Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Nov 7, 2007 06:34 AM

just returned from paris quick thoughts

just getting back from a great week in paris, some quick thoughts

scales of 1-10, ten being best

chez denise- way over rated by many imho. food, 4, venue-6, service 5, total experience value 4, large, mediorce tasting food, my guess is many americans like it because of the large, unattractive portions, cant see any other reason why. would i go back, definetly not

l as du falafel- another grossly over rated joint. flaffel was mediocre, as were the many other sides we tried. if youve had falafel in jerusalem, nyc, you will be very disappointed. its all hype - would i go back -no

ze kitchen gallerie- great food, very tasty, food 7.5, service 6, venue 7, would i go back yes

le bouquinestes- great food, food 8.5, venue 8, service 8.5, would i go back..for sure

apicius- fabulous food, fabulous venue, fabulous service, food 9, venue 9.5, service 9.5 would i go back..for sure

more to come soon

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. We also just returned from Paris, and I had the same reaction to L'As du Falafel. Overpriced and underwhelmed. Twenty euros -- i.e., almost $30 -- for two falafel and a mediocre plate of fries. I did enjoy the cabbage, but there was no sign of any of the oft-mentioned harissa (had to ask for a bowl of it). Not worth the wait.

    Taillevent, on the other hand . . . .

    1. Finally, an accurate assessment of Chez Denise. After all the ravings on this board, and a few other sources, I went there a few months back. Slab-o-foie gras that had little flavor. Stack-o-lamb chops that had no flavor. All other plates were hardly touched. I am mystified by the praise.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pilaf

        my guess on chez denise is that lots of americanos dig it because its a big volume meal, they seem to get impressed with quantity over quality, and if they can save $10 on a meal, and get a bigger portion, though it is less quality, they will opt for the cheaper price, and bigger quantity...interesting set of gastronomic values imho

        1. re: intrepid

          While "tourists" are a source of revenue in any major city, it has never been my impression that Chez Denise relies predominantly on the "tourists". On my visits, there has been a large contingent of french speakers, though I don't know if they were local to Paris or local to France. I've never seen any carte other than that written on the chalkboard, in french only. Different people are looking for different things and different experiences with a restaurant. This has been pretty accurately depicted on this board. As opposed to a trip to Arpege, which is a strain on the budget if their "style" is not to your liking, Chez Denise is relatively affordable no matter what. Why not see whether, having read the postings on here and having a general idea of what it offers, it's a place that you enjoy--then post your own thoughts here and share with the other hounds. That's what makes this site so valuable to us hounds.

          1. re: Cher Martin

            many valid thoughts, however in the end, the food is mediocre, many posts here talk about it in terms of it being much much much better than it is, i have eaten in many affordable restaurants with much better food

          2. re: intrepid

            I am not sure that one can generalize that "lots of americanos dig Chez Denise because of they prefer quantity over quality" based on your one visit. My experiences with the restaurant are similar with the above poster that most diners are French speaking. Diners, French as well as American tourists, like Chez Denise for many reasons. One being well prepared classic bistro food using good ingredients. This type of restaurant may not appeal to everyone.

            1. re: PBSF

              many americans value quantity over quality, and you dont have to travel to france or anywhere else to witness it...go into many restuarants in the usa, and you will view it.. talk to a non american about their food experiences in the usa, over whelmingly they will talk of the huge quantity and poor quality they experienced, or saw while in usa, I am attracted generally, to a chez denise type of restaurant indeed, however, not attracted to chez denise speciafically, as the food there is mediocre

        2. I'm heading over there shortly. What were the prices like at le bouquinestes & apicius, and where are they? Thanks.

          4 Replies
          1. re: Sandra W.

            Les Bouquinistes is in the 6th arr. Pretty reasonable, esp. the 3 course fixed lunch menu (28€). However, choices per course pretty limited (2 or 3 only). Dinner is considerably more expensive.


            Apicius is in a whole different league. It's a Relais&Chateaux place and Vigato is a suberb chef. Count with 150€ pp and more. It's located in the 8th arr.


            Reservation a must for both.

            1. re: Dodo

              The link you provided for Les Bouqinistes -- --
              requires an id and possword to access.

              1. re: Cher Martin

                i think you can see the place if you google guy savoy restaurants

                1. re: Cher Martin

                  The link always worked up to now, also when I posted it two days ago.
                  They must have manipulated something over the weekend. Try later...

                  The way it is now, is not very customer-friendly... I am sure they'll fix it.