My favorite restaurant in Paris is Le Timbre, a tiny neighborhood bistro in the 6th arrondissement. I love this place for its warm, comfortable atmosphere and the general lack of haughtiness or indifference displayed by the wonderful staff, which is hard to come by in Parisian restaurants. The food is comforting, delicious and unpretentious, as bistro food should be. You won’t necessarily find traditional dishes like steak frites or onion soup here, the emphasis is more on farm to table, seasonally driven ingredients, but the same feeling of feel-good satiation applies.
The 3-5 course pre fixe options are very reasonably priced (49 euros for the 5 course set), especially considering all the skill that goes into each bite. The flavor profile is rich but well rounded and never heavy handed. Brown butter may be an overwhelming ingredient, but when paired with the smoothness of a fresh avocado or with the spritzy accents of citrus fruits, it embraces everything in a warm, unifying halo rather than assertively dominating its place. Other restaurants would likely charge a premium for the ability to reinterpret and innovate, but at Timbre this high standard is simply the norm that should apply to every customer. This very democratic approach in which good food and service are accessible to everyone is what makes Timbre stand out from the highly acclaimed or the painfully trendy.
I specifically called out the customer service here because there were so many ways in which Timbre went over and beyond its call to duty in making the customer happy, and I feel strongly that this needs to be recognized. When we had a question about where to get a bottle of wine that we particularly enjoyed during our meal, our server Agnes went to the trouble of writing down the name and address of the wine retailer and its hours of operations. One of the members in our dining party wanted to order the off-the-menu dessert for vegans, and again, Agnes made this happen with a smile. We asked questions about how this sublime apricot dessert was prepared, and Chef Charles let us in on one of the secrets, the transformative powers of the tonka bean, which he grabbed off of the spice rack so that we could all take a look. I would love to be friends with Agnes and Charles and just eat at their restaurant every night. They take care of you, and that’s what a great restaurant is all about.
3 Rue Sainte-Beuve, 75006 Paris, France +33 1 45 49 October 40