Au Bourguignon du Marais, 52 Rue François Miron, 01 48 87 15 40

I don’t care if the Marais is as trendy as Manhattan’s SoHo, it’s a cool neighborhood. Overpriced, noisy, and crowded, it is still a wonderful neighborhood to walk around.

On the recommendation of an old friend who knows Paris well, I stopped in for lunch at Au Bourgignon du Marais, a bistro that specializes in the traditional dishes of Burgundy. Considering its reputation, the restaurant is very casual, laid back even. I decided both to keep it simple and make it the main meal of the day. The menu contained all the clichés of a classic French bistro: onion soup gratin, andouillette au bourgogne aligoté (large sausage braised in white Burgunday wine). It also contained a surprising amount of seafood for a landlocked province.

But I went strictly traditional. Considering all the fuss around Julie & Julie, why not order the real boeuf bourgignon? I’m glad I did.

The server brought to my table one glass of red Burgundy wine and a small, round cast iron pot that was too hot to touch. Inside, I saw 3 large two-inch-by-two-inch cubes of beef, a few small, beviled-sided peeled potatoes, and a few mushrooms. The smell and flavors were identifiable as lardons, juniper, and red wine. The beef cubes did not fall apart at the urging of my fork, but, then, the eating public has only recently begun to expect its meat to fall off the bone. I stood down from the demand. Simplicity, in the best sense, prevailed in this dish. Distinguishable strands of flavor stood out and pleased me.

And I got out of there alive fiscally. A short walk south of rue Saint Antoine, near the Saint Paul metro stop will get you there.

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