I've enjoyed reading your postings and have learned a great deal from your collected experiences. So, in this my first posting, I am asking for your advice directlly. I will be in Paris for five days and have come up with the list below:
Le Comptoir du Relais
Le Dome (Montparnasse)
Ze Kitchen Gallerie
Fables de la Fontaine
Les Clos des Gourmets
Au Bon Accueil
I can choose 11 and am looking for a range of styles and ambiance. But, in every case, a good meal. Any advice regarding whether a choice is best for lunch or dinner or how one might match them up in a day would be most appreciated.
Surely le Chareaubriand once is enough?
Fables de la Fontaine and Café Constant are two Constant places -- one may suffice in the Constant galaxy, consider les cocottes as well (open everyday, cheap)
Taillevent for lunch of course, unless you have too much money.
The innovative ones are are Spring, Chateaubriand, Gaya, Kitchen Galerie,
Le comptoir: easier to have a table for lunch
Georges: which one? rue du Mail (1st) or porte Maillot(17th)? The one rue du mail is more casual, often more appreciated especially for the buffet of first courses. BUt both are good and very Parisian.
Thanks for your input.
Yes, once at Chateaubriand.
I am interested in one or two good fish restaurants. I had read poor reviews of Goumard on this site. So I was considering (two of) Fables de la Fontaine, Gaya, and Le Dome, instead. We'll have young teenagers with us, who, while fairly adventurous, are still conservative in their tastes.
Will do one Constant: do you recommend Fables, Cafe Constant or les Cocottes?
Georges--upstairs at Pompidou--my daughter's favorite.
Any thoughts on Bastide, Wadja, L'Ardoise, Salone d'Helene, Au Bon Accueil, or Clos de Gourmets?
Three good choices for fish. I thought Le Dome was far to traditional and a bit stuffy, nice room, good service, but a bit dull. The fish was fine but not memorable.
We used to eat at Fables and Gaya a lot. Both great, and both do some quite innovative food as well as more traditional. The menu a Fables is quite straightforward with starters, mains and deserts. Gaya has a menu with six or seven sections with some dishes served in Tapas sized portions - my recomendation is to choose dishes to share, we would order six dishes and have one after another not two by two as you would get in a normal service.
The cooking at both is top notch (both one starred Michelin). Fables does a few dishes in a very modern style - layered in glasses - which is interesting (don't worry nothing to radical to scare the kids - and probably fun). Gaya has a few innovative dishes but served quite traditionally.
I would second this recommendation.
But I must add that the two best fish restaurants, for those who just like hyper-fresh fish perfectly prepared, are Le Divellec (esplanade des Invalides) and le Duc (Bd Raspail). La Cagouille is less expensive, though.
Georges was neither of the two I mentioned -- sure the one on top of Pompidou is exciting, though not particularly a food lover experience.
Gaya is a comparatively cheap and reliable way to enjoy the Gagnaire touch.
For Constant, I believe les Cocottes is the best way to enjoy it, and you do not have so many restaurants open sundays and mondays on your list.
Au Bon Accueil et les clos des gourmets are two excellent restaurants in the 7th. Au bon accueil is probably even better, though le Clos des Gourmets change every day follwing the market.
Bastide is nice, a mediterranean experience on your list. Hardly indispensable, that said.
Le salon d'Helene has fancy expensive tapas, so it is mostly interesting because it is so typical of the neighbourhood of publishers and rich elegant Parisian. It is also a less expensive way to determine whether you think that Helene Darroze is a great chef or a fraud. But maybe that is not a debate you are very interested in?
Au Bon Accueil is a favourite of ours.
We have eaten there on every trip to Paris.
Staff smile, and the atmosphere is relaxed.
It is the kind of restaurant where you can ask your neighbor what they are eating, if it looks good, and expect a positive response.
I have seen one or two negative reports on this site, but can't imagine why.
It is moderately priced, with a good comfort level, and the food is not overly ambitious, but so well prepared.
Thanks all for the VERY helpful responses!
I've refined the list but am still over! So many good choices, too little time.
I'd be grateful for any further direction you might have, including advice as to whether it's best to go for L or D. I've tried to come up with a variety of styles--not all fancy, not all bistros.
My list now looks like:
Gaya Rive Gauche
Au Bon Accueil
Clos des Gourmets
Le Comptoir du Relais
Ze Kitchen Galerie
Definite b/c Kids' Choice:
Le Relais d'Entrecote (6th)
Maybe (I need two places for Sunday):
Les Cocottes/Les Fables de la Fontaine
L'Ardoise (for lunch after Louvre)
La Cigale Recamier
Off list because not enough time:
Le Dome (14th)
Your opinions/edits are actively sought. Many thanks.
The last thing you need is another restaurant, but you are traveling with your kids, so I would suggest, if you want a more relaxed evening, to try Chez Denise.
I ask them to bring the smallest steak in the kitchen, and still can't finish half of it.
It is communal tables, and great fun.
Every person in the restaurant seems to be having a good time.
It was recommended here, and since finding it, it has become my husbands favourite.
He would rather eat there than a 3*.
I don't believe that they are open on Sunday.