KQED Food Blog: Bay Area Bites: Le Bilboquet & the Paris Blues
Bay Area Bites: culinary rants & raves from bay area foodies and professionals
Previous Posts
Jai Yun? Jai YUM!
The Future of Farmers' Markets
Saying "hello" to Fall, with Food
Fry Me a Chickpea
Fast Coq au Vin, My Way
My Favorite Cheese. For Now.
Take 5 with Jeremy Stoppelman
California Vintage 2005
L'Ambroisie
New Orleans
 
 
BAB Guidelines

'Bay Area Bites' is part of KQED's Blog Authors Collaborative. Blog contributors and commentators are solely responsible for their content. If you're interested in writing or contributing to a blog on kqed.org, email us with your idea.
 
Friday, September 30, 2005
Le Bilboquet & the Paris Blues
So what do Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, and a little unassuming jazz club in Paris have in common? Turns out, a lot!

Le Bilboquet, Paris Blues, and the history of jazz are intrinsically intertwined as the history of jazz was written in this inimitable Belle Epoque salon founded in 1947 right in the heart of Saint-Germain-des-Près. Unlike America at the time, jazz was embraced here in France and racism was not pervasive so the greats headed east to Paris and Le Bilboquet.

Jazz music was immortalized at this corner club by legends Billie Holiday, Miles Davis, Kenny Clarke, Duke Ellington, Art Blakey, Dizzy Gilespie, Lionel Hampton and Charlie Parker, to name a few, and the era was celebrated by Paul Newman, Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward, and Diahann Carroll in the movie Paris Blues.

Le Bilboquet is now a restaurant-jazz club-piano bar serving up some of the best music in Paris amongst dark wood panels topped with a copper ceiling, brass trim and a sunken bar on the bottom floor. The three levels offer unobstructed views of the band from every corner and on any given night you will hear Nat King Cole's "Route 66" or "Straighten Up and Fly Right" resonating from the walls. You'll catch yourself singing along and tapping your toes as it permeates your thoughts and for a moment you forget you are six thousand miles away from home...but then again, this is home. For now...

Their menu is limited with classical French light fare and a few attempts at fusion. Unfortunately it is not as legendary as their musical memoirs but if you have friends in town who are fans of the blues, this is a wonderful slice of American-French history to share. A friend and former co-worker at a Huge Software Company came to town a few weeks ago. Their yellow labrador is named Jango so I figured Le Bilboquet would be a safe bet. Voila le menu...

Avocat épicé et tartare de thon
Spicy avocado purée with tuna tartar



Melon nature
Melon (and they weren't kidding! this was a bit awkward and more like eating breakfast than an appetizer but as far a fruit goes, it was sweet and delicious)


Pavé de sandre au beurre blanc
Pike in a butter sauce



Thon juste saisi saté
Seared tuna with a soy-teriyaki sauce (this was delicious and cooked perfectly!)



Blanc de poulet rôti, chutney et curry
Roasted chicken breast with chutney and curry (the curry was really nice, not too spicy, deep layers of rich flavors)



The music was getting a bit too loud to talk so we went to a little corner bistro a few blocks away for a café and a gateau chocolate moelleux (the soft chocolate lava cake)! Sorry, forgot to take a pic of that. Next time...as there will definitely be a next time...

Le Bilboquet
13 rue St-Benoit, 75006 Paris
Phone: +33 1 45 48 81 84
Metro: (#4) St-Germain-des-Près or (#10) Mabillon
Hours: nightly 8:30pm to 2:00am, with music beginning at 9:30pm
 
 

4 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, my family and i went to the restaurant "Le bilboquet" last saturday. We were very disappointed by the restaurant service, the waitress were cheerless. DON'T GO THERE! it's very expensive and the place is too small to hear Jazz. There are a lot of places to go to hear Jazz in Saint Germain des Prés.
Have a nice night in Paris!
Valerie.

11/21/2005 2:28 AM

 
Anonymous John and Tilly of London said...

Well anonymous, you were either unlucky or have a miserable outlook on life. We happened upon Le Bilboquet last Sunday evening and what a great find. The waitress was helpful, bilingual and as happy as could be. The food was very good as well. But the best part was the music, absolutely brilliant. A great evening out at very reasonable cost. A perfect place to hear jazz, small enough to feel a part of what is going on.

2/28/2006 1:51 PM

 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I must agree with John and Tilly on this one. Stumbled upon this place on a recent trip and absolutely delighted that we did. Friendly man at the door and delightful waitress. Food was simple put perfectly prepared. Top quality ingredients. Very cosy interior and music was just brilliant. Ended up spending the whole night there , bopping our heads away....

11/07/2006 5:33 AM

 
Anonymous Soupgirl said...

I'm hunting for the soup restaurants in the bay area. Does anyone have a personal favorite? Need not be a soup restaurant, but rather a restaurant that serves amazing soups. I collect "soup" experiences like some people collect trying new micro brews. Any suggestions? I'm travelling there next month.

11/09/2006 3:13 PM

 

Post a Comment

Links to this post:

Create a Link

<< Home

Locate CP Restaurants:
Check, Please! Google Map
 
KQED Food Sites
Check, Please! Bay Area
Jacques Pépin Celebrates!
Jacques Pépin:
Fast Food My Way
Jacques Pépin:
The Apprentice
Jacques Pépin:
The Complete Pépin
KQED Wine Club
KQED.org Cooking
Weir Cooking in the City
 
Tasty Food Sites
CHOW
Chowhound SF
Crushpad
CUESA
CulinaryCorps
Eat Local Challenge
Edible San Francisco
Epicurious
eGullet.org
Food Network
Food Talk
Group Recipes
Hungry Magazine
KTEH Food
Leite's Culinaria
Locavores
Mighty Foods
NPR: Food
Om Organics
Serious Eats
SFGate: Food
SFGate: Wine
SF Station: Restaurants
Slow Food SF
Top Chef
Wikimedia Commons: Food & Drink
Yahoo! Food
Yelp: Reviews
 
Tangy Food Blogs
101 Cookbooks
A Full Belly
Accidental Hedonist
agoodfoodblog
An Obsession with Food
Anna's Cool Finds
Becks & Posh
Between Meals
Blogsoop
Bunny Foot
Butter Pig
Cellar Rat
Chez Pim
Chocolate & Zucchini
Confessions of a
Restaurant Whore
Cooking For Engineers
Cooking with Amy
Cucina Testa Rossa
Culinary Muse
Denise's Kitchen
Digesty-SF
Eater SF
Eggbeater
Extramsg.com
Feed & Supply
Food Blog S'cool
Food Musings
Food Porn Watch
Gastronomie
Hedonia
I'm Mad and I Eat
In Praise of Sardines
Jatbar
Knife's Edge
Life Begins at 30
Love and Cooking
MeatHenge
Mental Masala
Moveable Feast
Nosheteria
Organic Day
Passionate Eater
San Francisco Gourmet
SF City Eats
Simply Recipes
Spicetart
The Amateur Gourmet
Tablehopper
The Ethicurean
The Food Section
The Grub Report
The Petite Pig
The Wine Makers Wife
Vin Divine
Vinography
VirgoBlue
Wandering Spoon
Well Fed Network
Word Eater
World on a Plate
Yummy Chow
 
 
   
Search BAB

Eye Candy: Food Photos
BAB on flickr.com
Join Flickr for free and share your photos with the Bay Area Bites and Beyond group pool.
 
Food Books
 
The Moosewood Cookbook
by Mollie Katzen
 
Baking: From My Home to Yours
by Dorie Greenspan
 
Grand Livre de Cuisine: Alain Ducasse's Desserts and Pastries
by Alain Ducasse, Frederic Robertmison
 
The Big Book of Outdoor Cooking and Entertaining
by Cheryl Alters Jamison, Bill Jamison
 
Tasty: Get Great Food on the Table Every Day
by Roy Finamore
 
Whole Grains Every Day, Every Way
by Lorna Sass
 
The Soul of a New Cuisine: A Discovery of the Foods and Flavors of Africa
by Marcus Samuelsson
 
Michael Mina: The Cookbook
by Michael Mina, Photographer: Karl Petzktle
 
What to Eat
by Marion Nestle
 
The Omnivore's Dilemma: A Natural History of Four Meals
by Michael Pollan
 
Essence of Chocolate: Recipes for Baking and Cooking with Fine Chocolate
by John Scharffenberger, Robert Steinberg
 
Romancing the Vine: Life, Love, and Transformation in the Vineyards of Barolo
by Alan Tardi
 
What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea -- Even Water -- Based on Expert Advice from America's Best Sommeliers
by Andrew Dornenburg, Karen Page, Michael Sofronski
 
The Lee Bros. Southern Cookbook: Stories and Recipes for Southerners and Would-be Southerners
by Matt Lee, Ted Lee
 
Bread Matters: The State of Modern Bread and a Definitive Guide to Baking Your Own
by Andrew Whitley
 
Coloring the Seasons: A Cook's Guide
by Allegra McEvedy
 
All-new Complete Cooking Light Cookbook
by Anne C. Cain
 
Modern Garde Manger
by Robert B. Garlough
 
The Spice and Herb Bible
by Ian Hemphill, Kate Hemphill
 
The Improvisational Cook
by Sally Schneider
 
Lunch Lessons: Changing the Way We Feed Our Children
by Ann Cooper, Lisa M. Holmes
 
Cradle of Flavor: Home Cooking from the Spice Islands of Indonesia, Singapore and Malaysia
by James Oseland
 
My Life in France
by Julia Child, Alex Prud'Homme
 
A Passion for Ice Cream: 95 Recipes for Fabulous Desserts
by Emily Luchett, Sheri Giblin (photographer)
 
Au Pied De Cochon -- The Album
by Martin Picard
 
Memories of Philippine Kitchens
by Amy Besa, Romy Dorotan
 
Simple Chinese Cooking
by Kylie Kwong
 
 
An Invitation to Indian Cooking
by Madhur Jaffrey
 
Hungry Planet
by Peter Menzel, Faith D'Aluisio
 
Sunday Suppers at Lucques : Seasonal Recipes from Market to Table
by Suzanne Goin, Teri Gelber
 
Simple Soirees: Seasonal Menus for Sensational Dinner Parties
by Peggy Knickerbocker, Christopher Hirsheimer (Photographer)
 
The Cook's Book
by Jill Norman
 
Molto Italiano : 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home
by Mario Batali
 
Nobu Now
by Nobuyuki Matsuhisa
 
Cheese : A Connoisseur's Guide to the World's Best
by Max Mccalman, David Gibbons
 
Bones : Recipes, History, and Lore
by Jennifer McLagan
 
Whiskey : The Definitive World Guide
by Michael Jackson
 
The New American Cooking
by Joan Nathan
 
ChocolateChocolate
by Lisa Yockelson
 
Easy Entertaining: Everything You Need to Know About Having Parties at Home
by Darina Allen
 
Cooking at De Gustibus: Celebrating 25 Years of Culinary Innovation
by Arlene Feltman Sailhac
 
Dough: Simple Contemporary Breads
by Richard Bertinet
 
Chocolate Obsession: Confections and Treats to Create and Savor
by Michael Recchiuti, Fran Gage, Maren Caruso
 
The Food Substitutions Bible: More Than 5,000 Substitutions for Ingredients, Equipment And Techniques
by David Joachim
 
Recipes: A Collection for the Modern Cook
by Susan Spungen
 
Spices of Life: Simple and Delicious Recipes for Great Health
by Nina Simonds
 
Mangoes & Curry Leaves: Culinary Travels Through the Great Subcontinent
by Jeffrey Alford, Naomi Duguid
 
Chocolate: A Bittersweet Saga of Dark and Light
by Mort Rosenblum
 
Vegetable Love: A Book for Cooks
by Barbara Kafka, Christopher Styler
 
A History of Wine in America: From Prohibition to the Present
by Thomas Pinney
 
Fonda San Miguel: Thirty Years Of Food And Art
by Tom Gilliland, Miguel Ravago, Virginia B. Wood
 
Matzoh Ball Gumbo: Culinary Tales of the Jewish South
by Marcie Cohen Ferris
 
Washoku: Recipes From The Japanese Home Kitchen
by Elizabeth Andoh, Leigh Beisch
 
 
Weir Cooking in the City: More than 125 Recipes and Inspiring Ideas for Relaxed Entertaining
by Joanne Weir
 
Rick Stein's Complete Seafood
by Rick Stein
 
The Great Scandinavian Baking Book
by Beatrice A. Ojakangas
 
Serena, Food & Stories: Feeding Friends Every Hour of the Day
by Serena Bass
 
John Ash: Cooking One on One: Private Lessons in Simple, Contemporary Food from a Master Teacher
by John Ash
 
The New Mayo Clinic Cookbook: Eating Well for Better Health
by Donald Hensrud, M.D., Jennifer Nelson, R.D. & Mayo Clinic Staff
 
Foods of the Americas: Native Recipes and Traditions
by Fernando and Marlene Divina
 
The Provence Cookbook
by Patricia Wells
 
Olive Trees and Honey: A Treasury of Vegetarian Recipes from Jewish Communities Around the World
by Gil Marks
 
Last Chance to Eat: The Fate of Taste in a Fast Food World
by Gina Mallet
 
Bouchon
by Thomas Keller
 
A Blessing of Bread: The Many Rich Traditions of Jewish Bread Baking Around the World
by Maggie Glezer
 
All About Braising: The Art of Uncomplicated Cooking
by Molly Stevens
 
On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen
by Harold McGee
 
Entertaining: Inspired Menus For Cooking with Family and Friends
by George Dolese
 
The Breath of a Wok: Unlocking the Spirit of Chinese Wok Cooking Through Recipes and Lore
by Grace Young, Alan Richardson
 
Cooking New American: How to Cook the Food You Love to Eat
by Fine Cooking Magazine
 
The Japanese Kitchen: A Book of Essential Ingredients with 200 Authentic Recipes
by Kimiko Barber
 
Arthur Schwartz's New York City Food: An Opinionated History and More Than 100 Legendary Recipes
by Arthur Schwartz
 
Poet of the Appetites: The Lives and Loves of M.F.K. Fisher
by Joan Reardon
 
Bread: A Baker's Book of Techniques and Recipes
by Jeffrey Hamelman
 
Everyday Dining with Wine
by Andrea Immer
 
 
Copyright © 2005-2008 KQED. All rights reserved.