In my hunt to find a good, traditional French restaurant open on Easter Sunday, I settled on “Le Coupe Chou” (literally the Cut Cabbage). It seemed that a lot of the places that fit the bill for traditional French food that I was recommended were actually closed on a Sunday— too bad for those who are infinitely busy during the week and really want to make the most of a lazy weekend. Also, as this time around it was Easter, I really wanted to go out and enjoy some high quality French food. Thus Le Coupe Chou won out (partly due to being the only one on my current hit list actually open) and I am VERY glad this was so.
I had attempted to book on La Fourchette, an online booking platform for reserving a table at your choice of restaurant. This seemed like brilliant idea to me since my French sometimes fails me over the phone and I loved the ease in which booking through a website offers. Well…
Arriving after a long day of walking around Paris and enjoying the first glimpses of spring, we came to claim our reservation at 8.30pm only to discover they never received such a reservation and that they were full. Now, after having smelt the amazing smells that were there, we were a little heart-broken and somewhat desperately asked for her to do something. Apparently La Fourchette had failed my accomplice before and thankfully the staff took pity on us and said we should come back for 9.30pm and try again. So we did just that. When we returned, we were shown to a rather delightful “salon” whilst we waited for our table to be prepared.
By this point we were rather hungry and so decided to opt for the set menu options (€27 for two courses and €33 for the works) so we could try out all the courses— I had the firm conviction that I would indeed manage all three, I was that hungry. For my starter I chose the “Terrine de Campagne,” with a red onion and blackcurrant jam, whilst my accomplice chose the eggs, “Poêlon du Barbier” (soft boiled eggs with tarragon and cream). For the main we both just had to go for the “Confit du Canard” (duck confit), it was Easter and duck seemed suitable. Also, let’s face it, just like terrine, it is one of those classic French dishes that always go down well. We simply could not resist. Whilst we waited for our food we enjoyed the beautiful choice of classical music and a glass of wine.
Now, I might be biased but I can easily say that out of the starters the terrine was the best. That is not to say the other was not good, both were superb but I really recommend the terrine. It arrived in a decent sized slice, accompanied by the red onion jam and a few gherkins— a surprising addition for my English habits but thoroughly normal for French cuisine (I was told). With the help of some crunchy fresh bread I hungrily dug in and it was wonderful. The terrine was suitably meaty and did not have any unpleasant fatty or greasy tastes you get from lesser quality renditions and it went incredibly well with the red onion jam. In fact the combination of salty terrine, sweet red onion and sour gherkins was extremely good. I was almost sad when it was finished. I stole a bite of my friend’s starter too, which was also tasty. The eggs were rich, perfectly done and had just the right flavour, however we both agreed that the terrine won our favour here.
Following this came our duck confit. Just as with any classic dish there are variations. This confit du canard came with potatoes, oyster mushrooms (as well as some Paris mushrooms), green beans, olives and a wonderful gravy. The duck fell off the bone perfectly and was very tender, the gravy too was so good that we had to make use of more bread to make the most of it. I am not totally sure about the inclusion of olives, but they certainly did not detract from my enjoyment of the meal.
The portions were very reasonable, as such after the duck I was (rather sadly) unable to contemplate eating another mouthful and had to forgo dessert. Considering how good the rest of the food was, I had been really excited to try the “Crème Brûlée a l’Orange.” I will take this as a sign that I have to return sometime to try out more of their dishes.
The atmosphere in Le Coupe Chou is nothing short of charming, very elegant, yet also homely. I felt that the feeling of the restaurant itself reflected the food they serve. Traditional, homely, but never lacking in sophistication and high quality. If you are looking for a centrally located, traditional French restaurant that is excellent without ridiculous prices, choose this one. You will not regret the decision (especially if you are visiting Paris). This place is a must to try out, unless you are a vegetarian, there is only one option which is ratatouille. Also, as a plus, I heard the staff speaking English so if you are worried about this- don’t. There really is no excuse to miss out on this one (unless you are a vegetarian).
Address: 11 Rue de Lanneau, 75005 Paris
Phone: 01 46 33 68 69
Open Daily 10:00 am – 11:30 pm