A Parisian friend recently took me to La Table d'Eugène, a bistro tucked away in the 18ème arrondissment, behind Montmartre. This little restaurant (33 seats total, packed very tightly) has received a lot of good press lately, including a recent short review by Mark Bittman and being named one of the top five Paris bistros for 2011 by the authoritative bistro guide, Le Petit Lebey. The cuisine is interesting and well-prepared and reflects the best of what's available in the market at a given date. The chef trained at the Bristol, among other places.
Between us, my dinner companion and I sampled daurade, octopus with Iberian ham, small lamb chops cut from the rack, slow-cooked veal loin, a hazelnut dessert and a very lemony lemon tart. All were well executed and quite beautifully presented, although certain stylistic motifs seemed to recur. The service was gracious and competent. The décor is simple but pleasant. The rapport qualité/prix is excellent: 35 euros for a three-course meal, and some inexpensive but interesting wines. In short, La Table d'Eugène is just the kind of place everyone is looking for. Its good reviews are deserved, and it's worth the slightly difficult trip.
La Table d'Eugène, 18 rue Eugène Sue, Paris 18ème, Métro Jules Joffrin.