Set on the Seine River along Quai Des Grands Augustins is the cozy and intimate Les Bouquinistes restaurant. I spent an afternoon there, during lunchtime, to indulge in the reopened space and food by famed restauranteur, Guy Savoy. I was happy to find the dining room to be small and digestible, it was quiet and perfect for a romantic meal with a partner or leisurely business meeting. Windows surround you as a diner, which makes people watching fun, as Parisians and tourists stream by.
The restaurant decided to dictate my menu for the lunch experience, which made ordering very easy. They started me with a glass of champagne and amuse-bouche of ahi tuna, slightly salted. What a nice beginning. I was then ushered along through plates of white fish, truffle soup, suckling pork and gold-dusted chocolate nougat for dessert. As the plates came, I faced an internal struggle where my heart told me to finish every bite in front of me – as how could I waste one morsel of such incredible gastronomic fare? But, I finally had to apologize as I sent plates back with food still in tact. I knew the next incredible dish was just around the corner and had to save room.
Guy Savoy has done an impeccable job of keeping the menu simple and focusing on seasonal ingredients for his diners. The cooking is deeply French – and that’s a good thing. The service was on par and the manager offered to pair my plates with appropriate wines. He did an excellent job. Les Bouquinistes is a winner. If you don’t want to feel like a tourist and have a craving for something authentically French, in every way, this is an excellent option. With the lapping shores of the river and meticulous attention paid to creating such delightful cuisine, lunch cannot be more ideal.