Bistro, French, $$$
The menu at Les Fabricants is both extensive and brief. Extensive in that there is plenty to choose from, most of it hearty French fare from the Basque region. It is brief, however, in description. You either need to know your way around Southwest French cuisine, or be prepared to ask questions. The menu comes with very little in the way of explanation, even in French, so your best bet is probably just to pick a type of meat or fish and whatever preparation sounds exciting. There is a menu in English, and you can ask questions of the staff, but that just seems less fun.Among locals, they are famous for their escalope de veau montagnarde, a mountain (hence the name) of veal stuffed with cheese and mushrooms, covered in a crème fraîche sauce. Not exactly a ‘getting fit for summer’ kind of meal. They have all sorts of exotic sounding dishes such as tripes basquaise and salade de gessiers (duck gizzard salad), but also classics like confit de canard. This is not much good for vegetarians. Virtually everything, even the salade du chèvre chaud, has meat in it. They’ll leave the bacon bits out of your salad if you ask, but that leaves practically the rest of the menu off-limits. They do have a nice range of fried potato slices though with various toppings and a baked camembert served in its little wooden box.This is a place to go with friends, to sit on or near the terrace, to drink too much and eat far too much. It’s not ‘fine dining,’ but you wouldn’t want it to be. This is traditional, home-style cooking, to be shared with friends who just want a good meal, cheap drinks, and to share it all with a noisy room full of Parisians.