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Oct 9, 2008 12:31 AM

Paris: Upcoming Salon Du Chocolate and 4 day trip to Paris

I am currently living in London and will be here for several years. In the past my husband and I visited the Chocolate Show in New York held in mid November. The same organizers do these shows in several locations, including Paris. This year it is being held October 29-November 2 at the Paris Expo, Porte de versailles in the 15th. Tickets are available through FNAC (French only) for 12 Euros each which includes one day admittance.

We have been to Paris before when the economy wasn't such a problem and had the opportunity to try some fine dining establishments at that time. Now we are going for the more modest restaurants.

Thursday dinner L'Ami Jean
Friday lunch Atelier Joel Robuchon
Friday dinner La Regalade
Saturday dinner L' Petit Troquet
Sunday dinner Mon Viell Ami

Probably we will go to the Show on either Saturday or Sunday. Would anyone know a good place for lunch near the Porte de Versailles that would be open on Saturday or Sunday?

Also, would anyone know of a good wine tasting experience on Saturday? I found a website of a company called O Chateau that has several options--anyone used them? Would really like to take a day trip onn our own to Reims but just dont think there is time. Has anyone done the bus trip to Reims? Worth the time?

Any other high level wine experiences to recommend? We do not speak French other than a few words.

Thanks very much.

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  1. The two exhibitions I went to at the Expo site both had catering which was OK. They were food related events (the Independent Wine Show and the big Agricultural show), but I would assme the Chocolate show would have some food stands as well. It is generally rustic, and basic, but as it is France a lot better than the equivilent in other countries. The area around the exhibition centre is quite sparse so you may need to get on a metro. Also, you may find there some other large exhibitions going on at the same time so lots of people.

    Why not check out the train to Reims - I think the new TGV goes that way so it will be quick.

    3 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Has anyone done the O Chateau wine tastings?

      I looked at the trips to Reims, but the Saturday morning (Nov 1) direct trains aren't availalbe so they must be booked. If we went on Friday I would have to cancel my two reservations (above) and I hate to do that. We can get over at another time hopefully.

      1. re: ctkathy

        Did you use the French SNCF site?

        It is easy to navigate and may have more options than ther UK ones (and could be cheaper). You collect tickets at machines in the station. I assume you want the 1st November - I was able to choose two returns on the 07:57 train for approx €64, lots of other trains were available. It takes approx 45 mins.

        1. re: ctkathy

          <Has anyone done the O Chateau wine tastings?>

          I have. Olivier is very knowledgeable, and the wine tastings are fun, and lots of wine! I would recommend it.

      2. I don't recommend Mon Vieil Ami, which once was good. Your first three choices are obviously excellent. Next to the Porte de Versailles are a number of good bistronomiques -- I'll leave it to you to check which one is open on saturday or sunday: Le Grand Pan, l'Os à Moelle, Les Symples de l'Os à Moëlle, La cave de l'Os à Moëlle, le Petit Vanves, Le Beurre Noisette. It may be that none of them is open on weekends.

        Sundays are difficult for sure. Good places open include Senderens, Robuchon, l'Auberge Bressane, II Vino, Fish, La Rotonde...

        Fish has excellent wines and their wine store, la Dernière Goutte, does tastings on saturdays. Plus they speak English (as first language, actually).

        As PhilD says, Reims is really close by TGV and you'll find tickets. No idea what the interesting things to do there are, apart from the two big restaurants (and their organised activities) -- Les Crayères and l'Assiette Champenoise.

        Senderens is a high level wine pairing experience, especially for desserts. Go for desserts. For top wines at good prices, see Les Caves Taillevent, Petrissans. Les caves Augé is renowned for unknown excellent wines too. Obviously Il Vino also offers high level wine experience. Le Jeu de Quilles is also a simple place for wine lovers -- you can drink throughout the day (as one does :D), get lunch but in the evening you will have to privatise the place. They have great small wines and perfect simple food.

        You'll find pics from Le Jeu de Quilles, Senderens, Le Cinq in my gallery: .

        1. I know souphie's not a fan, but just to present a counterpoint, I celebrated my birhday at Mon Vieil Ami about a month ago and had a wonderful experience there--very good food in a comfortable and welcoming atmosphere.

          4 Replies
          1. re: NWWanderer

            I used to be a fan. But my last meal sucked, and the ones before were unimpressive. Now in all honesty, maybe things have changed or this was a bad night. And I agree about the welcoming atmosphere, though I would not call the place comfortable.

            1. re: souphie

              I have a couple of other ideas for Sunday--Le Petit Pontoise, Christophe, Le Comptoir, Le Stella or Le Fontaine de Mar. We are staying at the Hilton in the 8th. Any recommendations nearby?

              I also hope we will have a chance to have some Vietnamese food while we are ion Paris.

              1. re: ctkathy

                Lac Hong, rue Lauriston ($$$); Pho 14, avenue de Choisy ($), Co Tu rue Croix-Nivert ($$).

                1. re: ctkathy

                  I second the rec for Pho 14 -- good food, good prices. Here are some pictures and my thoughts on my blog --