Deep in the 14th district, in what seems a village-like setting, lies this typical Parisian bistrot called les Petits Plats. It’s one of those places you’d never go to unless you know it’s there. The neighbourhood is nice enough, but if you’re just in Paris for a long weekend you’re likely to choose Montmartre or le Marais over an afternoon in the 14th district, simply because those areas are more known and less far away.
In fairness, I’d never really been in the 14th district much, even when I still lived in Paris and used to spend my weekends roaming around the city. I’ve only recently discovered this area and a few of the hidden gems it has to offer, but I can tell you one thing: the 14 arrondissement is well worth a visit (more on that on the blog soon).
Anyhow, back to les Petits Plats now. It was my friend Audrey who took me there for lunch on Good Friday last month. She’d been to this bistrot several times before and loved the place. I know Audrey knows good food, so I was excited to see – and try – for myself what the place was like.
The concept is simple: they have a couple of ‘Plats du jour’ – dishes of the day – and a menu that changes regularly. Most of the main courses have a small – ‘petit’ – and a normal size version; indeed, that’s what the name of the restaurant, ‘Les Petits Plats’ is about.
We went for the Dutch asparagus starter to share, followed by a ‘petit’ version of the beef cheek, ‘la joue de boeuf’, to share as well. For those of you who don’t know Dutch asparagus by the way: they’re the white ones and they’re only available during a couple of months a year. I’m a big fan of this seasonable vegetable which is why I order it whenever I see it on a menu somewhere.
Although our main course was meant to be ‘petit’ it was more than enough for the two of us. The beef came with vegetables in some sort of stew and the meat was – super – tender. To accompany our beef, we had a little basket of that fresh bread only the French know how to bake, and it was a real feast to soak that bread into the gravy from the stew.
The desserts looked incredible, which is why we ended up ordering two of them: a Citron Kumbawa – as featured in the picture with this post – and a crunchy version of the famous French ‘éclair’ filled with a chocolate mousse. We paired the whole thing with a carafe of white wine (a Mâcon Villages).
Prices are a little bit higher than average I’d say, but given the quality of the food and service still reasonable. The staff is quick, friendly and helpful – something that’s not always obvious in Paris – which makes the experience even more enjoyable. I don’t know how busy it is in the evenings, but to avoid disappointment I’d recommend you book beforehand.
For those of you who have been in Paris before – or those of you who’d like to experience the real Paris: you can definitely add this little bistrot to your list of things to try. And if you go, let me know what you thought about it of course 🙂
Les Petits Plats, 39 Rue des Plantes, 75014, Paris.