Saturday, 22 June 2013

Fine Food at the Tip of La Fourchette

I've never bothered blogging about the website because, being one of those people who is usually the last to hear about anything, I just assumed that everybody knew about it. Last week, however, a French colleague told me that she had only just discovered it, so having had another great dinner last Saturday evening thanks to La Fourchette's reviews and discounted prices, I thought I'd share the news with any readers who come out from under their stones even more rarely than I do.

La Fourchette is a website which lists restaurants in all the major cities in France, as well as lots of smaller towns. If you book via the site, you get a reduction, which can be up to 50% off the à la carte prices, depending on the restaurant, the time and the day of the week. After you've been to at least three, you can publish reviews of places you've found via the website, so there are lots of reliable critiques which you can read before you book anything. In general, you get better deals on quiet week nights - the best I've ever had was a gorgeous place on the Ile Saint Louis on a Tuesday evening - but newer places also often have good offers at the weekend because they're trying to make themselves known.

Our most recent experience was at Le Tire-Bouchon, on rue de Charenton. With the 30% discount, we paid just under 50 euros for a main course, dessert and glass of wine for 2 people. For main course, I had magret de canard aux pruneaux and Understanding Frenchman had noix de Saint-Jaques in a creamy mushroom sauce. We both really enjoyed our main courses, and the portions were very generous, so you'd have to be hungry to need a starter as well. Several people around us were having cassoulet, which looked delicious but maybe would have been a better choice in the middle of winter than the sunniest weekend in June. The desserts were less exciting: I had a standard-fare moelleux au chocolat and UFM had fromage blanc au miel.
What I particularly appreciated about the restaurant, though, was that it felt very cosy and much more like something that you find in the provinces than in Paris. If you ever have visitors in the capital and want to give them a more rustic French experience, Le Tire-Bouchon could be the place to go. Overall we were very happy with our evening, although at full price it would have been a bit expensive for what it was ... which is all the more reason to give La Fourchette a go!


  1. I think I heard of the website (maybe saw it on Capital??) but thank you for reminding me about it! Discounts are always good to take and they are rare in France. Plus who can say no to good food?

  2. I think it's a concept that could easily be spread elsewhere. I love the discovery aspect!

  3. I've never heard about this website. I'll be checking it out, thanks!

    What are your favourite places to eat at in Paris? I find that it's difficult to find a good quality restaurant in Paris without paying a lot more than what you would get out in province. That's why I mostly eat world cuisine in Paris rather than French. It's cheaper and out in province we have less choice and I actually find that it's more expensive sometimes.

    1. I agree. A couple of French places we like are the J-Go (there's another pun!) and the Domaine de Lintillac, which are both cuisine from the South-West, but if it's traditional French food you're after, you definitely get a better deal outside of the capital.

  4. La Forchette is great! We've had some really good meals at very reasonable prices by using their app. It's especially good if you dine off hours -- we recently had a Sunday lunch that was discounted by 40% because we went at 12h30 instead of 13h00. I've been meaning to write a blog post about La Forchette for ages but haven't gotten around to it. I'm glad that you did!