Back in Paris for a couple of days.
And that means we need to grab a bite here and there as well.
What a hard knock life we got.
So we love authentic and plain and simple French cuisine.
And that is what we get at restaurant Bouillon Pigalle in Paris!
You might have seen that name before here on our website.
If you see a ‘Bouillon’ restaurant, it means that this place serves classic French food for a very affordable price. Eating out in Paris can be quite expensive – but not in a typical ‘bouillon’.
Not only does a bouillon offer classic home cooked meals for a low price.
Their philosophy is also just work with local merchants to get the freshest produce such as meats, vegetables, breads and cheeses.
And it works.
Bouillon restaurants are always packed, some even serve food all day long.
We have been to le Bouillon Chartier and le Bouillon Pharamond before.
Let’s try out another one this time, the famous Bouillon Pigalle in Paris!
Bouillon Pigalle in Paris
This bouillon is located in the Montmartre area.
Rings a bell?
During the Belle Époque in the early 1900’s, this area attracted a lot of artists such as van Gogh, Monet, Toulouse-Lautrec and Picasso.
You might have heard of the Moulin Rouge cabaret theatre, the birthplace of the French cancan.
Well that one is just down the road along boulevard de Clichy, about a 5 minute walk from Bouillon Pigalle.
This bouillon isn’t as old as the other bouillon restaurants here in town.
Far from it.
Bouillon Pigalle in Paris opened only in 2017!
And it has been a success story since the opening.
Classic French cuisine
We arrive around 11:45am.
Right on time for a good lunch!
We are lucky that there is not a queue outside, yet.
The dining room here is quite full already.
A waitress takes us upstairs and shows us to a table in a practically empty dining room.
No worries, this place will be packed in 10 minutes.
It is a hot day and we are glad that the windows facing the street are all opened to let a pleasant cool breeze in.
French classics at Bouillon Pigalle in Paris
Another waiter brings the menus.
He asks us if we want still or sparkling water.
We ask for a ‘carafe d’eau’ of water instead.
Are you familiar with the water etiquette in France?
Here in this country restaurants are obliged by law to serve free tap water.
Some restaurants will put a free bottle of water on your table as soon as you sit down. In other cases the waiter will ask you if you want ‘still or sparkling?’. So if you don’t say ‘just a carafe, please’ you will usually get a bottle of Evian or any other brand that you will have to pay for.
If you are OK with tap water, now you know how to order it for free.
If you want bottled water, just ask for still or sparkling.
We browse through the menu.
This will be another hard nut to crack by the looks of it.
In 2019 Bouillon Pigalle in Paris won the prize for the ‘best egg mayo in the world’.
Want to know more about this classic French starter?
Read our ‘oeuf mayo’ article to learn about its background!
So surely we want to try out their version (€ 2,40) now that we are here.
And we also settle for classics such as herring and potatoes (€3,80), veal head with gribiche sauce (€11) and braised veal roast (10,20).
That and half a litre of Côtes du Rhône wine (€7,20).
By the time we have ordered our food, the tables all around us are taken.
A healthy mix of both locals and tourists.
Couples, colleagues, friends, the occasional lone wolf, a parent taking their adult kid out for a quick lunch and a chat.
Orders start flying out of the kitchen, the waiting staff is super busy.
We get our starters, accompanied by a bread basket.
So here they are, the award winning eggs mayo of bouillon Pigalle in Paris!
Three halves of hard-boiled egg sitting on and topped off with a creamy looking mayo.
This is a proper egg mayo, flavorful egg and a mustardy and solid homemade mayonnaise.
Let’s see what’s on the other side of the table!
“Harengs pommes à l’huile” this dish is called in French.
Smoked herring accompanied by a potato, carrot and onion salad marinated in vinaigrette.
The presentation isn’t the greatest, but this dish totally makes up for that in flavor.
That fillet of herring is smokey and soft and firm at the same time.
Tender potatoes, well seasoned potato salad.
The amount of orders keep growing.
As we sit near the table where the towers of plates are put before the staff brings them to the right tables, we see practically every dish on the menu fly by.
Very popular starters here in le bouillon Pigalle in Paris are the eggs mayo, roasted bone marrow and prawns with cocktail sauce. As for main courses we see a lot of steak frites, macaroni and ham gratin and boeuf bourguignon with pasta.
Our mains arrive about 10 minutes later.
Here comes the veal: rôti de veau braisé aux oignons, purée it says on the menu – veal roast braised with onions and mash.
Or in other words a huge portion of braised veal, on top of potato mash and drizzled with a rich tomato sauce.
The veal is soft and tender, the sauce and mash are well seasoned and very filling.
We were expecting a more lighter meal though, this was rather a winter dish. We would have chosen another main if we would have seen it fly by sooner.
So what’s that on the other plate?
Tête de veau sauce gribiche – veal head with gribiche sauce, another French classic.
Yes, this dish is a deboned calf’s head simmered and slow braised in a flavorful broth with herbs and vegetables. So if you are a fan of veal tongue, cheeks, fatty succulent veal skin and such, then this dish is right up your alley.
This version here at le bouillon Pigalle in Paris is impeccable, perfectly cooked and so flavorful.
The gribiche sauce is a kind of French style tartar sauce that goes perfectly well with the fatty and tender veal head meat.
Still room for dessert?
We both tried very hard not to eat the bread to save some space in our tummies.
What do you prefer?
Sweet treat or savory cheese?
We decide to go for both.
Rocamadour is a French goat’s cheese made with raw goat’s milk.
It is light and creamy, if you serve it at the right temperature and this one is just perfect.
The sweet treat is harder to decide about.
On the menu here at bouillon Pigalle in Paris you can find pain perdu (French toast), profiteroles, cherry clafoutis, chocolate tart, fresh strawberries with whipped cream.
We go for ‘tarte citron meringuée’, a lemon meringue tart.
The meringue is sticky, sugary and velvety – the lemon filling zippy, creamy and fresh – and the shortcrust pastry is crunchy with a slightly salty undertone.
Would we go back to le Bouillon Pigalle in Paris? Do we recommend le Bouillon Pigalle in Paris?
Yes, the food at bouillon Pigalle in Paris is good and copious.
And the prices are very sweet again.
If you come to Paris, a bouillon restaurant is the perfect way to get to know the good old classic French cuisine.
22 Boulevard de Clichy