Return to Les Halles

Les Halles is only four blocks away from us but the hordes of tourists that clamor to it ever since Bourdain’s fame keep us away most nights. However last Thursday I was walking home from work with Mr. T and the thunder and lightening started to light up the sky. We had been planning to eat dinner out and Les Halles was right in front of us. I’m terrified of lightening so it was an easy decision. We walked inside and took the last two seats at the small wooden bar up front.

I started out with a crisp, refreshing glass of Sancerre while Mr. T went with a boring Stella. I love how Les Halles truly keeps the French tradition of things. The bread basket arrived sans plates of course. Something I have to remember when we go to Paris- put the damn bread right on the table to eat.

Mr. T ordered the staple Steak Frites. A buttery, well seasoned and perfectly tender cut of meat with a side of frites and salad. For $19.95 this is one of the most delicious deals in the city.

I continued on with my raw beef infatuation (is four in one month too much?) and ordered the Steak Tartare. (Don’t worry I switched to red wine when this arrived)I was surprised to see our bartender come out and actually prepare this for us table side. It was nice to have that presentation but I was not prepared for how large the portion would be. This is easily twice the size of any of my previous Tartare’s. The meat was delicious, with some chopped onion and parsley on top, although I think there was a tad too much mustard going on for me.

My Tartare came with a generous helping of frites and a side salad just as Mr. T’s did. Now I have to say the frites were somewhat disappointing. My first two times here they were, quite frankly, the best fries I had ever had. This time a little bit larger cut and slightly overcooked- certainly still top notch but not the frites of the past (sigh).

For three drinks and all this food we came out right around $70 which is not a bad deal at all. Our bartender was great- service has been an issue for us in the past here. Unfortunately it seems it continues to be in the main dining room as the couple behind us asked for their check when we sat down and finally received it as we were leaving (after asking multiple times and becoming very distressed). So hit the bar if you can or go at an off hour when it’s not so crazy. By the time we left it was 8:15 and the place was a zoo with about 20 people waiting up front and every table filled to the brim. Way to crowded and not fun if you want to enjoy your meal.

Don’t go expecting to see Bourdain- he’s long gone. But a pretty solid Steak Frites and Tartare still remain.

Les Halles