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Jan 23, 2009 06:05 AM

Where to take a Parisien...

Hi Chowhounds,
I will soon be receiving a business visitor from Paris for a few days. I don't exactly want to take him to French Bistro type places, and many of my favourite ethnic restaurants are not exactly suited for business (I can hardly take him to Mahli Sweets...). So I'm looking for some input on business-worthy non-French restaurants (other than Italian, which I know plenty), preferably in the Plateau/Mile End/Little Italy area. Thanks!

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  1. The first thing that came to my mind is Nonya. Delicious Indonesian food in a very sober, upscale setting with great service. I don't think it's something you can find easily in France, so there's less of a chance that your Parisian friend will complain about how they do it much better there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: SnackHappy

      I have to say that Nonya was very disappointing for me. it seemed quite run of the mill. I took a date there and we were both underwhelmed. I would hate the same to happen to your visitor.

    2. The difficulty is that most non-ethnic restaurants are "french" in inspiration (for example cocagne, Les Cons Servent, Justine, ... )
      And if your Parisien is mildly interrested in wines, it's hard to find a restaurant with good non-european wine (especially american wines)

      Anyway suggestions :
      Raza and/or Madra for south american-ish food.
      Jolifou: french with south american influence.
      Jun I :sushi or the French/Italian influenced menu (A la Carte)
      Milos: for greek seafood
      Ferreira : for seafood. (mediteranean) (downtown)
      Pinxto : for tapas.

      And there are the usual addresses for "comfort" food.
      Joe Beef (downtown-ish)
      Au Pied De Cochon

      I would suggest depending on your relation "status" with your client to take him to a more "classic" style restaurant on the first lunch/night, and ask him if he would like to try something that is more "out-of-the-box" (more ethnic)

      1 Reply
      1. re: Maximilien

        Maximilien's post is right-on. Great suggestions. For something more out of the box but excellent, with a superb wine list, I also would add Alep. But I think they are only open for dinner.

        I think you need to see how conservative this person's tastes are. They may want to go to Parisien style bistros exclusively.

      2. Portus Calle Restaurant on St. Laurent (Plateau)
        Really lovely, delicate Portugese.
        Happy eating, Oana

        9 Replies
        1. re: oana

          I'd been intrigued by Portus Calle. Indeed, I don't recall a lot of somewhat upscale Portuguese restaurants in Paris, though there is a very large Portuguese population.

          There are a faire number of Lebanese/Levantine restaurants there, though obviously not as many as Maghrebi restaurants. Though Alep (both sides) is consistenly good, and now they have an interesting wine list.

          I've heard Madre and Raza are rather disappointing in terms of South American wine lists. Don't know if that is still the case. Jolifou, while it has a "French" side, is very different from anywhere I've eaten in Paris.

          1. re: oana

            Portus Calle is an option for a business lunch but it's quite noisy in the evening; it morphs into a bit of a club after 8pm with fairly loud music. It's not ideal for a business-oriented meal if that's what the OP is looking for.

            1. re: hungryann

              Cafe Ferreira is very appropriate for business meals (whether lunch or dinner), and it is Portugueuse. Upscale, good service and the food is just great.

                1. re: hungryann

                  I often take visitors from France to the vegetarian Thai place, Chuch, and order from the menu, not the counter and it is usually a great success.

                  1. re: Plateaumaman

                    Hi Plateaumaman, do you mean Chuch or Chuchai?

                    Chuchai, the original one, with a fancier d├ęcor, seems more appropriate for business - unless you know your guest likes a more casual vibe, as at Chuch, the bring your own wine counter place (though you can order anything from the menu). The latter could be nice if you have a special bottle and your guest would enjoy the setting.

                    1. re: lagatta

                      I usually take friends to Chuch and order from the Chuchai menu at lunch time.

                      1. re: lagatta

                        It all depends on your visitor of course, but taking a Parisien to a vegetarian place might be a recipe for disaster !
                        My own take on french visitors (based on personal experience and thus utterly subjective) is that the younger ones (say 40 and under) are likely to be very open to 'different' things, either local flavor or ethnic, while the older might look down a bit on such fare and would prefer something they are more familiar with, with perhaps just a hint of local color. So a french restaurant would not necessarily be out of place, although I would probably exclude the traditional bistros. I think Europea might be a good choice, quiet and reserved enough for business talk, with french inspired food but that is definitely a bit more daring than what you'd find in most Parisien restaurants.

                        1. re: johnnyboy

                          True .. my French guests are often vegetarian musician-types.

                          We did a Montreal/Paris home exchange and our Parisien pal really enjoyed Au Cinquieme Peche, also the Peruvian place on St-Denis, Mochica.