Paris trip review
I'm not as much of a foodie as many of you - we love to eat, but aren't all that sophisticated. But given the great advice I received on this site, I feel like I should come back and give you the benefit of our experience. All these are dinners, all reservations were at 8, which seemed to give us the benefit of the first full service at each restaurant...perfect for us.
Let me start by saying we didn't have a bad meal anywhere, and I recommend all of these.
1 - Le Pre Verre. Casual, very popular place. DH had a really interesting pepper and raspberry soup followed by a suckling pig dish that was perhaps a little too adventurous for us. I had a good veal steak with chanterelles (being American the steak in France isn't quite what I'm used to) and a fantastic poached pear for dessert.
2 - Le Petit Tonneau. Very traditional small bistro, half full. DH had some lentils he raved about the rest of the week, but I can't remember what he ate after that. I had a very good warm goat cheese salad and the mussels.
3 - A la Biche au Bois. Super crowded, very good. DH had a duck terrine that was really tasty and a venison confit. I had eggs mayonnaise that was outstanding and another veal steak that was really very good. We both had a cheese plate - you can't go wrong there! Very game-oriented, though...if you're not into that, the menu would be slim pickings.
4 - L'Avant Gout. Less traditional, more Asian fusion in the menu. DH had a veal steak and I had a pork stew that was out of this world. The carpaccio entree I had was lovely, and the cheese my husband had at the end was so, so good.
5 - Le Petit Pontoise. Best meal of the trip, all in. It's all a little hazy, which is weird...I didn't write it down, but we both agreed during and after that it was the best. I very specifically remember the tarte tatin with berries that literally had us swooning. I very highly recommend this one, and it's open on Sundays to boot.
6 - Au Bon Accueil. Very good, but not really our speed...a little too fancy for us, quite honestly. There were no french folks in the place that I could see (save the servers, of course.) On the other hand, you are just under the Eiffel Tower, which is an awfully lovely thing at night!
7 - Auberge Pyrenees Cevannes. Very traditional, very laid-back, very good. About 2/3 full. DH had the cassoulet, which was really flavorful. I had the scallops, which were also lovely and came with some very tasty leeks and mushrooms.
I also took a class at Cookin with Class with Eric Fraudeau...what a blast that was. The instructional walk through the markets was a huge highlight of the trip and really gave me some insight into the way that the French source their food. Not just how they buy it at the market, but where it comes from in the world, how they grade it for the market, etc. Eric's very familiar with the US and Canada and the food we have available, so he can help you understand the differences. Oh, and the meal was really outstanding.
Also indulged in way too many macarons from Laduree. I hope they never open shop in the US, I would have to buy all new pants.
Back to sticks and twigs to make up for the trip - totally worth it!
Thanks for a great report We have been to #2,4,5,6 on your list and loved them as well.. its great to get feedback The only surprise to me is few French patrons at Au Bon Accueil...it wasnt that way at all when we were last there 2 years ago...and we missed Au Petit Tonneau on our most recent trip but always nice to hear of Ms Ginny as she has such a way with eggs and veal ! Glad you enjoyed ...
It's funny that you ask...we didn't plan it this way, but they got progressively more expensive as the nights went on, with the exception of the last meal, which was about in the middle.
You really can drive the prices yourself by choosing a la carte or off the "menu" (almost all restaurants have a 3-course price.) We had some good advice around that from a Parisian - they order 2 entrees rather than an entree and a plat, since the entrees tend to be much cheaper. That still provides plenty of food, quite honestly.