I was initially drawn to this bistrot because of its beautiful Art Nouveau interior and traditional Parisian atmosphere.
Le Bistrot du Peinture, established 1902 and located close to the Bastille, promises historical intrigue and that little extra something that might put it above other bistrots in the area.
The owners promise quality produce and pride themselves in sourcing only the best meat, direct from farmers so that we can be sure we are getting the ultimate in carnivore grub.
Yet despite all this, and the many praising reviews on the internet, I was disappointed. My meal was lacklustre and rather ordinary.
The pricing is reasonable, however. Dinner mains start at €12.00 and dessert €6.00. I went for poêlée de coteaux au beurre d’escargot (€9.00, razor clams in a traditional snail butter) for a starter and for the main I had filet mignon de porc à l’estragon avec purée maison (€14.50, filet of pork with mashed potatoes), whilst my companion opted for poulet fermier rôti jus au romarin avec frites (€13.50, roast chicken and fries/chips), both with house wine (€5.50).
The reimagined traditional escargot entrée with razor clams rather than snails was very herby and actually quite good, I greatly enjoyed them and felt that they did indeed live up to the bistrot’s reputation. It turned a common dish on its head and made it a little different.
But this was somewhat disrupted by the rather unimpressive mains which were both just so, that is to say there was nothing particularly wrong with either of them, yet nothing exciting either. The chicken fell off the bone suitably, the chips/fries were how you want your potatoes to be, crunchy and not too greasy.
The filet mignon was not tough and the potato was creamy, but I would have liked a little extra excitement, that there was a glimmer of in the razor clams. The portion sizes were so generous though so we skipped dessert.
If you are looking for a place near Bastille I would not rule this one out, it is not too expensive for what it is and its location is great.
However I do not feel it lives up to the promises it makes. The Art Nouveau interior is by far its finest attribute — maybe worth a visit for this if you are more artistically inclined than food motivated.
Address: 116 Avenue Ledru Rollin, 75011 Paris, France
Metro: M8 Ledru-Rollin
Phone: 01 47 00 34 39
Hours: Monday to Sunday, 07:00 to 24:00 (Only breakfast is served before 12:00, normal service after).