For a number of years now I've been outsourcing my office needs, meaning, in standard English, that I no longer rent an office, I work in cafes dotted around Paris.
Here's one of my favorites, an oldtimer founded in the late 1800s and located on the Quai Voltaire facing the Louvre from across the St. Germain-side of the Seine, in a chic neighborhood practically next door to the Musee d'Orsay…
None of those practicalities has anything to do with why I go to La Fregate several times a week.
What counts for me is the atmosphere–cozy, friendly, insiderish, welcoming–and the service–efficient, discreet and unusually chummy for Paris. The plaster-encrusted ceilings are frescoed with putti and suchlike fantasies, the bar area is seductively curvaceous, the chairs and banquettes are cushy and easy on the backside.
It's also reasonably dark inside–unlike Hemingway I hate well-lighted (not to say well-lit), over-exposed places.
Besides there's a sunny terrace for those who prefer being blinded by lumens and deafened by quayside traffic.
Other plusses include drinkable Lavazza coffee–not Italy's best, it's true, but a hell of a lot better than the pig-slop served by most Parisian cafes (and supplied by the so-called Auvergnat Mafia–read all about it in A Taste of Paris…).
The food is house-made, fresh, sourced from the national wholesale market at Rungis (and not from one of the big-box restaurant supply stores on the outskirts, where shameful microwave-style cooks get their ready-mades, again read about that disgrace in A Taste of Paris…).
The affable patron–i.e. the owner, shown here–practically lives at La Fregate and he is justly proud of the food, the setting and service… He writes up the menu every day… French classics… entirely edible and often delicious!
The house-made desserts are luscious and fattening to look at…
And in case you're wondering: no, I am not paid for these posts, I always pay my own way, everywhere. C'est simple… Bon appetit!
A Taste of Paris: A History of the Parisian Love Affair with Food, published by St. Martin's Press, New York, Sept 26, 2017 and available for pre-ordering now