By Trevor Fox
December 6, 2008
Before the Channel Tunnel opened we used to fly on the early morning redeye from Gatwick to Orly, on the south side of the city, to implement accounting systems in French subsidiaries of UK companies.
As in other places kosher restaurants come and go. Here are some of my preferred ones in Paris :
1. Les Ailes at 34 Rue Richer next to the Folies Bergere. You should ensure that you enter through the right door otherwise you could end up on stage.
I have been going to the kosher Les Ailes on and off since about 1990. When I was spending a lot of time in Paris in the mid 90s I had developed this wheeze of passing myself off as David Beckham’s agent to the restaurant staff just as he was becoming famous. The same restaurant staff are still there, the same maitre d’ , and I am still greeted as an old friend with an enquiry from them about Mr Beckham’s health. I still get my same table near the door and I order what I always order which is entrecote, medium, with spaghetti in tomato sauce. Good comfort food and if you sit near the door you face the section where you can see your meat being grilled on the charcoal grill.
Besides the grilled meats the menu is essentially North African with a selection of couscous and tagine dishes. The meal is preceded with a selection of about 12-13 different salads ( a Tunisian mezze ) which I rarely touch as I suspect that they were prepared hours before. However the meat is always good there and the service is friendly or heimishe as they say. They are also open on Shabbat with payment in advance. Telephone number is 014 770 6253. English is spoken ( sort of ). Get there before 8 in the evening and you can usually get a table without booking.
2. Another one is Darima at 89 Avenue des Ternes near Porte Maillot. Tunisian, the lamb tagine is good.
3. Le Telegraphe on the Left Bank. Haven't tried this one :
4. I have eaten at Jardins du Belvedere near Place Pereire, 111 Avenue Villiers - really expensive and need to book.
5. Brasserie des Champs, inside the Israeli Embassy building on the Avenue Marceau. Busy at lunchtime, empty in the evening. More classic French food than North African. Not sure whether or not this is still open.