Polidor, which has been open for 171 years now*, may be the classic Parisian bistro. The menu here reportedly hasn’t changed much in the last century.
James Joyce and Andre Gide were both regulars at Polidor. At one time or another, you might have shared a table there with Ernest Hemingway or Henry Miller, Paul Valéry or Boris Vian, René Clair or Max Ernst.
Somewhat strangely, the only celebrity customer whose picture is in the front window is…Woody Allen?
Polidor is on the Left Bank, near the Sorbonne, and its combination of location, good food, and reasonable prices make it attractive to the area’s large student population.
In this classic bistro, I wanted to try classic bistro dishes, so I went with the standards, and it was a good choice. Everything I ate could have been used as a perfect example of bistro cooking done well.
I started with a tarte à l’oignon, aka quiche.
Someday, I’ve really got to make that famous Julia Child recipe for Boeuf Bourguignon. This was perfect.
The tarte aux fruits was a delightful slice of apple pie.
*There’s a large sign in the room announcing the restaurant’s credit card policy. It reads: “Le Polidor n’accepte plus les cartes de crédit depuis 1845,” or “Polidor hasn’t accepted credit cards since 1845.”