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Le Bon Saint Pourçain: Back with New Owners and a Traditional-Modern Mix

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. On the corner.

For years, dining at Le Bon Saint Pourçain was like stepping into a time machine set to the 1950s. Neighbors would come, their dogs and children in tow, spending as much time with the owner/waiter catching up on the local gossip as placing their order for a very traditional meal, invariably served with a glass of Bon Saint Pourçain wine. Suddenly, without word, the windows were white-washed over, rumors spread of a health issues (the owner’s, not the kitchen’s) and the neighborhood was left bereft.

HiP Paris blog, Le Bon Saint Pourçain, Eating in the restaurant

This spring, two years after the sudden loss, activity could be seen behind the now flaking window paint. There were shadows inside and the sound of buzzing power tools competed with birdsong. The neighborhood was atwitter. Who was moving in, what would they be selling, and when would it all be happening?

Slowly, joy spread throughout the neighborhood as we learned that David Lanher, the man behind the fabulous Racines restaurant, would be filling the void. Regulars were thrilled to learn that they’d now be exchanging local gossip with Michel, a quartier fixture known for his bird whistle and 20 years of service at the Café de Flore.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. A picturesque corner.

Set on the picture-perfect rue Servandoni, a pedestrian cobbled lane that leads from the majestic Saint Sulpice to the Luxembourg Gardens, it is an out of the way, teeny-tiny restaurant with some huge shoes to fill.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. Inside seating.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. Cleanly set tables.

Like most of the past regulars, we could not wait for the doors to open. I would pass by daily in anticipation and made reservations as soon as the calendar had been set; we had a date for night #2. We are traditionalists, not fond of too much neo in the bistrot and Le Bon Saint Pourçain hit the tone just right, serving traditional dishes that weren’t drowning in modern froufrou.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. The menu.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. Inside the restaurant.

I had not been the only one waiting impatiently, and the airy, mid-century dining room hummed with anticipation. A past regular, dining with his dog, shouted to the chef in his open kitchen, “the asparagus starter is a marvel.” A couple in the corner, that had been coming for 20 years applauded their lamb chops and my date was thrilled to see veal kidney on the menu.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. Traditional French food and service.

I can’t emphasize enough how small the size is. Michel and the restaurant’s female sommelier were working on the choreography for what is sure to become a well practiced dance of order taking, advising, and serving the ideal Paris meal. But don’t let the size deter you from trying to get a table; it’s well worth it.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain. The dessert.

10 bis rue Servandoni, 75006. Tel : +33 (0)1 42 01 78 24

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Erratum: Thanks to reader Terrance Gelenter I have learned that Michel’s name is Dominique. I was introduced to him as Michel last fall by a Flore regular of 50 years. A true French gentleman, Dominique was too discreet to correct madame and has been answering my calls for Michel ever since. When I stopped by Le BSP to set the record straight, a good laugh was shared over an excellent Vouvray.

HiP Paris blog. Le Bon Saint Pourçain.

Written by Sylvia Sabes for the HiP Paris Blog. Images by Briag Courteaux. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.

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Written by Sylvia Sabes

Sylvia SabesSylvia is thrilled to be a French citizen, living in Paris where she writes ad copy for brands like Cartier, Hermès and L'Oréal while raising two teens and learning to share life with a Frenchman. You can read more of her adventures in Paris and across the globe on her website, Only In Paris.

Website: Only In Paris

Photos by Briag Courteaux

Briag Courteaux has been living and working in Paris independently since 2009 as a photographer, working between documentary, personal research, institutional assignments, and private projects.

Website: Briag Courteaux

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Posted in Food, Restaurant Reviews | 4 Comments »

4 Responses to “Le Bon Saint Pourçain: Back with New Owners and a Traditional-Modern Mix”

  • Susan says:

    Does anyone know if Le Bon St Pourcain has an email address?
    Merci!

  • Patty says:

    I’ve been going to this restaurant every single trip to Paris for more than 10 years. The traditional food was consistently good and I felt at home in the intimate atmosphere. I remember the owner and his daughter very well. I’m sorry that I won’t see them anymore. I will have to check out the new place my next visit.

  • Fred says:

    Lovely article, photos…and restaurant. We ate there just once, but had a nice time. I wonder if the new owners are following the old tradition of presenting a tiny serving of house wine to each diner, for approval – and then a full-size serving.

  • Please tell me they have updated the toilets?

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