Les Poulettes Batignolles

The Batignolles is a quiet, pleasant old working class neighbourhood that lines the train cut which leads into the Gare Saint-Lazare. Over the past decade, it’s become a lively and stylish quartier populated by young creative types. These new inhabitants have also made it a popular venue for restaurateurs who are looking to pay reasonable rents and attract a sophisticated local clientele.

The latest address addition to Batignolles’ gastronomic laurels is chef Ludovic Dubois’ delightful bistro, a good-looking pair of teal-blue dining rooms with beamed ceilings and appealing contemporary décor. The son of well-known local fromager Martine Dubois, he cooked in Barcelona for 12 years, and then decided to return to Paris with his Catalan wife, Judith Cercos, who formerly worked as sommelier at the city’s Mandarin Oriental Hotel. That explains the menu’s uniquely appealing Catalan accent and one of Paris’s more original wine lists.

Dubois does all of his shopping in the neighbourhood each day, and this is reflected by a seasonal menu which often features new dishes. Going to dinner on a frosty night with friends, we started with delicious tartare of seaweed-seasoned sea bass which was garnished with pickled red onions, and a terrific salad of a breaded, coddled egg with Spanish ham and artichoke hearts on a bed of rocket with a ravigote sauce. We then tucked into beautifully made shellfish rice, scallops cooked in their shells with salted butter, and roasted suckling pig.

Expecting that Maman would spoil her son with the cheese, I enjoyed a superbly ripe vacherin with toasted country bread while the others finished with rice pudding and an airy cheesecake garnished with candied fruit.

This friendly, reasonably-priced restaurant is an excellent choice for a relaxed and original meal.

Les Poulettes Batignolles, 10 rue de Cheroy, 75017 Paris, Tel: +33 1 42 93 10 11. Open daily for lunch and dinner. Closed Mondays and Sundays. Average lunch €30. Average dinner €40.

Based in Paris, restaurant columnist Alexander Lobrano has published a new book, Hungry for France, along with a new edition of his popular Hungry for Paris. Find these books and more in our bookstore.

From France Today magazine

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Alexander Lobrano
Alexander Lobrano grew up in Connecticut, and lived in Boston, New York and London before moving to Paris, his home today, in 1986. He was European Correspondent for Gourmet magazine from 1999 until its closing, and has written about food and travel for Saveur, Bon Appetit, Food & Wine, the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Guardian, Travel & Leisure, Departures, Conde Nast Traveler, and many other publications in the United States and the United Kingdom. He is the author of HUNGRY FOR PARIS, 2nd Edition (Random House, 4/2014), HUNGRY FOR FRANCE (Rizzoli, 4/2014), and MY PLACE AT THE TABLE, newly published in June 2021.

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