13, rue Guisarde
We wanted to go to Pierre Hermes for chocolate cake, as it was listed in the Guardian’s list of top 50 things to eat in the world and where to eat them. However, we were too late and it was closed. So we walked around looking for a place to chill out and have some dinner. We walked along this very vibrant and exciting street with rows and rows of restaurants, and eventually settled on Chez Fernand. For some reason we were very drawn to this humble looking place. What clinched it for us was one of the locals who gave a thumbs-up sign to A as he was walking in for dinner himself.
Chez Fernand is a tiny little restaurant, with hardly any moveable space between tables. In fact, our server had to pull out our table in order to let A in her seat. The atmosphere in the restaurant was extremely homey and relaxed, and they had a list of daily specials, which they displayed on a chalk board.
We looked around to observe what the other diners were having, and it seemed like this dish served in a golden pot with rice was by far the most popular option. We asked our neighboring table for the name of the dish – Veal Bourguignon, and we ordered it, and also a steak with bone marrow.
The Bourguignon was very tasty. This is a home-style French country dish, and it contained delicious chunks of veal and mushrooms. The rice that it came with was ordinary, but was instantly flavored by the rich creamy sauce.
The steak was absolutely enormous. It came with a creamy mashed potato, and a piece of hollow bone with lots of creamy marrow inside. The marrow was smooth and buttery, and the steak was fantastic. It was a very generous size for its price, and the mashed potato balanced the dish very well, by countering the heaviness of the meat.
Our dessert menu was presented to us on another chalk board. By that time we had already made our minds by observing the other table beside ours. We decided to have the sorbet. This also came in a huge bowl. The berry flavored sorbets were extremely refreshing and woke us up immediately. A found them a bit too sour. The mango sorbet was delicious though.
Overall we felt very lucky to be able to quite literally stumble upon this fantastic restaurant. The food is very simple and rustic, and the whole concept is very warm and inviting. This is definitely worth a repeat visit the next time we go to Paris.