All organic (bio) restaurant in the 20th arrondissement of Paris, at a fifteen minute walk from the Père Lachaise cemetery where Jim Morrison and Edith Piaf (to name just a few of its famous inhabitants) have their last resting place. Le petite fabrique is located in a quiet street (rue des vignoles) and well off the beaten track. The restaurant is a pretty space with a nice, industrial interior (dark front, some metal pieces of furniture inside and lots of wood). With a half-open kitchen, friendly and rapid service, modern design and the organic food hype in Paris, this place could be a hot spot for health-conscious eaters and bobo families. But unfortunately, the food didn’t really tickle my fancy.
We made a reservation for 9pm Friday evening, but booking wasn’t necessary we realised upon arrival: several tables were free and we were able to choose our own spot – quite a luxury in Paris. The bar and kitchen are located in the left side corner, giving you a glimpse of all the cooking, baking, and cutting happening at this ‘little factory’. They have a standard menu which is complemented with a smaller menu that varies each day. All ingredients are bio, with most dishes being vegetarian, and one or two meat and fish platters here and there. We started off with the fresh soup of the day (butternut squash) and an entrée of raw vegetables, followed by their vegetarian platter which included home-made falafel balls, beetroot, a salad and some more ultra healthy stuff and eggplant (aubergine) raviolis for my beau. The soup was mild but a little too thin/watery to my liking and the raw vegetable platter was something we could have easily made ourselves at home. The same was true for my vegetarian main course with the falafel balls (I usually love falafel) lacking taste and my dish was overall very bland. We felt that all our courses could have used a little more peps – some pepper, salt, fresh herbs or a pinch of exciting spices might have done the trick. Because of our disappointment with the food, we opted out on the desserts (although we heard other customers saying they enjoyed their cakes and chocolate mousse) and called it a night with a cuppa Joe – but even our Joe wasn’t very tasty. The few pluses of this spot are its very kind staff (and I presume owners) and the modern look it rocks. And prices are very reasonable here (50 euros for a two course meal for the two of us, a drink each and a coffee). But with a menu that isn’t very original or inspiring, and food lacking flavor, la petite fabrique missed the mark for me. Bummer, since the area is short of exciting food spots and I really wanted to like this place.
La petite fabrique: 15 rue des Vignoles, 75020, Paris. Telephone: 01 43 73 57 88. Open Monday to Saturday from noon to 14h30 (except Mondays) and from 19h00 – 22h30. Open Sundays for brunch from 11h30 to 14h30. Starters are around 5,50 to 7,50 euros and main dishes between 13 and 17 euros. Desserts 4 to 6 euros. Brunch is 21,50 euros and includes bread with jam and home-made chocolate paste, as much coffee and tea as you like, an organic juice, a platter with veggies, cheese, eggs, a vegetarian ‘sausage’ or bacon, and a dessert (I might give this place a second chance just for brunch but I don’t have my hopes up high). Metro: Alexandre Dumas, Avron or Buzenval.