Je thé - a romantic restaurant off the beaten-track

Now that Valentine's Day 2012 has come and gone, Stephane and I are left with fond memories of our dinner at Je thé, a romantic restaurant whose name is a play on the French words for "I love you" (Je t'aime).

Situated on the corner of Rue d'Alleray and Rue Francois Villon, two narrow streets in the 15th arrondissement, Je thé is well off the beaten track for most tourists. But that didn't stop Anthony Bourdain, a celebrity chef and host of The Travel Channel's Anthony Bourdain: No Reservations from discovering it when he was looking for tripe and kidneys while visiting Paris for the 100th episode of his show. Now, I've got to admit that I wouldn't have been as excited about this cozy restaurant if I would have known that its claim to fame in the United States is offal, but since I only learned about Anthony Bourdain when his name kept appearing in enthusiastic reviews and hadn't seen the aforementioned show, I was eager to try it.

Retour de Montagne is the chef's ode to traditional mountain foods - potatoes, Reblochon cheese and air dried meat. Reminiscent of meals normally eaten in Alpine chalets after a day of skiing, the creamy concoction was hearty yet amazingly light at the same time. Good thing because I still had two more courses to go!  

As there's nothing more succulent than duck breast when it's prepared to perfection, Un Malard, Une Orange was a superb choice. Served with seasonal vegetables, there wasn't the tiniest speck left when they removed my plate.

And since Valentine's Day wouldn't feel like Valentine's Day without a bit of chocolate, I opted for the luscious Tarte Chocolat Sarrazin for dessert. It was a sweet way to finish an outstanding meal.

If you would like to watch Anthony Bourdain's segment on Je thé, it starts with a visit to a butcher at 06:10 on the video. If you want to skip the close-ups of the cows' heads, intestines and tongues, start at 06:49.

4, rue de Alleray
75015 Paris

The three-course dinner menu, which changes several times a year, is 38€ . Otherwise, you may also order individual courses. Starter: 12€; Main Course: 23€; Dessert: 9€.

While we would have liked to sit downstairs, we felt very lucky to get the last table upstairs since we had only reserved the day before Valentine's Day.

Click to read more reviews of Je thé on Yelp and Trip Advisor.


  1. makes me want to go there! how was versailles?

  2. It's a restaurant that's well worth trying!

    Versailles was wonderful -- but crowded. I guess that's what happens when you go on a day when so many of the French schools are on holiday and most of the other museums are closed. The good news is that I hung around long enough to get some photos of the Hall of Mirrors without any tourists in it. That and the sunshine made my day! :)

  3. oh how I love pressed table linens, even with the lines in them. the restaurant has such charm and character, love the interior. the starter course looks like a winner, I love all the components particularly and it must have appealed to your Swiss husband indeed. oh, and the fork is turned upwards--must be a casual thing and it must not have a design on the other side.

  4. Yes, the restaurant was exactly what we were looking for on Valentine's Day. I suggested a return visit when we were in the area to watch "The Iron Lady" with Meryl Streep last night but we didn't have enough time before the movie to do it justice. Oddly enough, I took the "mountain" starter and Stephane took one that featured beets. Normally, it would have been the other way around.

    And speaking of place settings, I took some photos of the ones at Versailles for you yesterday. I'll email them to you.

  5. Looks yummy! My wish was your command re: Barcelona blogging :)

  6. It was yummy, indeed! I read your Barcelona post when I got home late last night and am returning for a more leisurely read this morning. Thanks for taking my wishes into consideration while on vacation, especially when you're surrounded by fast cars and handsome men. Tis much appreciated! :)

  7. Replies
    1. No comment about the offal? :) It reminded me of your recent foray into making pate! :)

  8. So glad you had a romantic reunion. Sound much better than Le train Bleu.

    love from Bolton

    1. Thanks, Denise! The setting was perfect for a romantic reunion and it felt really good to be together again.

  9. Looks lovely! Will put on my "hit-list" of places to try!

    1. If you go, ask for a table downstairs. I went there with some friends for dinner last night and we had a great time. The owner and his son are charming and the food is delicious!


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