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Nov 2, 2007 12:32 PM

Classic Brasserie for Fruits de Mer and Steak Frites

I'm looking for a lively, classic brasserie for Fruits de Mer and Steak Frites.

We'll be in Paris for five days and plan to dine in several bistros recommended on this site. I'm looking for someplace bustling and quintessentially Paris. I'm hoping you can help. The closest example I can give is Balthazar in New York--loud, bustling, cavernous, great people watching, good food, fun, lively.

We've eaten at La Coupole, and, while I love the ambiance, I don't love the food. Same for Pied de Cochon.

Thoughts? Le Dome Montparnasse (seems more formal than I'm looking for)?

Thank you!

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  1. Balthazar is one of our favorite spots in NYC; last visit were were seated in a booth next to Whoopie G. Balzar will be the closest match in Paris. No separate bar area but the wait staff is experienced and highly competent. I rate the food on a par with Balthazar; a solid B or B plus. And the ambiance is an A, like Balthazar. Note: if you want to focus on shellfish etc then Bofinger or La Rontonde would be the choice. Why not try them all?

    1. I agree that Balthazar in New York is [too] loud, [too] bustling, cavernous, and lively, but I do not think the food is good or even very French; mostly just typical American stuff. The plateaus did not have sea snails and they seemed puzzled when I asked for pins (they had none) to be able to get into the cockles (do you really eat those things?). Not really my kind of people either; current NY chic, mostly dressed like slobs. Try Vaudeville or Le Dome. They are much better.