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Mar 6, 2008 04:30 PM

Paris query: looking for old traditional places

I will be in Paris, which I know quite well, for my 50th birthday. I really am not interested in Michelin stars, young chefs, endroits de mode, etc. I would like to eat some of the old standards but done as they should be done: Frisse au Lardon, Confit de Canard, Coq au Vin, Cassoulet, Bourride, Choux Croute, Ile Flotante. And I would like old-time "Amelie" Vie en Rose anti-hip ambience. It's not that I am not knowledgeable or sophisticated about food (I have written a restaurant guide) it's just that I have not had the old standards/cliches and I like "real" food, or, as Julia said "food on a plate". And I would like to conserve my ridiculous anachronistic imaginary vision of Gay Paree intact. Can anybody help me?

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  1. I always enjoyed "Josephine Chez Dumonet" 117 rue du Cherche-Midi 6eme which is very traditional. Good classics and quite large portions, so they allow you to order half portions if your appetite isn't large.

    The other option is to go to places like "Benoit" or "Aux Lyonaise" both these are owned by Alain Ducasse and are designed to preserve the traditional old style bistro with good quality cooking.

    Generally Paris is very traditional and proportionally few restaurants push the envelope (i.e. compare and contrast with Spain). However, this traditionalism tends to mask lots of average/poor cooking and there is a lot of bad confit, choucroute etc. So you need to choose carefully.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      Thanks for your help - yes, I know that is the problem, that's why I'm looking for recommendations. If I wanted bad confit I could stay home!

    2. Chez Maitre Paul in the 6th is an "old-time" traditional place we've enjoyed recently.

      1. Le Rubis, 10 rue du Marche St. Honore, is a classic wine bar that hasn't changed in more years than I want admit. The menu is limited but will make you smile. ]]D'Chez Eux, Le Florimond and Le Voltaire offer the "old standards" prepared to reasonably high quality standards.

        2 Replies
        1. re: Oakglen

          I forgot to add the brasseries; La Rotonde, Balzar and Bofinger. These are the best of a mediocre crowd, in my opinion. Bofinger should have a number of traditional Alsatian dishes.

          1. re: Oakglen

            I think it might be better to go with non-chain establishments. Those have the ambiance, maybe, of old-style restaurants/brasseries, but are hopelessly mediocre as far as the dining experience goes. For the price, one might chip in for good food....

        2. I think Chez George on Rue du Mail is exactly what you are looking for; been there for decades and nothing has changed...classic bistro items. It is best to reserve as it fills up for lunch from all the people around Pl. des Victoires.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Laidback

            This is still very traditional. Astier is also fairly traditional and very good.

          2. Also, the Chez Georges in the 17th near Porte Maillot (my wife had both salade frisse avec lardons and a huge Ile Flotante there), Thoumieux in the 7th, and Allard in the 6th.