Les Pipos Bar à Vin in the 5th

Family-friendly, well priced, with a great wine selection, fresh shellfish and French comfort food, Les Pipos is one of those cozy, neighborhood gathering places that you’re happy you stumbled upon.

I first arrived mid-afternoon, hungry at a time of day when it’s not always easy to find lunch. But they serve nonstop, and midday diners were still lingering at square wooden tables, finishing plates of boeuf bourgignon and devouring platters of perfectly ripe soft cheeses.

My meal was simple: soup of the day, charcuterie platter, glass of wine. The last was chosen by my smiling server, and all three were excellent. Beside me, a family of 4 finished a bowl of aligot (potatoes whipped with Cantal cheese, a specialty of the Auvergne region), wiped their plates clean with slices of baguette, and said they were too full for dessert.

The atmosphere can be hectic in the evening, when things are in full swing: regulars crowd the carved wooden bar and tuck into Brittany oysters and wine; every table is full; servers slip in and out of the kitchen carrying trays overhead; and the low ceiling traps the considerable number of voices.

But dine early, or stop for a glass of wine mid-afternoon.  You’ll want to linger over classic dishes and the excellent wine list in a congenial setting.

They do not take credit cards.