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Apr 30, 2009 10:30 AM

Seeking bistros on a weekend

I'm heading to Paris for four days (Thur-Mon), and of course have the perennial problem of figuring out where to eat on the weekend. I lived in Paris for a while several years ago, and found that the places I kept going to were Chez Denise (my all time favorite), L'Ami Jean, and Astier (before it changed hands). I'm going to revisit L'Ami Jean and Chez Denise again, but am stymied about where to eat on Saturday and Sunday. I'm looking, as you can see above, for a more traditional, bistro-like atmosphere, not too expensive, but not necessarily bargain basement.

Based on a New York Times review, I thought we'd go to Bistrot Paul Bert on Saturday, but see that on this board it doesn't get glowing recommendations. Sunday is open for me: I thought of Benoit, where I've dined, but it is a bit pricey, and they segregate foreigners together. I know Chez Omar is open for dinner then, but I haven't eaten there before.

So, can anybody offer me suggestions along these lines for a Saturday dinner and a Sunday lunch (or dinner?).

Help much appreciated.

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  1. My wife and I ate at Le Petit Pontoise last saturday. Excellent meal prices for dinner and nice bottle of wine 140euro. bottle was 44 euro. I can add more about it if you would like.

    2 Replies
    1. re: kevin25

      Yes, please; do tell me more. And is it open on Sundays? Thanks!

      1. re: Dipteran

        It should be open everyday. We started with escargot. It was wonderful. In a copper pot filled with a green herbed melted butter. With their bread it was a great combo. My wife had the beet-apple-chevre salad. Her favorite salad of the trip. She continued with herb seared scallops(very nice flavor) I had the veal chop Normandy. Nice cut of meat med-rare with mushroom sauce covering it. We had a bottle of a St. Estephe off the chalk board(St Jac) I think. look on the board. They were out of the 2002 and sub in the 2000 at no cost difference. ask for the 2000 it is a way better bottle of wine. Went well with our food. Ended with a split tiramisu and coffee. We loved this spot for our last night in Paris. They made us feel like we were regulars. Nice friendly people sitting around us. From Finland. Few Americans( is always a plus to me). We went to Cave de la Huchete. for live jazz after that. only 3-4 blocks away. fun spot in the cave(basement) for live jazz. dancing and fun crowd(not alot of young drunks). Hope this helped you...good luck

    2. You seem to be focused on very Parisian bistrots. Indeed Le Petit Pontoise is a good sat-sun option. As is l'Auberge Bressanne (16, av. Motte PIquet), where I was again yesterday and it was as good as usual -- had a great, great filet de boeuf and fried. Au Dernier Métro serves genuine excellent bistrot food, serves it all day every day (by the métro Dupleix on bd de Grenelle). La rotisserie du Beaujolais is an excellent rotisserie (that's all they do well, though). I like le Café de l'Industrie a lot, the kind of place where you want to sit and write, and food is decent. La Rotonde is the brest brasserie in town, foodwise (but it's a brasserie, therefore has ups and downs, only the downs are still pretty good and the ups rock). And I don't want to short circuit PhilD, but Fish is open everyday -- went last weekend again to check that the food is excellent and cheap and modern, and wines are lovely and numerous.

      3 Replies
      1. re: souphie

        Souphie - I think Fish closes on Mondays, one week in August and one week in December.

        1. re: PhilD

          We had dinner at Le Petit Pontoise Sunday night and it was wonderful. I was a little surprised that all of the customers were American. Whereas the both times we were at Josephine Chez Dumonet, it seemed like we were the only Americans. Not in any way a problem....just an observation.

          1. re: PhilD

            I think they're open everyday except December 25th.

        2. Goumard, on rue Duphot, is no longer a one star, but has a new, more reasonably priced menu. The menu is also well balanced (not just seafood). A good Sunday choice. Check out John Talbott's review.

          1. Have you ever tried "La Fontaine de Mars": a bit pricey but great service and food. Also very pleasant to sit outside weather permitting...