Food Intelligence, the source of 90% of the news that we republish on Paris by Mouth, recently reported on some big changes at one of my favorite bistros, Chez Michel. Responding to Bruno’s luscious photos (and in absence of any other plan), I booked a last-minute table on cold-and-rainy Wednesday for a dinner with my former roommate. On my way out the door, a visiting food writer in similarly unbooked straits asked for some advice on where he could go. So Food Snob turned up too, along with James Syhabout and some other culinary pals. I fawned over James, who was utterly delightful on the Omnivore stage, and then settled in for my long-overdue dinner with Kate.

Bruno’s news, that Thierry Breton had ripped out several tables and installed a giant oven in their place, is true enough. A beautiful sight, the stove is tucked away in a different section of the restaurant and not a part of the main dining room. It enables Breton to do a lot of slowly baked dishes, like a potimarron purée that’s ladled from the charred and hollowed squash itself. My volaille fermiere luttée en cocotte (a chicken pot pie studded with morsels of foie) was done in that same oven and served with roasted scorsemères (salsify). The oven also enables Breton to collect and use the crazy delicious jus as condiment. There’s a flagrant drizzle of these roasting juices atop his starter of scrambled, truffled eggs, but their profoundly comforting flavor permeates other dishes as well.

As for the price, it seems on paper to be a big jump from 35€ to 50€. But anyone who abandoned the previous prix-fixe to answer the siren call of the supplements carte can tell you that it was was always 50€ anyway. The pricing now is just much more direct. My only grumble: Chez Michel used to have a staggering cheese course and on this night, with this price jump, offered only fromage blanc. It was a very good one, flecked with the bright green chives and shallot, but come on…

The aforementioned Snob delivered his approval by Skype this morning,  although we agreed that the kouign-aman was not so miam-miam. Including far too much wine (a Charles Hours’ Jurançon, a bit of Foillard Fleurie,  some bubbly “tant-mieux” VdT ), our tab for two was around €165. A less indulgent pair could escape for €40 less.

Chez Michel
10 Rue de Belzunce, 75010
Closed Saturday and Sunday
01 44 53 06 20

> Read other trusted reviews for Chez Michel at Paris by Mouth

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5 Responses to Review: Big changes at Chez Michel

  1. Sharon says:

    So, the price is 50€ but they’ve done away with the chalkboard supplements?

  2. Meg says:

    For the most part. Among the six starters, there were two that carried supplements – a brandade with either 20g or 30g of caviar for an additional 15 or 30€, and those infamous civelles (baby eels) for an additional 60€. But none of the six main dishes or five desserts carried any supplements.

  3. That looks really tasty. Can’t wait to try!!!

  4. Lola says:

    I am looking for a place in Paris to go for a b-day party with 6 – 10 of us on a Saturday. I had selected Chez Dumonet, then found it was closed on Saturday, so my next choice (based in big part on your review), was Chez Michel, which I now see is also closed on Saturday nights. Can you suggest a restaurant similar to those that is opened on Saturday? I am looking to spend up to €100 per person including reasonable wine. We would like something that is a cross between classic French and nouveau French, and an ambiance that is not too loud, but has an air of fun. I also need a place that takes reservations, as friends are coming to town for the dinner.

    Any suggestions you can give me would be VERY welcome!

  5. admin says:

    Hi Lola,

    I was just about to recommend La Régalade – St. Honoré (http://parisbymouth.com/la-regalade-st-honore) and then I realized that they’re also closed on Saturday.

    Other options that are open on Saturday:

    Dans les Landes, a Basque small plates/tapas restaurant in the 5th (they have full size plates, too). There’s nothing nouveau about this, but it’s fun and new and they have a few big tables that could accommodate your group.
    http://parisbymouth.com/our-guide-to-paris-dans-les-landes/

    If you were closer to 6 than 10, then Le Bistrot Paul Bert might work for you: http://parisbymouth.com/bistrot-paul-bert/

    It might be too simple and informal for your needs, but I love Jeanne A (roast chicken, good potatoes dauphinois, well-priced magnums of wine, nice cheese) and they have a very large table for groups: http://parisbymouth.com/jeanne-a/

    I hope that helps, and happy birthday!

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