Our overall verdict on Brasserie Chavot is that the food is very good indeed, while the venue struggles to be charismatic and the service is a mix of haughty arrogance, condescension and patronising tones. Authentic then in the sense that some some people visiting Paris would rather eat at a McDonald's than endure trial by brasserie waiter.
But the positives first. Prices are reasonable and the menu choices extensive with most tastes surely covered. Half a dozen oysters for one starter at £11.50 is something of a bargain (at our previous day's disaster Roast, they cost a full £16.50!); for that, here at Chavot's, you even get a crepinette also. A ceviche of scallops meanwhile was excellent, offering lovely freshness with the ingredients, acidic zing together with the perfect balance of chili heat, all on a sunbeam of a presented plate.
Mains were a steak tartare which is among the best we've encountered during the years of the blog, and a 'filet de canette a l'orange', young duck that was tender, well cooked and seamlessly integrated with the orange in the dish. One side of frites, easily enough for two people, were crisp and enjoyable.
On desserts, more of the same, perfect classics with the best Ile flottante I can ever remember having as well as rich and decadent profiteroles. So far so good then.
As for the venue, Brasserie Chavot has inherited a room that was expensively attired in its former life as The Gallery and clearly the powers that be were (understandably) reluctant to rip this out and start again from scratch. But mosaic floors, chandeliers, table cloths, dark wood and red leather gives a strong impression of fine dining and a formality sits over the room that seems to inhibit joy. Made worse, on our visit, with less than half a dozen tables filled, such a large space seemed to suck the very air from the room.
This could have been ameliorated by the waiting staff but they seemed more formal yet. Toss out the words 'relaxed' and 'friendly' to them and they would surely have to reach for a dictionary. They seemed less than impressed with our request for tap water; bread, which is sold here as extra (£2.25) was pushed on us several times 'will you be wanting bread with your main course' (still no), and on one occasion, one of my largest pet hates, the waiter turns his back and walks away from our table all the while finishing the sentence addressed to us. On desserts, with one of us having ordered Ile flotante and the other profiteroles, the French waiter says to both of us that he cannot understand our French/English, would we repeat the order. Even with the poorest of enunciation, how badly can you mangle the world profiteroles, and could he really have confused the word with the limited number of other dessert choices like cheesecake? Was he toying with us perhaps, getting us back for tap water and no bread? One of the few occasions where we begrudge the mandatory 12.5%.
Overall then, we have no complaints about the food or the price of the food, it was delicious and, offering quality of that level, good value also. The room overall we felt struggled, and there were few touches to lighten the load. The room's real salvage should have been the staff, but they missed that trick by a Gallic mile. When the food's this good, staff have to go some way to ruin things but somehow they managed to.