La Régalade is one of this city’s most beloved classic bistros. Founded by Yves Camdeborde in 1992, it was left in the hands of Bruno Doucet, a chef who (high praise) didn’t ruin it. I visited this bastion of bistronomy last year, loved my meal, but never returned. I suppose that distance trumped delicious. How excited was I, then, to learn that Doucet was opening a new location in central Paris? Daniel Rose filled me in about this when I ran into him yesterday at Spring Boutique (I am addicted, of all things, to their spelt). After chiding me for not being up on the news, Rose suggested we try to book a dinner right away. Right away turned out to be the very same (opening) night.

I hesitated for a split second before accepting, not wanting to criticize a place before the paint on the walls was dry. But I was hungry and up for some fun after a solid week of website construction. So off we went, a motley crew of seven, into the brand new restaurant around the corner. If it sucked, I would remain silent.

Thank goodness it was delicious. From the first moment, when a communal crock of poultry terrine landed on the table, to the very last bite of strawberry dessert, I was happy. Bruno Doucet continues to score with classic dishes based on bright ingredients and sharp technique. Portions are generous, to the point of being painful, and the wine list is stocked with affordable gems like a 2007 Pinot Gris from Ostertag for €40.

The three-course menu at €33 is one of the best dining values in town. As at the original location (and other restaurants like Chez Michel) a few special dishes are available each night for a supplemental charge. Of course we had to try the bright green asparagus with langoustines (+8€), which was better, according to three diners at our table, than they’d had last week at Frédéric Simonin.

I ordered the morels (+6€), which arrived in the shape of a small mountain. I’ve never seen such a generous serving. After eating my fill, I passed them around the table three times and then still had to struggle to finish.

Another winning dish was my poitrine de cochon fermier moelleuse de chez Eric Ospital, la couenne croustillante. In other words, farm-raised pork belly from Eric Ospital (he who puts the song in my croquettes), with a creamy interior and crispy skin. It was exactly as advertised, and the very best belly I’ve ever eaten.

My favorite dessert belonged to Barbra – a Breton sablé with creamy marscapone and bright red Gariguettes. If the strawberry shortcake in Kansas had been this good, I might still be wearing ruby slippers today.

A modest complaint: this freshly-painted beige dining room lacks the soul of its southern counterpart. However, given the choice between an ugly room and a long metro ride, I will take the beige every time. It does seem better suited – given the sparse decor and widely spaced seats, to the Saint-Honore clientèle. It’s hard to imagine Jean-Charles de Castelbajac, the noted designer who was sitting nearby, hanging out in that bustling bistro down south.

Open questions: Being more of a glutton than a reporter, I’m not yet sure whether the southern location will remain open, where Doucet will do most of his cooking, or how they plan to maintain these modest prices with a monthly rent that’s rumored to be around €10,000. For the moment, all I can tell you is to GO.

La Régalade Saint-Honoré
123 rue Saint-Honoré, 75001
Tel: 01 42 21 92 40
Closed Saturday & Sunday

> Read  more trusted reviews for La Régalade – St. Honoré at Paris by Mouth

12 Responses to Review: La Régalade Saint-Honoré

  1. Ffromsaopaulo says:

    Hope they will be opened until my trip in October!

  2. Milt Gersh says:

    Hi, The restaurant’s food sounds delicious, but you overpaid for the vin. I’ve been in the wine business for 30 yrs. so you’ll just have to trust me on this. The pinot gris is a fine wine from the alsace area, but its not consididered anything special. At 40 euros it was way over priced. I know osterdag and they make nice wines. A pinot gris , that a restaurant pays is under 10 Euros. Even if you went to Bon Marche at the epiciere you would be hard put to find a pinot gris over 10 Euros. It seems that restaurants here are doing the same as in the states , marking up their prices 3 to 4 times. It’s time that customers let the restaurant people know that when they overprice their wines, customers should stay away from those outrageous prices. Thanks. Milt Gersh

  3. Meg says:

    Hi Milt,

    You’re absolutely right. I was sitting next to a wine buyer that night and he also said it was 4x higher than the retail price. To be honest, though, I don’t expect restaurants to sell their wine at retail cost any more than I expect a cup of coffee to cost ten cents. If jacking the wine is one of the ways that Doucet is managing to offer his 33 euro menu while paying outrageous rent on the rue Saint-Honoré, I can live with it.

    Having said that, I really appreciate places like le Verre Volé and les Papilles where you can select an outstanding bottle and pay only retail prices plus corkage.

  4. Those langoustin and dessert would do me nicely
    Looks VERY miam-miam!

  5. laura says:

    going tonight! xo

  6. Amy says:

    Love your blog, Meg! I used to read your old one and have always enjoyed your writing style. I can’t wait to start reading/eating my way through your reviews :)

  7. Meg says:

    Aw, thanks Amy!

  8. Amy says:

    Sold! I’m even feeling a bit smug that this is within walking distance of both my apartment and office – the neighborhood is getting dangerously delicious.

  9. MIke says:

    Your post and pics drew us here and we were thrilled by everybite. 33 euros? What an amazing deal. Reminded me a lot of places like Chez Panisse, Olivetto, and the like in the bay area. Straightforward amazing ingredients, perfectly prepared. And that terrine! I almost never eat terrines, pates, fois, etc and we loved this one.

    Thanks for the tip!

  10. Nancy Hoca says:

    Note to Milt Gersh: I just came across your comment of five months ago. Being married to an Alsatian, I just want to say that the name of the people who produced the pinot gris is Domaine Ostertag, not Osterdag. They are Alsatians, not Dutch.

  11. Katherine Sullivan says:

    On your recommendation we tried La Regelade. It was wonderful-I loved the pate, asparagus appetizer and duck. My 5 dining companions were similarly impressed. The wait staff was especially charming and helpful. Can’t wait to return.

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