Food cravings on a Sunday afternoon can be difficult to satisfy since many restaurants in Paris have their days off on Sundays and Mondays. Thankfully Chee managed to find this restaurant situated near Place des Victoires in the 1st arrondissement that satisfied my craving for bistrot-style food and more importantly, was actually opened for business.
We arrived at Les Fines Gueules (which literally translates to “the gourmets”) at 12.30pm and were the first guests. Lazy Sundays, I guess. Most of the guests started flocking into the restaurant from 1pm onwards. The restaurant is situated on 2 floors while the kitchen is located on the 3rd floor of a building from the 17th century. Our table was situated in the ‘basement’ which was decorated with authentic bricks, natural color, and wood.
As with most of the bistros and wine-bars, the menus are presented on a chalkboard. At Les Fines Gueules, the selection of wines was similarly presented on a menu chalkboard. It was a good selection of wine, most of them organic or nature at reasonable prices.
The chef’s style of cooking is simple but we found that the produce and ingredients used were of a very high quality and top-notch.
Chee and I decided to share a starter: Duo de bufala & burrata, fines tranches de San Danielle (duo of mozzarella with San Danielle ham).
For main, Chee took one of her favorite dishes: Fameux tartare d’Aubrac au couteau, pommes grenailles, salade (Steak tartare from Aubrac, knife cut accompanied by new potatoes and salad). A point to note for the french-fries lovers, the restaurant does not serve fries with its steak tartare 😦
I, specialist of the duck chose the Filet de canette de barbarie, fricassée de champignons (Filet of Barbary duck with pan-fried mushrooms).
For those who do not know the difference between filet and magret of duck: the magret is a filet from a duck that’s been fed through gavage (force-feeding of corn) and with which the famous ‘foie gras’ is made. The filet comes from a duck which has a regular diet. Magret tends to be more fatty and bigger in size though both are equally delicious.
Both of us enjoyed our main dishes and will probably come back, particularly for lunch on Sundays as not many good restaurants/bistros are ouvert le dimanche.
Address: 43 rue Croix des Petits Champs, 75001 Paris
Tel: +33 1 42 61 35 41, Open 7/7
P/S: It’s a pity that the restaurant does not propose an economical lunch menu.