If you are looking for the classic look and feel of a Parisian restaurant – red checkered tableclothes, big bulb lamps, deep cherry wood paneling with that distinctive French cursive writing etched onto the windows – then Fontaine de Mars is your place.
Fontaine de Mars offers classic dishes from the Sud Ouest of France. Foie Gras poelé (seared foie gras), cassoulet, côte de bœuf (roasted prime rib) with bearnaise, poulet rôti (roasted chicken) are all standards on the menu, subject to seasonal adjustments. The cassoulet is flavorful and the bearnaise is a classic, but the foie gras poelé is a true standout ; it is some of the best seared hot foie gras I have had anywhere in the city and the restaurant is worth going to just to try that entrée alone (but as this is a winter dish check ahead to make sure it is on the menu). The wine menu offers an excellent variety of Bordeaux and Bourgogne, from reasonable prices to extraordinarily high, including a Petrus for over 1,300 Euros.
Fontaine de Mars is popular enough that President Obama decided to sneak in for a date night with his wife, First Lady Michelle, on June 11, 2008. I know the date well as it was my son’s birthday, and had extreme difficulty parking my car off of Rue Saint Dominique, which was quite unusual for a Saturday evening. I learned, from the owner no less, that Obama was coming to dinner later that night. If I had only made reservations we could have dined there too, as the restaurant remained open for business.
Fontaine de Mars is even busier these days, but a table can be reserved with just a few days notice. Although it remains a popular spot for Parisians, it is even more popular among Americans, so don’t be surprised if half (or more) of the tables around you include loud-speaking Americans, as opposed to more soft-toned Parisians. Although there is no children’s menu, we have gone here with our two young boys and sat outside on the sidewalk for a perfect summer evening, with our Labrador happily sitting underneath the table lapping from a bowl.
Located on Rue Saint Dominique, it is close to the Eiffel Tower and the block is one of the more charming venues to have dinner, especially in the spring, summer or fall, when you can dine outside on the sidewalk. Open every day of the week for lunch and dinner, be sure to make reservations a few days in advance, especially for larger tables.
Tel : 01 47 05 46 44
La Fontaine de Mars
129, Rue Saint-Dominique
Tel : 01 47 05 46 44