Welcome! or rather Bienvenue. You made it to Paris, love cheese, but also want to try some of the traditional bistro food. Here are two recommendations of places that you should visit. These two places are interesting for the format they present their cheese selection.
Astier, located at 44 rue Jean-Pierre Timbaud – Parmentier Metro (line 3), is a regular bistro featuring a cheese board with a small, but well selected offering of cheeses. The format is all you can eat. For a fix price you get the board brought to your table and you can serve yourself as much cheese as you please. However, make sure to not take more than necessary, wasting cheese is a capital offence. This bistro also has a traditional French menu, but always check out the specials. Reservations are necessary.
Chez Casimir, near Gare du Nord (lines 4 and 5) located at 6 Rue de Belzunce, functions like a buffet during weekends. Cheese, charcuterie, and desserts are all displayed in a large wooden table for you to serve yourself. During weekends they have simple food from the Breton province and the ambiance is like what you expect to find in a small village in France. This place is great for lunch on the weekend. However, during the week the dinner menu also consists of traditional dishes from the Breton province and you can walk into their wine cellar and pick up a bottle. Reservations are encouraged.
The beauty of both these restaurants is their Parisian appeal and simple format. There are many bristos in the city, but few carry a large selection of cheeses or pay enough attention to the quality of their offering.
When in France, remember to always greet people. A simple bonjour or bonsoire goes a long way. Tipping is not expected, but increasingly it is customary to leave one or two euros as a small extra.
If you are looking for cheese-centered places, you can read my post on cheese bars.Photo Credit: A.G. Photographe via Compfight cc