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Oct 12, 2008 03:17 PM

Racines on Passage des Panoramas

Can anyone comment on this wine bar? Also, what is this place ' Passage des Panoramas' all about?

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  1. Cannot comment on Racine, but Passages are an absolute must. They are shopping alleys with a large concave glass roof. l know of four super ones. Panorama, Joffroy, and Verdeau can be found near Hotel Druout off Bd. Monmartre in the 9th Arrond. They connect to each other. There is a premier cane store, as well as wonderful used book shops, Musee Grevin( 'the' wax museum ) and a perfect salon de the, great chocolates and pastries. There is even an hotel, Hotel Chopin, small, but very quiet and fab location. The fourth, Passages Choiseul, is in the 2nd Arrond. near Chez Georges and Bourse metro stop. Has LeGrand wine store, wonderful browsing place as well as along with Hermes, another incredible scarf store.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      Racine has a strong reputation as a wine bar that does really good food - seems to be a hit with the young/fashionable. The wines are organic. Not open at the weekends so yet to try it...!

      1. re: souphie

        It' like they say -- the situation and setting the passage is extremly lovely, the wines are organic and alive, the ingredients are pretty good, the recipes are very simple. There is a chalkboard with three starters, three mains and three desserts. And it's packed.

        So why am I not interested in going again or impressed? I don't know. Maybe it's that sense with some young chefs that this is all about them having fun. Maybe it's the sorry state of affairs of food in this city that a place that just has good ingredients and serves them on a board is all the hype.

        We had lardo as a starter, excellent, scallops, also excellent, with some melter lardo on top, boudin, the usual basque one in a can like you have at Sévero or AOC, excellent as usual, pan seared. Then there was roast veal breast, pretty good and rabbit in a cast iron pot, decent. Cheeses were good, not noteworthy.

        You'll find pictures here:

        1. re: souphie

          Souphie, interesting point about the hype.

          I had the same feeling about Spring. I liked the restaurant and would happily have it as a regular restaurant if it was in my local neighbourhood and I could drop in on a Friday for a casual meal. But, I can't see the point of booking such a restaurant months and months in advance (although Daniel does say these are mainly regulars who have repeat bookings). This type of food is best for a spontaneous meal with a decent bottle of red, not a long anticipated meal.

          My old neighbourhood restaurant like "Fish" or "Cinq Mars" (rue de Verneuil) met this need very well - OK the cooking may not be quite as good, but it is close enough and the ease of getting a booking makes up for any gap.

          1. re: PhilD

            I agree word for word. I actually enjoy places like la Fontaine de Mars or l'AOC much more than Spring or Racines. The latters feel like pure award winners to me, excellent students.

            1. re: souphie

              I too was not impressed with Racines especially given all the hype.

              I did like l'Estaminet in the Marche des Enfants Rouge and I especially like Quedubon.

              Have you been to either and if so what is your take on them?

      2. Just realized there was a second part to your question. The passages are the malls of the 19th century, between the 9th and the 2nd mostly, by the Grands Boulevards. They're covered pedestrian streets with very picturesque shops of all sorts -- used books, collector stamps, organic wines, traditional pastries, swords...

        4 Replies
        1. re: souphie

          Thanks so much for your comments. I think we'll definitely visit the passages but pass on Racines ; )

          1. re: mizzlizz

            the passage des panorams is one of the good passages. it is worth seeing even if you don't go into racines. if you go there stop by juveniles. fun wine bar with good food and tim johnston is one of the truly passionate wine guys in paris.

            1. re: mizzlizz

              Ijn all fairness, Racines is many people's favourites. Actually the three of us are the first times I hear anything non fully lenthusiastic about Racines.

              1. re: mizzlizz

                Other good Passages (also called Galeries, because of their glass ceilings) worth visiting for their history, architecture and shops (also sometimes restaurants) include:
                Galerie Vivienne: 4 Rue des Petits Champs/ 6 Rue Vivienne, 2e (built 1826). Joins Galerie Colbert.
                Galerie Vero-Dodat: 19 Rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau,1e (built 1826 - one of the most elegant (35 brasserie there)
                Passage du Grand Cerf: 145 Rue St Denis/8 Rue Dussoube, 2e (highest of all the galeries at 11.8 m; every shop has 2 stories, living areas on top floor.)
                Just visiting these passages [incluing the already-mentioned Panorama, Jouffroy (at 10 Blvd Montmarte/9 Rue de la Grange Bateliere, 9e) and Verdeau (6 Rue de la Grange Bateliere, 9e - next door to the Jouffroy. Wonderful iron tracery supporting the glass ceiling] is a mini-lesson in French social history. A morning well-spent!.