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Clueless NYC-ers in Paris.

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NYC couple staying in the San Germain des Pres area in a hotel called Aubusson.
We are frequent travelers to Italy and Spain but this will only be our second time in Paris. The first time was over 10 years ago.

We're looking for restaurant recommendations to span the spectrum.

We will certainly appreciate some high end dinners, but not every meal should cost €300+ in this economy.
We're having lunch at Taillevent one day after doing some vineyard tours and we do intend to drink some great wines.

Can you help, please?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. You might want to give 'Spoon', Alain Ducasse's more moderate place a try. Their lunch prix fixe is a good deal, and, well...it's Ducasse. I'm a big fan of Bistros, and always head to Belville and a tiny little place called 'Au Trou Normand' at 9 Rue Jean Pierre Timbaud - nothing flashy, just good, solid, traditional bistro....I'm envious of your Taillevent trip....

    1 Reply
    1. re: carleton

      Watch the weather. For some reason Au Trou Normand can be very, very warm inside. Been there twice, sweated a lot both times.

    2. Here are some places, all reasonable and all among my favorites, that will allow you to take a culinary tour of France in Paris, noted by the region. Always reserve:

      A CULINARY TOUR OF FRANCE (IN PARIS)

      Limousin

      ***Lescure, 01 42 60 18 91, 7 rue de Mondovi, leme

      Can you believe it? In the middle of the tourist area, just off the rue de Rivoli, a few steps from Place de la Concorde, tourists stride right past this unassuming little place every day. But not Parisians. Be sure to reserve...and no need to dress up. Businessfolk in suits crowd right in with working men and women and a well-informed tourist or two (not to mention a few English-speaking clients from the U.S. Consulate just the other side of the kitchen wall).

      And crowd is the word. You'll slide right in by the next party on a kitchen chair or bench, a partition away from one of the tiniest kitchens in Paris...out of which flows the very best duck in the city, Tour d'Argent's included. (NOTE: The sidewalk tables outside are very pleasant from late spring through early fall). The roasted duck (en Limousin) is country-style French cooking at its best. The skin is perfectly crisp, the meat moist and seasoned just right. Being country style, it's a bit greasy. I highly recommend it, but there's usually at least one other duck dish on the menu. As well, the boeuf bourguinon here is among the best to be found. The proprietor prides himself (with cause) on his house wines.

      Whatever you do, though, don't fill up completely. Here, and I guarantee this, you'll find the best fruit tarts in Paris. Check them out on the counter when you arrive. Knowledgeable dinners have a slice saved for them before they order anything else. Uninformed latecomers never know what they've missed. And now, after all, you understand why Lescure has been serving Parisians here for more than 80 years.

      Auvergne

      ***Ambassade d”Auvergne, 01 42 72 31 22, 22, rue de Grenier St. Lazare, 3eme

      This is an authentic, affordable tour of Auvergnois cooking—yum! Be sure to have the aligot: mashed potatoes mixed with the regional cantal cheese and garlic. Try the stuffed cabbage, beef filet du Salers, green lentil salad, Auvergne sausages, regional cheeses, etc, etc. My favorites are all on the least expensive menu--and it'll be more food than most humans can eat! At least one person must order the mousse au chocolate—and wait till you get a load of the size of the bowl it comes in!!! Have a sumptuous meal here for under 40 euros, plus good, inexpensive wine.

      Jura/Franche-Comte

      ***Chez Maitre Paul, 01 43 54 74 59, 12 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 6eme (Latin Quarter)

      Ah, what the French can do with even a simple chicken! My favorite chicken dish of all time is the poulet gratinee here: farm chicken gratineed with rich Comte cow’s milk. Magnifique! And try starting with the Montbeliard sausage with warm potatoes. Also well worth your consideration: salade comtoise (endive, cheese, ham and walnuts), poulet au vin jaune (chicken in white wine), poulet aux morrilles (chicken with morel mushrooms in cream sauce).

      Alsace

      ***Chez Jenny, 01 42 74 75 75, 39 Boulevard du Temple, 3eme, Mo: Republique
      Just off the Place de la Republique is this authentic Alsatian brasserie. The thing to have here is choucroute, Alsatian sauerkraut platters with excellent smoked meats (a huge platter is 23 euros, believe it or not [as of ‘08]). And, if there’s a group, get the shellfish choucroute platter as well. A bottle or two of regional, white wine, and you’re in for a most enjoyable evening. Check out the woodwork!

      Lyon

      Aux Lyonnais, 32, rue St-Marc 75002 Paris, 01 42 96 65 04, Mo: Richelieu-Drouot
      This Parisian version of a Lyonnaise ‘bouchon’ was first opened in 1890. It still offers Lyonnaise style cooking based on the very best regional produce : pikeperch, pike, crayfish and frogs from the Dombes, fine farm-reared chickens, beef, cheese from the Isère, cooked pork meats from Lyon and wine from the southern Macon to the northern Rhône … Happiness on a plate. Open Tuesday to Saturday for dinner. Three-course lunch Menu : €30. Dinner "A la carte": €40-50

      Brittany

      Aux Crus de Bourgogne, 01 42 33 48 24, 3 rue Bauchaumont, 2eme

      Although technically a Burgundian bistro (and the foie gras here is excellent), this place imports tons of Brittany lobster, poaches it and serves it cold with their superb homemade mayonnaise. Mmmmm! The place is crowded and lively, with red-and-white checked tablecloths, like something out of a 1940’s movie.

      La Crêperie de Josselin 14th arr., 67, rue du Montparnasse (Edgar Quinet/Montparnasse-Bienvenüe) 014 3209350

      Tasty crêpes” “so large they hang over the plate” have converts crowding into this bit of Brittany; given that “one of those puppies would feed three hungry people”, it’s an “incredible bargain”, and a “more efficient staff won’t be found anywhere else in the City of Light”; the “smoky” digs fall flat for a few, but that doesn’t deter those who “go straight for” “one of the foremost crêperies in Paris” (“and don’t forget the cider”).

      Basque

      Le Troquet, 15th arr, 21, rue François Bonvin (Sèvres-Lecourbe/Volontaire) 01 45 66 89 00

      An “enthusiastic welcome awaits” at this “neighborhood find” in the 15th, a “justly popular little bistro that packs them in for an extraordinary four-course prix fixe” of “always-fresh” New French fare (“throw in a few more euros and get a fifth course of cheese”) “rich with creative flavors”; the menu may be “brief” but “the daily changes keep you coming back for more.”

      ***Chez L'Ami Jean, 27 Rue Malar, Seventh Arr., Paris, 33-1/47-05-86-89
      Much mentioned on this board so I don't need to add much. Superb food at bargain prices. Casual, friendly neighborhood place. Be sure to try the rice pudding for dessert - a basque specialty.

      The Southwest (Dordogne)

      ***Bistro de l’Oulette, 38, rue des Tournelles, 75004, 01 42 71 43 33 (Metro: Bastille)
      From Zagat: This “intimate” favorite near the Bastille “has a new name”, a different chef and updated decor, but the “same ownership” – and, most important, the “satisfying experience” hasn’t changed, to the relief of those who call it a must; its “wonderful” menu of “serious Southwestern cooking” now has a few more “inventive twists”, but the price is still “terrific.” Tiny place;be sure to resverve. Excellent food and service.

      Obviously, there are many, many more. But these are exceptional, reasonable and pleasant places to spend several hours over good food and conversation. Take it from me--I've done lots of research!

      2 Replies
      1. re: globalgourmet

        <Jura/Franche-Comte

        ***Chez Maitre Paul, 01 43 54 74 59, 12 rue Monsieur-le-Prince, 6eme (Latin Quarter)

        Ah, what the French can do with even a simple chicken! My favorite chicken dish of all time is the poulet gratinee here: farm chicken gratineed with rich Comte cow’s milk. Magnifique! And try starting with the Montbeliard sausage with warm potatoes. Also well worth your consideration: salade comtoise (endive, cheese, ham and walnuts), poulet au vin jaune (chicken in white wine), poulet aux morrilles (chicken with morel mushrooms in cream sauce). >

        That sausage with potatoes is still resonating in my mouth and mind! This is a really lovely, affordable, traditional place. The kind we DON'T have in USA.

        <Alsace
        ***Chez Jenny, 01 42 74 75 75, 39 Boulevard du Temple, 3eme, Mo: Republique
        Just off the Place de la Republique is this authentic Alsatian brasserie. The thing to have here is choucroute, Alsatian sauerkraut platters with excellent smoked meats (a huge platter is 23 euros, believe it or not [as of ‘08]). And, if there’s a group, get the shellfish choucroute platter as well. A bottle or two of regional, white wine, and you’re in for a most enjoyable evening. Check out the woodwork!>

        I couldn't agree with you more, but I was last there 17 years ago, and have heard that it is not so terrific any more. I hope I'm wrong.

        1. re: ChefJune

          Hey, June. 17 years--wow! I took a group of two dozen friends there last summer. It was our first meal after arriving in Pairs. We ate and ate and ate for hours (choucroute, of course), downed bottle after bottle of the house wine, shared desserts, including several orders of flaming crepes suzette, and took almost as much charcuterie as we consumed back to the hotel for the staff. The service was exceptionally aimiable, as I have always found it. The bill? 37 euros each, complet. My friends were amazed and it was a great start to a great week. (Most of my friends were new to Paris.)

      2. What a lovely hotel!

        If you like fish, you might like to take a little excursion to the 14th for La Cagouille (14 place Konstantin Brancusi near rue de l'Ouest) when you call for reservations, ask for directions from the metro stop. Some of the best and freshest fish anywhere, and also a great Cognac list.

        1. Hello there
          we're a swiss couple living due south of Paris (in Auxerre) since 5 years. We have been visiting Paris on and off since the past 30years. If more than half of the clientele in a restaurant in Paris are foreigners, don't go in. If you're in the Montmartre area don't even think of going into a restaurant. If in Paris, do as the Parisians do - go to a Brasserie! There's one on the Trocadero called Café Trocadero (where Madonna did her video-clip) that offers a superb view from your dining table of the Eiffel Tower. Another is right opposite the "gare de l'est" (Eastern railway station to you) which is quite elegant and very well frequented by the french. A smashing 19th century place is the Rest. Mollard, just go there by taxi - the interior is breath-taking.
          If you manage to go to one of these three, I promise you won't be dissapointed.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Lindry

            Went to Cafe Trocadero some years back with Parisian friends who live very closeby. No one was impressed and there were 7 of us. Maybe we hit an off night.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Thank you, all, for these great posts.
              GREAT information
              Eat and travel well always!