Facing the Seine near Notre Dame, this 5th arrondissement dining establishment is the sister restaurant to the Paris institution Tour d'Argent, which is across the street. La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais features terrific French comfort food, and they even have their own private label wine. As their name suggests, rotisserie dishes are their specialty. Another specialty of the house is cassoulet with leg of lamb. The vertical gas rotisserie, unlike any I've ever seen, is visible in the dining room along the back wall adjacent to the kitchen. It adds a homey atmosphere and exudes tempting aromas.
My friend Silvia, who has been to Paris many times, selected La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais for our farewell dinner; I would be heading home early the following morning. It's her favorite restaurant in Paris. We arrived about fifteen minutes early for our 8pm reservation, and the restaurant was empty; we were the first table seated. But we weren't alone for long. It seemed as though the next time I looked up the dining room was full, not bad for a Tuesday evening.
Silvia and our other friend Susana started their meals off with salads, and I had the French onion soup, which was the best I've ever had. I'm not exactly sure what made it better; French onion soup isn't that complicated, after all. It just was.
For entrees, both of my friends ordered duck and I had the rotisserie chicken. Everything was excellent. Since they use free range chicken, it has a slightly gamier flavor than what we're used to here in the states. And of course the wine we selected was the house's private label Beaujolais. For dessert, we ordered the tarte tatin, which was terrific.
What's notable at La Rôtisserie du Beaujolais is that you are dining amongst Parisians. I'm quite certain that we were the only Americans in the dining room. This restaurant appears to draw an older crowd, probably all regular customers. Near the end of our meal we began chatting with the table next to ours (I think it started when they invited us to pay their bill as well as ours when l'addition arrived at our table). Two couples, one probably in their sixties, the other in their late seventies. All very nicely dressed, the men in suits and ties, the women in dresses. They were incredibly friendly; had both our parties been seated at the same time I almost felt as if we would have pushed our tables together and made an evening of it with them.
My 1 - 10 ratings:
Food - 8; Service - 8; Atmosphere - 8
Hours are: Tue - Sun 12pm - 2:30pm and 7:30pm - 11pm; Mon - Closed.
Metro: Maubert Mutualité (M10)