28.1.13

A little restaurant with "history"


It’s not in my habits to recommend apartments, hotels, restaurants… , but this one is so much linked to the Montmartre “history” that I think it’s worth a special mentioning.

This little restaurant, 42 rue Lepic, Montmartre, has been there since 1909 and the interior decoration has hardly changed since. The eating is also very traditional – and served in generous portions.


The restaurant has always been run by the same family, now in a mixture of fourth and fifth generations.

So, as said, it’s very much related to the Montmartre myth. At the beginning, the restaurant was called “Chez Arthur”, after the name of the owner. Four years later, in 1913, the name was changed to “A la Pomponnette “, a name actually linked to a heavy wine drinking “test” – Pomponnette refers to a drinking glass without a foot, which may decrease the risk of reversing. In addition to the owner, at least two prominent Montmartre profiles participated, the painter Gen Paul and Poulbot. I have already posted on Francisque Poulbot, e.g. here and here.

Furthermore, it was during a dinner here in 1920 where Poulbot again participated that it was decided – of course for fun - to establish the “République de Montmartre”... which later among other things led to the creation of the Montmartre vineyard and its annual great festivities to celebrate the year’s harvest (see previous posts here and here about the “Clos de Montmartre”).

In 1923, Poulbot suggested, and Arthur agreed, to sacrifice the hen-roost behind the restaurant and instead create a free of charge dispensary for kids, for the "poulbots".

The walls are covered by paintings and drawings by different local artists, including Poulbot and Gen Paul,  and a lot of old photos. Actually, even the walls themselves are covered by Poulbot drawings, but you can hardly distinguish them today after about a century of smoke from food, cigarettes, cigars… 


One of the permanent occupants is “Ponette”, who this cold day had found a perfect place. 

17 comments:

La Brocanteuse said...

Thank you very much,I will def put this one on my list for when next in Paris-have a lovely week, greetings from Afrique du Sud ~ Colette

[G@ttoGiallo] said...

Tested in the 70s when living in Abbesses' area.
Now I'm only interested in asian food.

Olivier said...

ce restaurant est un vrai lieu historique, je me demande si il est pas protege comme monument historique ?

Ola said...

romantic to be in pleace with such a history!
Blog about life and travelling
Blog about cooking

Dianne said...

Thanks Peter ... I must put this restaurant on my must-visit list ...... so full of history and character.
Little "ponnette" has certainly found herself a warm spot.

"All Things French"

SusuPetal said...

Oh, what a wonderful looking place, Peter!

hpy said...

Salut à Ponette!

Studio at the Farm said...

Hi Peter. I am so glad you wrote about La Pomponnette. What a wonderful restaurant!!! And all those wonderful paintings! And of course, Ponette, who looks most comfortable on her perch. Lovely post - thank you!

Starman said...

If it ever happens that we make it back to France, we'll make a special point of eating at this very interesting place. Thank you for the recommendation!

Vagabonde said...

What a good address. I looked and they do have some nice classic dishes, like “Rable de lapin aux lardons et aux champignons” and “Aiguillettes de canard au poivre vert.”as well as Blanquette de Veau. They also have a “Formule” at 18 Euros which is very reasonable. Thanks for mentioning this restaurant.

ALAIN said...

Une histoire ajoute toujours un peu de saveur aux plats.

claude said...

J'aime ce genre de restos, sans chichi, avec une ancienne déco. Et puis j'aime bien ce nom "A la Pomponette", cela rappelle la chatte du boulanger de Pagnol. Je savais bien qu'Hélène allait craquer pour Ponette.
Vagabonde me donne faim.

Catherine said...

looks a lovely place to lunch - great tradition and history

Kate said...

Lucky you, Peter, to live in a city of such historical points of interest.

Cezar and Léia said...

Ponette is a doll, what a cute friend!
Lovely place, I like a lot the clock and the composition in your first image, you prepared such a great article Peter, thanks for sharing!
hugs
Léia

Synne said...

Oh, I've never seen this place - yet another reason to keep exploring Montmartre! LOVE the clever cat!

Jeanie said...

What a beautiful spot and a wonderful one to put on the "next time" list. I can't think of Montmartre without thinking of you! And that sweet Ponette looks much like my Lizzie Cosette -- again, I'd feel right at home!