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Please give opinion on potential restaurant visits.

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I am planning a week long trip to Paris next month, with most of the planning concentrated on eating. Here is a list of restaurants that I am thinking about visiting. I'd love to have any and all thoughts about this list and any suggestions. Some restaurants that I've tried in the past and have loved are Le Regelade, Aux Lyonnais, L'Epi Dupin, Chez Denise, L'Ardoise, Fish, and Le Comptoir. Here is the list I'm thinking about:

Le Timbre
Chez l'Ami Jean
L'Os a Moelle
Le Beurre Noisette
Au Bon Accueil
L'Avant Gout
Les Cocottes
L'As du Falafel
Chez Maitre Albert
Le Comptoir (again)
Taillevent (is this worth the splurge?)
Mon Vieil Ami

Thank you for your comments.

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  1. I would only go to Taillevent for the historic value of eating there. You can have a much better experience at so many other restaurants in Paris.

    1. At this time, Taillevent is not the best "splurge-worthy" restaurant in Paris. It may "rise" again, but right now you will have more wonderful food at several other places, and at great value,, especially if you go for lunch.

      1. There are maybe two dozen "destination" restaurants in Paris; and a slew of fine places that are woth trying "if you are in the neighborhood". Luckily, many of the *, ** &*** great restaurants have bargain (relatively!) prix-fixe menus available at lunch. Try to limit your choices to one "destination" restaurant per day. So far, your choices seem to be aiming low, IMO.

        1. That's a good list except Mon Vieil Ami, which is not good anymore, and Chez Maitre Albert (assuming you mean "l'Atelier Maître Atelier Albert), which never was (and is also fairly expensive). The only limit is, mot of them are in the same style of good Parisian bistrots, so you might lack diversity. If this is your list for six days, then it is too long.

          1 Reply
          1. re: souphie

            Souphie, I'd like to get more of your thoughts on Mon Vieil Ami, as I really respect your views - but find myself completely at odds with them in this case! :o)

            We were just at MVA for the fifth or sixth time last weekend, and as has been our consistent experience, the food was just stellar. The plat du jour, in particular, has to be one of Paris' best bargains - Sunday's was pot au feu with gorgeous veg, deeply flavoured broth and spoon-tender meat. One serving was enough for three people - for 15 euros. Dunno - the only misstep I've ever had here has been their cheese plate, which was cold and pedestrian. Desserts, though, have been uniformly lovely.

            I was also surprised to see shopwinedinefine's comment about L'Os a Moelle vs MVA - I've been to L'Os twice (the second time only because I was so underwhelmed the first time and thought it must be an off night) and just haven't been impressed at all. What I've had there has seemed derivative and busy...

            On a side note - we went to Les Fables de la Fontaine for the first time as well this past weekend. Wasn't as impressed as I wanted to be, but someone in the kitchen definitely knows what he's about in terms of cooking fish...

          2. I may suggest skipping Le Comptoir. Some may argue that it was never all it was cracked up to be, I thought it was wonderful in 2007 and was very let down when I returned in 2008.

            Chez L'Ami Jean is great, as is L'os A Moelle. I would go with CAJ of those two. I have been to Mon Vieil Ami and I thought it was fine, but there are better restaurants for better prices - I would go to L'os a Moelle over Mon Vieil Ami.

            Have fun!

            4 Replies
            1. re: shopwinedinefine

              ....although I had a very good lunch at Le Comptoir in December '08. IMO it was actually better than the dinner we had at Le Regalade a few days before, a far, far better than "Jadis" which is proving to be the latest new destination bistro.

              1. re: PhilD

                I had an excellent lunch at Le Comptoir last Friday. Tip: If you don't want to wait, go early (if you can bear to eat lunch early). We got there at 11.55, waited for the doors to open at 12noon and were seated immediately. The restaurant was full by 12.20.

                I would skip Le Timbre.

                1. re: Cookingthebooks

                  I second the advice to skip Le Timbre. In the beginning, it was quite affordable, but has become sort of expensive for what you get.

                2. re: PhilD

                  Not that I like to contradict you, but I just had a very perfect lunch at Jadis, simply prepared, masterfully cooked and seasoned, excellent ingredients, all for 39€. It was just the food I want to eat, if probably not destination dining.

                  One of our experiences is not representative. Maybe both.

              2. Thank you so much for your input. For certain, I am taking Mon Vieil Ami off my list of potential visits. My favorite kind of French food is of the bistrot style, but I like the idea of mixing it up at least a little. Any thoughts of lunch at Michel Rostang? I'd like to have one splurge lunch. My husband will be at meetings all day, and I thought that a starred restaurant would be a great treat.

                2 Replies
                1. re: ParisKat

                  I am sure souphie will give you his words of advice concerning a splurge lunch in Paris. I would recommend Le Cinq as well as Arpege(the lunch menu is a third of the cost of the dinner menu): a bargain in Parisian restaurants.

                  1. re: ParisKat

                    My dining experiences in Paris are few, but the first Michelin-starred cafe I visited was Michel Rostang, for dinner, a few years ago. The food was traditional, essentially, but the experience was a treasure.

                    Service was attentive and friendly, but not overdone. The waiter said, "We have a la carte, of course, and we have two prix fixe dinners, petit and grand. Unless you're very hungry, you might consider the petit prix fixe, it's a lot of food, and features Bresse chicken in a tarragon sauce that Mr. Rostang has prepared tonight."

                    We tried the petit prix fixe, wonderful, the selection of cheeses surpassed, by far, any cheese presentation I'd seen anywhere else, especially in the States. It was 6 or 7 courses. Desserts and petit fours were delightful, the room was elegant and grand. A party of 12 Hollywood people were nearby, and Mr. Rostang came out to chat with them. He spoke warmly of his daughter's studies. She now, I believe, is head chef at one of his bistros.

                    There are surely many Paris cafes that offer a more inventive, cutting-edge approach to food, bless them all, but it's difficult to imagine anyone not enjoying a meal at Michel Rostang. I have not been there recently, my review is certainly vulnerable to criticism, but I would love to return, soon.

                  2. For advice on the splurge, we need to know more about what you like and expect. The higher you go in price and stars, the most significantly different are from one another, so that you absolutely have to know what your expectations are when you chose a high end place.