Paris is the easiest place to get into innocent (edible) trouble.
Usually, I have a whole story to tell – about how “exceptionally” some administrative building was closed and that trek through the metro was for nothing, or how the change machine at the post office was broken and I couldn’t make my photocopies. I always begin with my woes and then launch into how hungry I was after all that and … all there was …
Any “bêtise” not done one day must be caught up the next. Today was repeat mischief, meaning I knew exactly where I was going and for what: Bistro Mavrommatis for a Greek lunch.
My mom and I discovered this hidden gem one day while wandering near l’Eglise de la Madeleine between the 1st and 8th arrondissements. We loved this tiny restaurant from the first glimpse and will probably find ourselves there at lunchtime many more times. The ground floor is where you choose from a variety of Mediterranean-inspired salads and savory puffed pastries – such as Spanakopitta (spinach and feta) and Eliopitta (olives, sun-dried tomatoes and manouri cheese). They also propose a nice selection of hot sandwiches/wraps – and I highly recommend the “vegetarian,” filled with a sort of spinach falafel, fresh veggies and tzatziki sauce (5,90€). This is a good spot for those indecisive days, as you can choose a combination of four cold salads (6,80€). The grilled red peppers, eggplant “caviar”, mushrooms, tabouli, and “Mediterranean salad” (artichokes, tomatoes, olives, the best capers I’ve ever eaten and feta soaked in olive oil) are all perfect.
Open for lunch only Monday through Saturday, Bistro Mavrommatis is an easy-going place and many customers order to go. If you’d rather eat “sur place,” you can choose from stools on the ground floor or wander down the staircase to the tables in the revamped-cellar. Friendly servers, casual yet refined atmosphere and excellent food.
I honestly didn’t think about dessert when I was here, as I knew La Maison du Chocolat was just around the corner. Didn’t I say I had to make up for how good I was yesterday?
18, rue Duphot (1st arrondissement)
Metro: Madeleine or Concorde