Please help me to narrow down my list!
I won't be in Paris until the END of December, but I've already started working on my "list" (I know it's a long time away but food is one of the top priorities of any trip to Paris, right?)
I'm taking my mom (her first time, my third) and we'll be meeting up with a friend. We all love good food - we're on somewhat of a budget (meaning we are allowing ourselves one more expensive meal and sticking ot bistros for the rest).
We're thinking Les Elysées du Vernet for the splash out meal.
So.. that leaves SIX nights. Out of the following:
Le P’tit Troquet
Atelier Maitre Albert
Au Petit Marguery (friend has been here, she liked it)
Chez Denise (I've been here, I liked it)
Fish La Boissonniere
Chez Les Anges
Le Petit Pontoise
La Cagouille (was thinking of taking mom here for NYE)
Le Bistro Paul Bert
Which six would YOU choose??! We're staying in the 5th, not that it makes much difference.
I don't know them all (anyone does?) but I would rule out l'Atelier Maitre Albert, which is pretentious and expensive, crowded and mostly not so good. Le Petit Pontoise is a good cheap idea, everyone likes chez Denise, Fish is totally worth it, simple and good in a cool neighborhood. Petit Marguery particularly cool in december cause games, if you like it.
Les Elysees is of course great but the best value is the lunch menu. Still much cheaper than competition in the evening.
Also end of december is holiday season so you may have the same kind of issue as in August -- that might narrow down your list automatically.
I would recommend your "splash-out" meal at noon. You will save substantially in dollars, but not at all in the quality of the experience. There is always SO much food, that for most folks I know, it's easier to digest at lunch, and therefore that much more enjoyable. My favorite "fancy" meal in Paris has been at Taillevent. and their 70 euro lunch is a real qpr.
Off your list, I love La Cagouille, but don't know whether they're open New Years Eve. You should check soon. It might be in Michelin. And as Souphie said, Petit Marguery is wonderful, especially for game.
since you're staying in the 5th, you won't want to miss breakfast at Cafe Mouffetard on the rue Mouffetard. The brioche and croissants are made in house, and are the stuff dreams are made of! The rue Mouffetard is also home to one of the better year-round markets in the city, as well.
Oh boy, that's a tough task. I would for sure not eliminate Au Petit Marguery nor Le P'tit Troquet.
If I had to, then Fish and Chez Denise would be out (but on the list again for next time).
But that makes still 4 too many... sorry. However, some may be closed between Xmas and New Year's. Right now, I wouldn't know of any for sure though.
I went to Louis Vin and Chez les anges last april and i could that both are excellent, chez les anges being more classy and on the pricey side but the food is very good, Louis vin is in the fifth and we really like their ambiance food and wine list, you should tri ay least one of these two, you will be pleased!
Since you are staying in the 5th, I wanted to give a plug for a sweet little place called Au Bon Coin... it's not fine dining, but it's a wonderful, inexpensive little bistro.
Our waiter was extremely accomodating, translating the very long menu board in detail. He was very curious to know how we had heard about it, since there only seemed to be locals there. My meal was very, very good... scallops and a white fish (can't remember the name) in a saffron cream sauce and my husband really enjoyed his cassoulet.
Fish is usually one of the places we seem to return to each visit to Paris. The food rarely disappoints, though it probably won't blow you away either. It's a fun, comfortable place.
A new place I just tried is Le Cinq Mars on Rue Verneuil in the 7th, close to the D'Orsay. Really, really enjoyed the atmosphere and our meal here, and it won't break the bank.
A group of us (California restauranters) ate at Petit Marguery this past January. Food was not very good. They have recently sold but I had heard new owners were keeping food up to previous standards. Definitely not the case that night. On the other hand, we loved our meal at La Cagouille, best meal we had in Paris. It is not the easiest place to find but definitely worth the effort.
I go to Paris at least once a year with nothing but food and wine on my mind. Last trip was April 2007.
Astier has always been good and has gotten better with the new ownership and it is still reasonablly priced.
Fish is good and there is a good wine shop around the corner. La Dernier Goute.
My favorite wine bar in Paris is Juveniles around the corner from Willi's. Funkier and a lot less pretentious than Willi's. Owner Tim Johnston is a hoot and really knows his wine.
Best restaurant in Paris IMO is Carre des Feuillants. Two Michelin stars but lunch is somewhat affordable.
We used to go every year for Christmas and New Year and NYE is not the best night to go out in Paris. The restaurants all do very expensive galas and the better ones are hard to get into if they don't know you. We always used to do ethnic preferably Chinese.
Villaret in the 11th is a gem.
Timbre (postage stamp) is about as big as a postage stamp but very good - only 24 seats on two banquets.
Thanks everyone - you Paris hounds are very gracious!!
Now that I'm back from my summer vacation I can really concentrate on my Paris plans. I do appreciate the feedback. I think I'll just hang out there for the next few months, then re-do my list and ask for your input on my final list (yet again). To me, food is the top priority when going to Paris - I'm sure you all agree!