49 Rue de Turenne,
Phone: +33 1 42 72 96 17
One glance at Cafe De Musees and you’ll wonder why it always seems so packed. As far as looks go, it’s on the uglier side of the spectrum. (Just saying.) It’s located in the Marais, just a stone’s throw from the Place De Vosges, but it has little in common with its stylish locale. Cafe De Musees belongs more to a humble, older school of bistros, built not for the scene, but for the food, which is down to earth and soul-satisfying.
There are two floors for dining as well as a narrow sidewalk out front with a few two tops. The interior is outfitted with wood tables, tile floors, maroon banquettes and a chalkboard with specials. The wine list is solid, peppered with lots of good options. I say go big at Cafe De Musees, meaning the bolder the flavors the more gratifying the fare seems to be. Take the Chicken Liver, for example. It’s made in-house, moist and rich, married to an awesome, mustard seed-spackled cole slaw, pickled cabbage, cornichons and toasted baguette — a meal in and of itself. Then, there’s the somewhat famous House-Smoked Salmon paired with a peppery creme fraiche and toast, and a delicious Lamb Stew, showered with Peas, Parsnips, and Spring Onions. You’ll find a fine Foie Gras, Steak Tartare and Entrecote Steak.
And if you want something a tad lighter, I’d go with the pan-seared Turbot with a creamy wine sauce, spinach and mushrooms. For dessert, there’s a great Dacquoise with Gariguette strawberries and Pistachio Cream. If you’re looking for French home cooking, you could do a lot worse than Cafe De Musees. And if you don’t feel like eating out, they sell their salmon and pates to-go, too.