Allard, one of the most gourmet Parisian bistros, since 1932

“The friendly and generous cuisine of the bistros is a treasure of French gastronomy”writes Alain Ducasse, who took over the Parisian institution Allard in 2013 and relaunched it brilliantly.

The dining room of the Allard restaurant. | Peter Monetta

A place, a story, famous dishes

Located in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Prés, the Allard restaurant is one of the last real bistros in Paris. It remains marked today by the spirit of Marthe Allard, a “mother cook” who founded the house in 1932. Allard is above all the story of a Burgundy peasant girl who travels to Paris with family recipes and a modern cooking talent.

At the beginning of the XXAnd century, Vincent Candré took over the place and opened a bistro called “La Halte de l’Éperon” at the time. Small local wines were served there accompanied by local dishes prepared by Joséphine, one of the first Parisian “mother cooks”. In the 1930s, he sold his restaurant to Marthe and Marcel Allard who, over time, made it a real institution.

Marthe Allard and her daughter-in-law Fernande. | Chez Allard restaurant

A family bistro is born

From the 1930s until the end of the war, Allard remained a neighborhood bistro with a homely spirit. He then built an excellent reputation, which will consolidate year after year. At the end of 1946, André, son of Marthe and Marcel Allard, meets Fernande, who will find himself at the piano never to leave him. You will get two stars.

In this room open to the street you can savor rustic dishes handed down from one woman to another, both from the same peasant terroir. “Clients do not come to us to make gastronomic discoveries, but to rediscover ancient culinary knowledge”observes André, her husband always present in the dining room where Fernande officiates in a white apron.

A precious heritage

In 1985 he turned the page. The Allard family sold the restaurant to Bernard Bouchard, a Parisian restaurant professional, who in turn sold it to Aveyronnais Claude Layrac in 1995. The latter perpetuated the Allard spirit and the foundations of his cuisine for almost twenty years, such as Challans duck with olives, shoulder of Limousin lamb or even coq au vin. In July 2013, Claude Layrac sold the restaurant to Alain Ducasse.

It is to Laëtitia Rouabah, at the stove for lunch and dinner, that Alain Ducasse entrusts Allard’s cuisine. In the dining room, Pierre Romano warmly welcomes customers, as they have always been in this mythical Parisian bistro place.

The kitchen perpetuates a certain bourgeois and convivial tradition. The tastes are sincere and the recipes sincere, the atmosphere and the setting delightfully of the past. The menu changes with the seasons, but some emblematic dishes such as frog legs a la Fernande Allard, confit duck foie gras, duck breast fillet with olives or savarin in rum with whipped cream always occupy a place of choice, as well as Burgundy and Beaujolais wines served cold.

The menu of emblematic dishes

Appetizers

• Snails with shell 6 (12 euros), 12 (24 euros)

• Frog legs with garlic Fernande Allard style (32 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, frogs’ legs a la Fernande Allard. | Bertille Chabrolle

• Beef tartare with a knife, 100 grams (26 euros)

The dishes

• Grilled sea bass steak, freshly wilted spinach, seasoned with Choron sauce (46 euros)

• Golden veal sweetbreads, sweet onion soubise, Périgueux sauce (48 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, golden veal sweetbreads, sweet onion soubise, Périgueux sauce. | Bertille Chabrolle

• Tin of Challans with olives (90 euros)

Condiments

• New potatoes in casserole (8 euros)

• Root vegetables browned in butter, hazelnut dressing (12 euros)

Cheeses and sweets

• Platter of three regional cheeses (14 euros)

• Chocolate profiteroles (14 euros)

• Three vanilla ice cream drowned in coffee, praline (12 euros)

• Plombière ice cream, citrus fruits and cherries (14 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, ice creams, citrus fruits and morello cherries. | Bertille Chabrolle

Lunch menu from Monday to Friday at 34 euros for an appetizer, a second course and a dessert, 28 euros for an appetizer and a second course or a second course and a dessert.

• Crunchy egg, celery and toasted hazelnuts or lean citrus tartare, herb salad

• Rabbit leg with mustard, pumpkin, Grenoble side dish

• Chocolate cream puffs or Bourdaloue tart

Since this winter, the Allard restaurant has once again welcomed chef Laëtitia Rouabah: an event which marks her return to France after a six-year absence. Under his guidance, gourmets will obviously find the essential elements that have made the reputation of the house, but the chef will also present them with some of the dishes he has proposed at the Benoit restaurant in New York: the spicy crab cake and corn soup , lobster rolls, flap chucks and desserts like cheesecake or key lime pie. Rustic and noble dishes executed with the talent we know it.

At the Allard restaurant, spiced crab cake and corn soup. | Bertille Chabrolle

Laëtitia Rouabah’s career has perfectly prepared her for this exercise. She began her career with Alain Ducasse in many of her starred establishments.

Since 2004 at the Relais Plaza with Philippe Marc, she has earned the title of chef de partie. She then joins chef Jocelyn Herland in London at the Alain Ducasse restaurant of the newly opened Dorchester Hotel and, in 2008, she returns to Paris, this time at Jules Verne, the Eiffel Tower restaurant where she becomes Pascal Feraud’s assistant chef.

In 2013, Alain Ducasse entrusted her with the reins of Allard and then, in 2016, those of Benoit in New York: two establishments where she worked wonders in the bistro kitchen.

His appearance in Allard will only last a few months as he will leave for Las Vegas for another American strip in the course of 2023. One more reason to quickly book a table at Allard!

Charlotte Bringant, chef at Allard since September 2021, continues her career at Sapid in Paris (75010) where she replaces Marvic Medina, who returns to Peru to take up the role of assistant chef at the Central restaurant in Lima.

American Food Map: New York to Paris

Appetizers

• Spicy crab cake, corn chowder (22 euros)

• Corn on the cob salad (18 euros)

Dishes

• American blue lobster (52 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, the American blue lobster. | Bertille Chabrolle

• Beef flap chuck, 500 grams, Yorkshire pudding, pepper sauce (78 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, the beef dish, Yorkshire pudding. | Bertille Chabrolle

• The cheeseburger, iceberg and smoked bacon (32 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, the cheeseburger, the iceberg and the smoked bacon. | Bertille Chabrolle

Side

• Mac’n’cheese (14 euros)

Desserts

• Cheesecakes (12 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, the cheesecake. | Bertille Chabrolle

• Biscuits and chocolate s’mores from the Alain Ducasse factory (12 euros)

At the Allard restaurant, S’mores with biscuits and chocolates from the Alain Ducasse factory. | Bertille Chabrolle

41, rue Saint-André-des-Arts 75006 Paris. Tel.: 01 43 26 48 23. No closing hours. Great lunchtime menu.

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