I pushed the glass door and stepped in, unsure of where to place myself. A tall young man greets us spritely and ushers us in, asking us of our booking details. We are then seated, instantaneously we are transported to the yesteryears of Paris.
Located in the heart of Paris, Benoit was established back in 1912. Now under the Alain Ducasse franchise, Benoit does not need any introduction and holds its own claim to fame. Being the only Michelin starred Bistro in Paris, it has continually served classical French bistro cuisines such as escargot, terrine, duck and savarin. The restaurant does not only cater to locals with their Française menus but they conveniently also provide a choice of English menus for tourists, such as myself.
From the outside looking in, you’re unaware of the world you’re about to enter. Pushing the door in, you’re transported to a warm and inviting space, circa the Art Nouveau period. The walls looked marbled, the glass divisions of tables are engraved with floral patterns, dark wood finished furniture with brass railings, spacious red velvet seating and fresh white linen tables to serve the space.
When you book online for a reservation, you’ll see that only a fixed menu is available, which is a 3-course lunch meal for 39Euros. When you arrive at the restaurant, you will have a fixed menu option or an A la carte menu. Be warned the fixed menu changes seasonally, as I am guessing they are basing their menu on the availability and freshness of produce.
1. His: Green Lentil veloute, croutons
2. Hers: Rabbit terrine
1. His: Duck confit and chat potatoes
2. Hers: Duck confit and chat potatoes
1. His: Seasonal Fruit Tart
2. Hers: Homemade ice-cream and sorbet
Out of the 3 courses, I enjoyed the main best, the Duck confit and chat potatoes. Till that day, I have never known how much salt can change the flavour of your meat. At first, I found it salty, but after a while with the potatoes, the taste started to get addictive.
Especially the crispy skin, the meat pink and tender, it was a beautiful moment. Also, there was complimentary Madeleines to end your meal, served after your petit fours. They do not want you to leave feeling short-changed or hungry.
Birthday, first date, anniversary, meeting, brunch? Why not. Whatever the occasion is, it’ll suit it. Just make sure you book your table online before coming in, they do not take walk-ins and will be turned away on the spot.
Opened since 1912 and still into the 21st Century they’re still serving people, they must be doing something right. My experience at Benoit was a delight. We were treated with such warmth and hospitality, I am not sure if this was the same Paris I heard about through other people’s negative stories and experiences. Service was prompt, available and pleasurable. Would not mind going back again.
39 Euros per person, for a 3-course meal. Entree, main and dessert. Beverages and Service charge extra.
Address: 20 rue Saint Martin 75004 Paris
Telephone: +33 1 42 72 25 76
Disclaimer: Please note I have not been paid or sponsored to do this review. This write-up is based on my own opinions, research and experience. Pictures used are personally taken, unless stated otherwise. I hope you find it helpful.
Visited on: May 2019
Benoit plates and Waiter’s station