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First Night Late dinner in the 5th or 6th

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This board has been so helpful with planning an evening for my daughter's 21st birthday - we have narrowed it down to Les Ombres or Violon d'Ingres. We are also going to Dans le Noir (at her insistance) for another dinner. Anyone have any experiences with that place?

One more request. We will be arriving at our hotel in the 5th (close to Maubert/Mutualite metro station) around 9pm from Spain. We would like to find a place hopefully nearby for a nice "welcome to Paris" dinner. We are looking for a warm, friendly atmosphere with good wine and good food, but not terribly expensive (less than $50pp would be great). It would be best if we didn't have to make reservations, but we can if needed. We can venture out of our own neighorhood if needed, but I was trying to avoid braving the metro on our first moments in Paris!

Thanks for all your insights!

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  1. There are a number of fine, reasonably priced restaurants in your area; however, given the time, I would suggest Brasserie Balzar. They won't give you a hard time if you don't order a three course dinner, and Balzar is an "up beat" experience. Check it out.

    1. My first reaction sounds similar to Oakglen's, to think about the time that you are arriving.

      So for a meal after 9, I'd be thinking wine bar or brasserie. Based upon the rest of your day, do you think you'll be wanting a multi-course meal, more in the way of a light meal, or don't have any idea. For a wine bar, I think you'd be pretty safe in not needing reservations, but you would have a more limited menu.

      1. Restaurant-Cremerie Polidor is usually my first stop in Paris. Huge menu. lots of character, French "home" cooking. rue-Monsieur-le-Prince. Open late. You can google it.

        5 Replies
        1. re: foodie909

          "Fish la Boissonnerie" in rue de Seine in the 6eme is not to far away. From memory the Kitchen closes at 11:00 so a table at 10:00 would work well. It always has a good atmosphere, the food is very good for the price, classics with a slight twist, and as it is a wine bar the wine is obviously great. I think the set menu is approx €30. All the staff speak English well (it is owned by a Kiwi and Cuban) and it is popular with tourists, English speaking residents and lots of locals. Always sensible to book as it is popular - but give them a call if running late and I am certain they will understand.

          A suggestion for the big birthday - reserve both restaurants - then check them out to see which is best for the special night - then cancel the one you don't want. They are both quite different and it would be galling to make the wrong choice before seeing them, and both book out 2 or 3 weeks in advance, so tricky to do a last minute change. I wouldn't generally recomend this strategy but I had a special night in Paris ruined because I booked a highly recommeded restaurant, which was a great restaurant, but unfortuantly totally wrong for the occaison.

          Please report back on Dans le Noir - it sounds an interesting concept.

          1. re: PhilD

            Yes- Fish! . Also down the street from it, La Palette.

            A couple of others on the quai des Grands-Augustins:
            L'Ecluse (bordeaux wines and brief menu)
            Bistro des Augustins

            The closest to you is probably Les Pipos, but I am not sure how late they serve.

            1. re: souvenir

              La Palette is great for an evening drink - very buzzy frequented by local art students and gallery owners - but do they do food in the evening?

              I know they offer bread with ham or cheese as a snack with the drinks, but was not aware they had a more extensive evening menu.

              1. re: PhilD

                I thought there was always one plat; maybe my memory is off...? It is definitely the most limited of the ones listed. The mention of Fish prompted the thought of it down the street.

          2. re: foodie909

            We walked by Polidor on Wednesday night. I haven't eaten there in about 9 years, but when my husband saw the menu (he's never been), he put in a request for a meal there on our next trip. It really is a huge menu! There are so many small places on those back streets of the 6th. I need to spend about a month trying them all!

          3. I would go to Ribouldinge, 10 rue Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre in the 5th (01 46 33 98 80) or Les Papilles, 30 rue Gay-Lussac (01 43 25 20 79) both about 5 blocks from your Metro. Reservations necessary and Les Papilles has one prix fix menu only but great food for 32E and you can pick your wine from the shelves and they charge the wine store price plus corkage fee of 10E. Ribouldiinge has great food and a more varied menu. Both perfect first night Paris meals