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Chez Denise

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I want to thank everyone who suggested this bistro.
I can't imagine how I missed this gem for soo many years.
My hubbie, was in heaven!
The energy and casual friendliness of customers and staff alike made for such an enjoyable evening.
Chatted with Danes, people from Luxenbourg, locals, etc.
Must admit that we ate there twice, which necessitated eliminating our two star choice.

The steak was perfect with marrow bones, and the calf liver was tender and juicy.
Portions are far too large.
I asked for a smaller steak (at same price) because of the size, and they sort of accomodated me by bring a thinner rib steak, that covered the entire plate.
I ordered it rare, and it came just right, and extremely tasty.
The place is definitely about good food, but also a real Paris experience.

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  1. We, too, have been going to Paris for many years and only on this last trip finally ate at Chez Denise. We, too enjoyed it immensely. I think I preferred it to L'Ami Louis, certainly did when you factor in price. For anyone who is interested in eating at Chez Denise but has a problem getting reservations, I recommend Chez Clovis on the corner about two buildings away from Chez Denise. We have walked in many times. It's our favorite traditional starting meal in Paris. Atmosphere is on a par with Denise and food can be just about as good as well. The menu is longer and more diverse. Their marrow bones are a show and their duck confit couldn't be more garlicky nor the fried potatoes more crispy and their tete de veau--don't get me started.

    1. Thanks Jm
      Another resto. I have not been to that Hubby would like.
      Duck Confrit with lots of garlic.
      He will be in heaven.
      Chez Clovis it is for our next Paris trip, along with Chez Denise of course.
      As I get older the fuss of the 3 stars appeal to me less, and these places just make youn feel "happy".
      This is the first time we did not eat at a 2 or 3 star, and it doesn't bother me a bit.

      1. I understand your feelings completely. After pursuing 3 star experiences I finally came around to my husband's point of view--the old fashioned bistros are the best. Fun beats frou frou food every time.

        1. Do you need a reservation for Chez Clovis? I'm in Paris right now, and husband and I talked about going to Chez Denise. To be honest, I'm not too keen on reserving - I never know what I want to do until the day I'm going to do it. (Just got here yesterday and feet are already killing me from all the walking!) On the other hand, without reservations, I realize we have to be prepared to not get into the places we might want.

          1. I don't know about Chez Clovis, but Chez Denise is open very late, possibly all night, and if you are flexible with time you should not have a problem.
            Our second visit, was very last minute (called about 5:00), and they could not give us 9:30 which we requested but said we could come at 8:30
            But hey, Chez Clovis sounds great as well.
            Happy chowing!

            2 Replies
            1. re: erly

              chez Denise is open 24 hrs Monday to Friday (I think it closes 6am Saturday. It is closed Saturday and Sunday.

              1. re: faijay

                If they're open 24 hours a day, why are people having such a hard time getting in? When we went to Chez Denise a few years back, we just sauntered in for lunch around 1:00 and didn't wait for a table. Is it busier at dinner time?

            2. We will be in Paris soon and will be bringing our 11 year old son. We plan to spend one evening strolling the vibrant La Halles area and these both look like excellent choices!

              Are Chez Clovis b and/or Chez Denise open on Sunday. For that matter, is the La Halles area open on Sunday?

              1 Reply
              1. re: Rocket Launcher

                Unfortunately, neither Chez Clovis or Chez Denise are open on Sundays. I think Chez Clovis is open on Saturdays. I don't know when you were last in Paris, but Les Halles has undergone a great transformation, much of it not very good. There is the awful underground Forum des Halles shopping/metro structure that replaced the former market. There are still a few charming bistros and some food shopping in the area (the Montorgueil market just north of the Forum). There are couple of bistros that are opened on Sundays (Au Pied au Cochon). The stores in the Forum, the cafes and fast food around the Forums are opened on Sundays. You are so close to the Marais where on Sundays, it very lively and great for strolling and better for eating. Or you would be better off exploring the area on a weekday where there is much business going on and all the shops and bistros are opened.

              2. Thank you very much for your response. We always seem to be in Paris over the weekend and usually hang out in the Marais on Sundays as most of the stores are open. We will be staying in the Latin Qtrs, so its just accross the river. We will go to La Halles on another evening to sample these places. Thanks again!

                1. I don't think we've ever had a reservation at Chez Clovis. That's one of the many things that makes it so perfect for us. Regardless of when our plane comes in we can pretty well be assured of being able to eat our first meal there without a problem. OTOH, we've tried several times to get into Chez Denise for lunch without reservations and without success. Reserved for dinner this time.

                  1. Everything at Chez Denise was lovely except for the steak. It was so tough that I couldn't chew through it. We mentioned it to the waiter and he kindly brought out another piece. This one was much better but I've had much better steak elsewhere. But again, everything else was very tasty.

                    1. Just want to chime in here and thank JM for recommending this place. I walked in last Thursday about 2pm for a solo lunch..had no problem getting a table. I did not want a heavy meat meal (had reservations for JR that night) . So I ordered the frisee salad with croutons (10E) and a special of skate with capers (raie aux capres) (24E). This was some of the best fish I have enjoyed in France. Ever! Chef was walking around visiting with diners (many men who appeared to love good food) and I told him how much I liked it. Waiter showed me a clipping from a magazine posted on the wall that touts the chef as one of Paris premier fish cooks. The portion of fish was very large, swimming in butter and abolutely delicious. This place is a gem..comfortable, friendly, unpretentious. Prices are reasonable; the highest priced plat was the beef with marrow bone for 2 at 60E. Thanks for a great tip on a memorable meal.

                      1. As Chez Denise was closed last week for half term, I took a meal at Chez Clovis instead. I was on my own and wandered into Chez Clovis on Saturday night at 9.30pm. Very casual place, not at all concerned about me being solo. Had the herring filets as an entree. Came with piping hot new potatos and some truly red tomatos, all tossed with a vinegrette that could have been a bit more acidic. I was hoping for the endless herring treatment, such as one gets at Chez George on rue du Mail, but still good. Went with the confit du canard which was excellent. Finished off with some very tasty tarte tartin. Actually, I finished off with another glass of wine. Chez Clovis offers many wines by the glass at very reasonable prices. I missed Chez Denise on this visit to Paris, but almost made up for it at Chez Clovis.

                        One more late nite bistro recommendation: Chez Andre near George V. Happy to seat diners after 11.30, but best to call in advance. Solid food, really good wines at reasonable prices, and the best profiteroles I've had in Paris.

                        1. I went to Chez Clovis when I spent a month in Paris Sept/05...Quite by accident I sat on their terrace for a late lunch, about 2PM....my meal was simple and glorious....I had their own foie gras, fresh green salad and 2 glasses of wine. The owner was wonderful....each time that I was in the area, ie when going to rue Montorgueille to meander and look at gorgeous food! I am going for the month of June and it may well be my first lunch in Paris! I have never been to Chez Denise, but reading this thread, I can't wait! Chez Clovis is well worth a stop.

                          1. Can someone please let me know where Chez Denise is? Thank you.

                            2 Replies
                            1. re: naughtyb

                              Chez Denise (formally known as La Tour de Montlhery)
                              5, rue des Prouvaires
                              Paris 1

                            2. Wonderful report...we will be in paris in May and would like to try either Chez Denise or Chez Clovis....do they have the "fixed prix" menu? Also, we are early diners; do you think we would need reservations? Many thanks.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: bmgjrg

                                I've eaten many times at both places and it seems that Chez Denise is always crowded, therefore, a reservation is advisable, less so for Clovis. Neither has a 'fixed prix' menu. Portions at Chez Denise are very large and I've often split first and main course with a companion and still come away full. The staff is very friendly and accommodating. Just one comment on Chez Denise: the tables are very very close together (even by Paris standard) and many times you are sharing a table with fellow diners. This can be great for some but not for others, especially if there is a smoker near by.

                              2. I've read some excellent things about this restaurant, but also heard it's difficult to get reservations if you don't speak French.

                                Has anyone experienced this?

                                1 Reply
                                1. re: DavidGMB

                                  We had dinner at Chez Denise last December. We speak little French but always attempt when making reservations. It most always works out one way or another as either they speak English (or enough to get by) or our French lite works out. I don't recall the reservation taker here but think he/she spoke some English so no problem. The meal was enjoyable and the waitstaff was fabulous, accommodating and spoke excellent English.