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“My Local”
Review of Aux Charpentiers

Aux Charpentiers
Ranked #4,278 of 17,873 Restaurants in Paris
Cuisines: French
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations
Neighbourhood: Saint-Germain-des-Pres
Description: This historic bistro was originally opened in 1856 and is a real institution in Paris' Saint Germain des Pres district. The name 'Aux Charpentiers' means 'To Carpenters', and the restaurant has engravings, photos and furniture commemorating this noble trade. The menu is traditional French bistro fare with a certain amount of influence from the rural Correze region with its famous Limousine beef. The atmosphere is friendly with an eclectic mix of locals, tourists, politicians and journalists.
Reviewed 25 October 2012

Not had a bad meal here in the 9 years I have lived in Paris in St Germain De Pre. The food is very bistro style, nothing complicated and locally sourced. The service can be a little slow at times but the place is normally full. Good but not complicated.

1  Thank David A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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79 - 83 of 309 reviews

Reviewed 20 October 2012

My husband and I first visited Aux Charpentiers 10 years ago on a trip to Paris before we were married. We had memories of a crowded dining room, slightly surly service, but excellent food, based on the surly waitresses recommendation. 10 years later, our experience was a disappointment.

We had made a reservation, in French, but were still given a table in the basement. While neither floor screams typical French charm, the main floor certainly is livelier and somehow happier. OK, it's Saturday, you're busy, fine. So we go into the basement, which is nearly empty, except for the group to 10 American's. We were given a choice of two tables next to the Americans, who happened to be very loud, though most of the room was empty and there were tables everywhere.

We ordered our meal and our wine, and quickly discovered that the large group by us had the full attention of all the waiters, and we were invisible. While our waiter opened our wine and had us taste it, he was talking with another water about the order for the large table, standing there with our bottle of wine while we waited to drink it. We couldn't have felt more ignored at that point.

The food was OK, defiantly not bad, certainly not fantastic, by Paris standards. Not to mention, it is not cheap. My husband and I both had a filet steak that was full of grizzle, and my niece had lamb, with didn't have much meat on it. Our wine was quite good, and some of the side dishes were good, but all in all, the meal was completely forgettable.

The worst part of the evening, which made me choose a terrible rating for my review, is that our waiter plunked our bill down on our table before we asked for it, while we still had 1/2 a bottle of wine. If I'm at IHOP in the US, fine; but in Paris, that is not OK. He then hovered, waiting for us to pay, which we didn't do, of course, until we were ready. But we definitely had the feeling that he was just waiting for us to leave. There were some people who came in who were clearly local and they were welcomed by the entire staff, and told about the specials; we weren't even aware there were specials because there were no written boards in the basement, and our waiter didn't tell us.

Was the food better 10 years ago? I think so, but I was young and in love. But based on our experience today, we will most definitely not be back. As we were leaving, my husband was visibly disappointed and said, "you can tell there were so many tourists, I guess they don't have to be good anymore." And they aren't. There are SO many good restaurants in Paris; avoid this one.

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3  Thank Julesinbrno
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 September 2012

We wanted our children to experience a typical french bistro and were more than pleasantly surprised by our meal here. The food was outstanding and the staff was very friendly. They even helped us encourage our children to order in french - and did not make fun of their poor accents or grammar. Don't miss the country pate with a spicy orange marmalade. Also, the roasted duck was very good!

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1  Thank RRTexasMom
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 8 September 2012

Aux Charpentiers is a good place to have freshly prepared simple food. The restaurant is very old and decorated by the fragments of the church which was built in the beginning of the XXth century. There are a lot of an old photos depicting the team which built this church, some of them is vividly seen today on the restaurant walls. They are a bit strange on the walls although these parts are very modern.
This restaurant is useful if you live next door and do not want to go out to eat by taxi. But this is all. It’s not worth to go on special occasion, or to visit it by taxi, going through the whole city to seat on a small chairs waiting for a food. I have to say that not only restaurant but it’s team also “makes the place”.Concerning team, only waiters are good. Their “chief”, small man who has, by his functional obligations, welcome guests, help them with the menu etc., he is pressing the waiters (its vividly seen), and welcomes only certain persons , so I cannot understand how exactly. For e.g., he did not payed any attention to us, while he was dancing around the table of Japaneze man. For us, we don’t need any special attention, but greeting could be nice. Instead of being nice with the clients, he was demonstrating full absence of any interest.I have to say that this district is occupied by crowdly Italian restaurants which are nesting one near another, so it’s hard for Charpentiers to fight in this battle for a client’s pocket. That’s why when you visit it, just eat. Not expect too much…

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Thank LadyKiev
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 19 August 2012

This is a great place for a simple dinner, with good service, good wine and a wide range of diners from French, to American to South American. We go every time when we are in paris

Thank KVSDenver
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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