Paris: Le Recrutement
36 Blvd. de la Tour Maubourg (7th), corner of Rue Sainte Dominique. In the vicinity of both Invalides and Eiffel Tower.
This neighborhood place and sports bar is a convivial local meeting spot. Locals come for ‘Happy Hour’ after work, especially on a Friday, or just to meet friends and hang out. Some watch the sports on the 4 TVs set up at different points around the restaurant, but many do not. Soccer was very popular when we were there, but they also show lots of rugby and in fact rugby seems to be a special focus. The café/bar is decorated inside with all sorts of sports memorabilia, mostly rugby—different balls, signed rugby shirts, caps, ties, flags, photos of matches etc. It’s interesting just to walk around and look at all that stuff. We had drinks here a couple of nights on one of our trips, and ate here too.
The servers, in orange or light yellow polo shirts, are very friendly and helpful, creating a nice relaxed atmosphere.
As with most corner cafes around Paris (France even), the location on a corner seems to be a plus for pulling in customers. There’s another cafe on the opposite corner, with a slightly different menu or focus. Lots of traffic on the two roads zooms by, but that’s no problem here, as life in the cafe just carries on! There’s plenty of outside seating, some tables arranged against the building, but all protected either with a retractable awning or big sun umbrellas. Most cafes and restaurants have special heaters outside, so seating there can take place virtually all year. Inside are some banquettes, many plain wooden tables and chairs, and a long bar across almost the whole length of the back.
There’s a big selection of bottled beers, beers on tap (for example. a small Leffe or Becks for €4.20, small Loburg for €4, or small Stella Artois for €3.80), wine by the glass, carafe or bottle (we had a good bottle of Chinon rose for €16), cocktails, aperitifs, whiskies etc. Earlier in the day, or even in the evening, people are just as likely to have coffee, tea, or juice as something alcoholic.
The snack menu has many sandwiches, omelets, croques, crepes, desserts, ice creams; price range ca €4.30-10. For dinner, the daily specials are written on a blackboard outside. You can also opt for the regular printed menu, which has many salads, and meat dishes, such as lamb chops served with haricots verts (green beans), or magret de canard (duck breast) with frites, in the € 10-15 range). Pretty good value for money.