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Alternatives to Benoit, Paris?

h
hiscoke Sep 18, 2008 11:36 AM

We'll be in Paris in early October and had tentatively planned to eat at Benoit one evening. However, after hearing all of the mixed reviews, we're now having second thoughts. Can anyone suggest a good alternative to Benoit? We'd like to keep a similar style of food and the same price range or lower.

Many thanks

  1. PhilD Sep 19, 2008 08:28 AM

    Have no fear. Benoit is good, it delivers good bistro food in a very beautiful building with great service. However, it is quite expensive (a price you pay for these type of standards) and the food is traditional with few fireworks.

    I suspect the criticism is usually of one or two types. First: you can eat the same cheaper elsewhere - OK you can, but not with this level of consistency and style. Second: there are more talented chefs doing more spectacular food. True there are, But Benoit is what it is, it doesn't pretend to be pushing culinary boundaries.

    On my last visit I was able to order the same dish at Benoit as I had eaten the previous evening at Le Violin d'Ingres IMO Benoit 's version was far better (for a similar price).

    Give it a go - it may get criticism but I bet it actually gets more accolades than many others as well.

    4 Replies
    1. re: PhilD
      j
      Just One Bite Sep 24, 2008 02:30 PM

      Phil D.
      Can you tell me if Benoit would be accessible for someone using a walker? I know bathrooms may be inacessible, but if the restaurant is on a ground floor (or with just a few steps) it maybe suit our needs. I was able to get a reservation for this Saturday night, so I made it just in case. I'd appreciate any insight!

      1. re: Just One Bite
        PhilD Sep 24, 2008 10:23 PM

        It is on the ground floor, and quite accessable, and no steps. It is also well staffed so there will be waiters to help. A taxi may not get right up to the front door as it is a pedestrianised area but the walk is probably only 20yds or so along a flat pavement - that said French taxi drivers like a challenge, and have a healthy disregard for road rules so they may get you to the door...! The toilets are upstairs on the first floor, the stairs (from memory) are quite wide so help could be given. I also believe the toilet is quite spacious (not often the case in France) so easier to navigate.

        1. re: PhilD
          j
          Just One Bite Sep 25, 2008 12:23 PM

          Thank you SO much! You have put my mind at east. Sounds great.

          1. re: PhilD
            j
            Just One Bite Sep 30, 2008 07:25 AM

            PhilD, Just wanted to let you know that our meal at Benoit was fabulous. The staff could not have been nicer or more accommodating, and the food was delicious! Thanks again for the assistance.

      2. souphie Sep 19, 2008 01:48 AM

        Classic comparable alternative include Adrienne chez la Vieille, Joséphine chez Dumonnet, Chez Georges rue du Mail, Chez Georges porte Maillot, Le Petit Riche, l'Assiette rue du Chateau.

        All are traditional good quality bistrot a tad upscale, somwhat scenic, like Benoit.

        1 Reply
        1. re: souphie
          Cookingthebooks Sep 19, 2008 03:09 AM

          I would add my favorite, Aux Fins Gourmets (213 bd St-Germain, 7e. 01 42 22 06 57). It's a classic and I prefer it much more to Chez Georges in the 2e, which I found quite touristy. L'Assiette got a mediocre review in this week's Figaroscope.

        2. Cookingthebooks Sep 18, 2008 11:41 PM

          I'm embarrassed to admit I'm unfamiliar with Benoit. But I just looked it up in Zagat, who referred to it as one of Paris's "best-loved time capsules." By similar style of food, do you mean bistro food? Is old-fashioned your aim?

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