For years, this corner restaurant on the back side of Sacre Coeur seemed shrouded in mystery. It was a Thai place, painted red, with windows covered so you couldn’t see inside. My neighbors and I never saw anyone go in or out. The lack of traffic finally did it in—we guess—and a fantastic Italian spot has taken its place. In Bocca Al Lupo is modern in its stripped-down interior, unadorned windows and homemade bread. But it has retained the vintage atmosphere so integral to Lamarck Caulaincourt, especially by the blue, brown and white tile floor—which had been covered for decades by a glued-down carpet. A heavy wooden door leads to the walk-in fridge from the dining area. And the food is great. It’s classic Italian, clean and fresh, with no skimping on the little things, such as the quality of the olive oil and balsamic vinegar for salad dressing. The prices are appropriate for this working class neighborhood. Little wonder that it was mobbed today at lunch!
14 rue Francoeur, Paris 75018