Anthony Bourdain's No Reservations Paris premiere (with me!) re-airs tonight at 10PM ET/PT - 9PM CT/MT on the Travel Channel.
I revisited Chez Denise - one of our locations - last week. My friend Andrea - one of my great friends who took me in while I was apartment-less earlier this year - had just returned from her summer vacation at home in Mexico and this was to celebrate her rentree (return).
By the time she unpacked and was ready for dinner, it was pretty late. There aren't a lot of great places for a late-night dinner in Paris but Chez Denise makes up for them all. They're open 24 hours a day on weekdays - which goes back to their history as a true Les Halles bistro - when the heart of the neighborhood was the wholesale food market for the city.
They still host local butchers for breakfast around 7AM - and have packed houses lunch and dinner - but my favourite time to go is late at the night - when the Metro's closed and decent people sleep.
The kitchen's open around the clock but overnight most of the dishes will be gone - only faint traces left where the waiter's slid his finger across the blackboard menu. Most of the nocturnal crowd opts for bottles of Brouilly - filled from the barrel at the front bar - and plates of charcuterie - assorted salty red slices flecked with bright white fat.
Me - I like the cote de boeuf for two. Cote de boeuf literally translates as side of beef - but it's not quite that - it's a bone-in rib-eye steak for two. It does look like a Fred Flintsone chop on the grill - they start it whole but then finish it halved - the smaller portion getting the meaty bone. They're plated with marrow bones and served with a platter of fries - and a small pot of mustard and wooden bowl of coarse grey sea salt.
A la Tour de Montlhery (Chez Denise)
5 rue Prouvaires
01 42 36 21 82