Located by Parmentier bobo hipster central and one of my personal favorite up and coming Parisian neighborhoods, Chateaubriand is certainly no new kid on the block.
After following the ups and downs and mixed reviews of Chateabriand for years — the best, most creative food in Paris for some, too inventive for others, small portions, amazing service, rude service, not accommodating, very accommodating, noisy, quiet… the list is long — my curiosity finally got the better of me. Being of a somewhat pessimistic nature, my expectations were low.
Luckily, I am pleased to report that this was one of the better, and most definitely one of the longest, Parisian dining experiences I have had of late.
What can I say…
The wait was long, leaving all the more time to get to know our lovely Australian queue neighbors, chat and work up a good buzz drinking white wine at the zinc bar. Even though we were near the beginning of the long line for the first-come-first-serve second seating, our odd number group of three left us last to be seated; we waited a good hour and 20 minutes for our table. Note: Groups of two are easy to seat. Fortunately, the company was good, the wine tasty, and no one starved.
Note: The second seating is not recommended for those in need of immediate seating and service. Reservations are accepted for the 7:30 seating. Tables are turned when the meal is finished at the pace of the client, not before. This makes for a longer wait, but a decidedly more enjoyable dining experience for all concerned.
One of us was a real vegetarian, and another one of us did not eat meat or raw fish. Not a problem. The set menu was adapted for all of our needs with a smile. The entire staff was friendly and attentive and kept checking in throughout the course of the meal to make sure everything was ok. Note: While being particularly appreciable and pleasant, this kind of attention and care is definitely not normal, or even usual, in Paris.
After our long stint at the zinc bar, our meal finally commenced around 10:30 pm and ended over a lingering double dessert around 1am. Chateaubriand is not cheap (220 Euros for 3 with a bottle of wine and a few glasses of wine while waiting), or snappy, but the three of us felt it was good value and well worth the splurge.
I will not go into the intricate details of the fresh food combinations and pairings we sampled by chef Inaki Aizpitarte as it has been done so well and by so many (for more foodie reviews, see our related links below). Suffice to say, I will be back, and I suggest you all hustle on over.
** In 2011 Chateaubriand opened their sleek sister restaurant/wine bar Le Dauphin which, unlike Chateaubriand, serves lunch as well as dinner. It is located right next door and is another spot on my list of Paris dining places to try, if only we are able to get a table!
129, Avenue Parmentier, 75011
Written by Erica Berman for the HiP Paris Blog. Looking for a fabulous vacation rental in Paris, London, Provence, or Tuscany? Check out Haven in Paris.