Monday, May 17, 2010

Looking for the Oldest Bar in Paris?~Missing Paris Day

You've found it!

One of my favorite little eateries in Paris,
La Reserve de Quasimodo,
is also considered one of the oldest-
the space having served clients since the early 1200's.

Located on the Ile de la Cite, just a half block off the Seine
and the tourist route to Notre Dame,
this cozy little Resto-Cave A Vins,
on a small cobblestone street,
serves simple yet traditional Bistro-style food
but without the punch of Parisian prices.

A separate room filled with wine and spirits
announces guests with a tinkling bell from its own entrance.
Current owners Nathalie and Christian,

when not prepping and cooking in the front,
are more than willing
to offer wine suggestions from the shop
(and for a small corkage fee--open it on the spot).

Christian has even once recommended a tres inexpensive wine from the shop

simply because he felt it would best accompany our food.

The menu hangs from hand-written chalkboards in the front window...

...which offers individual menu items

or the typically French 'price fixed menu',

an entree et plat or plat et dessert

at a very low cost.

From the mural walls, tippling monks

accompany you on your visit...

...Even in the restroom.

Downstairs hosts another small dining room for groups...

And the ancient stone stairwell leads to the wine cave,

linked to the Roman maze of

once all-connected cellars in Paris' underground.

My favorites of the simple fare

are the ever traditional Salade de Chevre Chaud...

(warm goat's milk cheese)

...and the Tartine de Foie Gras,

gently toasted making the apple and foie gras slices

the perfect complement to one another.

While I've never been much of a sardine fan,

(before visiting Sicily, that is)

this Rillette de Sardine entree

is worth stopping in for alone.

Frequently, the restaurant also hosts

an evening of singing or storytelling,

the price including a plate of meats or cheeses and a drink.

(I have yet to see one of these shows

though I'm afraid I might have trouble following.)

Stop on in

for a little taste of history.

The monks have a spare table just for you!

La Reserve de Quasimodo
4, Rue de la Colombe, Paris 97004
Metro: Hotel de Ville
Open: Mon-Sat 10-21.

(All photos copyright: Kirsten Steen)
(Do not reprint)


  1. Oh Kirsten, what a treasure chest of history, beauty and by the looks of the photos, what great EATS! This is simply charming and thank you! Have you ever been to the "Lapin Agile"? I only discovered it on-line AFTER my time in Paris.


  2. Anita~ Thanks for coming by! I have walked by the Lapin Agile and taken photos of it but never actually been inside. Maybe we'll have to meet there one day, oui?!

  3. How charming, Kirsten. I wish I could be transported there right now! xx

  4. Oh Kirsten! Le Lapin Agile, ça se trouve à Montmarte....wouldn't that be so lovely to meet there....ahhhhhh....and thank you chèrie for coming by! Enjoy the French dreams. Anita

  5. Anne~ Thanks for your visit. Wish we could all be transported there anytime we wished. Guess that's why I blog about it!

    Anita~ I just recently visited a cimitiere right near there based on another blogger's post. So much fun to learn what fascinates others about this marvelous city! Looking forward to your next post.

  6. Eight HUNDRED years!?!?!?? Oh. my. gosh! You've set me to dreaming again.

  7. Relyn~ Can you believe it? Not the resto-cave but the space itself. Love this little spot!

    photokerstin~ Thanks, for the comment and for coming by!


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