Le Christine Restaurant in Paris, 6th arrondissement (district)

It’s tricky, eating out.

You want a smart, relaxed restaurant, and you’re prepared to pay the price as long as the food is worth it, but you don’t want to be treated like some sort of porcelain princess, with a smarmy waiter endlessly fake-smiling at you, where the staff are so stiff they could practically be starched… Yep, as soon as you start going upmarket, some things start going downhill.

It’s a pleasure, then, to find a restaurant where the staff are genuinely kind, the decor is refined without being prissy, where the food is good – really good – and the prices are not astronomical. Welcome to Restaurant Le Christine in the heart of Paris’ Latin Quarter.

The combination of old-school wooden beams, designer lampshades and a sleek open kitchen give you a hint that this place is a little out of the ordinary, an interesting mix. Once sat down, the infectious smile of Emilie, who part owns the restaurant, puts you at ease. Now it’s time to enjoy the food.

Dishes are tasty, original and reasonably priced. There’s a good selection of meat, fish and even a couple of vegetarian dishes, fairly unusual in Paris and surely a sign that much of the clientele is foreign (undoubtedly thanks to a listing in the Zagat Survey). The fact that there are cheaper restaurant in Paris is irrelevant. There are certainly more expensive ones where the food is not half as good. Perhaps the only thing I found a little dear was the wine; 40 euros is about the cheapest they have. Or am I being stingy?

I personally would love to go back in summer, when they open the huge windows onto the small cobbled courtyard. With a proper secluded terrace currently in negotiation, this could be a hidden gem for the warm months to come.

+ points: great food, relaxed non-pretentious atmosphere
– points: lots of tourists, wine prices, always busy (don’t forget to book!)

Restaurant le Christine
1 rue Christine 75006, Tel : +33 1 40 51 71 64
Open 7 days a week from 6pm to midnight