With its growing population of food-loving, well-heeled bobos (bohemian bourgeois), the once quiet 9th arrondissement has recently emerged as a popular venue for young chefs hanging out a shingle for the first time. The new Le Pantruche is a perfect specimen of the relaxed and friendly, good-value modern bistrots favored by residents in this centrally located district near Pigalle. A simple place created from an old neighborhood café, Pantruche has a seasoned talent in the kitchen—chef Franck Baranger formerly cooked at Christian Constant’s Les Cocottes and Le Violon d’Ingres. His brief menu offers pleasing starters like oyster tartare with lettuce cream or a terrific terrine de foie gras, and main courses might include beef cheeks poached in wine, sea bass with tandoori spices, or sustainably raised pork with sautéed baby potatoes. Since the wines are reasonably priced, the service friendly and the chocolate mousse excellent, it’s a great address for dogged bistrot lovers in search of a first-rate meal.

3 rue Victor Massé, 9th, Lunch menus €14–€17, dinner €32. Prices are approximate, per person without wine

Originally published in the April 2011 issue of France Today

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Alexander Lobrano’s book Hungry for Paris is published by Random House. www.hungryforparis.com

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