Food in Paris for a mixed group
We will be going to Paris the second week-end of October (arriving on Thursday and leaving on Sunday)with my brothers and sister. We will be a group of eight in total, with a pretty large spread of interest in food (me and my wife pretty serious (hobby) cooks, and extremely interested in restaurant food, one brother who really enjoys good food and wine, and most of the rest a bit "can take it or leave it", and one who is afraid of anything with taste). I have convinced the whole group that we "need" to have one 3* lunch, and have also taken the responsibility for the rest of the food-program. Help in the following areas would be greatly appreciated:
1) We are all arriving early on Thursday evening, and staying in a hotel in the Quartier Latin. Everybody will be tired from travelling (Norway/The Netherlands), and I figured on getting us a table at a Bistro in the neighbourhood. Any recomendations?
2) 3* lunch in Friday will be a challenge for some of the group in any case, so I am not planning to be too careful. Last time I had a 3* lunch in Paris was at Taillevent, which was great but very traditional and reserved. This time I figured to try the other end of the scale and go for Gaignaire. Any thoughts?
3) Saturday I will only plan in dinner. Maybe me and my brother will slip off to L'atelier de Joel Rebuchon for lunch, but this will not be a group thing. Dinner should be in a "nice traditional" French restaurant that is relatively relaxed. Could be anywhere in Paris within reasonable taxi distance. Any ideas?
4) My wife and I will probably be travelling back to The Netherlands by train, and that means that lunch will be in Terminus Nord, as it allways has been.............
Looking forward to your input
Here are my suggestions:
1) Le Bistro d'Henri, St Germain. 16 Rue Princesse, 75006. It's right near Odeon and Blvd. St. Germain. Standard bistro food in a casual environment, chalkboard menu, so I hope you can read some French. Might be difficult to get into later in the evening, try to go early.
A quieter bistro would be Grannie, 27 rue Pierre Leroux, right behind Bon Marche. Guaranteed that it won't be crowded, you can make reservations, and the food is spectacular. Traditional bistro with an Asian twist (chef is Japanese), but not too fusion-y.
2) Gaignaire might be too out there even for some of your party, I would suggest Guy Savoy instead. One of my most memorable meals was his tasting menu.
3) Traditional would be La Coupole near Montparnasse, a few minute's cab ride from the Latin Quarter. Definitely make reservations (available online, i believe), and everybody will find something there. Beautiful dining room, bustling, and a definite experience that is still casual enough that you can wear whatever you want.
Au Fil de Saisons in the Marais is quiet, small, and very relaxed- completely different feel from La Coupole.
4)Sorry, no help here!
In case you need more help:
Some of my favorites in Paris:
1) since you're thinking about a traditional bistro for Saturday, a few 'non-traditional' bistros in the 5th/6th:
La Bastide D'Odeon, 6e
Les Bookinistes, 6e
Le Reminet. 5e
Chez Maitre Paul, 6th
La Rotisserie d’en Face, 6e
2). If you are looking for a 3star opposite of the traditional Taillevent, Pierre Gagnaire would be it. After 3 meals there, I've come away with similar opinions as most others: many great dishes, some good, a few mystifying. I have not had their prix fixe lunch so I am not much help there. If you are looking for a "reasonable" 3star lunch, Guy Savoy does not offer a prix fixe lunch.
3) traditional bistros serving classic cooking such as coq au vin, steak,, rack of lamb, boeuf a la bourguignonne:
La Tour de Montlhery (also known as Chez Denise), 1e
Chez Georges, 2e
Chez Rene, 5e
Au Moulin a Vent, 5e
Le Petit Marguery, 13e, late Oct and after for game, other dishes are also good
Au Trou Gascon, 12e, if you looking for food from the South West of France
Just back from the long week-end in Paris, and everybody had a great time. Thanks to Chezchristine and PBSF for their input and ideas.
On Thursday night we ended up eating at Grannie. It was a bit out of the way, but was very nice indeed. The food was great (could not really detect any Fusion-y aspect to the food), service was very good, asnd the wines were excellent.
On Friday we had lunch at Guy Savoy. This was heaven...... We were seated in theur private dining room across the street from the restaurant, and though it might have been fun to be part of the restaurant scene, this was perfect for our group of eight. We had their Euro 150 lunch menu which included the oyster on ice, cod and egg, artichoke soup, lamd steak, and a "ton" of deserts (it all sounds nicer in French). The food was wonderful, what surprised me the most was the lightness of the preperation (for example the cod was just lightly steamed, and was served naked except for a poached egg and some spinach) which really allowed the quality of the ingredients to shine through. The service was excellent, and it really brings home to you the manpower required for this level of quality when you see three people working full time only for your meal the whole afternoon.
On Sauturday, the only disapointment, Le Reminet, which deserves its own post.
Today we had lunch at Terminus Nord, and it was , as allways, great. I really love this place. The food is good (not great, but honest), service is excellent, and it is just a lot of fun seeing all the people moving in and out to grab some food before catching their train.