Spontaneously letting your travel destination lead you where your curiosity takes you is a worthwhile, and highly recommended idea in order to discover unexpected moments, treasures and flavors (case in point, stumbling upon a solo cellist playing three Bach concertos in the arrondissement in Paris you are staying in on the evening you arrive – an occasion in a small historic chapel I will always treasure).
However, there are some details I make sure I tend to before I step foot on the plane here on the west coast in Oregon and make my way to Europe, and in this case, France. Those details would be dinner plans for the first and last evening in the city.
In October 2021, chef Cyril Lignac opened his new café, Cafe Lignac, taking the place of what has been described as “the extremely popular Café Constant” by France Today’s food critic Alexander Lobrano even to suggest the change caused a bit of panic as Chef Constant, age 71, had offered a dependable, delicious and reasonably priced menu for decades (learn more about this legendary chef here.
Chef Cyril Lignac is most well-known to the French public for being a food-television star, and currently has six restaurants or cafés under his name all currently open throughout Paris, as well as a patisserie and a chocolatier shop. Yes, he is busy, well-known and trusted by the public and as such, when Café Lignac’s doors opened, the public found a new regular haunt to dine, chat and enjoy good company. Describing himself as having “a gourmet style with an assured technique, assuming both the French culinary heritage and a curiosity for the wealth of foreign cuisines”, what we had the opportunity to enjoy were classic French cuisine dishes with subtle modern or unexpected touches that elevated the dish even further.
I say dishes because yep, we dined there twice. Why? Because the café sits on the corner of Rue Saint-Dominique and Rue Augereau, which was one block (actually a bit less) from our vacation rental we stayed at with Paris Perfect in the 7th arrondissement, Saint Julien. Since I knew we would arrive in Paris in the evening, I wanted to have dinner reservations at around 9pm, and I didn’t want to hassle with a taxi, so when I read a review of the new restaurants in Paris worth checking out, and saw that Café Lignac was on the list and so close, I called them up and made reservations tout de suite! And while I would have loved to have gone to a different restaurant for our final dinner in Paris, I had a feeling, dining close to “home” (so long as we enjoyed our first dinner) would be a good idea for our early departure to London in the morning via the Eurostar. And I wasn’t disappointed because it was the final dinner that introduced me to a plat du jour that knocked my socks off – white fish over puréed carrots and white wine and butter sauce. Oh. My. Goodness. I nearly licked the plate clean it was so good.
Inspired to give it a go at home, I have played with the recipe, after chatting with the waitstaff behind the bar and asking for any tips or details about how to make the sauce, and think I have come up with something quite similar. I served it for a dinner party this past May, and it was a hit, so I included it in Season 5 of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show, episode #2 (watch the video here -or see it at the end of this post-and find the recipe too).
The café is small, but has two floors. The main floor is what you see in these images and has five two-top tables inside along with 4-6 seats at the bar, plus the outdoor seating that they place and remove each day. There is an upstairs dining room that has little to no decoration at all, but three or four longer tables, and as I popped up there (the WC were located on this floor), I noticed that the diners were quite jovial, primarily locals, and the kitchen is up here as well.
Speaking of which, the food, when ready to be served, is brought down the staircase along the back wall by the waitstaff creating a bit of a ‘tah dah’ moment which made me smile, and as we sat at the bar on our second night, all of a sudden, the bartender descends into the floor, completely disappearing. What? Do not worry. The cellar, where the wine and other items that need to be chilled – ice! – were down a hidden staircase located behind the bar, and I have to say, it just deepens the awareness to the reality that Parisian cafés are using very small spaces to do quite a bit, and they do it all very, very well.
Below are a few pics from our visit this past April – notice the framed picture of the two chefs (Cyril on the left, Chef Constant on the right). The menu is seasonal, and as I shared above, always ask what the Plat du Jour is. Susan Herrmann Loomis taught me this, and such an idea was the inspiration for her latest cookbook – Plat du Jour – I highly recommend it. The first evening we dined, because it was so late, they no longer had the plat du jour available, but it had sounded delicious (now for the life of me, I cannot remember what it was), but as we had dinner reservations earlier in the evening on our final night, the plat du jour was available, and I was eager to try and absolutely delighted with how it tasted.
The next time you are in Paris and if you find yourself in or near the 7th, I recommend highly dining at Café Lignac. A quintessential neighborhood, cozy Parisian café with delicious fare to tickled your tastebuds. Take a look at their menu here.
~You can find a map and list of places I recommend visiting, dining and exploring on TSLL’s Paris City Guide here. All Travel Guides can be found by clicking “Travel Guides” in the menu below the blog’s header.
~Visit during your next trip to Paris. Make reservations ahead of time on their website (or call).
Watch episode #2, Season 5, of The Simply Luxurious Kitchen cooking show where I share my adaptation of this recipe – pan-fried white fish on carrot purée with butter and white wine sauce.
Explore all of the Posts shared during this year’s 7th Annual TSLL French Week
25 thoughts on “Dining at Paris’ new restaurant, Cafe Lignac in the 7th”
My husband and I enjoyed dinner at Cafe Lignac in June. It was excellent – great food, good wine and also a good price point!
So lovely to hear you enjoyed your time there as well. Thank you for sharing Sarah. ?
Shannon, a delightful review and clearly you savoured the experience. Good food in a great setting.
Isn’t that a treat of a combination ? It was so cozy, you just felt tucked away, yet knowing you were in Paris all the time. Thank you for stopping by Nicola.
What a wonderful review! My mouth is watering!
I look forward to trying your new fish recipe in the fall.
Your blog has inspired me to try so many new things!
I cannot wait to share it with you. ☺️ The puréed carrots is so simple and delicious! Thank you for stopping by. ?
What a wonderful review of your experience at Cafe Lignac. That was a very smart move to find such an establishment within walking distance 🙂 Your description of the fish on a bed of pureed carrots reminds me of a recipe I had read about in Lida Bastianich’s “Mastering the Art of Italian Cuisine” cookbook. She includes a recipe for a risotto with Barolo wine that tops a bed of pureed carrots and I’ve always been meaning to give that recipe a go. I’m intrigued by the juxtaposition of the savory risotto with sweet carrots. Have a wonderful day!
I’ll definitely have to put it on the Apple Maps list!
Your description is so detailed and lovely, I felt transported to this cozy cafe. I know this is about the food, but I cannot stop admiring the beautiful velvet cafe curtains and the beautiful bar 🙂
Shannon you ‘re right. He’s very loved in France a star in fact. I love his food and how he experiments with unusual flavour combinations from other cuisines adding an exciting element to traditional French cuisine. He has a few simple cookbooks available but in French only if anyone wants to get that experience at home.
I remember you telling me about time at the time I visited the restaurant. I had now idea about him. Thank you for sharing, and yes, I noticed his cookbooks are simple in their ideas and presentation (albeit in French but that makes it all the more worth learning the language much better!). Thank you for stopping by.
Kameela, thank you–and of course Shannon–for introducing me to this incredible chef. I feel so stupide for not knowing a whisper about the man–good god, he has received a Michelin star for one of his restaurants! Eh bien, the exigencies of living in a provincial hinterland…So I just searched and found some videos on YouTube, entirely in french of course, but vastly entertaining. I must explore more???
Rona so glad you found him on you tube-. You’re in for a treat and you get to brush up on your french. Bon appátit ma chère xx
This sounds delightful! I can’t wait for the next season of the Simply Luxurious Kitchen to try making it.
Ah, to have a delicious meal in Paris… Someday, someday, maybe =)
Hope you get to visit. You’ll probably fall a little bit in love?
I hope so too, and I wonder what meal could bring the kind of experience Shannon had =) I guess it would be difficult to name just one because I love food, hahaha 😀
Beautiful photos of this restaurant and a great review, Shannon. Your decision to dine there twice, gives it the “Chef’s kiss”.
One day, I hope to visit Paris and more of France as well. I’m making notes!
Make it happen Ellen. You’ll wonder why you waited.?
The food at Cafe Lignac sounds wonderful! It looks super cozy too—and I love that green on the walls and menu! I often find when I am travelling, I tend to go to the same restaurant or cafe more than once. It’s always great when you can find a place you truly enjoy ☺️
Shannon, you make Café Lignac sound absolutely delectable for both ambiance and food. (I love the description of la premiére étage, with the long tables occupied by the families of the neighborhood, right next to the kitchen–that would be my preferred seating!) And I can’t wait to try your iteration of that lovely meal! xx
I look forward to trying your recipe in the cooking show. Every recipe I have tried from The Simply Luxurious Kitchen has been amazing ☺️ Adding Café Lignac to my must-try list, thank you!
What a lovely description of the cozy restaurant and your delicious meal, I felt as if i was transported there, sitting at the bar with you, waiting for my crisp glass of chilled wine to be served. Thank you for taking me on this lovely trip. I have never been to Paris, but oh some day… in the meantime, I will live vicariously through your wonderful postings. I can hardly wait for the upcoming season of TSLL kitchen and will definitely be trying your recreated white fish and pureed carrots. I just made a lovely carrot soup, on a whim, no specific recipe and it turned out so well, I wish I had written down exactly what I did, but isn’t that the fun of it, trying something new each time?
Cafe Lignac sounds like a perfect destination for a meal when in Paris. Thanks for the detailed recommendation. And also for the tip about booking first night dinner reservations before I travel! Great suggestion.