Updated: Jun 13, 2021
The Brasserie Balzar has been around since 1886 and has lost nothing of its genteel bourgeois sheen. They have recently added rainbow coloured umbrellas to the terrace, perhaps in a bid to loosen up their image and appeal to a more transient clientele. Best bet is Sunday lunch to soak up the distinctly douceur de vivre ambiance. The institution plays on its scholarly credentials (sandwiched in between the Collège de France and the Sorbonne) and the menu does have a slightly academic feel. But tradition sometimes has a lot to be said for it, and so an Oeuf Mimosa followed by the Chateaubriand Poëlé, sauce béarnaise, may well be the closest thing to time-travel a mortal will experience. Wash it down with a bottle of Clos de l’Oratoire des Papes, albeit a pricey Chateauneuf, but with the bright red label in pride of place on your table you will fit in with the crowd immediately, enough almost, if only for a brief fleeting moment, to believe that you belong at the Brasserie Balzar. Le Balzar, 49 Rue des Écoles, 75005, Tel: 01 43 54 13 67.