Le Pamphlet or Chez Denise?
Hello - We will be having a midweek dinner in Paris in September, and I am trying to decide between Le Pamphlet or Chez Denise. I know they are both recommended highly on these boards and that the prices are comparable. Thus, the deciding factor is probably going to be ambiance and service. Communal tables or not? Service in English (my french is a bit shaky!), overall experience? Thanks!
Although they both serve very good food, the two restaurants are very different. Chez Denis serves large portions of classic bistro food from a menu written on chalk boards where as Le Pamphlet's food is a modern take on bistro cooking. The menu is prix fixe with many choices. The atmosphere at Chez Denis is loud, crowded and boisterous. The tables are very tightly packed (even by Paris standard). There is no communal table though sometimes it feels like one is eating in one. Le Pamphlet is more subdued with a large cozy dining room and a smaller somewhat plain room that offers more privacy. Service at both restaurants are good and professional. It really depends on ones mood and preference.
And many dishes at Chez Denise are huge. At lunch the other day, we sat next to French out-of-towners who have been coming every year for a long time. They shared one first course and one main course and said they were full after the first course. My husband had good roast lamb slices which came with a copper pot of beans (between us we ate about a third). My tripe also came in a copper pot and I managed about a third by myself. Few wines and they give you the bottle then charge for what you drink. An unusual place.
Chez Denise is a favorite of my family's. It also has very accommodating hours during the week [closed on weekends]. The portions are huge, but you'll definitely have fun.