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Le Bistrot Paul Bert, 11th Arr.

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Posted on: January 13, 2009 at 8:42PM

by gastro
My husband and I, whom I met and lived with in Paris for two years, made a reservation at this restaurant on our recent trip back to the city. We should have been alerted to nix that idea when we called to make the reservation and were told that they did not accept reservations from foreigners. After much pleading from my husband, who speaks fluent French, they reluctantly agreed to take our reservation but said that if we did not call them the morning of to confirm, they would cancel it. Now onto the food...we ordered the steak entrecote for two, saignant. The waitress told us that we should have it "bleu," or bloody, but we stuck with our request for "saignant," which would be rare by U.S. standards, and medium-rare for the French. The steak arrived and was so incredibly tough, we could hardly cut it with our steak knives. I took one bite and could barely swallow the grisley morsel down my throat, so stuck to the fries, which were under seasoned and bland. My husand managed to get through about 6 bites of it, but finally gave up. The meat was truly inedible. The waitress never came back to check on our meal until the end, and saw that we had eaten only about 20% of it although never asked if there was a problem. When we (very politely) voiced our disappointment with the cut of steak, she told us that it was our fault, and that only unsophisticated bafoons would dare order a steak any way besides "bleu" and that if we were so stupid to order it "saignant," we deserved to have a bad meal. She then stormed away and the manager came over. After repeating to her what happened, she swiped our credit card, gave a meager Gallic shrug and went to talk to the waitress, never to return to our table for another word. It was honestly one of the most infuriating and disappointing meals we have ever had, especially since we went out of our way to eat here on vacation due to the review I read. There are so many wonderful bistrots in Paris, I would warn any one visiting to stay away from this place!