A few years back Christian Constant was avant-garde; he walked away from his Michelin stars to open a more casual dining experience. He chose conviviality over formality and Les Cocottes does that well with its steel bar stools, matcha colored walls, stone finishes, decorative ceramic hens, blackboard walls. Dare I say the place is cozy. Dishes are ordered separately and served in hot Staub cocottes.
The must-haves include the pumpkin soup (with an ephemeral wisp of foam), the apple crumble and the chocolate tart. The meals are all rich and warming and reminiscent of something you might have at a French farm house.
Instead of waiting in the dinner rush I’d recommend having a late weekday lunch there after you’ve had time to enjoy the park at the Eiffel Tower, near where the restaurant is located. Then is when you’ll find locals enjoying their food and wine in that relaxed ambiance that has inspired other chefs to follow suit (Inaki Aizpitarte, Grégory Marchand): It is after all through imitation and its sincerest flattery that the the Parisian food-scape has evolved.
In today’s democratized information age it’s very hard to keep a place a secret and Les Cocottes de Christian Constant is no longer the secret it once was: Lines stretch when it and its sister Cafe Constant open for dinner. (I should know, I stood in one of them.) But don’t let Les Cocottes’ popularity discourage you from sampling its simple yet hearty fare: The food is still very much worth the wait.