A recent newsletter from my home-base hotel in Paris, Hotel des Grands Hommes, included a critique of the old standard, Mollard, above, a seafood restaurant across from the Gare St. Lazare. The upshot is that while the Art Deco style of the place is stunning, the food...not so much. It brought to mind the rap that Chartier, in the Faubourg Montmartre area of Paris, often gets -- neat place to go but no gastronomic temple. The tables, covered with the signature red and white jacquard tableclothes and large white paper sheets -- where the waiter scratches out the order -- are seen above. Chartier may not carry any Michelin stars, but they serve good, hearty French fare, especially for the student budget. Such was my situation when I discovered the restaurant, known back in the day as a "bouillon." Similarly impoverished friends came up from Rome for a weekend, and we were just damned pleased with the good meal and a bottle of French wine (well, several bottles). It's hidden away a bit, on a side street and down the corridor, above. Above is a particularly lovely view of the first floor dining at the airy Chartier, where it is not unusual to see a bird flying amongst the rafters. It's in a not-to-be-missed part of Paris for me, not only for a sentimental meal at Chartier, but also because it is just around the corner from three 19th century Paris shopping arcades: the Passages Jouffroy, Verdeau and des Panoramas. I'll save the details for another post, but the Passages are where I buy most of my treasured trinkets when I'm in Paris. Passage Jouffroy is above. But I digress. The old restaurants like Mollard and Chartier are a little touristy, but so what? They stand as witnesses to many a meal enjoyed in an ambiance that is the real deal. á bientôt...Tatie La Poste is an occasional feature of Atelier Chéri where I share a particularly good blog post or newsletter item from my email inbox.