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May 10, 2009 08:28 PM

Paris in May - Seeking Advice

I am planning 5 nights in Paris with my boyfriend. We love food, but are not looking for haute cuisine every night (except one last evening perhaps in Taillevent...) Good bistro food, warm setting are the best in Paris in my opinion

Seeking advice on the following itinerary options from fellow foodies

Sunday - Fountaine de Mars; Mon Vieil Ami; Reminet

Monday - Chez Denise; Chez George

Tuesday - Les Papilles; Pre Verre; L'Avant Gout

Wednesday - L'ami Louis

Looking also for enough variety (for instance, are Chez Denise and Chez Georges and L'avant gout all too similar to do three night in a row??)
Any help/thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Love this site, thanks!

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  1. Is it Chez George rue du Mail or Chez George Porte Maillot? The former is similar to Chez Denise, the latter a traditional brasserie. If the latter, then Denise/George/Avan-gout is an interesting, varied combination of lively food temple, traditional brasserie and bistronomique.

    L'Ami Louis is a pure ingredient play -- they have ingredients nicer than many three-star restaurants, and they cook them well if without genius. The bill is very high for a bistrot, but entirely fair given the amount and quality of food they serve you. E.g. 78€ for a whole high quality roast chicken is not crazy, but do you want a whole chicken? For the food fest, dark old place experience, I think Chez Denise for example gives you the same without the world-class ingredients. For a more upscal traditional bistrot, Joséphine has better foie gras, exceptional wines.

    Why Taillevent?

    3 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Thanks Souphie for the reply!

      It is Chez George rue du Mail in fact, so I suppose my suspicions were right that it may be too similar to Chez Denise. Any preference between the two?
      I am skeptical on L'Ami Louis myself - was recommended to me by an important person in the food business, but seems awfully expensive.

      Maybe Denise, mon vieil ami, avant gout would be a better monday, tuesday, wednesday?

      Or Denise, Josephine, Avant Gout?

      Taillevent just because I have always wanted to go there and thought it a good choice for a traditional french splurge. You disagree?

      1. re: emarson

        I believe that Mon Vieil Ami is closed on both Monday and Tuesday...check their web page.

        1. re: emarson

          I don't second Mon Vieil Ami.

          l'Ami Louis, as I said, is not expensive if you consider the quality and quantity of the ingredients, but just because of that, it has no competition.

          Denise is fuzzier than Chez Georges. Georges has a buffet of starters. Denise and Joséphine are similar but Joséphine is much more upscale and has exceptional wines, while Denise is open all night and has a more "working class" feel. But both belong to the "very traditional, very generous" category. I would pick Joséphine but that maybe because I'm very fancy myself.

          If you always wanted to go Taillevent, then by all means go -- it's a special place, and almost everything you'd expect fine dining to be. Just don't expect to be dazzled by the food. The wine, maybe.

          Avant'goût (or another "bistronomique" like l'Ami Jean, La Régalade, Au Bon Accueil, Christophe, le Bistral, etc) is definitely a good idea.

          For more variety a third choice may be in the innovative French cuisine category -- e.g. le Chateaubriand, La Bigarrade (there aren't that many, and there are some fakes, like la Gazzetta), but they tend to be a bit more expensive.

      2. Mon Vieil Ami and L'Avant Gout are among our favorites. You can't go wrong with those choices.