Design the Ultimate Parisian Culinary Week (subtitle: Help a Desperate Husband)
i am 10 minutes into planning a week of dining in paris with my wife starting new year's day. she's under the impression i've been planning it for weeks. i know, i know, i should have started sooner.
but with the contrition out on the table, we arrive from munich early monday 1/1, and fly out of cdg mid-day saturday 1/6. we are staying in the 8th.
the challenge (ok, let's call it what it is - me begging for help): design the perfect parisian dining week.
lunch and dinner for monday-friday - and breakfasts too if that makes it more fun. i'm looking at this as kind of a 'what if this were your last week alive' deal: what would those places be?
we don't mind expensive or inexpensive, as long as it's great, isn't touristy, and is memorable. in other words, the 'wow' places. and we don't need to spend the whole time in starred locales - great food and character trumps stars in my book. my french is ok at best but i can survive. (my wife's cute so maybe that will help us not be abused for non-fluency?)
i've gathered the names that seem to pop up repeatedly from most of the paris threads here: taillevent, hiramatsu, chez l'ami jean, les bouquinistes, willy's wine bar, etc - but the list is 50 names long!
so what are the some of your collective top 10 places to fill these 5 lunches and 5 dinners with?
any help appreciated. not sure what incentive i can offer aside from the bemusement of saving my a**, but open to suggestion...
I'm going for a long weekend in February. This is just three days, and it includes the problematic Sunday, but here's our plan.
Saturday (arrive 0700 and can't check in until 1200 - ugh)
Lunch - Fish La Boisonnerie
Dinner - Au Fil de Saisons
Lunch - Le Soleil (at the Flea Market)
Dinner - Haven't decided. Considering Le Petite Pontoise, Parc aux Cerfs, Les Philosophes
Lunch - Taillevent (already reserved!)
Dinner - Le Comptoir
If we were staying longer, or not over a weekend, other places we would be considering would include Dominique Bouchet, Table de Joel Robuchon, Au Lyonnais, L'Oulette
I went to Paris for a week earlier this year, and below is a blog post I wrote up on where we ate:
None were those big name places like Taillevent etc. Rather, they were more neighbourhood-y restaurants, some of which I'd gone to multiple times when I used to live there, some newer recommendations. None over 50 euros/person, including wine. Reservations recommended for all places - I usually called the day of or day before, and was fine. I'm fluent in French, but my friend wasn't, and even when I didn't translate for her (when talking to waiters, etc), she was fine. Every meal was great. I would highly recommend everywhere we ate.
Unfortunately, no breakfast places, because I don't eat breakfast (I know! Bad!). If anything, we bought baguettes from the bakery across the street, brought them back to the apartment we'd rented, and snacked on them. Hrm, looking back on my post, apparently no lunch places are listed (save a crepe place), so I don't know what we did for lunch. I know we ate lunch though. Ah, looking back in my notes - we had lunch at Le Sancerre and le Nemrod.
Enjoy! You'll have fun! And make sure to go to Berthillon!
-- L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon for lunch...one of the most memorable meals of our trip and it's easier to get in at lunch (prices are the same either way). Get the tasting menu then sit back and relax as they serve you 9 courses of amazing food.
-- Go to Laduree either for lunch or afternoon tea. Gorgeous setting and your wife will think you're amazing for thinking of it. (I'm a woman, so I should know!) :)
Breakfasts are not a big deal for Parisians so it's difficult to find a big meal except at some of the grander hotels. My favorite (once a trip) is a hot chocolate and croissant at Les Deux Magots. It's fun just to watch the other munchers and enjoy the delicious, thick hot chocolate.
I've mentioned it elsewhere on these boards, but I love to breakfast at Cafe Mouffetard in the 5th (on the rue Mouffetard). They make their own croissants and brioche, and both are extraordinary.
I'm just guessing that you will have a hard time trying to reserve dinner at a 3-star (or even 2's) at this late date, but I'd try, anyway. Altho lunch will be an easier res to obtain, and not as pricy for the same great food.
In the 8th, you won't want to miss a visit to Fauchon, the legendary gourmet shop, or Maison du Chocolat for their outrageous macarons au chocolat and truffles.