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Le Repaire de Cartouche

Fodorite Reviews

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Le Repaire de Cartouche Review

In this split-level, dark-wood bistro between Bastille and République, chef Rodolphe Paquin applies a disciplined creativity to earthy French regional dishes. The menu changes regularly, but typical options are a salad of haricots verts topped with tender slices of squid; scallops on a bed of diced pumpkin; juicy lamb with white beans; game dishes in winter; and old-fashioned desserts like baked custard with tiny shell-shaped madeleines. In keeping with cost-conscious times, there is a bargain three-course lunch menu for €19 that doesn't skimp on ingredients—expect the likes of homemade pâté to start, followed by fried red mullet or hanger steak with french fries, and chocolate tart. The wine list is very good, too, with some bargain selections from small producers.

    Contact Information

  • Address: 99 rue Amelot, 11e Bastille/Nation, Paris, 75011 | Map It
  • Phone: 01–47–00–25–86
  • Metro Filles du Calvaire.
  • Location: Bastille/Nation

    Restaurant Details

  • Reservations essential.
  • Credit cards accepted.
  • Closed Sun., Mon., and Aug.
Updated: 02-19-2014

Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating:  
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    Le Repaire de Cartouche Review

    We recently had quite an unnecessary and distasteful experience at Repaire de Cartouche which I would like to share with the hope that people avoid going there until the restaurant has an understanding of what dining means and how big a share service indeed accounts for within that experience. Just as a frame of reference, it would help to read my comments below considering that our party that unfortunate night included people who lived in Paris for many years and who spoke French fluently.
    1)Upon entrance we were asked to go to a table downstairs and when we went downstairs, they told us to go back upstairs and check again as there was no availability there. When we went back, they gave us a table that was so close to the adjacent one that you could order plates to share with the people next to you (assuming the waiter brought sharing plates and serving spoons, which we will get to later in this piece). However, this uncomfortably tight seating seemed to be the case with most of the tables at this restaurant and was not a “special welcoming favor” to our party.
    2)When the hostess brought us to our table, there was no room of passage for our ladies to be seated and the hostess waited until we finally realized that she was not going to help us here and so we had to move our table so that we could finally be seated.
    3)When the waiter appeared to take our orders, we made the mistake of asking to clarify some of the dishes. Upon hearing our questions to define certain uncommon terms used on the menu, the waiter kept repeating the name of the dishes but each time louder as if that would suddenly make us realize how futile our questions were. Not only was he quite rude but he also clearly did not care for his purpose. His “recommendations” and his overall act were so rushed that we ordered as soon as possible without really caring too much about what ordered.
    4)When we asked for the sommelier to help order the wine, another waiter showed up to help. Unsurprisingly, this other waiter, standing in for the sommelier, could not help us find the very wine that was recommended to us by a friend who had lunch there only couple months ago, clearly when it must not have been as busy. Consistent with our original waiter’s approach, this waiter-turned-sommelier also rushed us to order, basically just whatever was easy to get.
    5)When the wine came, my father tasted it and was about to give it a positive nod. However, the waiter had already vanished and was assisting other tables before my dad even put his glass down! He never came back until with our dishes. Naturally, we had to pour the wine ourselves, not just then, but for the remainder of the evening as well. Same logic also applied to our water. We asked for water multiple times and when it finally came, it was never refilled unless we asked.
    6)The food was OK. However we had ordered some dishes for sharing and given the staff failed to bring any small plates or serving spoons, we just had to make the best of it.
    7)After all this and seeing how irritated we were with the service, the owner finally honored our little table with his big presence. Not only did he not offer the slightest of apologies, but he further went on to instruct us that we had to wait our turn if we wanted service. OK, all was shocking until then, but having seen the owner’s handling of a very unhappy and furthermore agitated group of guests, the whole picture became clear. Why would the staff care when the owner does not know anything about hosting guests?
    In short, I would just avoid this place altogether. There are many wonderful, intimately tiny and yet comfortable restaurants in Paris that only locals hang out. This place will either have to learn to evolve (no matter how hard it may be based on their low starting point) or become extinct soon. You really do not need to waste a night at Repaire de Cartouche to witness how evolution weeds out the people who don’t care about what they do. More importantly, I do not think any “guest” should receive such a treatment.

    by ECT, 12/22/11
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    Le Repaire de Cartouche Review

    Bad food, bad service. Ate here last week; we were a party of five. Another person and I shared the beef for two; she asked if it was chateaubriand and the waiter mistakenly said yes. The slab of boef that was served(50 euros), was full of gristle, sinew and tendons. I could not cut a piece with the knife provided and spoke to the waiter. He went to the kitchen and brought me a sharper knife. Even so, I could not cut the meat, tried to chew it and had to discreetly put it in my napkin. I called the waiter over again, he brought me an even sharper knife which still couldn't cut the meat. The boef was so tough that I couldn't chew it and I was concerned about choking. The other members of my party encouraged me to order the St peters fish that my daughter had. While hers was cooked through, the fish they brought me (about 2" thick) was uncooked in the middle and cold to the touch. I did not want to risk illness ; clearly the chef was angry I sent the boef back; and I sent this back as well. Both entrees were on the bill. I suggest this chef and staff find other occupations they are better suited for. Having said this, every other meal I had both times I was in Paris was delightful- this was just a truly awful experience- I suggest you avoid this place!!!!

    by Lesliesusan27, 9/9/11
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    Le Repaire de Cartouche Review

    “The food was not so good and they even ripped us off”
    We went there on the 8th of April we had a bad experience when visiting this restaurant . With a help of this waitress who speaks a little Japanese, we ordered two entries, one main dish and one dessert with three glasses of wine. Then the bill came which said 118 Euro for the total price. We told them we didn't want water but the bill included 10 Euros for two sodas and 40 Euros for some expensive drinks which we didn't even order.
    We pointed out the wrong charge. They paid us back 34 Euros in cash without being apologetic. It wasn't just a mistake that they accidentally added more drinks to the bill for sure as this waitress spoke Japanese and explained about food and menu to us. It is a real bummer when things like this happen, when they rip off people who don't understand French and people especially from Japan. We hope they don't do the same things again to our Japanese travelers.

    by Masao_Saitoh, 4/19/11

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