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“Traditonal French Dishes”
Review of Aux Charpentiers

Aux Charpentiers
Ranked #3,877 of 17,505 Restaurants in Paris
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Saint-Germain-des-Pres
Description: This historic bistro was originally opened in 1856 and is a real institution in Paris' Saint Germain des Pres district. The name 'Aux Charpentiers' means 'To Carpenters', and the restaurant has engravings, photos and furniture commemorating this noble trade. The menu is traditional French bistro fare with a certain amount of influence from the rural Correze region with its famous Limousine beef. The atmosphere is friendly with an eclectic mix of locals, tourists, politicians and journalists.
Reviewed April 29, 2013

We happened upon this restaurant in our continuing quest for traditional French food favored by French diners. We had a late fix prix lunch of Eggs Mayonnaisse (one of Julia Child's favorites) and Eggplant Caviar which were wonderful,l followed by endive and ham gratin and blood sausage with baked apples. Great food and great service. Perfect French lunch for a very reasonable price.

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1  Thank beachwalkerfun
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (309)
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68 - 72 of 309 reviews

Reviewed April 29, 2013

We have been to this restaurants again and again over the years. The owners haven't changed since 1976 and are most welcoming. We have had almost everything on the menu during our many visits and can recommend it all. The Mediterranean sea bass for two is deliciously prepared with herbs and grilled to perfection. The meats are tender and tasty. The salads are crisp and fresh with a perfect vinaigrette. Among the desserts we love the vanilla ice cream with the marinated prunes from and the crème brûlée. We have introduced many friends to this bistro and they all want to return for another memorable meal.

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1  Thank Helga Z
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 7, 2013

Choosing a restaurant is tricky, especially in Paris. The challenge of eating in a food capital is to know what you want. Then to know something about the restaurant you are choosing. I am not an advocate of "dropping" in, not in Paris. Much can go right, as easily as it can go wrong.

Does "your" restaurant have a menu that appeals to your particular tastes...and on a particular day? What makes your mouth water today as opposed to yesterday? How hungry are you and what's the weather like? What's your mood? Is it a day for something new or comfort?

When I look at a menu how many choices tug at my palate...just one or two or several? How many "good" choices does a menu have to suit you? At what price? What about the ambiance, wait staff, wine lists, just a few more extras to complicate the choices.

The business of food is not all in the hands of the chef, rather what's in our own minds and what our tastebuds expect (or perhaps demand) on a peculiar and particular day. As a consumer, how much have I consumed in my life? How much do I know about "good" food. And in what direction do my tastes lean? Good taste, food experience and culinary knowledge are not always what we (the customers) bring to the table.

These were the sympathetic thoughts ringing in my mind on a recent visit to Aux Charpentiers. It was a gray cold day, and I was in a good mood, ready for the many items on the menu that made my mouth water. At first glance, this choice looked promising. The start was right.

Inside the ambiance was simple yet warm and welcoming, relaxed, French village style. The wait staff all lovely and attentive. Not too slow, not too fast, with their eyes balanced on the customer.
as well as their pace.

A hearty, warm laugh from one of the women waiters with long black hair, tied a bow on the atmosphere. There is a dance in France between waiters and happy customers. It was there this day. Eating is an event, not just a meal.

The crowd this cold day were mostly couples and friends, the vast majority with graying hair. Only 2 or 3 younger diners. There was a hum in the restaurant, the happy sounds of people enjoying their food and each other. I love restaurants that hum with this kind of happy. Much like purring. It make the food taste better.

The stage was set, now for the food. Because the choices were many for my tastes, it took some time to sort. From soups, salads, boudin noir, saucisson lyonnais, to salmon, lamb, beef, caille, tete de veau, blanquette de veau, the vast assortment of traditional standbys fill the menu. Open (an astounding) 7 days a week, there is also a plat de jour for each day.

Portions are moderate. Service is well-paced. My food was very well prepared, high quality boudin with delicious, slightly baked apples, crusty on the top. Saucisson lyonnais with lentilles, perfectly cooked but slightly bland. There could be some addition of ingredients that would perk up the standbys. In short, there is nothing fancy or surprising that make the tastebuds jump for joy, just good, honest, consistent, decent down-home cooking. The small extras that might light up a traditional dish are not part of the presentation, but that's not what eating here is about. Regardless, it is hard to find fault or be disappointed with Aux Charpentiers. I left, in all, ready to return, not soon, but definitively. The whole package that makes dining special was here that day.

The caille looked plump and wonderful. Those eating it had nothing left on their plates. The lamb met with the same as diners picked on the bones. The salmon on a bed of cabbage looked especially tempting. Stuffed cabbage, not my taste, was the plat du jour. Those eating it appeared delighted.

There is a longer dessert list, but I agree with another reviewer, they tend to be on the pricey side. Sorbet, ice cream, fresh fruit, profiterole, creme brulee, tarte tatin. My wallet was finished and my appetite satisfied. No need to add more.

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1  Thank simmonsparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed March 10, 2013

a nice lunch on a wet friday. service was fine. lots of regulars. Good value fixe menu.Chicory in blue cheese dressing followed by lamb. Deserts were expensive so we did not bother.Close to the st germain food market

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1  Thank thompsontowers
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 24, 2013

Our hotel booked this for us, and that was a good choice. The Sunday evening before New Year is not the easiest time to find a restaurant open. Very efficient reception, typical Paris bistro atmosphere, excellent food. Although there was a queue waiting to get in, we were under no pressure to rush away. My only criticism would be the closeness of the tables - another 5cm would have helped!

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1  Thank JohnSutton
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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