December 31 Paris lunch?
I have been lurking here for weeks, gathering info for our Christmas week trip. We have ballet tickets for December 31, and have decided to take the advice of most and do a post-theatre feast in our Marais apartment. So now I'm thinking about a lovely big, leisurely lunch that day. Will that be possible? Or will most good places be closed as they prepare for the orgy later that night? We like classic, well-prepared French food - aren't particularly interested in cutting edge, "revelatory" cuisine. Thank you!
It is true that some places will be closed since it will be Monday but there are so many restaurants in Paris- you will most definitely find something. Le Marais has a huge amount of cafes and small restaurants but I would recommend going for lunch at this spot near the Sacre Coeur. When you exit at Anvers metro, if you climb the stairs along rue Ronsard which turns into rue P.Albert, you will find a gorgeous little cafe way high up on the hill. You can't miss it- it's just at the top of the stairs. (Grab a map!)
Other than that it's always lovely to eat beside the Seine. You'll find lots of restaurants open for lunch around Chatelet or Hotel de Ville which overlook the water. You could also try visiting the st. Michele area right across the river from chatelet... it's very crowded but fun and very warm.
Overall I would say your best bet is to find a great location. The food in Paris can be good but what makes it special is the atmosphere.
I think Dodo's point is that it is Monday before a public holiday, the tradition in France (le pont) is to make a bridge with the weekend and make it a four day holiday. Thus quite a large number of places will close Also, unlike a lot of countries the "sales" don't start until mid January so there is little reason for many locals to stay in town.
Obviously there will still be a lot open but the selection will be limited. Places with good reputations can afford to take the holidays and will close, places that cater for Parisians during the week will also close as many workers are on holiday. Thus some planning is sensible.
Two recommendations that I enjoy are Senderens and Benoit - both often open when others aren't and both good. L'Atelier Joel Robuchon is also probably open. If you want something less expensive Dodo offers some good ideas - the big Brasseries for example i.e Boffinger.
Since December is a Monday, I fear lots of smaller restos will make 'le pont' and be closed. However, you can always head for a brasserie somewhere. What are your plans for the day? Maybe discover an arrondissement you don't know yet like Montparnasse (Vavin or Daguerre area), Auteuil or Passy in the 16th arr., Chinatown (13th), the covered passages? You may want to have lunch nearby.
PS: Are you going to see Paquita or Casse-Noisette? Just asking because I've tickets for both later next month. Enjoy!