June 11, 2012
Coming off a string of mediocre Paris meals, I was less then lukewarm about heading out to, yet another Paris neo-bistro. Anticipating haughty service and below average food at a high price in banal ambiance, I almost bowed out of my recent girl’s night out at L’Office.
Going into this meal with a bad attitude and a hungry tummy, disappointment seemed imminent.
What a pleasure it was to be proven wrong, and how so! l’Office may just be my new French ‘go to’ restaurant for tasty food, in a mellow setting with adorable service.
Located on a nondescript street in Paris’ 9th arrondissement somewhere between les Grand Boulevards and Montmartre one would most certainly not end up at L’Office by chance.
Upon entering into the cozy bustling restaurant, we were greeted with warmth by the charming and cheerful Charles (whom we proceeded to discover was the owner Charles Compagnon).
From the reasonably priced and tasty white burgundy starter to the thick, chewy and crunchy brown bread, to a fresh asparagus/poached egg appetizer and the perfectly cooked mains (fresh vegetarian raviolis, tender porc, thick risotto)… and decadent desserts everything was delicious and the service was right on. A vegetarian meal? No problem, and, more importantly, no attitude. Another bottle of wine? A fabulous, reasonably priced, red appeared.
I won’t go into details of every plate we ate, but suffice to say, they were all delicious, carefully thought out and prepared with a distinct Italian influence throughout from chef Kevin O’Donnell formerly at Del Posto in NYC.
The evening was filled with joking banter, and sweet attentive service as opposed to the oft Parisian norm of arrogance, attitude and indifference.
At the end of the evening American chef Kevin O’Donnell popped out to say hello and quickly chat. We discussed his meeting with Charles in NYC prompting his move to Paris, his current Paris foodie favorites (Frenchie wine bar, L’Avant Comptior, Vivant) and lamented the lack of a great late night pizza joint for after hour munchies.
I’m most certainly not a professional food critic but I do know, and appreciate, great fresh food and lovely sincere service when I see it.
Update: I have since returned to L’Office for lunch and it was equally as delicious and the service equally adorable.
3, rue Richer, 75009
Métro: Le Peletier, Poissonniere, Cadet, Bonne Nouvelle or Grands Boulevards
Open: Open for lunch Mon – Fri, open for dinner Mon – Sat, closed Sunday
Find out more about L’Office:
Written by Erica Berman
Erica Berman grew up in Lexington,Mass. After graduating from Syracuse University's Newhouse School of Journalism and an intensive summer at Middlebury College (Vermont), Erica came to Paris with hopes of submerging herself in French culture and perfecting her French -- and she never left. Erica is the founder and owner of Haven in Paris and the blog HiP Paris. She now splits her time between Paris (Montmartre), Maine (Damariscotta), Massachusetts (Lexington) and Italy (Genova). In her all-too-rare free time, Erica likes to travel off the beaten track, explore Paris, read, take photos, cook, ski, hike and enjoy long Sunday brunches with her friends.
Website: Erica Berman