,9 or 12) are the best you are going to get in Paris. I have had some dodgy, gritty ones but these are soft and tender, drenched in warm, buttery garlicky sauce. It's best to share a starter here if you want to be able to last till the pudding. Trust me!
Rilette d'Oie (Potted Goose) :
Œuf Meurette (Poached eggs in wine sauce):
Salade de Lentilles (Lentils salad):
Gros Escargots de Borgogne (Burgundy snail, garlic butter):
The quality of cooking is just as impressive with their mains. Salmon cooked just enough to flakes off without being dry, served in a creamy sorrel sauce. Too rich for me but superb nonetheless. Great hunk of Turbot was perfectly grilled and served with a jug of freshly made decadent Béarnaise sauce on the side. But for the few times that I've been, their steak is unbeatable. Fillet and entrecôte were cooked rare (ask for medium if you wish but the very mention of 'well-done', you will be treading on dangerous ground here), served with excellent crispy fries. The entrecôte comes with a bowl of generous and indulgent huge bone marrow (a heart-attack waiting to happen). Who need sauce when you can simply spread these over the charred steak.
Coer de Filet de Boeuf (Beef fillet steak, Béarnaise sauce, French fries) :
Entrecôte Grillée à la Moelle (Grilled entrecôte, French fries):
Bone marrows for the entrecôte:
Escalope de Saumon à l'Oseille (Salmon in cream sauce sprinkled with sorrel):
Pavé de Turbot Grillé Béarnaise (Grilled Turbot, Béarnaise Sauce):
And if you think that's it, did you nor remember my warning about their pudding. If you managed to pace yourself and come this far, their puddings are just as generous and spectacular. My favourite is their profiteroles - two humongous light sioux pastry balls, filled with ice cold vanilla ice cream and laden with hot, oozy bitter chocolate sauce. The contrasting temperature elevate this to another level. Another great include their Mille Feuille. The pastry were deceitfully dense yet flakes delicately when bite into it. Perfect rendition of how a 'thousand layers' should be. Tarte Tartin, with is own large bowl of cream too, were sweet and deletable.
If you only have time for one meal in Paris, this is the one that should be on the top on your list. Ring ahead and make reservation. Lunchtime seems to be an easier time to get a table.
Profiteroles Glacés au Chocolat Chaud (Glacée Profiteroles with hot chocolate sauce):
Tarte Tartin (upside down apple pie):
Mille Feuille à la Vanille Bourbon (Vanilla Napoleon):
Tel: 01 42 60 07 11
Open: Mon-Fri (Lunch & Dinner, €120-130 for 3 course with a bottle of wine)
Paris (Part 1) : Fish La Boissonnerie, Le 6 Paul Bert and Le Bistro Paul Bert
Paris (Part 3) : La Régalade, St. Honoré and Carette
Paris (Part 4) : Café in Paris - 10 Belles and La Caféothèque