Au Bougnat, Paris

For my final Paris post, I'm going full French.

I'll start with a little disclaimer. As Au Bougnat is located just a stones throw away from Notre Dame, it's unsurprisingly a hit with tourist guidebooks. So if you eat here, don't expect to be surrounded by locals.

That being said, French restaurants where you can book are few and far between in the capital, and Au Bougnat serves up some good grub, so don't be put off.

The menu is simple: meat or fish dishes (no veggie mains) and a serious selection of great puds. You can get a starter/main or main/dessert for €24, or go all out with three courses for €29. 

The first courses aren't the most inspiring selection, so we skipped the starters and saved room for something sweet instead.

For our main courses, we opted for the swordfish, the risotto and the steak, and were pretty pleased with the generous portions.

The fish came with a steaming bowl of aubergine baked in a rich tomato sauce and the steak with a potato rösti, so there was no need to add sides. 

Both of the above were delicious, although the steak was a little tougher than I would have liked.

The prawn risotto, however, stole the show. No mean servings of tiny crustaceans here- instead, five plump, juicy shrimp came swimming in a pool of creamy pesto-spiked rice. 

As you can see, this food is rich and not for the calorie conscious. This is particularly the case when it comes to sweets.

A silky crème brûlée with a razor-thin coating of caramelised sugar.

A flaky apple tart with salted caramel ice cream.

And of course, a gooey chocolate fondant with vanilla ice cream to cut through the richness.

I'm not going to pretend that Au Bougnat serves the best or most authentic French cuisine that Paris has to offer, but it is pretty good. 

Plus, if you like to plan ahead instead of queuing at a no-bookings bistrot on a Friday night, it is a good choice.

If I'm being really picky, the service is a little on the slow side and we were once served by a hideously rude waitress. Fortunately, that was a one-off as I ate here multiple times and the staff were otherwise very friendly and accommodating.

It does get busy on the weekends, so I would suggest making a reservation here (they may take a few days to get back to you) or over the phone.