Here, in this narrow street - rue Chanoinesse, off the beaten path, is a specific location that is frequented by tourists at practically all bright hours of the day at this time of the year. For one obvious reason, the wisteria vine that has climbed up and spread sidewards, framing Au Viuex Paris d'Arcole restaurant is in full bloom. To see this, timing is important.
There may be other reasons, as well, as to why this restaurant has become famous.
Au Vieux Paris d'Arcole
24 rue Chanoinesse
Tel. no. 01 40 51 78 52
It is located in the heart of Paris, just a block from the Notre Dame, in the ile de la cité. Though it is a narrow street, rue Chanoinesse is easy to find - it is off of rue d'Arcole. It can also be accessed from rue du Cloître Notre Dame.
This is a fuller view of how the vine has been trained to grow, framing the doors and windows of the building.
According to the sign, this place was founded in 1594.
It is not part of a heritage restaurant list, but this surely feels like it is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. I read that this location is housed in a canon's house which was built in 1512.
Here is the regular menu.
They offer some organic dishes in their seasonal menu. Bio is the French term for "organic." Their organic ingredients are sourced, each week, from bio farms in Aveyron in southern France.
Note the items above that can be ordered and enjoyed this season, using AOC ( Appellation d'origine Contrôlée ) fresh ingredients:
Ouef Cocotte au Foie Gras (egg caserole with liver)
Salade de la Ferme aux Lardons ( salad greens with bacon)
Salade de la Mer Ouef Pomme de Terre (seafood salad with eggs and potatoes)
Omellette Bio aux Pleurottes ( organic omelet with oyster mushrooms)
Poulet Fermier Jaune du Perigord, roti du au Curry Vert (free-range yellow chicken fro Perigord, grilled with green curry)
Rable de Lapin a l'ancienne (Saddle of the rabbit cooked the old-fashioned way)
Pave de Saumon (filet of salmon)
Bar Entier Meuniere (cod fish cooked with lemon/butter)
Meet Odette and George
This restaurant is their baby, which has been passed on from generation to generation, and on to them. Odette is the chef and George takes care of the restaurant.
There is very limited sitting in the romantic setting in the restaurant's interior, which shows a bit of history in the stony wall finish, the antique furniture, the wall decors, and upholstery designs. This is perfect for special occasions and during the colder months.
Outside sitting is preferred in the spring and summer seasons, when the sun is out, augmenting the number of people who can be accommodated.
I have been here at different times of the year. I come when I crave a good home-cooked French meal. But in the spring, the beautiful wisteria vine becomes the main course for me.