I was initially wary of Glou. A new bistrot in the Marais run by the former editor-in-chief of a popular but now defunct French food magazine, it had received a chorus of happy hosannas from the clubby inner circles of Paris food writers, which made me wonder if: a) it could possibly be any good; and b) anyone not a member of the foodie fraternity would enjoy a meal here. The answers are yes and yes. I had an excellent meal with friends here recently, and—since it has a terrific wine list, reasonable prices and great atmosphere, and it’s open on Sunday—I’ll definitely be back.

To be sure, there’s not much real cooking going on at this attractive two-story space near the Musée Picasso. Instead, as is the case at so many newer Paris restaurants, pedigreed produce—Utah Beach oysters from a certain “Monsieur Jean-Paul,” bellota ham and charcuterie—stands in as a sort of delicious place-maker for the work of real cooking. To be sure, it’s a treat to each such high-quality foods, and Glou, which rather too cutely takes its name from the sound that wine makes as it is poured from the bottle (glou-glou-glou, or in English, glug-glug-glug), does offer a few hot dishes daily. After eating a head-spinning number of oysters, we went on to main courses of beef cheeks braised in red wine and salmon with sesame seeds and baby spinach. A luscious caramel tart from chocolatier-pâtissier Jacques Genin finished this very pleasant meal, and on the way out, we noticed that the communal table d’hôtes was fully occupied by a stylish young crowd amused by their reciprocal attempts to speak one another’s English, Spanish, French and Italian.

101 rue Vieille du Temple, 3rd, 01.42.74.44.32. €30 per person without wine

Originally published in the April 2009 issue of France Today

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