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Lifestyle in Style

L’Ami Jean in Paris: Traditional French Bistro Food with a Twist

After two weeks in Paris my French food consisted of a baguette full of tomatoes and cured meat then half an almond and chocolate croissant at my favourite boulangerie up the street each morning. A couple of nights we had a baguette, French cheeses and cherry tomatoes at home. Most of the evening food was Vietnamese. For those a bit weak on their history Vietnam was once a French colony so they certainly brought their culinary skills with them.

On my last day in Paris it was time to have some French food at L’Ami Jean at 27 Rue Malar in the 7th arrondissement of Paris. My last visit was 5 years ago and the culinary experience was memorable. Chef Stéphane Jégo a Breton by birth practices a style of cuisine called “bistronomy” which was given birth to by Yves Camdeborde in 1992 at his restaurant La Regelade. The style of cuisine respects simplicity, taste conviviality and high quality. To eat is to live and to eat well and healthy which gives pleasure to all including farmers, fishermen and livestock raisers. In fact over 100 chefs have formed an association of bistronomy with a charter based on French cuisine, fair prices with an open dialogue with small producers. There are bistronomy chefs in twenty arrondissements in Paris.

This time we opted for the business lunch menu which was 35€ per person. The wine list was not one of those huge unmanageable lists but very slender and well chosen.

Complimentary fresh country bread, butter and cured ham started off the feast followed by a rich mushroom soup.

Courtesy of the chef a delicious filet of mackerel wrapped in leeks followed.

Fish wrapped in leek leaves: Photo Robert K. Stephen

Scallops cooked to perfection in a light sauce followed.

Scallops with carrots and potatoes: Photo Robert K. Stephen

Then a super rich pork dish with three different cuts of pork including a melt in your mouth pork belly. Jégo is passionate about pork. Maison Meignan supplies the restaurant with Mayenne bred suckling pigs and pigs. It supplies L’Ami Jean with ham, pork chops and whole pigs. Humanely raised the flesh is tender, flavourful and juicy and very filling.

Various cuts of pork with parsnips and mashed potatoes: Photo Robert K. Stephen

For dessert a huge bowl of rice pudding. The only rice pudding I have ever liked is that prepared at L’Ami Jean.

Rice pudding with toppings: Photo Robert K. Stephen

The décor is very bistro and warm and friendly and it is not uncommon to converse with your fellow diners and in that respect speaking French helps although the staff all speak a very good English.

The casual dining area of L’Ami Jean: Photo Robert K. Stephen

Reservations are difficult to get as they were 5 years ago. I suggest booking two weeks in advance for dinner. Eat here and you’ll find why the wait. Dinner for two with two glasses of wine, coffee and tea cost 95€.

Closed Sunday and Monday.

You’ll find them at 27 Rue Malar and while you can reserve on-line you can also call them at 0147058689.

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