It took the “Pinoy” connection to get us a table at what Bloomberg.com has called “The best bistro in Paris.”

Posted by Jennie

Le Servan has been written about and praised by no less than The New York Times, Time Out Paris, Paris by Mouth and countless blogs and publications. With a seating capacity of only 38, getting a reservation to this bistro can be a challenge. It’s a good thing we happen to be friends with Iya Fernandez, a Paris based artist who is the mom of Katia and Tatiana Levha. Tatiana is the chef and Katia is the restaurant manager. The French-Filipina sisters were born in Manila and grew up in France, Hong Kong and Thailand. So thanks to Iya, Katia was able to squeeze us in for an early dinner.

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Katia and Tatiana Levha. Photo by Estelle Hanania

Le Servan is in the 11th arrondissement, not a place tourists would go to as it is not close to anything in the guide books except the Pere Lachaise cemetery. The exterior is unassuming and straightforward. The interiors, minimalist and modern. The vibe is casual and the floor to ceiling windows give the illusion of space. Do check out the beautiful hand painted ceilings, Iya did them.

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Bistro Facade. Photo from hipparis.com

The menu can be intimidating because it’s in French only. But with Iya’s help we placed our orders. Tatiana cooks only what’s in season and her menu changes depending on what’s available. She describes her food as “traditional French cuisine with a little Asian twist.”

We were a party of 5 and I can’t remember everything we had, but for staters I do remember chilled radish with pimiento butter. The radish, crisp and picked at its prime was a welcome contrast of textures when paired with pimiento butter. Then there was sea snails or whelks, with a dollop of mayonnaise for dipping, it had a subtle shot of chili. We also had sashimi with avocado and green mango slivers. The flavours were definitely Asian, bright and clean and the presentation was beautiful. My main course was Pigeon cooked the classic French way, but with a hint of adobo! It was tender and bursting with flavor. Dessert was Tarte Amandine, sweet raspberries topped with delicately sugar coated onion leeks.

Wine, was on the house. Merci beaucoup!

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Le Servan 32, rue Saint-Maur (11th) Tél: 01 55 28 51 82

Le Servan
The Levha Sisters