Established in 1845, one of Paris's oldest bistros has a huge dining room with seating for over 100 people. Tables are prettily decorated with checked ... More
Established in 1845, one of Paris's oldest bistros has a huge dining room with seating for over 100 people. Tables are prettily decorated with checked tablecloths, and decor is all mid-19th century. The atmosphere is a blend of friendly, traditional bistro and Latin Quarter exoticism. Very close to the famous Sorbonne university, lecturers and budding intellectuals can be seen here at lunchtime enjoying the traditional French fare: veal in white sauce, beef provençale and chicken and chips. Loads of charm and reasonably priced.
Whoever rated Au Polidor "awful" must be a McDonald's Quarter-Pounder fan. Perhaps his/her palate has not yet matured enough to appreciate the wonders of the Polidor.
Polidor is the very essence of Paris. One drinks in its history as one eats, perhaps, le cardard confit and le soup pumpkin. (Sorry. My high school French was forty-four years ago.) You sit at long tables en famille francais (which certainly makes one feel Parisian). My pumpkin soup tasted like autumn--oh, so good on a cold, windy November day. The duck confit was hearty and divine.
Four of us from the Class of '67 in a certain Baton Rouge, LA, Catholic high school made the trip together in 2006; we've been friends for,um, fifty years or more for some of us.
Go early so there'll be enough of Polidor's tarte tatin for you. Alas, they'd run out by the time we finished our meal.
The regulars give your pointers on specialties of the house.
Be sure to hug Hemingway's drawer, as did I, truly a spiritual experience. Bah on the French equivalent of the Board of Health for putting a halt to patrons stashing their individual cloth napkins in rings for the next meal.
Magnifique! Polidor is not pricey, but it boasts fine French fare in a gloriously literary atmosphere. Oh, and it was decorated with pumpkins of all sorts, even the Cinderella ones, in the windows. How inviting.
One even learned to shout, "Fermez la porte!" with the best of them, after each new arrival opened the door to winter's blustery weather.
Viva la Francais! Viva au Polider! Viva Hemingway!
The food is more than decent, the portions generous, and the prices reasonable--but what brings me back to this restaurant each time I visit Paris is the atmosphere: crowded tables, a babble of languages, vintage surroundings, new friends to be found at your elbow. A glass of wine, an omelette, a salad, and a cheese plate or slice of tarte and I'm in Parisian heaven...
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