Early dining in Paris

Well off the usual tourist track in Paris is a very French restaurant that serves wonderful 4-course meals for €24 (about $32). It is À la Biche au Bois (45 avenue Ledru Rollin, Paris; phone 01 43 43 34 38), located in between Métro stops Gare de Lyon and Ledru Rollin. It also can be reached by the No. 29 bus.

I was there in September ’06 and had a dish of two slices of pike mousse with herbs and a sauce; a good piece of beef, rare; a huge dish of French fries; a selection of cheese, from which I picked chevre and Pont l’Evêque; green-apple sorbet, and a glass of the house wine, red. The food was excellent; the meat was tender, the French fries were crisp, the bread was very good and the fish mousse, tasty and unusual.

My total bill was €29.50 ($39). This is quite a good buy, if you do not mind the restaurant’s distance from most tourist spots.

Reservations are necessary. It is always full, and the lady who runs it turned people away all during my meal (which I had reserved). You can eat fairly early here — at, like, 7 p.m. — which is not always the case in France.

It is closed Saturday and Sunday plus for Monday lunch, most of August and from Christmas to New Year’s, as is true of many family-owned bistros.


Wayne, NJ