Going to Paris August 14th to 18th...wondering if getting around using the Metro is easy or not. I dont speak a word of French.
Also staying at the Hotel Lourve...anyone know a few good places to eat, bistros or whatever.
It is very easy. Buy Une Carnet des Billets (Book of tickets) or you can buy a pass. Make sure to purchase Paris par Arrondisement--a blue book that has street maps and metro and bus maps. When you go into the metro you will see a large map where you can enter your destination and usually the route will light up (not always working). What I do is figure out the route before I leave and use the street map to figure out what to do once I get to the destination. Then I draw myself a little map in my agenda. You can ask and if French is not good, you can point out the street in your plan book. Most addreses give the metro stop closest to it. You can also ask the concierge at the hotel to help you if you have trouble finding something. I travel all the time to places I've never been and I just figure, what's the worst, I'll get lost and find something unexpected. Go enjoy and don't worry.
You might like L'Ardoise or Chez Denise in your neighbourhood. For a treat try Le Carre des Feuillants just north of Rue de Rivoli. L'Ardoise is a lively and noisy bistrot with pretty good food. They only have prix fixe, no a la carte. It is reasonable (30 euros, I think). The menu is written on a slate (l'ardoise). Chez Denise is a traditional place with steak frites, and a nice wine list. Le Carre des Feuillants is a 2 star restaurant specializing in south west cuisine and wine (I love the wine list). It has a reasonable prix fixe lunch --ask the concierge to make reservation--if you are interested do it a couple of weeks in advance. The only thing I am not sure if any of these places are open in August. I'll check and get back to you.
If you're going to be at the Hotel du Louvre, near the Louvre and the Comedie Francaise, you will be about a block from Le Dauphin, one of our favorite places (I think it's on the rue St. Honore). When we were there last month, there was a lot of fresh fish on the menu. I've also had a pretty good cassoulet there in the winter months, and good meat and chicken dishes. Over the years they've been consistent, reasonably priced, and the service and staff are so nice, even if you don't speak French.
I second Le Dauphin, a true charmer. And yes, it's located at 167, Rue Saint-Honoré. And the best, it's open 7/7.