Paris expert Sally Peabody (of Your Great Days in Paris) shares one of her best-kept secrets: the exquisite Fil O Fromage traiteur in the 13th arrondissement.
Text by Sally Peabody
Surely there is no shortage of fabulous cheese, charcuterie or wine in Paris. Every quartier boasts fromageries run by noted affineurs. You buy your treasures ripe for consumption just when you want to enjoy them most—for that afternoon, that evening, or with tomorrow’s dinner. But surprisingly, it’s not so easy to find places that will allow you to enjoy your cheese sur place in convivial surroundings. At Fil O Fromage, tucked away in the 13th, lovers of cheese and charcuterie find the perfect setting in which to relax and sample one (or more) of the 24 delectably arranged assiettes in combination with perfectly paired wines.
Owner Cherif Bourbit is an extraordinary affineur with a deep knowledge of French wines. His shop features selections from several small-scale, little-known winemakers. Each wine is specially chosen to be matched with the different types of delectable cheese and charcuterie on offer. Cherif is one of those infectiously engaging Parisian culinary artisans whose heart, soul and mind are totally focused on achieving perfection within their chosen métier.
At Fil O Fromage, Cheese lovers can enjoy one of 24 sumptuous “Assiettes Gourmandes Degustations” priced at 15.50 € each. All of the Assiettes Gourmandes include salad, bread, and a selection of appropriately paired artisanal charcuterie. There are generally three to four generous pieces of cheese per assiette, and Cherif will happily suggest a glass or a bottle of wine to complete your feast. Trust him!
In addition, Fil O Fromage offers six “thematic” platters that feature a selection of a certain type of cheese (e.g. blue, brie, goat or sheep’s milk cheese). There are six choices for “Les Europeennes“, selections of Spanish, Dutch, Swiss, English and Italian cheese, and even a selection from Luxembourg! And, of course, as France has more types of cheese than there are days in the year, there are twelve “Regionales” options that highlight cheeses from regions of France including Alsace, the Aveyron, Burgundy, Lyon, Normandy and more.
The Lyonaise selection includes those splendid gooey, rich raw-milk St. Feliciens and St. Marcelins, plus Rigotte de Montagne and all the appropriate charcuterie. One of my favorites is the ‘Corsica’ assiette, which includes Tome de Brebis, Brebis Corse Cremeux, Brebis aux Herbes du Maquis, and charcuterie like Jambon des montagne Corse, Coppa, Lanzo and Figuateli. Cherif recommends delicious red and white Corsican wines to accompany the cheese and charcuterie. It’s exquisite, but this is not a meal for the faint of appetite!
And just in case none of the 24 assiettes sounds quite right, a customized platter can be assembled just for you according to your preferences. There are also smaller salads, sandwiches, and cheese-based entrées to enjoy.
If you have the time, settle into the convivial downstairs bar or café or the upstairs dining room to enjoy your personal tour de Fromages. But if you’re on the go, you can also buy cheeses, charcuterie, fruit confitures, and of course, those wonderful wines to take back to your hotel, your Haven In Paris apartment, or to nearby Parc Bercy for the perfect Parisian picnic.
So if you love to feast on French and other European cheese along with perfectly paired charcuterie and a glass or two of a well-matched wine, Fil O Fromage will not disappoint. Treat yourself to a memorable répas at this intimate (and off-the-beaten-path) traiteur near Bibliotheque Nationale and Bercy Village.
Cherif and his Reblochon. Photo courtesy of Fil O Fromage
Fil O Fromage. www.filofromage.com Open Tuesday-Saturday, 10am-8:30pm. Closed Sundays & National Holidays. Check the website for jazz evenings, art exhibitions or other special events. 12 rue Neuve Tolbiac. Metro: Bibliotheque or Cour St. Emilion.
Sally Peabody is a cheese-loving Paris Specialist. Her company, Your Great Days in Paris, helps Francophiles optimize their time in Paris—on their own or with great private guides. Sally also leads spring and fall, small-group, ‘foodie’ tours in Paris, Lyon, the Pays Basque and Tarn et Garonne.
Edited by Tory Hoen for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.