A la Biche au Bois is one restaurant where you definitely get what you came for. Game and plenty of it. Hearty food, good wine, a super-generous cheese platter, and classic desserts. Whether you’re in the mood for biche (young female deer) or canard sauvage (wild duck) (photo) this classic state-of-the-art bistro is sure to please. The soothing potato puree (from the Agatha variety of potatoes, with 10% butter, the waiter assured) is worth the detour all on its own, as is the sumptuous cheese tray, treasures stacked one on top the other, with favorites Brie, raw milk Camembert, and blue de Causses all in perfect ripeness. There’s a parade of terrines --- rabbit, duck, or a mix of meats – each one better than the other, classic and rich. I don’t remember the last time I saw coq au vin on the menu, but you’ll find it here, meaty and bathed in a vibrant red wine sauce. Oh, and yes, the chocolate mousse is the reason you come to Paris to dine. If the always reliable Côtes-du Rhone Clos du Caillou is still on the wine list, go for it. The meaty red is a Châteauneuf du Pape stand-in if there ever was one. This is a bistro where you’ll find a mixed crowd, from the well-fed SNCF conductor to youthful locals to happy tourists, all feasting on treasures of the day. The 28€ menu is a veritable bargain.
A LA BICHE AU BOIS, 45 avenue Ledru-Rollin, Paris 12 Tel: +33 1 43 43 34 38 Métro: Gare de Lyon or Quai-de-la-Rapée
Open: Monday-Friday. Closed Saturday, Sunday & Monday lunch.Lunch & Dinner: 28€ menu. A la carte, 35€