Le Trumilou

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro-3

I was walking down the Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville on a recent warm summer night and passed by the outdoor tables of Le Trumilou. I like eating outside on a terrace in Paris but when they implemented the non fumeur law in France for restaurants cafés, the smokers went outside. It was kind of vexing because it was so nice that everyone could go outside and enjoy the fresh air. But now the air was so smoky that if you don’t want to smell that while you are eating, you have to go inside. I think it’s time for separate areas, or to limit people to two cigarettes per meal, like the airlines do with drinks? A restaurant I worked at in California back in the day had a smoking section and even the waiters who smoked didn’t want to wait on those tables because people smoked so heavily.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

If people want to smoke, that’s fine with me. But as someone who spent most of his life cooking in restaurants, surrounded by very good cooks, I can’t recall any of the good ones smoking. The worst thing to me is to walk by a restaurant and see the cooks standing outside, puffing on cigarettes. How can they taste the food? (I worked for a chef that wouldn’t even let us drink soda, for that reason.) A good friend who works for a French agricultural associate said that the situation will definitely change, in spite of the fact that more people – notably women and teenagers – are smoking in France than before. My apartment is surrounded by two offices and I can’t open the windows during the day, which is a shame when the weather is so accommodating.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro-4Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

That doesn’t have a lot to do with Le Trumilou, except I didn’t notice a lot of people smoking on the terrace, which faced a busy street next to the Seine. And it seemed like it’d be a good place to spend a summer evening, as I was dying for some fresh air, eating authentic, old-fashioned French cuisine, without a lot of frills or fuss.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Like smoking, the French have a reputation for not working hard, which actually isn’t true, especially if you go to a bistro like Le Trumilou. The staff is well-dressed, in starched aprons and tight bow ties, and always do a good job racing around and serving the customers, whether they are locals or tourists. One waiter was even asked by a passing group of tourists to take their picture in front of the awning for the restaurant, and he happily obliged.

A few moments after we sat down, I realized that because I always walked by and didn’t stop, I wasn’t that aware of the traffic on the road in front of the restaurant (I’ve always eaten indoors) – a lively mix of cars, noisy scooters, and tour buses, not exactly quiet or tranquil. But that’s life in the big city and since it was such a nice night, we didn’t let it bother us.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

I’ve always eaten inside Le Trumilou, which to many, checks off most of the boxes for a classic Parisian bistro. The seats and tables are worn, the napkins are stiffly folded, the glasses and plates have the appropriate patina, the waiters are attentive – but not intrusive, and the welcome is genuine.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

The owner, Alain, is a friendly fellow with a big grin. He works in the evening and his wife works the day shifts. He’s from the Auvergne, where people work hard and many came to Paris back in the day, and opened restaurants and cafés, continuing to work hard. When they were sold, they were usually sold to other Auvergnats.

That’s part of the history of Le Trumilou, Alain told me, and he’s part of that tradition. He also said the restaurant was originally a truck stop, which, judging from its position next to the road, is easy to understand.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

The food at Le Trumilou isn’t haute cuisine. You won’t find a lot of vegetables on the plates, the waiters are efficient (and busy), and won’t introduce themselves by name. Alain, the owner, may joke with you that the name of your reservation rhymes with “terrace,” where your partner asked to be seated when he reserved. But it’s a good stand-by place for French food, open 7 days a week, and reservations don’t need to be made weeks in advance.

You also won’t find scribbles and smears of sauce or other witticisms that need to be retired. I don’t mind some of that, but when I go out to eat, I think: 1) Will we have a good time there? and 2) How will the food be?

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

In French, the word correct refers to not necessarily good or bad, but how appropriate to the situation something should be. The food at Le Trumilou is très correct. Starters include œufs mayonnaise, salade de chèvre chaud (warm goat cheese salad), and a platter of cochonnaille, mixed pork sausage and charcuterie.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

I had a glass of Campari to start as an apéritif, and the waiter brought out some dried sausage and olives to snack on. Since it was approaching the longest day of the year (and some days, lately, have felt like they would never end…) we honed on the list of rosés, which was short, but to the point. We went with the cuvée du patron (house wine) that clocked in at €19. My ice-happy Parisian partner asked for a glass of glaçons and the waiter happily obliged with the largest glass of ice cubes I’ve seen in a restaurant in Paris. So they even please the French, too.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Romain ordered a salade Lyonnaise, with chunks of bacon, frisée salad, and a runny, soft-cooked egg resting on top, ready to be broken up and mixed into the salad along with the mustardy dressing pooled underneath. To me, this salad is one of life’s great pleasures. (I put a recipe for it in My Paris Kitchen because I often make them at home, just to get my fix.)

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

I’d ordered the €24 prix fixe menu and went with the housemade pâté wrapped in pork fat with vinegary cornichons. There are a few choices in each category, and it’s one of the better deals in Paris. And to those who say Paris is expensive, I challenge you to find a similar deal elsewhere, that includes tax and tip.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Not to dwell on clichés, but it’s hard to say that the French serve food in modest portions when faced with this enormous, crusty rack of lamb chops that came out with a bucketload of fried potatoes.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

My beef Bourguignon was equally copious, richly colored on top, but tender inside when I broke into the pieces of meat. A lovely group of young American women who were attending cooking school in Paris sat at the large table next to us, a few said hi, and then got into chowing down as happily as we did on the lovely summer evening on the terrace.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Afterward, we had a standard crème caramel which was just fine, and as we were settling the check at the bar (if you go to Paris and don’t want to wait for the check, it’s perfectly fine to head to the bar to settle up), Alain invited us to have a digestive.

Creme Caramel

He told us that he liked his work and is very happy working in the restaurant, which they’ve had for thirty years. I doubt anyone could find fault with the way people are treated at Le Trumilou. Two tourists with a guidebook planted on the table, along with their iPhones (which Romain told them to put away, so as not to tempt those with nefarious intents), enjoyed their meal; when I asked one how he liked his steak frites, he smiled and gave it two thumbs-up.

So while most clichés were thrown to the wind that evening, on the way home, as we were walking up the nearby rue du Pont Louis-Philippe, a cobbled street, Romain stopped in front of a shop that was locking the door up for the night to take a picture of the church across the street and the proprietor scolded him for taking a picture on her sidewalk.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Paris is certainly a city of contrasts, which is why we all love it. The mix of the old with the new, the characters, and little places like Le Trumilou, that haven’t changed much in decades, if at all.

The 50’s tiled floor, the old bathroom signs, the clock above the hallway, inspired by the image on the RTF (French national television) screen just before the programs started, and the fact that not a lot has changed in decades, yet still feels like a place that you want to go to today.

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro

Le Trumilou
84, Quai de l’Hôtel de Ville (4th)
Tél: 01 42 77 63 98
Métro: Hôtel de Ville
Open daily

Le Trumilou Paris Bistro


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64 comments

  • Christine
    July 21, 2015 7:20pm

    So delighted to see your review. This was one of the very first restaurants I went to on my first trip to Paris in 1992, drawn there by a review in Let’s Go: “Charming bistro atmosphere right opposite the Seine.” They were right, and I fell in love with the city then and there. And on my next trip, I’ll go back!

  • July 21, 2015 7:21pm

    Sounds lovely! A must-visit next time we are in Paris – especially a prix fixe of €24 in the evening!

    I am amused that you took photos of the “café gourmand”, a concept that was unknown in my day (1970s) but seems ubiquitous today. I wonder if they still do the standard ice-creams they did in my youth: parfait, mystère, bombe surprise, orange givrée, etc…. all standard on restaurant menus back in the day.

  • July 21, 2015 8:01pm

    Thanks for whisking me away to Paris for a moment. Looking up your salade Lyonnaise recipe now.

  • July 21, 2015 8:32pm

    The place, the pictures, the food, and the “yes!” answer to the question “will we have a good time there?”
    With planning a big birthday celebration trip I have been looking to the point I feel I’m stalking you and other Paris bloggers, for places where we can do just that.
    Look forward to it! Thanks

  • Emily
    July 21, 2015 9:37pm

    I loved reading this. On a family trip to Paris at age twelve or so we dined at Le Trumilou one evening. We enjoyed it so thoroughly that my parents asked if they could buy a couple of the plates from them. They obliged, and the plates are still in use in my mother’s kitchen some fifteen years later. Maybe (probably) they thought we were crazy American tourists but they didn’t say so to our faces. Thanks for the trip down memory lane- hope to return there someday.

  • Christopher T.
    July 22, 2015 1:13am

    David that was wonderful. So evocative of the experience. I was there. I was there – your words transported me. That was a 10 minute vacation to Paris. Thanks. It’s a lovely service you provide.

  • Sandra Alexander
    July 22, 2015 1:32am

    ‘Twas the night before my husband’s Big Birthday celebration in Paris. Well, a couple of nights actually, and the first wave of friends was arriving from USA, Australia, UK, elsewhere in France. We’d booked a table for 11 people at Le Trumilou. Planes were late, trains were delayed. The restaurant was very gracious about the way our group straggled in, and fed hungry travellers as they arrived. Le Trumilou was exactly what we needed for a first night in Paris, everyone ate well, we had a great time and the price point suited all budgets. Thank you for reminding me of a lovely evening!

  • July 22, 2015 2:02am

    That looks fantastic – I bet the meat was fall of the bone tender!

  • Judy
    July 22, 2015 3:50am

    This post brings such happiness! My husband (then boyfriend) and I went there in ’99 while in Paris for a week after reading about it in a guidebook. We loved it so much we decided there was no reason to try a more expensive (but equally reviewed) place and went back a few nights later. The staff was friendly and joked around with us a lot, which was a pleasant surprise for me, as I don’t speak French very well. Loved it, and we’ve sent friends who raved as well. So happy to learn it’s still good!

  • Ana
    July 22, 2015 7:24am

    A description of those lovely looking dessert plates (in the picture before the tiles) would be much appreciated–they look intensely appetizing.

    And as always, merci pour le poste–your writing is a joy to read.

    • July 22, 2015 9:29am

      Looks like a mini Crème brûlée, a sliver of chocolate cake, and a square of a tart of some sort, all in a pool of maybe Crème Anglaise? It seems to be accompanied by a shot of espresso and a piece of chocolate.

  • July 22, 2015 9:33am

    Is that €24 for two or three courses? Either way though, that’s still a great deal!

    My sister and I are dropping by Paris from London toward the end of the year. We both speak ZERO French, although I can figure out the basics from a standard French bistro menu. Will that be enough for Le Trumilou? Will the waiters help out if it isn’t?

  • July 22, 2015 9:44am

    David, long time reader and first time poster… loving your blog.

    I couldn’t agree more about the smoking in Paris – we were there a few weeks ago with our toddler and wanted to dine outside but couldn’t… and if one more person looked at an empty seat looked at my son just inside the open window, shrugged, and sat down to chain smoke anyway… well I may have spent a night in a Parisian prison cell :)

    I love your photography on the site… do you carry a DSLR around with you or do you have a pocket camera that does these wonderful depth of field shots?

  • July 22, 2015 1:08pm
    David Lebovitz

    Peter: Yes, the smoke can get pretty heavy. Most people have several cigarettes during a meal, especially if you are sitting next to young people. Smoking hasn’t really been stigmatized so it’s on the rise. (Another unintended effect of the smoking ban are large groups of young people hanging outside of bars late into the night, carrying on loudly and making a lot of noise, disturbing the neighbors and neighborhoods.)

    I don’t normally carry my DSLR around but if I know I am going to write about a place, I’ll bring it because pictures from my phone don’t look so great on the blog and I want to make the food and restaurant look as good as possible. Although I try to be discreet when taking pictures and don’t interrupt the meal or service.

    Katrina: Sure, it’s not a problem. Most places in Paris are fine with non-French speakers, and there is a mix of locals and visitors at Le Trumilou and it shouldn’t be a problem.

    Ana: That’s a dessert called Café Gourmand, which has become very popular in Paris. It’s coffee with little bites of dessert. This was chocolate cake with crème anglaise, crème brûlée, and the other one was an apple custard.

    • July 22, 2015 4:32pm

      Thank you David! Also, I feel quite proud that I more or less was able to guess at the desserts. Haha.

  • Claire
    July 22, 2015 2:47pm

    Oh David, how this post takes me back! Le Trumilou, my favorite place to eat. The food is delicious, the staff very friendly and professional, and the location can’t be beat. Thank you for this 10 minute walk back in time. Can’t wait to go there again this spring.

  • July 22, 2015 3:24pm

    I’ve walked by le Trumilou too often in my neighborhood. Time to visit.
    Love Paris shop owners who think you cannot shoot on their pavement.

  • Janet
    July 22, 2015 5:21pm

    I just spent the month of May in Paris. Since I am from California which frowns on smoking, I was surprised to see how many people still smoke–especially young people. Your comment on the noise on the sidewalks outside bars late into the night hit home. I was unable to sleep with my window open at night for this reason. However none of this could ever put a damper on my desire to continue to visit this wonderful City.

    • July 22, 2015 5:35pm
      David Lebovitz

      Some visitors say the smell of Gauloises (French cigarettes) is “romantic,” when they visit restaurants and cafés in Paris, but they would never put up with that back home. I remember when everyone smoked in America, including on airplanes and in movie theaters, and as my friend mentioned, at some point it’ll probably change in France, too. Night noise is a problem, especially in the summer when you need to keep your windows open. But it is a lovely city in lots of other ways, including the charming restaurants like this one : )

  • July 22, 2015 5:31pm

    I’m going to be in Paris in September and am adding Le Trumilou to my list of “places to go”. Also… I do not care for advertising or names on clothing at all, but I love it on dishes and bottles! Great CAMPARI glass and label on the Eau de Vie de Prunes bottle.

  • Laura M
    July 22, 2015 6:03pm

    David, Thanks for this great post.

    Strange to say, my husband and I had a bad experience at Trumilou, back in ’98 or ’99, but I can no remember exactly what happened. (It was the service, as I recall, and we simply left.)

    Despite the fact that we lived nearby for a year, we’ve never gone back. But your blog has inspired me to return… maybe even tonight! (The weather being so mild today that even we wimpy Berkeleyans can dare to venture out, knowing we’ll not need to fan ourselves all night.)

    ANYWAY, I was going to drop you a line today to ask whether you’ve discovered “East Mamma,” who have taken over the space of the old Corsican restaurant across from the Square Trousseau (the park, not the restau).

    Yesterday I ate there the best pizza in my entire life. Everything is fresco, fresco, fresco! As my (parisian) lunch partner noted, the vegetables in the open cooking area are arranged as if in a marché. (Alice would approve…. )

    • Laura M
      July 23, 2015 1:56am

      We did dine there tonight, and enjoyed ourselves thoroughly! (See my long comment below.)

  • Julie
    July 22, 2015 6:08pm

    This is just a beautiful piece, Mr. L: gorgeously written, drenched with appreciative sensuality, and for me, almost painfully nostalgia-inducing! Thank you!

  • Cabetca
    July 22, 2015 6:09pm

    Opened today’s blog with a gasp when I saw the title. We first ate at Trumilou in 1984 with our then-five year old son. It’s a must-do every time we return to Paris (which isn’t nearly often enough).

  • July 22, 2015 6:12pm

    Thank you for such a spot on post David. So succinct it could be used as a criteria for correct hospitality….really lovely.
    As to smoking cooks – so true, so creepy. I only ever knew one who was able to keep spot on. Despite cigarettes & a serious perugia peppermint habit, Willy Bishop – a cook’s cook could always hold his own…in so many ways he was the exception to the rule…..

  • Wendy
    July 22, 2015 6:36pm

    I was relieved to see you talking about the smoking on les terrasses.I have been in France since May and I have found it to be extremely annoying. I have been shocked and depressed to see so many young women smoking. They should definitely institute non-smoking areas outside. But I don’t think enough people complain about it. I love when the smokers hold their cigarette behind them so it doesn’t bother their companions, but the smoke comes closer to you. Yikes!

  • Stephen
    July 22, 2015 6:52pm

    This is precisely why I love your blog! Thanks so much :-)

  • Sasha
    July 22, 2015 7:04pm

    love reading you!

  • Shell
    July 22, 2015 7:14pm

    What a delight! I was on a three week school trip to Paris in the mid 1970s. Le Trumilou was one of our favorite places. (No need for reservations; tho this was in January) To our teacher, it was the quintessential French bistro. So happy to read about it again.

  • July 22, 2015 7:16pm

    j’adore! so classic. why oh why did i marry a vegetarian? on the other hand, he wants to eat at a. ducasse. i won’t say no!

  • Jo Ann
    July 22, 2015 7:37pm

    I too gasped this morning (on a lanai in Hawaii!) when I saw your title. We’ve been going to this restaurant since 1997 – we love Alain! We were there just last October, and will be again this year – our only quibble has been the delay in getting the check, since we’re up and early each morning. I love your small hints – now we know that we can go to the bar and settle up! Merci, monsieur!

    • July 22, 2015 7:45pm
      David Lebovitz

      Yes, you can usually just go up to the counter and pay at the caisse. (register) It’s often easier for the servers too, since the register is right there, although some waiters (like café waiters) carry around their money with them. But either way, we’ve never had an issue just going up to the bar to settle up.

  • Colin
    July 22, 2015 8:20pm

    It was about 30 years ago when I passed Le Trumilou and was so taken with the name and appearance I had lunch there. Alain was much younger and I remember he had a very pretty and hardworking wife.
    You say 24 Euros but the menu shows 21.5 so you had some extras.
    On the matter of smoking and noise I was woken up late at night by street noises and looking out the window saw about 50 young people drinking and smoking in the street.
    If you can’t beat them join them which I did and discovered I was staying right opposite the most popular bar in Paris, and owned by a couple that came right out of a rural Gothic Rocky Horror Show, but they took to me like a rich lost relative.
    Paris is still my favourite city in spite of Parisians.

  • Mary P
    July 22, 2015 9:01pm

    We went several years ago to Le Trumilou based on your website restaurant recommendation. We loved the atmosphere, the wine and the food and have recommended it to all of our friends who go to Paris. And they loved it and have recommended it to their friends who go to Paris. See what an impact just a listing on website can have? I can only imagine what the effect of this post will be on their business! It is a wonderful place!

  • John
    July 22, 2015 9:43pm

    I will be traveling to Paris this December. I am putting Le Trumilou on my agenda. Love your blog and will be reading extensively to better prepare for my trip. Thank you!

  • Bob P
    July 23, 2015 12:32am

    The first restaurant my partner, now husband, and I dined at on our first trip to Paris was Le Trumilou. This was many years ago and we return every time we visit Paris.
    BTW, your photos are lovely.

  • Gavrielle
    July 23, 2015 1:07am

    Sigh….thank you for bringing your lovely experience so expertly to life. I’m envious of your evening and of your summer! (Only a few months do go down here in the Southern Hemisphere…)

    Very interesting that you found the best chefs didn’t smoke. I’ve always wondered how a chef who smokes can have any palate at all, and yet my uninformed impression was that most do. According to Anthony Bourdain in Kitchen Confidential pretty much all do, and I’ve noticed a high proportion of smokers amongst the Top Chef contestants, too. I’m glad to know it might not be quite as bad as that. I’ve often wondered if chefs who smoke are responsible for the oversalting (for my palate) that I often strike.

  • Laura M
    July 23, 2015 1:54am

    Just walked back from a fun evening at Trumilou — merci, David! The food was everything you said it would be… although your photos made it look more romantic than real life. ;-)

    A couple of things:

    (1) You mentioned the terrasse, “where your partner asked to be seated when he reserved,” but when I called, a nice, young-sounding woman said that they would do their best, but that they don’t reserve for the terrasse.

    So when John and I arrived, we started out in the back, but even though today was the coolest day in Paris in recent memory, once the restaurant filled up I was simply too warm, and so we moved outdoors just before our entrées arrived. (I had the “tagliatelle de concombre” [with shrimp], by the way, which wasn’t on the “carte” but was the perfect choice for me.)

    (Around that time John warned me that we were probably shaving a week off our lives from the air pollution, and so I switched chairs with him, so he could no longer see the cars!)

    As for the wine, I had 50 cl of the Saint-Pourçain rosé, which was perfect. (It wasn’t very cold, and so I asked for a sceau, and later requested that the ice be refilled. I was properly apologetic each time, and the staff was extremely kind… and efficient. (They work very hard, as you noted!)

    (2) You must have gone on a weekend, because the prices are slightly higher then: http://www.letrumilou.fr/menu.html
    (3) Given the temperature (and your less-than-rave review of the crème caramel), we went for the ice cream / sorbet for dessert. They must serve Berthillon, because it was SCRUMPTIOUS!

    At the end, my husband thanked me for “taking him back to Paris in the 60s”. (He first lived here then.)

  • Ann
    July 23, 2015 3:45am

    I ate there after you recommended it to me after your book signing which was held in a store a little ways down the street. Was delightful and will certainly go back.

  • July 23, 2015 3:54am

    Ah David, David—merci beaucoup for this quick but oh so pleasant trip to Paris, once again! I wish I could afford to visit more frequently than I can, but Trumilou just made the cut for restos to visit next time! So love your writing and your pics!

  • peter
    July 23, 2015 5:53am

    thanks for the post. i / we have been going there since 1978; it has always been great, and very steady. one night a woman ate at a table with her monkey… a bite for her, then a bite for him (?)…. even more classic than the other array of pets inside back in the day. can’t wait to return again.

  • suedoise
    July 23, 2015 12:22pm

    love the photos of the toilette and telephone signs – a disappearing twin couple thanks to everyone having a mobile and certainly not missed

  • Melanie
    July 23, 2015 2:21pm

    Thanks for the excellent review as always. The history of Auvergnats in Paris is indeed long, beginning in the late 19th century when many came to Paris. Accustomed to hard work on the farms they delivered coal on their backs to homes and bistros, and eventually became servers and owners in those same bistros.

  • July 23, 2015 2:52pm

    Love the food in Le Trumilou. Love the ambience too. Was there back in 2012 in my first ever trip to Paris. :)

  • Andrew
    July 23, 2015 3:45pm

    I want those Campari glasses! I thrive on Negronis during Iowa summers!

  • July 23, 2015 5:16pm
    David Lebovitz

    Andrew: They’re actually somewhat common to find in France at flea markets; they’re not old, but often cafés buy them (or perhaps they are given to them by the companies?) and they’re available in boxes of 6. You can also check Ebay.fr or Leboncoin.com. I did a quick search and found a website in France that sells theme, tigrebok.com but not sure about shipping.

    Ann: Glad you took me up on my advice! ; )

    Laura M: The prices on their website (along with other information…) isn’t quite up-to-date: I saw some information for last year on it. The prices may have risen slightly but it’s still very reasonable. Also thank you for writing about comments. Because of spam, comments containing links are held for moderation since frequently those wily spammers put them in there. (More on that here: comment policy.) I also have a spam filter (two, actually…since it’s such a big problem) but occasionally one slips through, so my apologies. I was asleep but deleted it when I woke up.

    Bob P: Thanks, and happy you like the photos and the restaurant. It’s a treat to shoot pictures in such a beautiful place.

    • Laura M
      July 24, 2015 12:59am

      David — my comment about the menu (and the reason I included the link) was in response to Colin: “You say 24 Euros but the menu shows 21.5 so you had some extras.”

      I was suggesting that possibly you didn’t have any “extras,” but had dined on a weekend. (True?)

      And yes, once you approved my comment I saw that link and realized that THAT had sparked your spam-alert!

      P.S. Checked out your schedule and got tickets for City Arts and Lectures at the Nourse. It should be a great evening!

      • July 24, 2015 1:36pm
        David Lebovitz

        Thanks Laura – I generally don’t mention prices in detail because they are subject to change, and I don’t want visitors to be surprised to find higher prices than when I went. And restaurants in Paris don’t update their websites often, which is understandable since they have less staff than restaurants in the states. (Tip: Their Facebook pages are often more up-to-date!) Looking forward to the date in San Francisco : )

  • July 24, 2015 4:01pm

    Lovely place, it appears to be. Not fussy, over-the-top. The food here is probably a consistent; something to count on.

    Honey-Bunches, there are rude people no matter where one travels. I love to disarm them, pull them from their heaviness of burden. A genuine smile will go a long way when it comes time to tip. Although, France may be a place where tips are factored in to the bill, upfront? No matter.
    Honey grabs hold of more bees than spilt vinegar. Sadly, some folks have not learned this adage.
    Where is Romain’s picture of the church? I wanted to see it.
    Thank you for taking us to this little hole in the wall. As you know from living in America, some of the finest food comes from sites you would never expect.
    I love the charm and eclectic vibe of this place.

  • Laura M
    July 24, 2015 4:13pm

    @ CoffeeGrounded — I enjoyed reading your post. I’d just like to remark that:

    (1) yes, in France the service is included (although if the service has been good, it’s nice to “round up”, or leave a couple of Euros as thanks); and
    (2) it’s not a “hole-in-the-wall”! There are two separate dining rooms, and one of them is quite large. Plus the terrasse is has room for a number of tables. They could probably seat over 90 people in warm weather.

  • Leslie Green
    July 25, 2015 12:57am

    David,
    I absolutely love love love your photos with your review. I want to go and eat every thing you have described.

  • Guenther
    July 25, 2015 2:57am

    I was always fascinated that Marcella Hazan smoked Marlboros. It didn’t seem to affect her taste buds. Her recipes are balanced and nuanced and even brilliant.

  • Mary
    July 25, 2015 9:32pm

    I just returned from a week in Paris and your post made me feel I never left. I was somewhat taken aback by the amount of smoking, particularly the young women. Wish I had known about Le Trumilou as I probably walked within a block of it several times, but ate wonderfully well despite that omission.

  • Judy Cinerari
    July 26, 2015 2:37am

    Dear David, here in Melbourne, Australia we have reached the stage of banning smoking in outdoor eating areas. As you can imagine with our warm climate, we eat out a lot. The smokers complain loudly for a while but eventually get used to it and retreat to periphery of society. Although people grumble about the “nanny state” it seems to be the only way to clear the air for everybody.

    • Laura M
      July 26, 2015 10:00am

      @Judy Cinerari, Hooray for Melbourne!

      The smoking laws of Berkeley, California (across the Bay from San Francisco) are even more restrictive:

      “Smoking is NOT permitted in the following locations:

      * ALL commercial zones.
      * ALL multi-unit housing.
      * Parks and recreation areas.
      * Service lines and waiting areas such as ATMs, bus stops and cab stands.
      * Within 50 feet of doorways and windows of health care facilities, mental health facilities, child or adult care facilities, and senior centers.
      * Within 25 feet of doorways and windows of any building open to the public.”

      That last law pretty much disallows any smoking on a “restaurant terrasse”… since few are large enough to include tables located 25 feet away from their door, or any other door or window.

      It used to be a huge culture shock transitioning come from the Bay Area to Paris, but since smoking has been banned inside airports and restaurants, life is much better!

  • Diane
    July 26, 2015 6:49am

    Thanks for this recommendation David.
    Heading to Paris for the month of September and always stay on Ile Saint Louis. I take cooking classes at La Cuisine Paris…is this bistro close by?
    If so, I’ve walked by it without noticing, but will definitely make a visit this trip because of this review. Thanks!

    • Laura M
      July 26, 2015 10:09am

      @ Diane —

      You must have seen it: Le Trumilou is right next door to “La Cuisine”!
      https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/-Wwa9Cs6z_UnROVLSkLhGOqHnHnwcjOoU_Rc3ZY9jxE?feat=directlink

    • Laura M
      August 10, 2015 1:15pm

      Diane, I want to thank you for mentioning “La Cuisine Paris”! I wrote back immediately with a link to a photo showing the relative locations: Le Trumilou is right next door! (However, that comment is “still awaiting moderation”.)

      Anyway, I was intrigued, and so I went to La Cuisine’s website. It looked good, and so I signed up for two classes.

      Wow! I spent three hours Friday morning baking baguettes and a fougasse, and two hours the next afternoon baking macarons. Both my chef-teachers (Eric and Guillaume) were absolutely superb. Moreover, the kitchen — the entire process, really — is very well-organized, and the results were spectacular.

      My husband complimented my baguette multiple times (rare for him), and once my macarons had “matured,” they tasted nearly as good as those of Ladurée !

      Merci encore, Diane. I’ve lived in Paris (off and on) since 2000, and I thank you for enabling me to enrich my experiences here.

      • Diane Roberts
        August 10, 2015 4:44pm

        Hi Laura, good to hear you enjoyed your cooking classes @ La Cusine Paris. I’m booked for 4 classes during our stay in September. Don’t know how I didn’t notice the cafe was right next door…will definitely try it out! Also check out day classes @ Cordon Bleu Paris. I did one called “In memory of Julia Child” and it was excellent!

  • August 7, 2015 6:53am

    Sorry, David, but Paris is expensive and this deal is a decent enough deal for Paris but not for many other places. I could get it much cheaper in most big cities in Spain, and even cheaper in the smaller ones, and, here in Bangkok, it would be around half price for the same caliber of food and same standard of restaurant.

    The food looks lovely, and your photos are gorgeous, but I do sometimes thing people living in Paris are a bit out of touch with the price of a meal in other comparable larger cities. Just a comment, that’s all.

    • Melanie
      August 10, 2015 8:28am

      It seems perfectly appropriate to describe prices in the context of the location. Paris restaurant prices may be higher than Bangkok, but then again so are Paris rents, salaries and taxes. Everything is relative.

    • Laura M
      August 10, 2015 12:33pm

      Sorry, Leo, but this is not a blog about “best value meals in major world capitals”. I don’t even believe that the point of this post was the PRICE of the meal: it was about highlighting an old-style Paris bistrot, of which there are, sadly, few left in Paris (or few that are worth a meal).

      The fact that the cost of the “menu” at Le Trumilou is so reasonable (it’s even less on weekdays, btw) is simply part of the reportage.

      By the way, my godson is currently living in Bangkok, and so I happen to know that the cost of a restaurant meal there is ridiculously low. (Probably wages and rents are much lower there as well.) Comparisons are, therefore, meaningless.

      On the other hand, it would be IMPOSSIBLE to find a meal of this quality for this price in any major city in the U.S. And judging by the comments, most of the readers of this blog are North Americans who come to visit Paris as often as they are able.

    • Diane Roberts
      August 10, 2015 5:00pm

      There is no point in comparing food or prices between Paris, Bangkok, Barcelona or any other major city as there is a world of differences in cuisines. All have their fine merits as I have visited these cities and many more.
      Atmosphere also adds to the dining experience and I personally very much prefer to be in Paris, enjoying great food, superb wine and the ambience of this wonderful city

  • Adella
    August 13, 2015 7:53pm

    Hate being gassed out by smokers? Join up with http://dnf.asso.fr
    “Droits des Non Fumeurs.”

    They have done yeoman’s work over the years getting smoking out of public buildings, but there is work left to do. I, too, am aggrieved by the smoking on terraces, especially when it is a lovely day outside.

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