Stepping inside L'Ami Jean is like embarking on a journey through time. With its wooden frontage, vermilion leather benches and traditional embroidered tablecloths, it takes newcomers all the way back to the 1930s. Hams and espelette peppers hang like ornaments. In the kitchen, Stéphane Jego was keen to preserve the authentic feel of this family bistro, whilst also adding his own personal touch. The aromas evoke images of the French countryside, and the Northern Basque Country in particular - although the chef himself is from Brittany! When he arrived in Paris in the early 1990s, he was so enamoured of the southwest that he ended up taking over L'Ami Jean: the oldest Basque restaurant in the capital.
Immerse yourself in authentically old-school French home cooking by ordering the knuckle stew with peas and caramelised carrots. Next, go for the confit veal cheek - or if you would prefer to share, the impressive aged rib of beef for two. For something sweet to finish, the rice pudding is a must: it is chef Jego's speciality, and a fixture on every table. The quality is worthy of a Michelin-starred restaurant, and the hearty portions more than justify the prices, which are a touch higher than you will find in the area's other bistros. Making a reservation is a must if you would like to dine here, as it is very often fully-booked.
27 rue Malar
+33 (0)1 47 05 86 89
Menu: around 55 EUR