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Apr 30, 2008 06:50 PM

French brasserie-Which ones should we go to?

We are 4 foodies coming to Paris to check out the French Brasserie type of restaurants-
Which are the top rated ones that you would recommend.
We are there for three days.
Thank you
And if you have any other recommendations.

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  1. La Rotonde -- Bofinger -- Zeyer -- La Coupole -- Chez Georges (porte Maillot) --

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      Bofinger was great, we went for Lunch (open 12-3pm). Photos included.

      My wife and I both loved the appetizers - gaspacho and liver pate. These were both perfect and I'd order again if we went back. For entrees we got duck, and fish. The duck was good, and the fish was flawless and had a great sauce.

      The restaurant is near the metro, and diners there appeared to be a mix of locals and visitors. My French is very limited but we had no trouble ordering (I can read the menu but ordering was done mostly in English). Nice slow lunch, memorable experience.

    2. Bofinger gets the highest rating for food; my personal favorite, Balzar, is in the middle and La Rotonde near the bottom, according to Zagat. They are all equal to or better than Balthazar in NYC, as a frame of reference. Any of Souphie's choices should work for you; just keep your expectations in check. I believe Bofinger is the only one with a Michelin rating; two forks/spoons.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Oakglen

        La Rotonde is the best. And it has Bib gourmand.

        1. re: souphie

          Sorry Souphie, I missed the Bib Gourmand rating; in these days of the sinking $, that means a lot. For those who want photo ops as well, this might be be the best choice. If people want Alsatian dishes, then Bofinger would be the most appropriate. Personally, I find the wait staff of Balzar lacking in "attitude", a quality I value more and more these days.

          1. re: Oakglen

            You cannot go wrong at Balzar, and I agree about the friendly waiters.

            I've been to two other Flo places in recent weeks, Terminus Nord and Boeuf sur le Toit, for work-related reasons. Both were OK but I'd go to Balzar. Of the Flo places, there is Balzar and then all the rest, with Coupole in a slightly separate category because of its size and ambiance.

      2. Thank you for this info- I have also heard of the trend of bistronomie: the new breed of bistros run by creative young chefs

        1 Reply
        1. re: flameworkart

          Is it another question? Top choices in that category are Chez l'Ami Jean and la Régalade, and to a lesser extent Chez Michel, l'Os à Moëlle, le Beurre Noisette, etc.

        2. I labor with a personal quirk that favors going to the old, independent brasseries. Food-wise I prefer Marty and Thoumieux, for beautiful, belle epoque decor and acceptable food, especially shellfish, I like Mollard. Certainly for the experience one should visit some of the famous Flo group and Blanc brothers famous places. One in that category not mentioned above is Le Vaudeville. Most of them offer acceptable to pretty good food, just accept them for what they are and don't expect culinary fireworks.