It’s been a while since I found a cozy restaurant that I wanted to recommend without any reservations. And here it is, near Saint Augustin, a real French bistrot where the owner, Catherine, is always happy to see you and you leave with a very light check. The only problem with “Au Temps” is that it’s not open at night… But they do serve breakfast from 7.30 am and tapas until 9.30 pm.
The first time I went to this newly opened restaurant, I had booked the day before mentioning that I needed a quiet area because my guest was quite deaf. And when we arrived, we were sitting in the middle of the noisy dining room. I made a fuss, showing my anger at their lack of consideration, and very soon the whole staff was apologizing and two glasses of champagne were on the table. I thought how professional of them! And I must say that after having been there five times, I want to go back more and more.
The food is home cooked food, with daily specialties which change with the seasons. Tartare de boeuf or bavette with French fries, shrimps, confit of duck, goat cheese salad or leaks, all dishes are super classical but they are well done. For the Summer, a red tuna ceviche, melon and watermelon with ham will be on the menu. The atmosphere with Sylvain, the charmer, and Romain, the traveller who has just spent a year in New Zealand and speaks perfect English, is friendly and family like. I only take very dear friends there and they have all been happy.
The chef is very agile with sauces and herbs, the potatoes are perfectly fried and the melon I had was tasty and ripe. One good sign is that the desserts are equally good, with a great crème brûlée and lovely little madeleines. But also chocolate cakes and Irish coffee.
My advice is to book late at 1.15 pm so the restaurant empties slowly and you soon own the place. It is a casual bar for drinks in the afternoon and tapas if you don’t feel like having a real dinner.
It is well located at St Augustin in an office area where all restaurants are equally mediocre and expensive and it has replaced a super pretentious place. A blessing for 29,50€ the three course menu or 35€ à la carte.
Au Temps, 22 rue d’Astorg, Paris 8, tel: 01 55 06 18 16 From 7.30 am to 9 pm
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