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bistro dining in the 6th or 7th

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Hi all -

I'll be in Paris with my dad in two weeks, and would love some thoughts on places.
Thanks to your recommendations last time, I will be going back to Bastide Odeon, which was fabulous. We're staying right near there.

I usuallly am in the 6th, and venture to the 4th...but lately I see that a lot of your suggestions are in the 7th. So, i'm thinking it may be worth exploring? I've been to Fontaine de Mars, and the cassoulet was fanastic.

I've been to Le Comptoir, and plan to return for lunch. Excellent. Other than that, is there any place that i need to explore in the 6th? I've heard of Le Timbre and Chez George....thoughts? I've heard there are interesting bistros on the other side of the garden, but have not fully explored that area.

Now, for the 7th, Le Petit Troquet, chez l'ami jean, and au bon acceuil are the three that always come up. Should we stay with those three, or are there others in a similar vein in either arron.?

Also...what are your thoughts on Balzar? is it a beautiful space...or just a tourist trap a la les deux magots?

Thank you in advance! and if any of you come to boston....i can completely set you up.

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  1. Other choices in the 7th to go with the 3 you have are Le Florimond, Clos des Gourmets and Fables de la Fontaine. In the 6th I would add La Ferrandaise.

    1. Balzar is fine. Food is good but not great, but the ambiance is nice and the service is outstanding. Very professional waiters with a sense of humor who've been there a long time. It's true, there can be a lot of tourists there (including you, if you were to go) but it's no big deal. They treat everybody the same. Despite changes in the menu (not always for the best) and a slight decline in quality, it's maintained its identity as well as any of the Flo places since it got taken over a few years ago (which you can read about in Adam Gopnik's book on Paris). You can still see people like Jane Birkin there for a midnight snack, as I did not too long ago..

      1. Just returned from France, spent three days in Paris and ate at Chez George, Allard, La Cagouille and Le Petit Marguery. La Cagouille is a seafood bistro, was the best of the four and would return there happily on a weekly basis. Great meal at Allard, slightly less pleased with menu at Chez George near the Bourse. Very busy at lunch for latter. Totally disappointed with Le Petit Marguery. Would not return.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Pammel

          Sad to learn that Le Petit Marguery has gone downhill. I had one very good meal there several years and I had hoped to get back, but the place has been sold and the new management may not be maintaining the old standards. I would like to know what you ordered. I went there in November when game was in season. Did you have game there?

          1. re: Pammel

            I'm also sad to hear that Le Petit Marguery has gone downhill. but thrilled that La Cagouille is still on top of its game. I really enjoy Chef Allemandou. He is an interesting character, and his Cognac collection is fabulous!

          2. Chez Maitre Paul is in the 6th and has a delicious traditional menu... I'd recomment it.

            1. We just returned from a week in Paris and, after a few disappointing visits to the large tourish-oriented bistros (Brasserie Balzac, Allard), we were charmed and delighted by Le Timbre. It's teeny, so you should both reserve and plan on eating dinner a little early to be assured a spot. I know Patricia Well's writes about the chef handling serving as well as cooking, but he's hired someone so things work a lot more smoothly. Have a great trip!

              By the way - we're headed to Boston President's Day weekend. We're big fans of Neptune Oyster and are hoping to try Rachel's (in Beacon Hill) for breakfast. We're staying in the South End. Any recommendations? (We liked B&G, but found it a little fancied up for our tastes). Thanks!

              1 Reply
              1. re: Brooklyn Hound

                We've got a great bunch of hounds on the Boston board, so please post your question about Boston chow there and we're sure you'll get some answers. Thanks for helping us keep this board focused on chow in France.

              2. Do give Le P'tit Troquet a try. It's so charming and the food is great.

                1. Thanks - you guys are incredibly helpful! I just checked back in preparation for our trip this weekend and couldn't believe all the great tips you provided. Thank you!

                  1. Chez l'ami jean has gone downhill since the chef has let the sous chef take over some nights. Call ahead to see who is cooking.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: PhilESL

                      Does Stéphane Jégo still take care of lunch? I have a booking for a Saturday lunch.

                    2. Are there any other recommendations?