Its 40 years of passing my lips over the style of one of Paris’s greatest stories chez l’amis louis. Many harsh critiques have tested the waters of cramped tables, and rubbing their backs with movie stars. The staff are all impeccable and almost all the staff are the same except maybe one Patrick whom I didn’t see this time. I suppose he retired, I never asked.
And for those who are wondering if Louis is still there, yes and no. Louis (Antoine Magnin) the founder has passed away along time ago, and Louis Gatsby runs the show. In fact, the restaurant was purchased by a client who entered into an agreement with Louis, a common type in France (a type of viager) where you take over their real property during their lifetime and you are responsible to pay them and take care of them during their lifetime and on passing you own the restaurant. Well, that happened much earlier than expected and so that’s the story.
I have eaten there over 100 times so I’ve seen most of the changes over the years and not many changes especially the portions. The kitchen has been renewed and the formula is still the same authentic noisy and boisterous styles bistro extraordinaire. It feels like a club more than a restaurant and the signature dishes match the signature clients, many who come again and again. We too used to call it our cantina, and weekly we would come late and have a quiet dinner there.
The foie gras terrine is consistently good, served with warm toasted bread and butter – it is awesome. And the frog legs, hardly French anymore, I remember visiting one of the holy grails of French cuisine, and when I asked where they came from, they “sir they are eastern European”.
The galette has heaps of fresh diced garlic atop, and parsley is a favorite but watch out for kissing anyone except your pillow.
The steak is gigantic and is always worthy of a punt but this time we took chicken and veal shoulder just not to miss out. The allumette
The one thing which has changed is the rich-dense chocolate dessert and that’s a little sad, it was an extraordinary crusted bottom made with crispy hazelnut croquant, it vanished. But there’s a reason why Le Figaro rated it the best in Paris, and why it one of two restaurants in the world who can prepare roast chicken better than anywhere else.
Thanks for the great dinner and 👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻 to the best at chez l’amis louis
32 rue Vertbois, 75003
Hours: Open Wednesday-Sunday for lunch & dinner and closed Monday & Tuesday.
T. +33 1 48 87 77 48
Patrick is in the red frame pictured below, he was a top waiter working there for 30 years.