Jul 2012

Restaurant Joséphine “Chez Dumonet” – Paris

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

Restaurant Joséphine “Chez Dumonet,” a 112-year-old bistro in the 6th arrondissement that’s known for its brilliant and bountiful execution of French classics, was my top pick for our inaugural dinner in Paris. The restaurant’s distinct old world feel set the mood perfectly for our first night in The City of Light.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

As with all of the desirable tables in town, reservations were made weeks in advance to secure our spot. Though the restaurant was fairly empty when we arrived at 7:30, by the time we left a few hours later the petite bistro was bumpin’. The local set tend to eat late.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

Small saucers of gazpacho were delivered to the table as we were making our final decisions about what to order. Cool, smooth, and sweetened by summer’s early tomatoes, the soup offered a lovely sip to start.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

Knowing that the portions here tend to be generous, we shared a half order of the foie gras terrine (€18) to start. While it may look reasonably sized in this photo, in person we thought that our waiter had mistakenly served us a full order.

Foie gras is usually paired with something fruity or nutty to reel in its intrinsic richness, but at Chez Dumonet the liver was served straight up with only toasted baguette rounds. We found the terrine perfectly balanced and simply delicious; no reeling in was necessary.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

With a bit of prodding from me, my mother settled on the cassoulet (€36) for her main course. This rich, slow-cooked stew from southern France was thick with plump sausages, tender duck, pork skin and belly, and creamy white beans. For a little pot, it sure had a lot of soul.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

My half order of beef Bourguignon (€19) was served in a similarly adorable pot resting on a doily. Served on the side were noodles slicked in butter and cream.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

While I was thrilled to be reunited with noodles after several days in London without, the highlights of the dish were the glorious beef and mushrooms coated in a shiny, rich, and luscious sauce. The flavors were intensely savory.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

The Astronomer’s confit de canard (€23), considered to be one of Paris’ finest specimens, was as great as we had anticipated. The skin, well crisped from hip to toe, shattered and crackled as he cut into it, revealing succulent meat underneath. Served alongside were mesclun greens and potatoes fried in duck fat.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

We finished our supper with an impressively tall Grand Marnier souffle (€18) that tasted like liquor-tinged clouds.

Joséphine "Chez Dumonet" Restaurant - Paris

A shot of Grand Marnier was served on the side. We opted to sip the extra booze rather than pouring it into the souffle.

Chez Dumonet served up the kind of quintessentially French meal that I always dreamed about before coming to Paris. This style of old-fashioned cooking has become a rarity in Paris these days, so it’s good to know that locals and visitors can turn to this century-old restaurant for a hearty helping of the classics.

Joséphine “Chez Dumonet” Restaurant
117 Rue du Cherche-Midi
75006 Paris, France
Phone: 01 45 48 52 40

One year ago: ChikaLicious Dessert Bar – New York City
Two years ago: Phở Nguyễn Hoàng – San Gabriel
Three years ago: 101 Noodle Express – Alhambra
Four years ago: Sentro Restaurant at Greenbelt Mall – Manila
Five years ago: Canh Chua Chay – Vegetarian Sour Soup

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11 thoughts on “Restaurant Joséphine “Chez Dumonet” – Paris

  1. That confit is killer. Next time you have to get the marinated herrings with a side of mustardy potato salad. There is little better in the world than that dish.

  2. Steve – Oh, man. Wish I had known about the herrings before my visit. Sounds so good! PS. Thanks for sending me here!

    Andrew – Your comment made me smile.

  3. No worries. I’m sure you’ll return and the giant crock of herring–take what you want and leave the rest for the next guy–is standard fare: available there, Chez Georges, Astier, etc.

  4. This was my favorite meal in Paris, which I found thanks to you sharing your itinerary. The duck confit was so delicious I wanted to order a second one for dessert.

  5. Every dish looks so amazing! Thanks for sharing your experience…now I know where to head to when I’m in Paris!!!

  6. This is a wonderful blog. Eating in Paris is one of my fave things, and I love your taste in food and restaurants.

    Just getting started, be back again many times I’m sure.

    Love the Saigon stuff as well.
    Bravo & Cảm ơn bạn!

  7. Next time, try the pigeon mille feuille… OMG! Have been there 5 times over the last 3 years — twice in one week, once! Love it!!! Beautiful pics, thanks for sharing!

  8. Man! Wish I would have read your post before my visit last month to Paris! You’re right, it’s hard to find good traditional old-fashioned French cooking nowadays. A lot of places we tried were hit or miss.

  9. We went here last night after we read this blog. We were here with our kids from 11 and 12 years old. We had a wonderful dinner. Best in Paris ever. You didn’t mention the shocking wine menu. The most expensive wine was 7550 euro. The cheapest was still quite expensive… But still… We had a terrific evening. Thank you for sharing your experience. By the way, we trusted your judgement because of your comments on el glop in Barcelona. We went there last october, also with the kids, but this was before we read your blog. We too loved the snails from the open fire!

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