Racines: Back to the roots of good food

It’s easy to miss the tiny restaurant „Racines“ in the picturesque scene of the Passage des Panoramas, the oldest arcade of Paris. But it will be quite impossible to forget the address once you had the pleasure of dining there. In fact, if I had to choose a place where to eat every day, „Racines“ could easily make the top of my list.

Yes, it is one of the birthplaces of the „neobistro“-movement, founding chef Pierre Jancou is still a celebrity in foodie circles here. But he sold the place a couple of years ago to people who kept the spirit alive and thriving: Today, you still drink excellent „vin naturel“ here at „Racines“ and you still find a rigorously product- and market-centered cuisine.

Parisian gemutlichkeit

You sit in a room that even the best Hollywood guys couldn’t make up. An open kitchen in the back, not even two hand-full of tables lining up along wine racks, an outdated decoration overall, well-used furniture, a certain spirit of messiness – which makes a rare ambiance of Parisian gemutlichkeit almost too good to be true.

I’d say the same about the food: We had a perfect plate of braised lamb shoulder there the other night, the meat accompanied by an outstanding mingle-mangle of winter vegetables coated with delicious lamb jus. A dish like a definition of French soulfood.

Excellent wine

We also had a generous slice of bass served with roots and a brillant starter made of asparagus and a soft-boiled egg sprinkled with parmesan, we had a wonderful cream-topped poached pear for dessert. And I still haven’t said anything about the choice of excellent (and still well affordable) wines you can find here (and I strongly advice to listen to the recommendations of the staff).

No, „Racine“ is not a cheap eatery (then it would really be to good to be true). The prices are even pretty salty. At dinner time, the starters come at around 14, 15 Euros, the mains will cost you 28 or even 32 Euros, „c’est pas donné“, as the French say – but it’s worth it.

Heart-warming atmosphere

Portions are generous, the knowhow, labour and love invested in all dishes are priceless, the atmosphere and the overall reception are heart-warming, so in other words: „Racines“ combines all elements for a very good moment in your life, giving you the opportunity to have dinner in a historic monument 133 meters long and 3.20 meters wide – the Passage des Panoramas. What more would you expect from dinner during a trip to Paris?

Photo: © MAP