This Parisian-style boîte near the Walnut Street theatre district feels like a cozy nook in the Marais, where the corner zinc serves vin du pays and French aperitifs, and the menu ranges from bistro classics (snails "au gratin," skate meuniere, tripe in Calvados) to the haute ambitions of its call-ahead wild duck pressed in an antique silver vise. After some early inconsistent years, the kitchen can now match the room's sympa charm.
Wild mushroom and salsify casserole; lobster risotto; escargots "au gratin"; pork belly and choucroute; cheese and charcuterie plate; pressed wild duck for two; skate meunière; scallops with braised endive; chicken "française"; chicken "basquaise" special; tripe with Calvados special; steak frites; lamb shank; pot de creme; tarte aux pommes.
Try one of the classic aperitifs to start (Lillet, Rinquinquin, or Pineau des Charentes), then choose from a blackboard list of affordable wines by the glass, or an approachable bottle list that is entirely French, including some uncommon rustic finds like Fitou, Cahors (French malbec), or Saint-Veran. There is a small selection of craft beer, but also several worthy post-dinner brandies from marc to Ratafia.
Can hit a lively 86 decibels, but given the more mature clientele, conversation is generally still possible. (Ideal is 75 decibels or less.)