For years Gallopin was on my shortlist of places to try, but I never quite made it to Le Bourse area, and the fact that it had a multi-lingual menu discouraged me from going. So when my wife, two boys and I finally went to Gallopin for a try, we were more than pleased with the result.
Since 1876 this traditional brasserie has been pleasing Parisians, but don’t be disappointed if a few tourists also show up at the door. It has outdoor white table cloth seating, and inside there is an ornate, old-fashioned bar as you enter the restaurant on your left, with a giant silver bowl filled with bottles of champagne and white wine. The restaurant has rich wood detail, gleaming brass, and large mirrors to round out the decor.
The menu has all the classics, but no oysters were available despite Gallopin advertising itself as a place for coquillage (shellfish). Summer brasseries and restaurants only serve oysters from October through May, in part due to the fact that once late spring and summer hits, the warm temperatures can affect the shellfish unless they are constantly on ice and chilled appropriately.
We stuck with the classics – Entrecôte and frites – though my oldest son had Côte d’agneau (rack of lamb) and Pommes Purée (mashed potatoes). The beef was tender and cooked as we like it (à point). For dessert, giant portions of Baba au Rhum, Millefeuille and Crêpes Suzettes (which are flambéed tableside) are standard choices, along with an excellent Mi-cuit (chocolate gooey-cake).
Gallopin is busy during the day with bankers and reporters, and remains a reliable choice for tourists and Parisians alike.
Reservations are recommended but not required. Open seven days a week, from noon until midnight.
Address: 40 Rue Notre Dame des Victoires, Paris 75002