The food here is competently prepared but not noteworthy, and the 40 or so tables crowded into the cellar-level dining room are claustrophobically close together. But there's something fun and spontaneous about the place, and readers have written to us proclaiming the good times they've had and the insights they've garnered into French humor and conviviality. The masonry in the basement dates from the late 1400s, around the time when François Villon, the restaurant's namesake, was composing his French-language poetry. Get a table in the cellar, because that's where the guitarist who entertains here spends most of his time, on every working night from 8:30pm till closing. Menu items change with the seasons, but usually include the house version of foie gras, a spinach salad with caramelized bacon; an assortment of terrines and pâtés made from chicken or pork; and a grilled confit of duckling with a galette of potatoes. The entertainment is convivial and, at times, even a bit bawdy.
- © Frommer's 2013