Vins des Pyrénées – A Traditional Bistrot in the Heart of the Marais:
Vins des Pyrénées is a bistrot that’s just three minutes walk from our Marais apartment. Olivier, the owner of our apartment recommended this bistrot to us, saying that the wine is very good and that he often dines here when he is in the area. So, when we were meeting up with friends Jane and Tom Brosnahan for dinner, we decided to dine here after Tony had done some research on other local restaurants.
Vins des Pyrénées
Vins des Pyrénées is a traditional French bistrot with an old-world charm. Located on rue Beautrellis near the corner with rue Saint-Antoine, it has a neighbourhood restaurant feel and if you didn’t know about its reputation for good food, you’d probably not notice it when you walked by. The bistrot does not have a website and their menu changes frequently so you’ve got to be in the area to see what the specials are or phone them. Don’t expect to find a wine list full of wines from the Pyrénées here. The name of the restaurant is a hangover from the days when it used to be a wine merchant.
Dinner at Vins des PyrénéesDinner in French restaurants can be a bit hit-and-miss if you don’t understand the description of the dishes or the style of cooking, but the waitress at Vins des Pyrénées was very friendly, helpful and happy to explain the dishes. We were lucky too that Jane is fluent in French and was able to de-mystify some of the basic ingredients of the dishes. There wasn’t any plat-du-jour or ‘formule‘ on offer and dinner was à la carte.
What we Ate
The evening started with a round of kir, a popular French apéritif. There was a choice of kirs, but the purists in the group chose to have cassis. There was a nice range of entrées on offer but Jane, Tom and I all chose the Croustillant d’asperges à la crème mayonnaise au citron which was absolutely delicious. Simply translated, it is green asparagus wrapped in a very thin layer of grilled cheese with lemon mayonnaise sauce. Tony on the other hand went for the Escargot de Bourgogne, another classic French dish. It was nice, but not exceptional.
For the main, Jane and I had the Cabillaud vapeur, a steamed cod dish with nicely cooked vegetables, Tom had a Marmite de poisons vdp, a creamy fish casserole dish and Tony’s fish came with a mild curry sauce. As we were all having fish, Tony chose a white wine, Pouilly Fumé. Olivier was right, the wine was very nice. Without exception, we all enjoyed our food and I for one finished everything on my plate, which is very unusual for me.
Although the meal was quite filling, my three dining companions didn’t skip the dessert and went for the tarte au citron. It was a large baked lemon tart, and quite rich as well, which they all managed to demolish. Dinner ended with coffee and the bill came to €50 per person, which was very reasonable considering the expensive bottle of wine we had.
An Enjoyable Evening
We were particularly pleased that Jane and Tom enjoyed the meal at Vins des Pyrénées as they are Paris regulars and have dined at a fair number of restaurants in this city. Although Vins des Pyrénées’ reputation for good food is known to visitors seeking good bistrot fare in Paris, many locals patronise this eatery and as such it does not have a touristy feel.
Being so close to home for us, we will most certainly dine here again.
Vins des Pyrénées
25 rue Beautreillis
Line 4 – get off at St Paul
Line 7 – get off at Sully-Morland
Map of Marais:Hopefully these tips have been helpful. What do you think?