I absolutely love Sundays in Paris, especially when they are calm, quiet and slow. This past Sunday was such a day - mass at Notre Dame followed by a relaxing mid-day lunch at one of the best bistros in Paris.
I read about Le Chardenoux on one of my favorite French food blogs Paris by Mouth. It seemed to offer everything I want in a bistro - quality food, casual elegance, excellent service, and a welcoming atmosphere. It delivered on every point.
I was greeted at the door with a friendly bonjour. A large leatherbound reservation book sat on the corner of the bar, next to a glistening meat slicer and a perspiring champagne bucket. My reservation was duly noted with the stroke of a pen and cheery et voilà. With that, I was escorted to nice little table near the window. The place was bustling, everyone seemed to be enjoying themselves - families engaged in lively conversations, children up and down from their seats, couples lingering over empty expresso cups, and waiters jumping from table to table like bees jumping from flower to flower. Outside, the sun shined brightly. The street was clear of traffic and noise. It was as if I was on the set of movie and I loved it.
Everything on the menu and everything being carried to the surrounding tables looked delicious. Unfortunately, a hearty dinner the night before prevented me from ordering a multi-course meal. Instead, I opted for a single dish and an unusual choice for me - Moussaka d'Aubergine au Cumin et Agneau Confit, an eggplant based dish from the Mediterranean, accompanied with a small green salad and a glass of pinot noir. Oh, so good!
An elegant little terrace for outdoor dining fit snuggly along the wall.
A friendly host happily posed for my photo.