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Oct 16, 2007 05:05 AM

Two Nights in Paris

I am sure this has been covered over and over - and I did search, but I hope you can all help.

OK - We are pretty conservative when it comes to food, and French food is not at the top of our list.

Definitely we want an awesome Steak Frites so that is number 1.

For the other night, we would love to go to a typical French Restaurant or Bistro, but we need simple food - beef or chicken. Wonderful wine and dessert a must.

Also - thinking of just blowing a ton of money on a meal. Where would it be if I did? I don't mind spending the money as long as we enjoy the meal.

Can someone help?


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  1. Guy Savoy. Everybody enjoys Guy Savoy and wine and desserts are wonderful. You won't be disapointed either re: tons of money. Obviously Taillevent, l'Ambroisie and Les Elysées are also great options, amon others.

    For great steack frites, there are numerous options ... here's Le Figaro's list: La Bourse ou la vie 14/20 - Severo 14/20 - Meating 14/20 - Le Voltaire
    13,5 - Le Bistrot Paul Bert 13,5/20 - Relais de Venise 13/20 - La Boucherie
    Roulière 12,5/20 - Le Petit Vendôme 12/20 - Chez Georges 12/20 - La Mascotte
    11,5/20 - Le Gourmet des Ternes 11,5/20 (my favourite because the steak is no-knife tender and thereäs the baba au rhum in dessert and they bring of bottle of rhum, a pot of cream and a pot of strawberries coulis at your table)-

    For other typical bistrots, see classics of this board: Comptoir, Regalade, Ami Jean, Denise, Chez Michel, etc. All great, affordable places with good wines and desserts.

    You need to be more specific than "awesome" and "wonderful" if you want more customised recommendations.

    11 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Ever gone to La Mascotte in Montmarte? I think we would enjoy the menu & lobster.

      1. re: souphie

        Les Gourmet des Ternes is probably the best steak house in Paris. It is quite trendy, and I suspect they don't see a lot of tourists (we were the only non locals on our last visit). Reservations are a must, as are some language skills. And I also second Souphie's choice of Guy Savoy.

        1. re: souphie

          Excuse my ignorance, but can you tell us what the 13.5/20, 14/20 etc means? Is it a rating system? If so, they don't look like very high scores.

          1. re: Theresa

            It is a rating system -- the French way. 14/20 is the best in town according to Le Figaro. So they don't look very high, but are the highest.

          2. re: souphie

            What do you think about Chez L'Ami Jean? You think my conservative tastes will do ok there? It looks nice. Do they take reservations? What do you think?


            1. re: serialportme

              I love it, but it is not for everyone. They squeeze in the tables and turn them over quite quickly so it is not for you if you like space and to sit and relax. I also like the food, but Jego does push the boundaries a bit so it may not suit a very conservative palete.

              However, I wonder, is French food is not top of your league because your experience has been limited? Might be worth giving a restaurant like L'Ami Jean a try to experiment. It is not that expensive especially if you stick with the menu.

              You need to book usually about two weeks before you want to go if you want a particular day and time (esp at weekends).

              1. re: PhilD

                Thanks. What is the best way too book?

                1. re: serialportme

                  call 01 47 05 86 89. You can always have ham and rice pudding for dessert -- it is not that bold a food. But I can't emphasis how right PhilD is re: tables and service.

                  I think that the food is worth one star at l'Ami Jean.

                  1. re: souphie

                    Definitely don't miss the rice pudding. It is served in a big bowl, you serve yourself, and then the bowl goes to the next table that has ordered it. Have as much or as little as you like. Quite superb.

            2. re: souphie

              Do you know - does Ami Jean have a website?

              1. re: serialportme

                They don't have a website, but this will give you some idea of what it's like:


                By the way, we found that a late lunch reservation (2:00) allowed us to linger over wine...true, it's crowded and noisy-and I usually hate that-but I love this place...regulars popping their heads into the kitchen to say hello...if I lived in Paris I would also be a regular.

            3. Mark Bittman visited Paris last Spring and posted this report on his favorite places for Steak Frites. I'll bet you can find a couple of super-goodies on this list!


              14 Replies
              1. re: ChefJune

                I worry a little that your objectives are contradictory. You are conservative when it comes to food, and specify you want simple food. But, you want to try a typical French Bistro and have a top of the range restaurant experience.

                However, steak frites works well and Souphie has good recommendations. But remember the French like their steak blue so take care to order carefully if you don't like it this lightly cooked. Also good to go for entrecote and more expensive steak because the French use a "hanger" steak for most steak frites and whilst this has good flavour it has a tough texture compared to US beef. I love it this way but you may not.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Thank you. We are staying near Arc De Triomphe. It seems Le Gourmet des Ternes is close.I looked at the menu. What would a "steak is no-knife tender" steak be called. Indeed Phil, you are correct. We like a less fatty steak - fillet or strip, non tough. Are you two ok with this place? It looks good to me. Do they take reservations?

                  The Guy Savoy menu looks small online - is it larger at the restaurant?

                  Thanks for your replies - it helps!

                  1. re: serialportme

                    Broken record here...since I am always bringing up the same restaraunt over and over in Paris conversations...but check out Les Boquinista, it is a Guy Savoy property and he designed the menu but it's a little more laid back then his signature location. The food is high end but more approachable. It also happens to be our favorite all round place in Paris.

                    1. re: Spiritchaser

                      What do you think average for couple to eat at Guy Savoy or Les Boquinista?

                      1. re: serialportme

                        Les bouquinistes 55€ per person, Guy savoy 220€. Plus beverage. With a good bottle and for two count less than 200 at les Bouquinistes and more than 600€ at Savoy (for which lunch menu is an alternative that will bring you closer to 300€)

                        1. re: souphie

                          Thanks for saving me the time to check receipts. I do know without checking that our tab was over 250 (on average).

                    2. re: serialportme

                      that's probably the pave de boeuf grille. Reservations are accepted at le Gourmet but not always reliable. Always ignore the "complet" sign at the door.

                      The Savoy menu is rather large on their website: 9 starters, 6 fishes, 6 meats and 8 desserts -- .

                      1. re: souphie

                        Sorry souphie...but...

                        Which would you choose to be a very tender piece of beef with little fat?

                        THANK YOU.

                        1. re: serialportme

                          I had no idea those guys had a website! The special piece de boeuf. I like the complete, with pepper sauce and bone marrow. I miss that. But grilled is fine. Entrecote is Rib Eye so it is fatter, closer to American beef.

                  2. re: ChefJune

                    I've got to second ChefJune's recommendation to check out that NYtimes story. Those pommes souffles to me would be the #1 reason to visit Au Boeuf Couronne.

                    1. re: charlesbois

                      Au Boeuf Couronne is very far out of the way I believe. We are limited on time and would rather not travel too far. Thanks though. I checked the NY times - but would like a recommendation of something closer and accepting of reservations.

                      I appreciate the feedback though.

                      1. re: serialportme

                        In a post a few days back mentioned ate at 'Le Grand Pan' in the wilds of the 15th. Best Cote de Boeuf and Cote de Veau ever encountered. Both for 2 and less than 50€ with the best frites in years. Take a cab from where you are, 20 minutes and you have your dream come true. Reservations only, trust me on this one. On Rue Rosenwald 01 42 50 02 50. For trad l go to Chez Denise, fairly priced, huge portions ,and a lot of fun, in the first close to you

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          You have a website or contact email for them? Searching but no luck.

                          1. re: serialportme

                            No websites l am aware of, here are phones
                            LGP 01 43 50 02 50
                            CD 01 42 36 21 82, fax 01 45 08 81 99