On the edge of the city of Paris near the upscale suburb of Neuilly, where President Sarkozy was formerly mayor, is the traditional brasserie Chez Georges, just down the block from the Arc de Triomphe, which remains in view from the street. Not losing a beat since it opened in 1926, Chez Georges clings to tradition, offering French classics such as steak au poivre (called coeur de filet on the menu), sole munière, entrecôte, escargots, salade frisée, foie gras and fresh huîtres. Chez Georges is especially known for its meat, and any time you can find a top quality steak in Paris go for it — as while steak can be okay, exceptional steak is more difficult to find.
Traditional in décor, and food, Chez Georges has lead-etched windows, gleaming brass, perfect white-linen adorned tables, big mirrors and big bulb light fixtures. The waiters too, wear classic black tie and white aprons. Gien China serves as an ornament to the table setting before your entrées and plats are served.
For starters, I had escargots, which were plump, flavorful, and cooked with just the right texture and match of persil and ail sauce. These escargots are some of the best I have had in Paris, and a close second behind their namesake competitor, Chez Georges in the second arrondissement.
Although more for adults than children, if your children eat steak and love fries, then this is a good choice so long as you don’t mind spending 23+ Euros for one of the top steaks in Paris. Our two boys each had an entrecôte, which was perfectly grilled, tender, flavorful and one of the best steaks I have tried in Paris. My wife and I each had a coeur de filet, prepared au poivre, in a very nice but not too dense dijon/cognac sauce. My wife’s steak, though slightly overcooked, was still tender, while mine cooked just right” (à point). The pepper gives it a kick, but that is the way any good steak au poivre will be made.
Dinner is also served with a large plate of golden frites, which are crispy and some of the better frites you will have in Paris. The main disappointment was that the last time we were here the frites were served in a bowl laced with white linen napkin – a nice touch that was missing this time around, though the taste of the frites remained the same.
A terrific selection of top Bordeaux and Burgundy is available, with many good bottles in the 40-70 range. We had a wonderful 2003 Pauillac, which was a perfect accompaniment to our steaks.
For dessert, we had a large crème caramel, a tangy tarte au citron, and an assiette de fromages (the cheese dish was ok — I would pass on that next time).
If there was any disappointment, it was that we were seated upstairs. The dining room was fine, though slightly quiet, but I can’t complain as I made a reservation only 30 minutes in advance. If you can, ask to be seated in the main dining room. If you don’t speak French, no worries as the staff seem quite capable and willing to speak in English if necessary.
Address: 273 bd. Pereire (off of Avenue de la Grande-Armée)
Metro: Porte Maillot
Telephone: (33) 01-45-74-31-00