Dining out in Paris, you will never have a problem with finding a restaurant. You may, however, find yourself a little taken aback by just how expensive eating-out can be in the French capital.
Perhaps haute cuisine of Michelin star quality is not what you are after, but neither are you intending to dine on a Mc-Quarter Pounder with Cheese every every night. You want ambience and good food, at a restaurant which has a loyal following of tourists and locals alike…all at a reasonable price.
My favourite place which provides a three-course menu at 17 euros, complete with a free sangria and digestif, is a tiny restaurant tucked behind the Pantheon in the 5th arrondissment called l’Ecurie (The Stable). The owners have run the place for years, and have built up a real cult following.
The menu is varied and, although not hugely imaginative, the steak is always perfectly done, with a great black pepper or blue cheese sauce. Portion sizes are enormous, and at 9 euros for a pichet (3/4 of a bottle) of wine, over-indulging is the only concern I ever have (the space between tables means this is a legitimate concern).
I particularly love the decoration and location, peeking out of the net curtains (the front is open on warm nights) to see the Pantheon– one of my favourite monuments in Paris– lit up at night. This central location means that the Ecurie is perfect for strolling/rolling back home afterwards.