Saturday 13 February 2010

Good Value in Paris part 3

Aux Arts et Sciences Réunis is one of our favourite restaurants in Paris. It's on avenue Jean-Jaurès in the 19th arrondissement. The closest metro station is Ourcq, but we always walk from our hotel, only five minutes away. The restaurant is part of the headquarters of the Compagnons Charpentiers du Devoir du Tour de France (the Master Carpenters' Guild). According to Routard, they are 'heroic defenders of the arts of stone, wood and...the dining table.' (You can always trust le Guide Routard, by the way. If a restaurant is in Routard, you are guaranteed a bon rapport prix / qualité, or good value for money.)

Aux Arts et Sciences Réunis
161, Avenue Jean Jaures
The food is simple, generous and traditional, and exceptionally good value for Paris (the lunchtime three course menu is €13, dinner is €19.50). There is almost always a group of spotty apprentices who've put on ties for the occasion, as they will be dining under the eye of any number of weather beaten middle aged carpenters and their wives. The last time we ate there, in late January, it was the day before the organisation's portes ouvertes (open house), and there was an exhibition of photographs showing carpenters and masons at work, and best of all, a selection of the astonishing chefs d'oeuvres (masterpieces) that journeymen carpenters make to qualify as a master craftsman.

We've written about these pieces before, because there is a museum in Tours dedicated to all the Compagnons de la Tour de France, and many of the objects are very visibly stored in ground floor rooms offsite. They are artefacts of immense skill and beauty, and often wonderfully fantastical.



chm said...

Even though I've read quite a few of George Sand's book, I've never read her "Compagnons du tour de France." Those guilds go way back a thousand years to the Middle Ages. Wow!

And those chefs-d'œuvre are really fantastic.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the recommendation for
Aux Arts et Sciences Réunis, ate there last week and it was fantastic!

Susan said...

Anon: It's our pleasure to bring this friendly and good value restaurant to people's attention.

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