The red-checked tablecloths and jovial maître d'hôtel at this authentic southwestern French bistro near the École Militaire might seem like a tourist cliché—until you realize that the boisterous dining room is just as popular with food-loving locals and French politicians as it is with foreigners. The best way to start a meal here is with the "chariot" of starters, everything from lentil salad to ratatouille; just point to the ones you want. Classics among the main
courses are duck confit with sautéed garlic potatoes, cassoulet, and game dishes in winter. Everything is hearty and delicious, if not especially refined—don't miss the gooey help-yourself chocolate mousse. Best value is the tradition gourmande set menu for €34, which brings you the hors d'oeuvres spread, a main course, and three desserts (you can try them all).