Where to Dine - 6 Days in Paris
Been to various haute restaurants and my favorites, L'Astrance and Hiramatsu, are booked. Looking for places frequented more by locals, great neighborhood feel, not too touristy, and excellent food. Budget not a big deal, but trying to keep it reasonable for fellow travel companions. Thoughts on the following list?
L'Avant Gout 01 53 80 24 00
Cave Gourmande 01 40 40 03 30
Temps au Temps 01 43 79 63 40
L'Ami Jean 01 47 05 86 89
Salon d'Helene 01 42 22 00 01
Ze Kitchen Galarie 01 44 32 00 32
Le Pre Verre 01 43 54 59 47
I second Le P'tit Troquet. It's small, family-owned and run, the chef makes his own breads and ice cream. The food is wonderful, the service charming, and the price is great. (30e for 3 courses.) This place was recommended to me by someone who lives in Paris for part of the year and I was so glad we went. If the Pork with Lemon Confit is on the menu, get it. It was so fabulous that I wrote the chef and asked for the recipe! (And he obliged...in French!)
I love Ze Kitchen Galerie. You might want to rethink Le Cave Gourmand. I have read very negative things here and on other boards about the terrible service and general snarkiness of the wife/hostess. The others sound fine, although I did not enjoy my meal at Helene Darroze and Chez Helene is her bistrot.
One thing I forgot to mention: if you are a non-smoker, an otherwise great meal in Paris can be ruined by second-hand smoke from other diners.
The three restaurants I recommended above all are smoke-free or have non-smoking zones.
Zagat Paris lists all the restaurants that are smoke free.
Well worth checking.
I have never seen anyone write anything negative about L'Avant Gout, so feel free to take my opinion with a big grain of salt.
I did not enjoy my meal here at all. The decor is dated modern, the tables are incredibly close together, and I found nothing especially charming or interesting about the place on the whole. As for the food, they offer a limited menu, around five or six starters, and about the same number of mains, and a few deserts and cheeses; you can order a la carte or a three course menu for around 30 - 40 Euro. There was little on the menu that appealed to me. I ended up having an endive roquefort salad, pot au feu,and a warm chocolate centered cake for desert. The salad was small and bland, the main course was boring, and again, too small (I rarely complain about portion size), and the desert was an average rendition of this desert that you can now find just about anywhere.
Note also that the location is fairly out of the way from a lot of the central tourist locations (this fact , of course, depends on where you are staying).