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L'Appart (8th) and Sukiyaki (11th)

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Two big thumbs up for dining in Paris. Recommendations you can eat.

On Saturday, 6 October three of us had the very delicious experience of dining at L'Appart in the 11th arrondissement. Located on rue du Colisee just off the Champs Elysses one would think the prices would be as exorbitant as the food was mediocre.

Not so.

We arrived right on time, were seated immediately and found our service by "Tania" to be thoroughly professional, courteous and spot-on. The "theme" of the restaurant is to provide you with the feeling as if you are eating in someone's flat. They have done a very nice job of creating that feeling it is true. Still, a quick glance at the ceiling clues you in on the fact that the walls are in fact just partitions, which create the artificial "rooms", each one repsenting a particular room (study, parlor) in a Parisian apartment (assuming a typical Parisian apartment was the size of a large restaurant). But it did look and feel comfortable though, I must admit.

The food was superbly prepared and nicely presented. Diane and I had Tempura de Legumes to start; the vegtables were sill slightly al dente and the tempura batter light and very tasty. Susan had an asperagus risotto which was also very good. For the plats Diane had salmon (outstanding) and Susie and I had cod steaks on a bed of herbed mashed potatoes. (The French love potatoes after all.) The cod filets were indeed steaklike, larger than I've ever had before, very flaky and nicely prepared. The potatoes were subtle but equally delicious. We split a half bottle (demi-boteille) of Sancerre.

Sad to say we skipped dessert, we were so full. Plus we had a long night ahead of us. . . (It was nuit blanche after all).

L'Appart, 9-11 rue du Colisee, 75008 Paris. Phone: 01 53 75 42 00. www.l-appart.com. (Reservations online only for the dinner and show program.

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On Sunday, 7 October, three of us ate at Sukiyaki, just off the Place de la Bastille in the 11th arrondissement.

After spending most of the afternoon and early evening at the horse races in western Paris, drinking wine, watching our bets evaporate into thin air and snacking on finger food, Susan, friend Diane and I were ready for something substantial to eat. We began by heading back in the direction of our neighborhoods (Diane is staying int he 20th and we live in the 11th), near the Bastille. Just off the Place is rue de la Roquette and a seemingly vast number of cafes, bars and the like, many dealing in ethnic cuisines.

(This is just the tip of the iceberg. Just around the corner on rue de Lappe is one long string of numerous ethnic restaurants boasting Corsica, Egyptian, Mexican, Spanish and Cuban food among others.)

Anyway we had eaten Korean barbecue in this area the previous Sunday so we thought it fitting that, among the various Asian eateries dotted around the street, we stop into a Japanese barbecue restaurant this time around. And so we did.

Sukiyaki is a typical asiatique eatery: narrow and long with a huddle of tables against the long wall opposite the bar. Afteer we sat down and looked at the menu the yakitori sounded too good to be passed up so that's what we all had, or rather variants on the same theme. We were thrown a bit at first since they brought the brochettes, food on a stick, out as they came off the flame, and this left us thinking that somehow our order had gotten skewed.

(Get it? Skewed, skewer, brochette?)

We should've known better. Talk about food being prepared to order and coming right off the grill to your table. Anyway we highly recommend this place as well if you're in the mood for something Asian fo dinner.

Sukiyaki, Place de la Bastille, 75011 Paris. No reservations needed. Just go. Eat. Enjoy.

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