New in the Odéon area, le Hibou (the owl – ironically taking the place of The Horse’s Tavern) is a huge space with an expansive outdoor terrace to boot.
We went down to see what the food was like…
It’s not easy to give such a big place some character, but the interior designers looking after Le Hibou have done a pretty good job, using dark wood, black paint, old Portuguese tiles and framed stuffed birds. The downstairs bar is sweet, and as soon as the weather gets good, all the windows open, brightening the whole place up immensely.
And of course, if you prefer being outside, the huge terrace awaits you.
At the back of the ground floor is another room, and next to that is a long space with one big table to share – a sort of semi-private room. The stuffed owls and (fake) open fire make it cosy…
Upstairs is another large room with quite a low ceiling, another (large) bar area and yet another semi-private room with a long table.
We could just imagine a large number of friends using the space for a fun, noisy dinner, and pretending they had their own chateau in the countryside.
We liked the design of the place – not too pretentious, but still a little out of the ordinary. The only slight niggle we have is with the lighting in the black-painted basement toilet. It’s so dark down there it’s difficult to know which door to choose!
But back to the food. With so many mouths to feed, we weren’t expecting miracles form the kitchen. Despite this, the liste of dishes is enticing and the three dishes of the day change every day
As for the prices, Le Hibou is right in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés and opposite the well known Comptoir d’Yves Camdeborde. This means the prices are a little higher than elsewhere, but that makes sense.
We decided to order burrata with roast aubergine, lamb chops and small swordfish escalopes with herb salad, plus some french fried on the side.
Everything was served very quickly (a welcome change after three-hour meals at Dessance and Les Déserteurs), and although there was a little too much oil on the swordfish for our liking, everything else was quite serviceable. The french fries were only lukewarm when they arrived, but that was about all we could find wrong – no-one complained about their food. With so many people to serve, it has to be said that the kitchen seems pretty well organised.
The menu has numerous dishes to be shared between two or three people, sometimes with prices that will make you swoon (like the entrecôte steak for 2 or 3 at 125€), but despite this we opted for the ‘chocolate mousse to share’ as dessert.
At 23.50€ (who makes up these crazy prices?) there was easily enough for three people, probably too much even. We loved each having a spatula to serve ourselves with.
So, our evening at Le Hibou went rather well! The waiters run around and get everything served quickly, and the food could be a lot worse.
Le Hibou (here) is open seven days a week, with food served non-stop from 7.30am to 2am
Tel. + 33 (0)1 43 54 96 91
To check out all our photos the Hibou restaurant, click the play button below, then click the four little arrows bottom right to go into fullscreen mode.