Chez Monsieur (Royal Madeleine)

The mere mention of the word bistrot evokes Jean Gabin films and Georges Simenon short stories.  Where can one find such a mythic place in today’s Paris?  Head right to the area around the Madeleine and you will find Chez Monsieur, on a street with the charming name of Chevalier de Saint-George.  With a classic zinc bar, tiled floors, and bourgeois cuisine, here is the classic bistrot of your mind’s eye.  The chef pays homage to the cuisine of yesterday by preparing versions that are as delicious as your memories – something that is usually not the case with grandmother’s cuisine.  Whether you order onion soup or snails, both of which are on the menu, or something more modern such as a carpaccio of scallops with a lime and pomegranate sauce, you will not be disappointed.  Chez Monsieur is famous for its blanquette de veau, and I can attest to its perfection.  After being served two “modern” versions of this classic dish in two extremely fashionable New York City restaurants where a “lighter” version, to my horror, omitted its obligatory cream sauce, I was on a quest for the Holy Grail – a true blanquette de veau.  At Chez Monsieur, to my absolute delight, I found it.  For dessert, if you want to call out all the punches, you can order crêpe suzettes (prepared tableside) or mouthwatering profiteroles.  Directed by Élodie Colin, a charming young woman whose family assumed direction in 2002, Chez Monsieur also offers a superb selection of grand cru Burgundy and Bordeaux wines.  In January, in the spirit of all the department store sales in France, there were huge notices of “Soldes” in the windows of Chez Monsieur.  At first, I thought it had closed.  Not a bit, the bistro was simply offering a sale on their grand crus.  I ordered a Château Cantenac Brown for 81 euros instead of the normal price of 162 euros, and, to our good fortune, our meal was made even better.  There is also a good selection of more moderately priced wines as well as a selection by the glass.  At Chez Monsieur, you are “comme chez soi” – at your own home.
Chez Monsieur 11 Rue du Chevalier de Saint-George, 75008 Paris +33 1 42 60 14 36