Thank you, Yannick Alléno, for bringing us yet another chic, casual, well-priced good-food bistro that’s open seven days a week. I am loving this trend. Alléno is the Michelin three-star chef at the outstanding Hotel Meurice, who several years ago began a lunch menu centered around products of the Paris region: Special carrots and onions, poultry and mushrooms, lettuces and even beef and lamb. He’s now carried his passion one step further with the brand-new bistro Terroir Parisien, a bright, light, airy space in the Maubert-Mutualité area of the 5th arrondissement, home to the twice-weekly produce market, Eric Kayer’s bread and pastry boutiques,, and Laurent Dubois’s top-flight cheese shop. As Alléno began at the Meurice and continues here, most of the dishes are historic, relating to the days when the bulk of what Parisian ate came from the city’s surrounding fields. There’s a classic – and perfect – salade de frisée, cresson à l’ouef mollet et croutons et lardons (photo), tender curly endive and watercress topped with a flawless soft-cooked egg, crunchy croutons and crisp rectangles of fragrant bacon. A few grindings of the pepper mill and I was good to go. I’d be proud to bring to the table their navarin printanier d’agneau de chez Morisseau, a moist, delicate spring lamb stew teamed up with baby carrots, potatoes, green beans, peas, and herbs. I have not seen the old-fashioned merlan Colbert (whole whiting breaded and deep-fried) since the 1980’s, when Joël Robuchon brought it back to the table at Jamin. Here the dish was as golden, tender, and crisp as can be, served with a delicate herb butter. There is also the classic French onion soup, stuffed cabbage, platters of excellent charcuterie from Gilles Vérot’s boutiques, and a cheese plate. Service here was tentative and distracted, and the wine list needs a serious boost. Soon they hope to continue service nonstop from noon to midnight, meaning you can pull up a stool and enjoy a croque monsieur and a glass of wine at 4 in the afternoon. Sunday brunch will also be offered in the coming weeks.
TERROIR PARISIEN, 20 rue Saint-Victor,Paris 5. Tel: +33 1 44 31 54 54. Métro: Maubert-Mutualité. Open daily.