Just steps from the Hôtel de Ville is a hundred-year-old bistro, founded in 1912 by the bon-vivant Benoît Matray who used to cater for a working-class clientele of artists and vendors from the Halles. Today Alain Ducasse owns the restaurant and while those customers have gone, the bistro-soul of the place survives. The original décor has been given a subtle face-lift, and with its tiled floors, wood features, velvet banquette seating, columns and enormous etched mirrors, it now has an extra soupçon of Parisian chic.
Benoît is also one of the capital’s rare bistros to have a private room (upstairs), and thanks to its precise yet hearty cuisine, is the only one with a star in the Michelin Guide.
Chef: Alain Ducasse / Fabienne Eymard
Sommelier: Gérard Margeon (Executive Head Sommelier) / Elisa Combouze
Great features: the porcelain tableware, which is rare in a bistro. It gives the dishes an additional ounce of flavour and makes guests feel special.
We especially love…: the Cheese Gougères offered as an hors d’oeuvre, and the famous hook which dates from when barrels of Beaujolais wine used to be lowered down into the cellar for bottling, as was the tradition of the famous ‘Bouchon Lyonnais’ restaurants.
Recognition: Guide Michelin, Gault & Millau
20, rue Saint Martin, 75004 Paris
+33 (0)1 58 00 22 05