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The French bistro provides an irresistible dining experience, combining fresh, traditional dishes with a friendly atmosphere. With its checkered tablecloths, chalkboard menus brandishing the plats du jour, emblematic wooden chairs, and an endless supply of crusty baguettes, the gastronomic bistro has firmly established itself as a culinary institution. Bertrand Auboyneau, the owner of Bistrot Paul Bert in Paris, offers a seasonal selection of sixty hearty recipes. Starters include rustic country p t with cognac and wild mushroom confit or scallops cooked in their shells with a piquant twist. An extensive selection of main courses ranges from shoulder of lamb en cocotte to duck breast with cherries and roasted new potatoes. After a dazzling cheese platter, if you still have room for dessert, you can indulge in an assortment of delicious classics, such as Paul Bert’s signature Paris-Brest, praline cream in a crisp choux pastry ring, or le flottante, an island of poached meringue floating in Tahitian vanilla cr me anglaise. To accompany the recipes, revered food critic Fran ois Simon outlines the ten commandments that rule a true bistro, such as the importance of an inspirational owner and a highly experienced chef as well as impeccable waiters and the art of creating an authentic decor, dense with the wafting smells of good food and wine. Photographs feature both recipes and the lively spirit of a dozen Parisian bistros.