Les Petites Ecuries, rue des Petites Ecuries (street of the little stables) is a new find for us, and we were very happy with it.
This is a small street south of Gare de l’Est and Gare du Nord, off Blvd Strasbourg. Closest metro is Chateau d’Eau (10th arr).
We were passing through Paris on our way to Luxembourg and only had an afternoon and an evening. Our TGV left from Gare de l’Est the next day at around 1 pm so we found a hotel in that area— an area we’ve never had a hotel before—so we could just walk to the station in the morning. The hotel was fine, nothing special, but this restaurant certainly was special.
This fairly short street has an interesting name, taken from the Small Royal Stables built in the middle 18th century, and the restaurant has the same name. A tiny alleyway about halfway along leads to the courtyard of the old stables.
It was one of those serendipitous finds in travel; we’d never have known about the restaurant if we hadn’t walked on this street in the afternoon, seen its outside seating and checked the menu.
Outside they have a living wall, which is very attractive, and people want a seat out there, under the awning and the heaters (it was still cool at night in late March). Many locals flock there for the Happy Hour, 4-8pm, and it seems to be a local gathering spot until very late at night (2-3am).
Inside there’s seating both downstairs and upstairs and it’s extremely popular. We were there on a Saturday night and group after group appeared with a reservation.
The living wall attracts you in, but then inside is a bar lined with old reflector lamps, all lit up, and many paintings and pictures. The young wait staff are charming and very efficient—as far as we could tell, two young men and a young woman were handling it all, plus a young man at the bar.
A warm, friendly atmosphere and very good food all have us determined to return another time, even if we’re not staying in this area (which we probably won’t be doing).
The food and drinks: They have a good choice of hand-crafted/ designer beers. We tried a Dutch one called Molen Vuur Vlam, in IPA style, which was very nice (7 euros each). With our food we had a bottle of white Sancerre wine (26 euros). The kitchen opens around 8 pm, but before that they offer about 5-6 pâtés that come in a little glass pot, with crusty bread rolls. We tried the Landais one— very tasty for 15 euros. For our main meal I had a whole bar fish, served with sweet potatoes and spinach (18 euros). Rod had a tuna steak, mi-cuit with black and white sesame seeds, served on a bed of julienned vegs, lightly cooked, plus lots of bean sprouts. What that means is the tuna was rolled in a thick covering of sesame seeds and cooked lightly on just one side. It was delicious (22 euros).
A new neighborhood find for us! Unfortunately, we didn’t take any photos of the living wall that evening, and when we passed by the next morning, the whole place was still shuttered up. So, maybe next time.