Situated behind Place des Vosges, you will of course run into tourists, but above all at Chez Janou you will meet local clientele for lunchtime and des connoisseurs in the evenings and weekends.
This “bistrot provençal,” as it as known, probably offers the largest selection of pastis in Paris with nearly 100 kinds that you could discover sipping at the bar if you wish or while waiting for your table – the ransom for success.
The cuisine is colored by the south where you will find fresh, well-seasoned gazpacho, a cold plate of ratatouille, brouillade aux pleurotes, anchoïade, and tapenade for appetizers. For the main course, Chez Janou serves cod brandade, provençale tuna, famous petits farcis, large Mediterranean shrimp flambées au pastis, and casserole. And for those who would like less southern flair, the restaurant offers bistrot entrecôte and lamb kabobs. (Note: Lunch formula includes an appetizer + entrée or an entrée + dessert for 12.80€). For dessert (6.50-8€) chocolate mousse is served in a salad bowl – watching the waiters pass by bearing these full dishes won’t make you regret coming early (as the others have to reassure themselves that there will still be some left)!
Lastly, providing a lovely terrace on a quiet street, Chez Janou is an alternative choice with simple, bistro décor brightened by Pagnol film posters and pastis advertisements. This is a place that I recommend to all those who have the urge to escape a bit from Paris for the length of a meal.
The website, a bit old-fashioned, like the décor, invites you to peruse the menu and gives information on the current regional wines offered. But above all, don’t miss the pastis section. Personally, I imagine myself sipping a petit jaune (“little yellow”), as the locals say over at Place des Lices in Saint Tropez, before playing a game of pétanque.
Also be warned, there are many people, especially at night, so it is imperative to make reservations. If you arrive late, too bad for you because your table will have already been given away! In addition, I must point out that the packed room can be a bit noisy.
Address: 2 rue Roger Verlomme (corner of rue des Tournelles), 75003
Tel: 01 42 72 28 41
Hours: Open everyday for lunch and dinner