Flottes restaurant in Paris has been a firm favourite of my family every single time we’ve been to Paris. The traditional French brasserie can be found on Rue Cambon, in the centre of Paris, not far from Place de la Concorde and the Louvre museum.
This stylish and beautiful neighbourhood is how I think of Paris, and Flottes restaurant fits the bill perfectly for both location and atmosphere.
Flottes is a family run restaurant, and named after them, with many generations of the Flottes family moving from their hometown of Averyon in the South, up to Paris to be involved. It honestly reminds me of the restaurant in Ratatouille, minus the rats and nasty manager! It’s traditionally run, serves incredible food, has an extensive wine list, and is incredibly popular.
On a quiet street in Paris, Flottes literally glows, and you can spot it a mile off, lit up, the fresh seafood display outside, the little red canopies over the French windows.
When myself and Kieran were in Paris just before Christmas, I booked Flottes for our meal on the Saturday night. After a day sightseeing at Notre Dame and the Eiffel Tower, we freshened up at the hotel and made our way along Rue de Rivoli to find Flottes.
When we got there, we were ushered in by the enthusiastic waiter, although to be honest, I think when I said the surname Fox he got a bit of a shock. Flottes remember their regular customers, even the ones that come every couple of years, so when Mr Flottes laid eyes on me instead of my dad I think he was a bit confused. He asked me where Mr Nigel was, and I explained I’m his daughter and it was like he was seeing a long lost relative.
We were escorted upstairs, with choruses of ‘Bon soir!’ from every waiter along the way, and Mrs Flottes from her perch at the end of the bar. There are three floors that make up Flottes, despite it looking small and cosy from the outside, yet despite the size it still maintains a cosy quaint French feel throughout all the levels.
We ordered a bottle of wine, but we weren’t very adventurous at all. We went for a recognisable white but for any wine buffs I’m sure you could decipher the wine list a lot better than we could. Prices are reasonable too as far as I could tell.
For starter we both ordered French onion soup. I had seriously high hopes for it – I love French onion soup and where better to get it than in Paris. It really didn’t disappoint, arriving in traditional soup bowls and smothered in gooey cheese. It was so so good.
For main I had salmon ravioli, and it came as a fillet wrapped in one sheet of ravioli pasta, accompanied with veg. Kieran had the chicken. Both our mains were excellent, but I struggle to get past the French onion soup. If I could have had it for starter and main I would have.
Flottes is also famous for its seafood platters, especially oysters, and there were plenty French natives chugging them back from their iced platters. I wish I could be brave enough to have oysters again, but one bad experience in Manchester just put me off them for life. I’m a big fan of seafood though and the King prawns also served on ice are delicious, I’ve had them on previous trips to this one.
I have to mention the staff, who treat you as though you’re a guest in their house, they’re friendly and very professional, they love to have a conversation and get to know you, as well as chat to you about themselves and we’re they’re from. All the staff at Flottes from Mr & Mrs Flottes themselves, down to the barman and the waiting staff seem very proud to be serving you.
The clientele at Flottes ranges from tourists, to businessmen to local Parisians, and Flottes adapts and accommodates everyone. The service is quick, even when there are big parties in which there almost always are.
While we enjoyed winter warmers in December, the menu does change with the seasons and I’ve had some amazing meals there year round, including the Spring. If you’re heading to Paris anytime you won’t be disappointed with this authentically French dining experience, that won’t completely break the bank, yet has the charm and quality you would expect to find in the heart of Paris. I couldn’t recommend Flottes more.
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