On a chilly winter night in Paris, there’s nothing better than a good bistrot meal, so the recently opened Desvouges deep in the Latin Quarter is definitely going to be one of my standby addresses during the cold months. The food is delicious, and proprietor Jérôme Desvouges, a former business writer who succumbed to his contagious love of gastronomy, is a delightful host who enthusiastically explains his blackboard menu and does everything he can to assure that you’ll have a relaxed and pleasant meal in his simple storefront dining room. Stopping by for dinner after a friend in the neighborhood tipped me off to the place, a fellow scribbler and I settled in to our bare wood table and had a good Gallic feast, starting with a well-chosen assortment of Basque charcuterie.

One main course was an impeccable steak tartare—freshly chopped beef seasoned with sun-dried tomatoes, capers and herbs, served with sautéed potatoes; the other was an intriguing “nem toulousain“—sage-spiked pork sausage wrapped in a perfectly crisp roll of crunchy phyllo pastry—a southwestern French twist on a traditional Vietnamese spring roll, and good enough to gladden the heart of D’Artagnan, accompanied by a miniature Staub casserole of ratatouille. We finished up our excellent Morgon with a perfectly aged selection of cheeses.

6 rue des Fossés Saint Marcel, 5th, Fixed-price menu €26 per person, without wine

Originally published in the December 2010 issue of France Today

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Alexander Lobrano’s book Hungry for Paris is published by Random House. Find Hungry for Paris and more in our bookstore.

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