For me, Paris, France was always a city rich in culture, history, romance and delicious food! When I was younger, I was told about the way petite French woman eat small portions of delicious food while drinking red or white wine, and still had room for dessert. This idea was truly fixated in my head! I just couldn’t believe that it was possible because growing up in two very different countries—Russia and US—this wasn’t the case; the motto was the more you eat the better. This eating habit left me unsatisfied, unhappy and craving to experience real fine dining.
I’m here and I want to try the frog legs, snails, and foie gras! Give me traditional French food without the American input. After searching and adapting to the way this city works and coming here for the second time, I found a solution (through trial and error, of course). If you walk further away from the busy streets filled with tourists, onto small alleys you can find a diamond in the rough, a restaurant that serves genuine French cuisine. They are usually small restaurants that are family owned and operated, therefore, the service is exceptional and the food is to die for.
“Firmin le Barbier” was one of those small family owned spots I fell in love with. It wasn’t just the food and the wine that blew me away, the service was at its best. Operated by a husband and wife, Alex (the husband) is the chef that performs food magic in the kitchen, creating truly exquisite food. The portions are small (like I always wanted) but yet truly filling.
Dinner at this restaurant usually consisted of an appetizer, the main dish and a delicious dessert with a latte (thank you for a dream come true!). Due to the changing seasons, the menu at the restaurant varies. Personally, I had the chance to try many new and exciting dishes, and here are my favorite:
Starting with the appetizers; Salad of green beans with warm silky egg & artichoke 12€, Sautéed snails with green curry butter, arugula & toasted bread foam 15€ (truly delish).
For dinner, I tried the Roasted chicken with mild spices & summer ratatouille 22€ and the Slow cooked lamb shoulder & assorted heirloom tomato-radish stew 25€
Finally, for dessert, I eat the Sage & passion fruit crème brûlée 9€ with a cappuccino.
Gigi (the wife, a gracious woman) provides exceptional floor service, making you feel at home. With very limited French I honestly felt at ease. Ordering food was easy— Gigi recommended delicious food and wine that went well with it, and did everything in her power to provide the best service. This family restaurant is a great representation of French food with a little Thai kick. After visiting this restaurant four times and becoming closely acquainted with Alex and Gigi I can highly recommend it to anyone, and I will be back for more very soon.