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Le Rubis has been an institution long before la Place du Marché St-Honoré became cool. Albert presides over the bar, as he has for 39 years, doling out a vast menu of very drinkable wines from 1.4 euros for a petit verre to 3 euros for a regular glass.
I arrived a little after noon, a few minutes early for my meeting with two guys from Google, headquartered in the neighborhood, so I ordered a Cotes du Rhone for company. Since the French don’t dash out the door at the crack of twelve to get a fast sandwich on the run before returning to their desks the bar level dining room was empty. Four habitués were standing at the bar: two regular guys-no suits nor ties and missing the identical front tooth; two women of une certaine age, a grey/blonde and Marie-France, dressed in a black dress with black hair coiffed in the style of a 1940’s movie.
After bonjours all around they were curious about my nationalité. I did my Italian impression as I am often mistaken for Northern Italian in Paris and answered “Vicino Milano” which they bought. I then truthfully admitted to being Brooklynois, the Marseille of America. Marie-France was très sympa and I staked her to a coupe de champagne before joining my just arriving colleagues at a nearby table where a verre immediately arrived compliments of Marie-France.
Food is classic, copious and cheap. Boudin noir, andouilette, souris d’agneau from 10-12 euros. At the end of the meal Albert sent a round of eau de vie.
On a second occasion I climbed the narrow, steep staircase to the dining room where one woman charmingly controls thirty diners. My neighbor directed me to a boeuf bourgignon so delicious that it required a whole baguette to sop up the wine and beef juices.
In the far corner, sitting alone was an elegantly dressed blonde of that certaine age with hair pulled back to reveal an exquisite face and bejeweled golden earrings that reflected a color in her Chanel jacket. Moments later she was joined by a gentleman and after the obligatory two cheek bisous they began to gaze lovingly into each others eyes-ah Paris-Disneyland for adults.
When the bill arrived, a shocking 13.50 euros including a glass of wine, I was 1.50 short of the minimum required for using a carte bancaire so I opted for the best tartes aux figues I have ever tasted-no crème fraiche required.
Total bill 18.50 euros-Total satisfaction
10, rue du Marché St-Honoré
Closed: Saturday afternoon and Sunday
Metro: Pyramides, Opéra
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