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Montmartre Suggestions

Hi! I've been making a pest of myself with pleas for advice related to an upcoming honeymoon trip (late March). On that note, if anyone has any suggestions for food and drink--especially lighter fare, and lower-budget--in and around Montmartre, I'm all ears (eyes). We'll be renting an apartment in the old 18th, and it's our first time in the area. In particular, I expect that we'll spend our first 24 hours plus (between arrival on a Thursday afternoon and Friday dinner at Taillevent) strolling the area and getting our bearings, so perhaps lunch fare and/or drinks (pub or wine bar?) would be the most useful information. FWIW, no French skills here, although I'm hoping to learn a little in preparation. Also, I'm keen on having an absinthe experience, so any suggestions in that vein, too, would be appreciated. Thanks!

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  1. Check out Adrian Moore on his blog for an Absinthe recommendation http://adrianmoore.blogspot.com/ where he recommends http://www.cantada.net/.
    Beware it is lethal and has mind altering powers - great fun.

    1. We loved our visit to Montmarte! We also rented a studio apartment, fabulous experience! My memories of where places are is not so good. We stayed on Rue Lepic. There were two places we loved to eat, although it is very hard to get a bad meal in Paris.

      Take the metro to (The Angel Cafe) it takes about 5 minutes, Google it. You can't go wrong ordering the plat du jour or the suggestion du chef, this applies almost anywhere.

      Le Café d'Angel
      16, Rue Brey
      75017 Paris, France

      We also ate homemade paté and cornichons from the meat and pate woman across the street form our apartment on Rue Lepic. Bread, coffee, couissants, and pain de chocolate from any of the bakeries on the same street were a daily part of our diet. We ate many homemade tarts from a small shop in the same area, I think it was on the same street. We bought many whole rotisserie chickens and gratins from a man in a very small open shop on one of the streets perpendicular to Rue Lepic. We bought and brought back chicken, gratins, wine, and fruit tarts to our apt on almost a daily basis. We were so tired after long days of walking all over Paris that it was nice to eat at home. My favorite was the gratin made of endives. They tasted like artichokes.

      Explore the area you are in, there are so many places to buy cheese, bread, pate, veggies, and wine, you will never grow bored. If you have a little kitchen in your apt it's lots of fun to live like the Parisians, picking up ingredients throughout the day and cooking at home. Eat plenty of duck as well. Have fun!

      We are going to Amsterdam and Belgium in Feb and I think I just convinced my hubby to extend our trip to Paris for a few days, THANKS!

      5 Replies
      1. re: Foodnerds

        Foodnerds,

        Thanks for some good suggestions. Interestingly enough, we're starting in Paris but continuing on to Belgium (a great B&B in Brugge, Absolut Verhulst) and finishing up in Amsterdam (Hotel Brower--and a football match: Ajax away at Heerenveen!). Counting the weeks/days!

        1. re: brian d

          Very cool, I think we are both in for some awesome vacations. I booked our Montmartre apartment this morning!

          From our last Paris trip I remember having a delicious lunch at a Montmartre creperie. Their lunch special included a ham and cheese crepe, a sweet crepe of our choosing(I had lemon, hubby had chocolate filling) and cidre. We also split a glass of violet wine. We both think it was on Rue Lepic maybe around Rue Tourlaque. I'm not sure it's still there but I was disappointed we never made it back. We are going to look for it. We think the rotisserie chicken guy was in the market area on Rue Des Abbesses, you can't miss him if he's still there. We will be in Paris the first week of March so hopefully I can report back with a more thorough report.

          1. re: Foodnerds

            Thanks again, Foodnerds! Our apartment is a bit north of Rue Lepic, a couple of minutes walk (northwest) from Lamarck Caulincourt, so hitting Abbesses and Rue Lepic (as well as checking out some absinthe at the hotel near Pigalle) looks like it means all of a maybe 15-minute walk. Very cool indeed. The creperie, in particular, sounds like it might fit nicely in our plans: big Friday and Monday dinners mean trying to keep it (relatively) light as far as our other meals--though I have no intention of denying ourselves macarons at, say, Laduree (or Pierre Herme) and ice cream at Berthillon, plus hot chocolate at Angelina...? Man, I hope we walk a lot, 'cause I can see a lot of feasting coming on!

            1. re: brian d

              You will be near Le Maquis, a local's bistrot with reasonable prices. Reservations needed.

              1. re: brian d

                I found the crepes at this creperie to be light and very satisfying. That being said, my only other experience with crepes is here in San Diego and I found them to be so over the top stuffed with 3 eggs, meat, cheese, veggies and dripping with grease. An experience that made me long to be back in Paris.

                I have a hard time denying myself anything in Paris so we walk everywhere, I don't want to have any regrets when we return back to normal everyday life!

                I am putting Le Marquis on our list of places to check out as well as Le Café Qui Parle. Thanks!

        2. Check out the bar at Hotel Royal Fromentin for a cool place to try absinthe. My husband and I went there after dinner in Montmartre. We knocked on the door because it appeared to be closed, but then a man answered the door and let us in. We were the only ones there, but he sat us down in the bar (which was really a small room with a couple of couches) and told us lots about the history of absinthe and we had a couple of glasses...Really cool place!
          http://www.hotelroyalfromentin.com/en...

          2 Replies
          1. re: jcoz23

            Wow! You know what? I think that this is the one place that turned up in the course of some earlier research online. Guess it's meant to be. Well, if we do get in an absinthe experience, Hotel Royal Fromentin it almost certainly is! By the way, was your tutorial in English? Or French? Thanks for the tip!

            1. re: brian d

              The man that helped us (I wish I could remember his name) was also the hotel front desk person, and he spoke in perfect English.

          2. You must try L'Afghani (self explanatory ...) on Rue Paul-Albert in the shaddow of the Sacre Coeur. We found it by mistake one lunch time recently, as we were looking for something a bit different and didn't fancy any of the cafes just down the road from it. The food was delicious, and cheap. The atmosphere was strange, as we were the only ones there and the guy was on his own. I suspect that the main courses were cooked the day before and reheated in the microwave - but this doesn't affect the quality of the flavours (actually, reheated food of this type can be better than when it's made fresh).

            We had a selection of starters (various dumpling and pastry type things filled with meat or cheese) which came with a lovely sauce and yohurt. The mains were great - especially the one my husband had, which was either lamb or chicken with a spinach sauce - gorgeous.

            1. L'epicurian.....sweet corner restaurant on Rue Lepic.......english speaking proprietor.....solid food....reasonably priced......We had a nice bottle of Pomard for 40 euro.....Good escargot, foie gras, braised lamb shank, creme brulee.....they had absinthe, but not the whole set up......I think it was under 150 euro for three of us, including the wine.....

              1. We spent a month near Lamarck-Caulaincourt this Fall and found several good, relatively unknown places to eat. Best rapport quality/price was probably Le Café Qui Parle on the corner of Caulaincourt and Tourlaque, run by a charming young couple who speak excellent English, having worked in NYC. A reasonable, attractive seafood place is Le Winch on Damremont, and an old standby is the Poulbot Gourmet on Lamarck. Le Maquis is reliable, and our favorite upscale place is Le Cottage Marcadet.

                1. Brian - I cam across this link and thought you may find it of interest:
                  http://gridskipper.com/343646/chasing...

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: PhilD

                    PhilD, thanks for the thought. I found the Gridskipper article in my online research, and it confirmed for me that Hotel Fromentin is likely the best choice (since it should be 10-15 minutes from our rented apartment on Rue Duhesme), with a possibility in La Fee Verte (maybe as a stop before or after hitting Pere Lachaise and/or a meal at Bofinger?). Just 7-1/2 weeks to go: I'm starting to get excited!

                  2. I dug this up out of the dirt because those of us who live on the other side of the hill (as opposed to the exciting but dreadful culinary top of the hill and the exciting and sleezy other side of the hill, with Miroir and the Cantine de la Cigale) are deprived; oh yes, we've had Antoine Heerah's bursts of glory and crashes, the Table d'Eugene (Sue), and its brother/sister next door but for an everyday, genuine, fresh product, made in house, French-French place, we lack. I don't want to blow this place out of proportion, I only rated it a 5.4/10, but the recently opened L'Insolite in the valley, is not half-bad. http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: John Talbott

                      And on top of L'Insolite, there's another place, open now 2 months with an ex-Ribouldingue chef on the rue Ramey that I rated a 6.2 for my meal today - not a destination but if on the Mont, you could do worse, see http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        And one great reason to visit that corner is a pilgrimage to the side-street rue Nicolet, where Rimbaud and Verlaine shacked up.

                    2. Laidback Alert****
                      As a denizen of the 18th, I'm envious of the hot quartiers and feng shui streets, but Montmartre seems to be emerging from its slumber.
                      Today 4 of us from downhill and one from the 5th ate at a new place called the Bistrot du Maquis (yes it's where the Maquis Resto of yore once stood), 69 rue de Caulaincourt, 01.46.06.06.64, closed Tuesdays and Wednesdays. My dining partners all wanted to give it a 9/10 but that's for heaven; my rating 7.4/10 which moves it into a tie for 2nd Best Resto of 2014.
                      http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Wonderful to hear, especially when the old Maquis was so good. Which the food fengshui of 69 r Caulaincourt.