For a Taste of Cuban, Calle 24 is a Bistrot that Serves Tapas:
When Tony suggested a casual tapas dinner at Calle 24, I was all for it. Just the mention of tapas was enough to secure my buy-in as we both love tapas, and it’s a nice change from French cuisine. Calle 24, at 13 rue Beautreillis, is literally just two minutes walk from our Marais apartment. I was glad that we were dining somewhere local as it’s nice to be able to just stroll down the street – after all, we have been giving the pavements of Paris a pretty good workout these past couple of weeks.
According to Tony’s research, Calle 24 is a tapas bistrot. We went there on a Saturday evening and not having made any bookings, we were lucky to get a table as they place is very small. It is nicely decorated and with its warm lights, it has a cozy feel at night which is totally different from its daytime look. There was a large group of eight at one table and a few other tables with couples and that was enough to make the place quite noisy because of its small size.
Cuban and not Spanish Tapas
When Tony mentioned tapas, I had assumed Calle 24 was a Spanish tapas bistrot, but the Cuban posters and other memorabilia that decorate the walls and ceiling suggested that I was in for a Cuban
For the main dish Tony ordered a tuna dish with spinach for himself and half a lobster for me. At €22, the lobster seemed rather cheap and we weren’t sure what we’d be getting at this price.
The service at Calle 24 was very slow this evening as there was only one young and very blond waitress serving the tables and she was rather frazzled. She brought us wine without glasses and we had to remind her numerous times for our sparkling water. It’s only a few steps from our table to the bar, but she manages to forget and I think she also managed to confuse other diners as well.
It took a long time before the main dishes arrived, but at least we got our food. The people at the next table who came in after us were only able to order tapas as the restaurant had run out of mains for the evening.
Tony’s tuna wasn’t that great – it tasted of very frozen tuna. My lobster on the other hand was very tasty and was served with some sweet potatoes. The mains came with a bowl of rice and a bowl of black beans which according to Tony is typically Cuban.
As the tables are set inches from each other, you can hear every word of your neighbours’ conversation. But sometimes such cozy settings are good as it allows you to strike a conversation with your fellow diners. Pascal at the next table asked us where we were from and that started an evening of very pleasant conversation. He and Tony have been to some way out places in the world and they got on fabulously sharing their experiences. Elena is a bubbly Italian living in Paris and she was lovely to chat to. Our pleasant conversation made us forget about the slow service and the waitress whom Elena confirms that the Parisians also describe as ‘un peu blonde‘. According to Elena, this restaurant changed hands a couple of years ago.
Our meal with coffee came up to €74, which is very cheap, considering the lobster dish. Calle 24 also offers set menus of €27 for 3 courses or €23 for two courses.
If you’re looking for value-for-money meals and casual-dining that’s a change from French cuisine this Marais restaurant fits the bill, but don’t expect gourmet cuisine here.
13 rue Beautreillis
Line 7 – Sully-Morland
Line 1 – St. Paul
Line 5 – Bastille
Map of Marais: