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Solo San Franciscan in Paris

sumi Dec 20, 2006 10:10 PM

Looking for some suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner in Paris -- really, I'm not joking. Have been underwhelmed by my choices so far. I'm staying in the 5th, but am moving over to the 4th, across from the Pompidou at the end of the week. For me, the quality of the food is the #1 priority, as well as being solo diner friendly. Doesn't have to be a swanky place.

In SF, I generally grab a seat at the bar -- many an enjoyable dinner has been had that way at Bar Tartine, Delfina, Pizzeria Delfina, Clementine, etc...

Am done with the picnics -- have had lots of those, and disappointed by some of the very lousy bistros I've wandered into so far. So clearly spontaneity isn't working.

I'll try Les Bouquinistes this week -- anyone know if it's single diner friendly? Really, am not super fussy. Yes, I've got a good handle on the croissants and bread. But want good coffee, a good breakfast of something other than croissant or bread sometime this week, a simple light lunch (good soups? good salads? good quiche?), and a kick ass dinner (don't eat seafood though).

Help. (I can't believe I'm in Paris and writing this but really -- it's day 3 and I'm kind of getting desperate.)

  1. s
    shih Jan 10, 2007 12:20 PM

    Went to Le Pure Cafe last night (14 rue Jean Mace) right near the edge of the 11th/12th. It was really great - a slight twist on the traditional French bistro. My duck confit dish was mm mm good.

    1. Hungry4Good Jan 10, 2007 05:53 AM

      San Francisco? Don't eat seafood? That's like saying, "I can't tolerate the color blue." What's that about?

      1 Reply
      1. re: Hungry4Good
        sumi Jan 10, 2007 10:57 PM

        I know, I wish I liked it more.

      2. purplescout Dec 27, 2006 03:29 AM

        Sumi - please tell us where you ate as a solo diner and how it went.

        1 Reply
        1. re: purplescout
          sumi Dec 30, 2006 05:20 AM

          Whoops -- sorry! Thanks to all of you for your recommendations! Next time, I'm going to be much more prepared before I go. The fallafels at both L'As au Fallafel and Chez Marianne were delicious. I had a nice lunch at Le P'tit Troquet. You're right - perfectly fine for a solo diner. Lovely atmosphere, particularly appreciated the attentive service and 100% non-smoking atmosphere. My meal was ok - pumpkin soup was a bit bland, pork in wine sauce overly salty, but the clafoutis was good, and the bread was great. I'd definitely go again and try some different things. Sadly, I never got to Cafe Constant, Spring or Les Bouquinistes -- all closed for the holidays. And tried to have tea at Laduree twice, but the Royale location was a mob scene and got to the Champs Elysee location a bit late. Had a nice chocolat chaud at the St. Honore branch of Jean Paul Hevin - friendly service in the tea room (vs. the somewhat supercilious attitude at the chocolate counter) and amazing chocolate cakes.

        2. s
          sumi Dec 26, 2006 11:31 AM

          FYI Folks: Cafe Constant is closed throught Dec. 30. Also, think Bouquinistes is as well. Called today and got a message that I think said they're closed.

          1. h
            huruta Dec 25, 2006 08:13 PM

            If you can get a hold of the Time Out guide to Food & Eating in Paris, grab it. We just got back today from Paris, bought it on a whim right before we left a week ago and had many delicious meals at restaurants we identified through this source.

            1. orangewasabi Dec 25, 2006 05:56 PM

              Try Chez Enzo in the 6th (Rue de Dragon, just south of St. Germain des Pres). Really terrific Italian -- the lasagna (E15) will sooth your soul, and the artichoke appetizer is divine. Singl friendly, esp if you go early i.e. before 8pm

              Also, Lavinia on Rue Madelaine. It's a wine store. You can grab a bottle from the store and head upstairs to drink it with a platter of meats and/or cheeses. A half bottle and a platter of chacuterie, yummm. Plenty of space and perfect for a single diner. Open continuously i.e. does not close between traditional meal hours.

              Where are you not finding good coffee? I'm finding it everywhere.

              1. louloufrance Dec 24, 2006 12:06 PM

                I've heard that Spring is wonderful. The menu changes every night and the chef, Daniel Rose, has his own blog.
                Have a good trip.

                1 Reply
                1. re: louloufrance
                  sumi Dec 25, 2006 12:58 AM

                  His blog is interesting - but damn, I missed him. Spring is closed until Jan. 5. Thanks for the tip - next time...

                2. f
                  francelonian Dec 23, 2006 09:21 PM

                  I had a superb lunch at Le Vaudeville near the Bourse a couple of weeks ago. Desperately wanted to go to Aux Lyonnais but only had weekend lunch avail and it was closed, but I've heard nothing but raves about it.

                  Also enjoyed Le Grand Colbert, where the bistro scene in the movie Something's Gotta Give was shot. Very good, but not superb.

                  1. zuriga1 Dec 23, 2006 07:23 PM

                    I saw lots of solo diners at L'Epi Dupin. The tables are close together and everyone seems to talk to one another... very good food and only about €32 for dinner - even less at lunchtime. It's in the 6th on Rue Dupin.

                    1. s
                      sumi Dec 22, 2006 09:04 PM

                      Bless you one and all!

                      1. f
                        faijay Dec 22, 2006 06:52 AM

                        Of course the counter at L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon is very comfortable for a single diner and also very expensive. Reservations only taken for the very earliest lunch or dinner, then you wait in line. In the fouth and the nearby bastile area I would recommend L'As au Fallafel on rue, des Rossiers for a delicious lunch==get the deluxe and some cider. It is the best falafel, I've ever eaten. Le Biche au Bois is very accomodating to singles and the food is delicious and the prix fixe very reasonable. It serves wonderful game at this time of year. Out in the hinterlands of the 20th arr. is Le Baratin, wonderful food and atmosphere and if you are there in the daytime, there is Belleville Park. I love the food at Le Pamphlet in the third. They are a great reasonabley priced tasting menu. They were redecorating so I don't know if they have reopened--check. Another favourite of mine when dining alone is Le Petit Tonneau on St. Dominique in the 7th. There is a wonderful woman chef. She makes superb mushroom dishes and the best Tarte Tatin or Clafouti.

                        In the same neighbourhood are the restaurants and cafes of Chrisian Constant. I think Cafe Constant would suit you.

                        Finally, I recommend a trip to the 15th arr. for a meal at Le Cave a L'Os a Moelle or the restaurant across the street, L'Os a Moelle, (outstanding 6 course menu and wines) However, alone I think you might like the Cave better. You go into the cave to select your wine and then order your food. It is very busy.

                        1. purplescout Dec 22, 2006 02:39 AM

                          I haven't dined alone at P'tit Troquet, but I have been there and I'm sure it would be very comfortable for a solo diner at lunch and probably so at dinner. The food is traditional and top-notch.

                          As a soloist, you might check out a wine bar. Jacques Melac is won't be too far from your new digs in the 4th. The food is simple and rustic but delicious and you'll love the wines. Last time I was there I had a beef cheek stew (sounds weird, I know, but it was yummy.)

                          In the 4th I'd also recommend Baracane Bistro. It's a tiny little place with food from the Southwest.

                          Fancy tea in the afternoon might be fun on your own if you are into people-watching. Check out Laduree.

                          Finally, if you want to "see a show" while you are eating, there is a funky restaurant/bar called La Cantine du Faubourg that's a cross between a dining establishment, a drinking establishment, and a performance art exhibit. You won't miss having company with you at a meal there because of the constantly changing light/picture show on the walls. The food is good (not great) and can tend toward the weird, but it's certainly memorable.

                          1. s
                            sumi Dec 22, 2006 12:40 AM

                            Thanks Missmoo -- i'm happy to travel around, just bummed about the not too impressive bites of late. Will give it a try.

                            1. m
                              Missmoo Dec 21, 2006 06:27 PM

                              Okay, here it is : Restaurant Sancerre on Ave Rapp in the 7th. Open for lunch with omlettes, quiche etc. Prices are 11 to 22 dollars, so definately in the budget category. Plus you can buy a bottle of their wine to take home!

                              1. m
                                Missmoo Dec 21, 2006 06:18 PM

                                It's been a while since I've been there, but I ate dinner at Le P'tit Troquet by myself and the food was great and they were very nice to me. (It is in the 7th however) I also liked Bistro Sancerre (I think that's the name? Sorry) Also in the 7th for lunch and great wine (Sancerre obviously) I'll look up the name of that one and post again.

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