Paris Bistro and Jazz CafeAddress:
8229 Germantown Ave.
Philadelphia , PA 19118
Neighborhood: Chestnut Hill
Parking: Street and lot parking only.
Handicap access: Wheelchair accessible through ramp in Chestnut Hill Hotel.
Related reviews: Paris Bistro approaches fluent French
Cuisine type: French
Meals Served: Brunch Dinner
Style: C'est la belle vie for Chestnut Hill since chef Al Paris and the Bynum brothers (Heirloom, Warmdaddy's) opened this evocative corner bistro done up in mustard-yellow walls and Belle Epoque kitsch. A menu of French classics sometimes lacks the finesse of great bistro cooking. But it's good enough, at fair prices, to become a needed neighborhood standby. An intriguing and intimate jazz club in the cellar (open weekends with dinner) should be a destination.
Specialties: French onion soup; lobster bisque; salmon tartare; mussels marinière; cauliflower-Comté custard; cassoulet; trout with almonds; rabbit fricassee; steak-frites; boeuf bourguignon; coq au vin; chocolate mousse; almond cake.
Alcohol: A very solid collection of regional French wines. The by-the-glass selections are affordable vins de table (try a Muscadet or rosé from Languedoc), but the best values are on the 70-plus bottle list, largely under $50, with exceptionally fair (just over double cost) markups. Try one of my white Burgundy favorites, Andre Bonhomme Vire-Clesse 2010 ($46), a good entry-level Sauvion Chinon ($30), a serious "Confidentiel" Gigondas from Domaine Montirius ($85), Zind-Humbrecht Alsatian Riesling ($46), or several Champagnes (Piper Heidsieck, $84.) The French-themed cocktails were less well-made. But the handful of nice beers are worthwhile (Saison Dupont, La Fin du Monde.)
Weekend noise: Tin ceilings amp the noise to a difficult 92 decibels. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)
Hours: Dinner Tuesday-Thursday, 5-10 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, until 11 p.m.; Sunday 4-10 p.m. Brunch Saturday and Sunday, 11 a.m.-2:30 p.m. Jazz Cafe Thursday-Saturday, 6 p.m.-midnight; Sunday, 5-midnight.