Is Parisian brasserie dead?

Not so sure, reported by an article in Atabula,

What is the definition of a brasserie? (attention: not to be mixed up with a bistrot)

  • “Establishment where one consumes beer, and where you can also be served cold or hot dishes quickly prepared”, according to Larousse.
  • According to Sophie Brissaud, food writer, “situated preferably in a square or a major intersection, staff typically dressed in black and white. Menu card with meat, fish, and menu of the day stapled to it. The seafood platter is almost mandatory”
  • Usually serving traditional dishes
  • “Lively, animated, relatively open space, with high ceilings, a terrace and bay windows, brass decor and benches”
  • Style of the room “decidedly retro decor and comfortable”
  • Extensive service hours (10am - 1pm), continuous hours are not mandatory.
  • Very often next to a train station

According to the article, the last Parisian brasseries of consistent quality have disappeared in the mid-90s. Nowadays, “with the dominance of large corporate groups that have replaced the often Alsace or Lorraine families who held the brasseries.” Most brasseries are places that are still frequentable, mostly for the rich.

“There is a new undefined Brasserie movement going on right now.” as stated in Atabula,

Read the whole article here.

Have you been to a brasserie in Paris? Were you satisfied with the meal? What was your experience?

What is your opinion? This seems to be quite a blanket statement for brasserie in Paris…

I think it really depends on what kind of food you are looking for and expecting. They are not my personal favorite since for my tastes; they offer steeply priced food I could cook at home. Our last brasserie meal was at Julien, chosen because of its famous artwork and decor, and because it was open in August. The dining room was full of French families celebrating an occasion, so it certainly resonated with a certain local crowd.

Most are pretty grim these days, but there are still a few where the food doesn’t totally suck. Back in the day, you could eat excellent renditions of basic dishes in large quantities, but then cost accountants got involved…

For sure, compared to the the bistrot scene, the brasserie scene is much calmer in Paris.

According to the article in Atabula, most of the Paris brasseries owned by the Alsacien families in the 90’s were sold to the corporate group, slowly loosing their souls.

My last meal was also in Julien when overseas friends were visiting Paris in summer and most restaurants and bistrot were closed. The food was alright, I remembered the meal was about 40€ per person, champagne, wine, and tea and coffee were included. Food were more traditional dishes, snails, terrines… friends love the decoration and the atmosphere, and we could eat late. Some friends ate in Bofinger (on their own) was really happy with the meal. I think the French “retro” style appeal to people looking forward for it, it’s an authentic experience that they couldn’t find in an overseas French restaurant.

There is a certain modern brasserie movement going on right now, according to the article. Since a few years, several Parisian brasseries were taken over by some big name stars chefs.
A few examples:
Brasserie Thoumieux - Jean-François Piège 2011 (though he left this year to open his own restaurant)
le Zinc Opéra - Frédéric Vardon 2012
le Lazare - Eric Frechon 2013
l’ombre au Train Bleu - consulted by pastry chef Christophe Adam 2015
Grand Cœur - Mauro Colagreco 2015
le Fouquet - Pierre Gagnaire 2015
Alain Ducasse is going to open in March 2016, a brasserie in Les Halles, la Canopée. Another one by Ducasse in Montparnasse, Thierry Marx will be in Gare du Nord.

I’ve never eaten at a brasserie in Paris; friends in Lyon took me to the famous Brasserie Georges near the main railway station there; above all for the old décor. To be honest I didn’t particularly like the food.

In Paris we always go to smaller places; bistros or world-food places (as I’m usually eating with Parisians or at least people who’ve lived there most of their lives).

Never, never, never go to brasserie Bouillon Chartier in Paris for the food. If you still want to go, just say you like the decoration and the atmosphere.

We don’t particularly like the overpriced simple food from Au Pied de Cochon, food that I can cook easily at home.

And Au Pied de Cochon is one of the less lousy ones…

Chartier is a good place to drink as they usually have inexpensive bottles that are decent Q:P. Their food is mostly boil in bag, TV dinner, industrial stuff…

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