Another new bistrot is not exactly what the bistrot-saturated Saint Germain neighborhood really needs, but small newcomer Pouic Pouic is a thoroughly welcome addition—especially for weekend revelers. Owned by Jacques Damitio and Antoine Boucherie, two longtime rugby pals and self-proclaimed party animals, its immediate claim to fame was its astonishing weekend hours. Opening at 5 am on Friday, Saturday and Sunday mornings can mean only one thing: bring us your ravenous, bleary-eyed nightclubbers—or possibly Americans craving a big breakfast. A protein-centric morning menu covers all the bases: ham-and-cheese omelets, cheeseburgers, steak tartare, seafood pasta, veal chops, all served until 10 am.
As wonderful as that is, for lunch and dinner it’s also a good, solid neighborhood bistrot with a warm, stylish decor and chef Michael Pascale’s well-rounded contemporary menu. For starters, a superb millefeuille of roasted eggplant, tomato confit and velvety buffalo mozzarella was surprisingly sophisticated, and the oeuf meurette’s perfectly cooked egg, melting onions and spicy chorizo broth proved a wonderful twist on a classic. Langoustine ravioli was nicely paired with foie gras—although salty—and the tender-crisp suckling pig with a fine ratatouille was satisfying and beautifully presented.
The small wine list includes a good selection of well-priced, small-producer wines, with plenty of bottles in the €18–30 range. The menu is à la carte, which may be a relief to those who don’t appreciate the no-choice-menu mania that’s recently gripped the city. There is, however, a very competitive lunch formule—a main course and dessert—for €16. It’s posted outside, so don’t miss it when you walk in.
9 rue Lobineau, 6th, 01.43.26.71.95. www.pouicpouicstgermain.fr  €35; wines starting at €18.
Prices approximate, per person without wine.
Originally published in the December 2012 issue of France Today