The area around Place de la Concorde can be somewhat daunting for finding a good place to dine if you are not familiar with Paris – it's that curse of the tourist zone.
Luckily I have found the perfect go-to restaurant whether you want a romantic date or a dinner with your children and partner (Chez Flottes proudly proclaims family friendliness).
I went alone, so I cannot testify to either, but the atmosphere was very convivial, the staff defying all stereotypes of French waiting staff, and moreover bilingual. So nothing to fear there either if your French is not up to par.
There is a set menu, main and either dessert or a starter for €26, the works for €31, and a children's menu on offer too. The menu in general is extensive, all homemade and covers all the bases.
There is an rotating plat du jour depending on the day of the week, from which I ordered for my main, beef bourguignon with a glass of bordeaux (€5.50) which he brought straight away to allow breathing time.
To start however, I ordered razor clams in garlic butter and to finish, choux pastry with chantilly cream.
Unfortunately for Chez Flottes, the first razor clam was on the chewy side, but it seemed to be a rogue example and my disappointment was quickly relieved by the rest. With lashings of garlic butter and bread to dip in, it was absolutely perfect.
The main was brought almost straightaway and the moment he took off the lid I was hit with a gorgeous red wine, bacon and meaty smell. Curiously it came with small pasta pieces, more akin to something you would give to a child, but I tried not to let that affect my appreciation of the stew. It tasted just as good as it smelt, melt in the mouth, tender was an understatement. The flavours of smoky bacon here and there made it all the more delicious.
The food was so good I knew I had to sample a dessert, but my appetite tends to struggle with three courses so I was unable to finish my stew which seemed sacrilegious. It was worth it though when I tasted the chantilly cream. Served with a kind of citrus coulis or sauce, I was indeed in heaven. The citrus lifted the classic dessert and made it something fresher and different,a welcome finale to the meal.
I often feel a bit awkward when dining alone in Paris, and as such have fallen out of the habit lately, but Chez Flottes made me appreciate how luxurious a good meal alone can be, and followed up by a stroll in the Tuileries gardens-- I am not sure how much more wonderful a date with yourself you can get.
You can see the dish and dessert of the day on the website. Furthermore, they are pretty much always open, very unusual in Paris, meaning that you aren’t restricted to the normal dining hours.
Address: 2 Rue Cambon, 75001 Paris
Metro: M1, 8 and 12, Concorde.
Phone: 01 42 60 80 89
Open: Monday to Sunday, 7.30 to 12.30 am