A bistro if there ever was any, Le Trumilou

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By all standards, Le Trumilou is what my partner and I consider our first real Parisian – or French – meal. It was at this little hole in the wall that we tasted a fantastic steak & frites. Not the absolute best by connoisseur standards I would think, but the quality and skill charmed us endlessly. It’s not Robuchon, and it’s not absolutely roughed up, so it’s nicely in that spot where Saturdays and Sundays belong, a place you’d come back to again and again just to have some great food and great company, which to me, is priceless.

This cosy little joint is family owned, and a bit of an institution on this side of the quai. Here you’ll see plenty of diners young and old, people who have been enjoying this diner since it opened nearly a century ago. It’s also amazing to dine in Paris for that fact – that restaurants have such lineage, such power of history.

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The waiters are French, and by that I don’t obviously mean their nationality – they’re French. The menus are in French, and torn between the choice of receiving nasty food or nasty service, we chose the latter. With a gulp, we asked the waiter for his recommendations. “What would you recommend here?” we asked meekly. With a pfft and a roll of his eyes, he replies, “Everything, of course.” My partner and I would debate throughout the entire meal, then, the correct approach to asking a French waiter for his recommendations.

Still, the waiter offered curt yet brilliant recommendations. Having just braved the cold and a morning of museum sight-seeing, we were hungry and ready for a treat.

We wolfed down the paté appetiser (Terrine de foie gras et son verre de Jurançon) spread onto their crusty fists of baguette – it was beautiful, a perfect start to the meal. We’d ordered two dishes to share: one, the steak and frites in a gorgeous, silky black pepper sauce (Filet de boeuf au poivre). Two, a sumptuously creamy, rich broth of veal, served with rice. I believe they call this the blanquette de veau (again proving that everything sounds lovely in French), which doesn’t seem to be on the regular menu, but rather a special of the day.

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In hindsight, and with reading up about this place, the waiter wasn’t wrong when he said that everything was to be recommended. The food is welcoming and the ambiance nostalgic, which you’d be hard pressed to replicate as a traveler anywhere else in the world. It is, like Le Trumilou’s food, authentically French.

Le Trumilou
www.letrumilou.fr

84, quai de l’Hôtel de Ville Paris,
France 75004

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