Fancy a soup and sandwich while exploring the Left Bank? For a light lunch, this narrow restaurant in the 6th arrondissement offers a simple menu built around bread from the acclaimed next-door bakery and Cuisine de Bar owner, Poilâne.
We visited the location in the 6th arrondissement although there is another in the 3rd arrondissement as well as in Chelsea, London. The setting is cozy (read: tight) but also welcoming. The kitchen is a bar on the right, dining is along a banquet to the left and a small room in the back. The setting is bright but a bit warm from the open salamanders (broilers) in the kitchen.
The menu is quite simple. Set menus or individual items. Sandwiches are all open-face slices of next-door bakery Poilâne’s beautiful loaves with a few simple toppings. The tomato, mozzarella and basil one was a delight.
The smoke salmon was also nice. There were sets including the soup of the day and a glass of wine, reasonably priced.
A view of the narrow kitchen. You can see where the heat was coming from! The staffing the day we visited was minimal: one person in the kitchen, two waiters and a person clearing and washing dishes. Based on how hectic and slow service was, I suspect they were short-handed at least one person. Who knows? Perhaps this is the way they normally run the show.
The service was polite but rushed. Trying to flag someone down to take our order was excruciating, until I realized that the waiter understood the order in which people had arrived and was taking the orders according to that. The wait was just something we had to deal with. It would have been nice to have been asked for some patience (the woman dining next to us seemed a bit put off) but we were on holiday, so why not just relax and enjoy the atmosphere?
There were a few desserts including this very nice strawberry tart. As the rush was slowing near the end of the the lunch service, we took the time to enjoy a slice along with the coffee drinks that accompanied the set menu.
With a cute cookie spoon with which to stir your coffee!
The simple exterior of the restaurant on a sunny and warm Spring afternoon. Overall, I think La Cuisine de Bar is a worthwhile stop if you are on the Left Bank and are looking for a simple lunch. The bread is nice (buy a loaf next door!) and sometimes you want a simple lunch that still feels sophisticated.
La Cuisine de Bar
8 Rue du Cherche-Midi
+33 1 45 48 45 69
Ooh… this looks so nice. The only complaint I would have is the tight seating arrangements. It’s hard to have a meaningful conversation.
On an another note, I think you would be home in any kitchen, dining room or restaurant.
Sadly, in a city like Paris close seating is just the norm.
What will you be restricted from talking about hmm?
Relationship kinda stuff or personal stuff would be kinda awkward because the tables are jammed so close together. But if I’m having dinner with others and it’s just catching up, joking around then I’m ok with it.
(and yes, I’m about to try to go to sleep. But my brain is so active right now.)
That’s true. You’d be very restricted in what you can say – just polite conversation (yawn lol)
This doesn’t seem like a “relationship talk” sort of restaurant! =D
I agree with Matt. I don’t know about the wait, Chris. I get very antsy. May be I would take a book or some writing material to while the time while I wait. 🙂
The open-face sandwiches look so good.
You can always bring your sketch book and capture your impressions of the city while waiting.
Even though the service could have been a bit better sounds like it is worth the wait.
Yes, if you were in a rush it would be a problem but while on holiday, no worries.
That looks so yummy and what a nice way to spend an afternoon. It’s good that you didn’t let any annoyances get to you (you don’t seem the type to act out, anyway). It seems like all you guys did in France was leisurely eat and stroll around the city. How peaceful!
Leisurely eating and strolling is pretty much the national pastime in Paris!
yes, i was informed by a cousin who lives there that when it comes to service at a restaurant, it is none like in overseas. one needs to have patience there. and yes, they serve customers in the order of who arrived first. in addition, they will always be short-hand, as labor is not cheap and they will never hire many staff the way we do here in asia.