Reflecting its current popularity with bobos, or arty affluent younger Parisians, the 9th arrondissement is fast becoming one of the best food neighborhoods in town. The latest entry is Les Canailles, a terrific new shopfront bistrot where chef Sébastien Guillo’s contemporary French cooking is good enough to warrant a trip across town, and the reasonable prices seal the deal. Maître d’hôtel Yann Le Pevedic is charming too—he and Guillo previously worked together with Paris owner-chef par excellence Dominique Bouchet in the 8th.
The blackboard menu changes regularly, but every dish confirms that Guillo is a very experienced, talented and classically trained cook working with first-rate produce. Since I live nearby, I’ve dined here often during the past few months, and among the springtime starters I’ve most enjoyed were asparagus with prosciutto and a fried egg dribbled with a beautifully made jus de viande, and a generously garnished grilled shrimp salad. Favorite main courses included grilled sea bream with sautéed vegetables, and steak with oyster mushrooms and a side of macaroni and cheese—both excellent examples of the fine modern French comfort food that is Guillo’s specialty. Desserts are homey and simple—apple baked in pastry, panna cotta with strawberries—and portions are generous. Though there are many reasonably priced bottles, the only thing I’d like to see change at this very pleasant restaurant is the wine list, which is rather arcane and doesn’t really flatter Guillo’s cooking. Otherwise, I consider myself really lucky to have this swell spot just around the corner.
25 rue La Bruyère, 9th, 01.48.74.10.48. Menus €25, €33; à la carte €35; wine starting at €23
Prices are approximate, per person without wine.
Originally published in the September 2012 issue of France Today