Parisian Brasserie: Café Saint-Régis

This bistro screams old Paris and for us, no better place, to begin our Beaujolais Nouveau bar crawl.

There’s simply no point jostling with the crowds on the right or left bank when you can eat and drink on your very own island.

Not far from The Louvre and Notre Dame, this is a busy French bistro selling delicious, fresh, authentic food.

The Croque Madame was heavenly, perfect amounts of grated Gruyere, a smooth Bechamel with a hint of nutmeg, a decent slice of meaty ham topped a skinny piece of Sourdough bread.  The perfect spherical golden egg crowning what is basically pimped-up cheese on toast.  Even the salad tasted as if it had just been picked from the Bistro’s allotment.

The waiting staff spoke excellent English and didn’t take themselves too seriously.  They were having a fair bit of fun which did not impede service at all.  In fact, although we clearly didn’t get the joke, their laughter was pretty infectious.

The duck was oven baked and then finished in a pan, the seared skin revealed a perfectly pink flesh once cracked.  The potatoes were crispy and infused with garlic and a well roasted tomato gave the plate and dish colour and the palate sweetness.

The burger had been cooked just as requested, that lovely pink we may lose from our London restaurants, and came with all the extras – bacon, cheese, gherkin and an extraordinary sauce.

The BN was a beautiful over-ripe cherry colour, served chilled it had a spicy raisin bouquet. Because this wine has no tannins it’s incredibly soft in the mouth and goes down like a souped-up grape juice.  Beaujolais Nouveau isn’t a wine to be snooty about, it’s one to pour and party around and we always try to do exactly that on the weekend it’s released.

We finished strong coffee and a digestif, the end to a fabulous meal.

We hoped to return for Sunday Brunch but by the time we woke up and realised we had booked an earlier train it didn’t happen.

If you’re looking for a decent Parisian Bistro I’d head straight for Cafe Saint Regis, fresh, uncomplicated, traditional French food and prices that won’t bust your travel budget.

6 Rue Jean du Bellay, 75004 Paris, nearest Metro, Pont Marie et Sully-Morland: M7