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May 4, 2008 03:27 PM

Eloping in Paris in May-- dinner rec in the 1st or 4th (Marais, Les Halles, etc.) requested

Looking for a traditional, neighborhood bistro or brasserie for a Saturday dinner after the ceremony. There will just be four of us, so a small place would be fine. It does not need to be super fancy. We are most interested in great food and a warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly staff. I have found a lot of great posts about these areas so far, but if anything stands out to you, your recommendations would be much appreciated.

oh, also recommendations for nearby places to have a glass of champagne, either before or after dinner, would be great. Thank you!!!

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  1. My choice would be Le Dome du Marais. It is elegant, but not stuffy, the food is updated classic, and prices are moderate.

    10 Replies
    1. re: rrems

      Thank you! Le Dome du Marais looks lovely. Allard in St. Germain was also suggested. And the Hemingway Bar at the Ritz for champagne beforehand. If anybody has opinions about those places, I'd love to hear them. Thanks!

      1. re: m3timz

        Suggest you stay far, far away from Allard. For drinks etc, where are you staying, or where is the ceremony? More info would help.

        1. re: Oakglen

          Still looking for something in the 1st or 4th arrondissements. St. Germain or the Latin Quarter could work as well. thanks!

      2. re: rrems

        Whilst Le Dome is a good recommendation I always found it a little faded around the edges and that it crammed people in - shuttling the tourists through. So I personally wouldn't recommend it for a post celebration celebration.

        Another option in the vicinity is Le Pamphlet which on the border of the 3/4eme. It has good food, quite a stylish atmosphere and not over the top. In fact almost a neighborhood bistro for special occasions (is that an oxymoron).

        There are lots of bars and cafe's in the Marais but it is a fun/young/gay scene so a lot depends on you disposition. Le Petit Fer A Cheval (30 rue vieille du Temple) is very small and old fashioned so if you fancy standing in a small atmospheric bar with a few good tables for people watching this is good - I love it.

        Nearly next door is Les Piloshophes is more traditional, but very stylish/trendy pavement cafe. Literally around the corner from here are a couple of other uber-trendy places that would be good as they have nice terraces on a pedestrian street.

        The is also a very stylish bar/hotel in the Marais called "Hotel Murano Urban Resort" - this is cutting edge French design so worth checking out (although it is very expensive).

        1. re: PhilD


          Are you sure you are referring to the same place I was, Le Dome du Marais at 53 bis, rue des Francs-Bourgeois? There are several brasseries called Le Dome, which are not related to Le Dome du Marais.

          1. re: rrems

            Yes I believe so - it is the old auction rooms from the state pawnbrokers next door. We obviously have differeing views about it.

            Another good recomendation for "great food and a warm, inviting atmosphere and friendly staff" is Maceo in the 1eme, a short walk from the Marais. It is quite stylish, a really good room with space between tables, but not super fancy. A favorite with the fashionista in Paris fashion week.

            1. re: PhilD

              You have the right one. We were last there 2 1/2 years ago, so maybe I'm just not up to date.

              1. re: rrems

                We approx 2 years ago - maybe just simply a matter of differeing opinions.

                I lived in Paris so tend to see restaurants through a slightly different lens (maybe harsher) than visitors. I suspect as a resident my expectations changed from those I had when I had been a visitor.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Pamphet has gone down in our estimation - the bland makeover seems to have seeped into the food. Mon Vieil Ami on the Ile St Louis is a better choice.

      3. Having been to Paris a few times with my bride of 41 years (as of this coming June) and thinking of your situation, I would make luncheon reservations at Mon Vieil Ami You'll remember it for the rest of your lives. It's on Rue d' St. Louis, which is a pleasant walk from anywhere in the 4th or 1st. The food is a bargain and the service is excellent. Search Chowhound and see what others have to say. Don't be frightened by the on-line menu as the luncheons, especially the d'jour, are inexpensive. With a 29eu half bottle spurg, our luncheon (with two entres each by mistake, was 90 eu for two.

        1. Marais (4th) is trendy and there should be plenty of choices. Marais will provide plenty of walking, sights and chioces. 1st is a bit more commercial, gritty and less neighborhoody.

          We have stayed in the Marais several times and one of our neighborhood favorites is:

          Les Philosophes
          28 Rue Vieille du Temple, Paris
          Not fancy, a neighborhood brasserie with a prix fixe menu (plus full menu) and some outdoor seating in season. Order the Carard aux Miele Epice (Duck with spiced honey), the house special.

          PS a few doors down is:

          Petit Fer à Cheval (Le)
          30, rue Vieille-du-Temple (4th)
          Paris 75004 France

          a wine bar (same owner as Philissophes) with a horseshoe-shaped bar; might be a good place for a drink / champagne.

          Cafe Open is technically a gay bar, and has outdoor seating on one of the liveliest corners in the Marais, people from all walks of life gather streetside and watch the parade of parisians go by (good place for a drink / champagne). A short walk from Cheval/Philisopphes. Careful, you may stay here all night:
          Cafe Open
          17 rue des Archives

          Our favorite restaurant in all of Paris is Astier (11th); worth the cab ride. Moderately priced, comfortable atmosphere, outstanding food and experience. Reservations required.

          44, Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud
          75011 Paris, France
          +33 1 43 57 16 35

          Another choice would be

          Ma Bourgogne
          19, Place des Vosges
          75004 Paris
          Tel 01 42 78 44 64
          Fax 01 42 78 19 37

          On Places Des Vosges (4th), perhaps the most beautiful place in Paris. Also has outside seating. Classic French bistrot.

          BTW: congratulations, you cannot have picked a better place to elope :)

          1. Please be sure to tell us what you decided and how it worked out. Hearing all these great ideas has me looking @!!