Paris - Been to these places recently?
My husband and I are going to Paris for a long weekend in early February. We will
have 3 dinners out and want to choose wisely. Although I keep a running list of Paris
restaurants we'd like to try, I want to make sure my information is up to date.
Please advise of recent experiences you have had at any of these and whether you'd
recommend we go:
Au Bon Accueil
Thanks in advance!
We went to La Cerisaie at the end of November and had a lovely meal - nothing flash, just good food cooked really well. The atmosphere is warm and the people very friendly. I had just spent two exhausting days at a conference, and it was just the place to wind down - they are very welcoming and the room is really homely. The tables are almost on top of each other, but this wasn't a problem for us. I will definitely go again when we are next there. You do need to book though, as they were turning people away all night - we got a table a couple of weeks ahead.
Been recently to l'Ami Jean and l'Affriolé. L'Affriolé is nice and less crowded, a rather personal cuisine. L'Ami Jean has better food imo -- exceptional ingredients, perfect cooking, very simple preparations. But both are nice and there is also that new britton restaurant across the street from both -- "L'Aguessin"?. Haven't been to la Cerisaie in a few years but I have no reason to think the changed -- so very good, very SW. I don't like Benoit, expensive and Ducasse-y, but obviously some foodies don't agree with me.
I've eaten at L'Ami Jean, La Cerisaie, and Le Pamphlet in the past year. L'Ami Jean serves some of the best bistro food in Paris, creative, hearty and full of flavor with many main plates served in casseroles. It is also the liviest (at times frantic) with tables right next to each other. It is not a place to have a leisurely dinner. Le Pamphlet's food is not quite on par with L'Ami Jean but the dining room is more comfortable with well placed tables that makes for a less hectic meal. It is one of the few bistros that serves an amuse, usually slices of sausage and a tasse of soup. An above poster described La Cerisaie perfectly...a small friendly bistro owned by a husband and wife team, friendly with well cooked food.
We ate at Chez l'Ami Jean and Benoit over a weekend in mid December (plus Le Comptoir and Les Violin d'Ingres). For us it was a quick weekend break to revisit some old haunts since we moved from Paris earlier in the year.
L'Ami Jean was as good as ever, and as packed as usual. We had a late Friday table at 10:00 and were not the last to be seated. Food was great, ambience excellent - chaotic, bustling, good fun, and of course great value for the quality of food.
Benoit, is one of my favourite Sunday lunch spots when I want a treat. It is solid and dependable, the room has a good feel, the staff are efficient, professional but also friendly. I like the food, no fireworks, but well executed classics.
Benoit has it fans (me) and detractors (Souphie). It is a Ducasse outpost, thus a little conservative/traditional (remember his intent is to try and preserve the old Bistros like Benoit and Aux Lyonnais). Personally, I like this dependability, it meets my need when I am in that sort of mood. It also has a reputation for being expensive, our bill for lunch was approx. €180 my wife had the menu, I chose á la carte, three courses each with a decent bottle red and two aperitifs.
The previous evening we had a good meal at Violin d'Ingres and the bill was about the same for not a dissimilar amount of food/drink. I deliberately chose to eat the same dish in both restaurants to compare and contrast (Langue du Vieux Lucculus), both dishes were very good, however I thought Benoit's was significantly better. We also found the service at Violin d'Ingres was very, very fast, with the next dish arriving almost instantly after we finished the previous one. By contrast Benoit was very relaxed.
Everyone's comments are very helpful - the abundance of good choices makes for
difficult decisions! I have eaten at Benoit pre-Ducasse - has it changed much?
We definitely will go to L'Ami Jean our first night - 2 dinners left to decide upon.
Suggestions encouraged. Thanks again.