Besides high-end Michelin restaurants, there are also some more low-key, distinctively French restaurants in Paris. This is the case of Le Refuge du Passé, an exquisite restaurant located at a quiet street in the 5th district. As its name suggests, this place stores memories and charms of old Paris. Old posters from the 70s on the wall, various old Paris gadgets (music boxes, birdcages, bowler hats) hanging from the ceiling, or old coins from different countries, create a cozy and relaxed atmosphere of old Paris. An additional tip: in the back of the restaurant there is a secret table behind soft velvet curtains for an intimate romantic dinner. Reserve it in advance if you want to catch that table.
You can see a portrait of Édith Piaf singing 'La vie en rose' on the wall, the top hat of Romy Schneider from the movie 'Le vieux fusil' is put right over the bar. Every small item was selected by the enthusiastic owner, and arranged in this small restaurant creating an immersive experience.
Waiters are especially welcoming, making the customer feel at home. Led by the head waiter Nicolas the service is quick and smooth. He will offer you a refined selection of wines from various French regions that will subtly accompany your lunch or dinner.
The menu offers homemade dishes, made of healthy and seasonal products. The vegetables come directly from Nicolas' permaculture garden in the east of France!
You can have a quiet lunch here at noon, enjoying the original decoration in the restaurant with friends as well as the authentic French cuisine. In the evening this small restaurant becomes more lively as more people come for a drink or dinner and for a chat.
The charm of this restaurant is not only in its interior design but also its deliciously authentic French cuisine. Some of the classic French recipes were creatively upgraded with a modern twist to make them taste and look even better. Let's have a look at a few of their dishes we tried.
Camembert is a round French cheese that is similar to Brie but with a more intense and nutty flavour. This baked cheese, molten on the inside, comes with honey and Provencal herbs on top and has a sweet and refreshing taste, leaving a fragrant taste without being greasy. A mouth-watering appetizer.
Foie gras and mango tower is a novel combination and a very delicious one. You will immediately taste the soft texture of the foie gras. The mango tower is slightly sweet, crisp and both rich and mellow. The sauce on the foie gras is lightly sour, more than sweet.
The marinated pork elbow is roasted in a small copper pan with porcini mushrooms, potatoes, and zucchini. You will need no additional salt for the vegetables. Crispy on the outside, the elbow is dense and tender inside.
Cassoulet is a traditional French dish from the South. After a long stew, the white kidney beans and the duck are soft and easy to eat. Thyme on the noodles imparts a soft, natural aroma to the cuisine. The delicate texture of beans, juicy duck meat and the sauce blend perfectly.
The three puffs have vanilla ice cream, whipped cream and chocolate sauce. You can enjoy these three different flavors at the same time.
A scoop of pistachio ice cream is added to the chocolate lava cake, that has hot molten chocolate on the inside, making a perfect duo.
Download O'bon Paris' coupon and get a 10% discount on all the dishes and drinks by presenting the coupon at the restaurant. If you are looking for a perfect place with history, delicious food and nice interior, Le Refuge du Passé will not let you down.
Author - Ruihao
Photographs - Yuka Ishihara
Address : 32 Rue du Fer À Moulin, 75005 Paris
Transportation : Metro line 7 Censier-Daubenton station
Opening hours : 12:00-15:00, 19:00-22:00, closed on Monday and Tuesday
Website : click here