Previously a very nondescript backstreet bistrot, Le Bon Saint Pourçain has recently been reborn as somewhere stylish and inventive thanks to Swedish chef Per Svante Forstorp. Just five weeks after laucnh, everyone’s talking about it, and the restaurant is handily situated just minutes from our hotels!
Here’s our review.
The area around Saint-Sulpice is an interesting one. The church itself is superb, with one of the world’s best organs, chic boutiques like Yves Saint Laurent, Pierre Hermé‘s delicious posh cake shop, the private club Castel, groups of students drinking beer brewed on-site down rue des Canettes, and then between the church and the Luxembourg Gardens… nothing.
Or almost. A wall is filled with Rimbaud quotes, which hardly counts as lively entertainment, and then on the corner where one quite street meets another, lies the Bon Saint Pourçain, a tiny place with seats for about 30 people inside and approximately half that on the terrace.
Inside is classic French bistrot, albeit a freshly painted one, updated with a smart logo, crisp linen serviettes and some stylish industrial lighting.
The place is ‘intimate’ to such a point that some of the cooking is finished off behind a counter looking onto the main room, while other dishes appear as is by magic from a doorway that actually leads to the entrance of the building, where people live. Apparently the kitchens are down a corridor on the ground floor somewhere…
We ordered some refreshing organic white wine (with a name that reminded us of a certain hotel and our first courses arrived pretty smartly – semi-cooked courgettes rolled up to hold goat cheese and cream of asparagus, and leeks with peanut vinaigrette and soft-boiled egg.
Wow ! While the courgette dish was predictably a little neutral, the presentation was amazing – delicate and colourful. And adding peanut to a vinaigrette turned out to be the best idea EVER – so simple and unusual and tasty. You know that wide-eyed expression that you make when tasting something new and amazing? That’s the face we were doing, mouthful after melty mouthful.
That was going to be a tough act to follow, but we eagerly awaited our vegetarian dish (not on the menu, but ask and they are happy to oblige) and pollock with pureed cauliflower and cauliflower form Grenoble.
The vegetables were perfectly cooked in butter, with a multitude of tastes and colours, with spots of mayonnaise and mango sauce dotted around the plate to vary things even more. Definitely one the best vegetarian options we’ve had in a restaurant in recent history.
As for the pollock, it melted in the mouth and looked spectacular, a mix of white and purple, with a bed of balsamic vinegar that added extra tang. Fabulous stuff.
For dessert, we would have loved to eat the strawberries we were served (with vanilla ice cream and meringue) but unfortunately they weren’t for us and had to be sent back. Instead, we consoled ourselves with the poached peaches with verbena mousse and crumble, and – the house specialty – a rum baba.
The mix of peaches and verbena was surprising, and the crumble not too sugary. The rum baba was slightly less impressive, with underwhelming rum, but not the disaster we’ve been obliged to cough down in certain other establishments.
What a lovely evening of food! In the warm weather, the terrace is amazing (the road has almost zero traffic) and we were never made to feel rushed by the staff. Definitely a place to linger and enjoy a summer meal. Who knows – maybe we’ll even come back in winter. It was very very nice, after all…
Le Bon Saint Pourçain is at 10 bis rue Servandoni (ici)
Tel. +33 (0)1 42 01 78 24
Open for lunch and dinner except Sundays and Mondays
To check out all our photos of the Bon Saint Pourçain, click here.