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Sep 2, 2009 01:20 PM

Paris for 10 days -- staying in the 3rd near Bastille -- need recommendaions

First, thank you 'hounds for your generous advice and recommendations. Next month, we're staying in an apartment just north of Place des Vosges. We've spent a fair amount of time in Paris before, but have always stayed in the 5th and 6th, and have pretty much just eaten in those areas. So, this time we're going to explore the right bank restaurants. As you can tell from my list of possibles, we are not looking for anything fancy or too expensive, just solid cooking in convivial rooms.

But, first, we need a recommendation on where to start the day. Is there a cafe nearby with excellent expresso and croissants, brioche, etc., etc.??

Here's the list so far. Any obvious ones to eliminate? The ones with the star in front are ones we're leaning to right now. One thing we are looking for is to balance out the 10 days -- we aren't looking for 10 straight days of bistro, bistro, bistro. . .. That is why Shan Gout and the cous cous places and wine bars are included. Also, we would love to have a meal in a beautiful room but it looks like all the brasseries have been institutionalized and are now mediocre. Hence, the inclusion of Le Train Bleu (which we have been to before and loved). And, please, feel free to offer additional recommendations.

* La Machon, 16, rue Commines, 03 recommeded by a friend, recent visit
Au Bascou, 38, rue Reaumur, 03
Le Café des Musees, 49, rue de Turenne, 03
* Chez Janou, 2, rue Roger-Verlomme, 03 recommeded by a friend, recent visit
Breizh Café, 109, rue vieille du Temple, 03
* Robert et Louise, 64, rue vieille du Temple, 03
L’Ambassade d’Auvergne, 22, rue Grenier St. Lazare, 03

Nominoe, 13, rue Castex, 04
* Le Gaigne, 12, rue Pecquay, 04
Le Temps des Cerises, 31, rue de la Cerisaie, 04

Casa Olympe, 48, rue Saint-Georges, 09

* Repaire de Cartouche, 8, Blvd des Filles du Calvare, 11
* Astier, 44, rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, 11
* Le Villaret, 13, rue Ternaux, 11
Auberge Pyrenees – Cevennes, 106, rue de la Folie-Mericourt, 11

Café Cartouche, 4, rue de Bercy, 12
La Gazzetta, 29, rue de Cotte, 12
Shan Gout, 22, rue Hector Malot, 12

Le Train Bleu, Gare du Lyon, 12 -- lunch
Chartier, 7, rue du Fauberg, 09 -- lunch
La Cloche des Halles, 28, rue Coquilliere, 01 -- lunch
Chartier, 7, fue du Faubourg Montmartre, 09 – lunch

Jacques Melac, 42, rue Leon Frot, 12 – wine bar
Le Baron Rouge, 1, rue Theophile Rousasel, 12 – wine bar

Chez Omar, 47, rue de Breetagne, 03 – cous cous
Les 4 Freres, 27, Blvd de la Villette, 10 – cous cous – entrance on 35 rue, Sambre et

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  1. i would say that for it's basque goodness, chez l'ami jean definitely deserves to be on your list. it's just to good to miss. try ordering "la cochonaille" for an appetizer: a basket of sausages made by the chef's father in the basque country (27, Rue Malar,75007 Paris, France, +33 1 47 05 86 89). as far as getting sick of eating bistro fare, i would totally recommend vietnamese in the 13th arrondissement. i used to live down the street from a place that puts many others to shame: called Song Huong. it's traditional but really really good. i go for #12, a spicy pork-based soup called the Soup de Tourane, where the owner comes from. the b-bun is also killer. (

    1 Reply
    1. re: khornstein

      Mostly, get the foie gras or the cote de veau for two. They're top of their class (Chez l'Ami Jean)

    2. My humble opinion:

      Au Bascou, 38, rue Reaumur, 03 Right
      Le Café des Musees, 49, rue de Turenne, 03 Nah or maybe
      Breizh Café, 109, rue vieille du Temple, 03 OK, but not necessary
      * Le Gaigne, 12, rue Pecquay, 04 Yessss
      * Repaire de Cartouche, 8, Blvd des Filles du Calvare, 11 Definately
      * Astier, 44, rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, 11 Yes
      * Le Villaret, 13, rue Ternaux, 11 Inconsistent
      Auberge Pyrenees – Cevennes, 106, rue de la Folie-Mericourt, 11 Off its feed
      Café Cartouche, 4, rue de Bercy, 12 Most excellent (but quite like the mothership)
      La Gazzetta, 29, rue de Cotte, 12 read prior posts
      Shan Gout, 22, rue Hector Malot, 12 Terrific
      Le Train Bleu, Gare du Lyon, 12 -- lunch, If you must but why, it's so yesteryear?
      Chez Omar, 47, rue de Breetagne, 03 – cous cous ATLAS is Better

      John Talbott

      1. Hi, I'm certainly no expert but here are a few thoughts:

        I stayed down the street from Chez Janou a few months ago and started my mornings at Gerard Mulot on Rue des Tournelles. Still haven't made it to Chez Janou for some reason even though on a few trips I've walked by and it always looks and smells appealing.

        * Repaire de Cartouche, 8, Blvd des Filles du Calvare, 11 -- haven't been in years but yes, it was very good--especially for wine and game--when I was last there.

        * Le Gaigne, 12, rue Pecquay, 04 -- Had dinner there in May; my meal was excellent.

        Le Café des Musees, 49, rue de Turenne, 03 -- I eat lunch there because it's convenient and straightforward. I like it but wouldn't call it a gastronomic destination. Half the time I order salad or a sandwich. Go for lunch as you're wandering.

        * Astier, 44, rue Jean Pierre Timbaud, 11 -- Had dinner there once. Okay/good but then again not bad; I enjoyed it and would return but probably wouldn't rush.

        I recommend Le Chateaubriand in the 11th. I have read here and elsewhere that it can be uneven and I've only been once but everything was perfectly delectable when I visited. I'd say it's worth a go. I really enjoyed my meal there.

        Also remember to walk over to Jacques Genin for chocolates or coffee and pastries. 133 rue de Turenne in the 3rd. Not inexpensive but a worthwhile treat.

        1. Casa Olympe always was, and still is, a truly excellent little restaurant. Even if it isn't much discussed on forums, it's always packed. I love it.

          Astier is not what it used to be. Robert and Louise is more pittoresque than good (not bad, though). Same for Chartier.

          1. Thanks much for the replies; invaluable for the old decision making process. A couple of commetns on some of the places I included.

            Le Train Bleu -- included in lieu of a brasserie; would satisfy our wanting to dine in a beautiful room; if anyone can suggest a brasserie instead, that would be great. Has Wepler been taken over too?

            Chartier -- included not for the food, but just the great hustle-bustle time-forgotten atmosphere at lunch.

            Re: chez l'ami jean -- we are going to be in the 7th one night for a panel discussion (we'll be in the audience), so we'll probably eat over there, then. Since CLJ is soooo heavily touted here, my fear about going there is that we walk into a room full of foreigners who've heard about the place on CH. Activates the flashbacks of going to Maitre Paul in the 6th 20 years or so ago and upon seeing we were Americans, directed upstairs to a room full of - surprise! - Americans. And at Balzar eight or nine years ago when we were shown to a little cubby hole off the main room with - no surprise - Americans occupying the other seats safely hidden away. Never again.

            11 Replies
            1. re: NWPeter

              Since the smoking ban the apartheid seems less obvious. My tactic for avoiding fellow tourists had been to request a seat in the smoking area, it generally worked, disappointingly this option is no longer available. I always wondered if the "foreign" sections where the result of grumbling tourists objecting to smoke.

              To be honest any restaurant that is good will attract food savvy tourists so it is becomes a fruitless search trying to find one without any. I was at Le Baratin in the wilds of the 20eme on Monday and congratulated myself on being the only native English speaker until the last table was filled by a very loud group of American ladies who seemed not to require oxygen as they never paused for breath however the food was great (and that is how they spoke).

              CLJ probably gets more than its fair share of tourists, but as it is one room and really bustling there is no apartheid. My tip now is to eat late, at CLJ aim for a 10:00pm table.

              1. re: PhilD

                I am not sure the statement “any restaurant that is good will attract food savvy tourists” is entirely true. Paris has so many good restaurants that many are not frequent by tourists. It depends so much on what is hot at the moment. There are about dozen restaurants that keep popping up on various websites and blogs. Right now they may include Frenchie, La Gaigne, Le Baratin, CLJ, Christophe, Chateaubriand, Josephine, Spring. During the past couple of years, I’ve been to quite a few very good places that are under the radar and almost entirely Parisian. They include Beurre Noisette, La Repaire de Cartouche, L’Avant Gout, Le Pamphlet, Casa Olympe, Bastide d’Odeon, Moissonier. Chez Ami Jean seems to appear on almost every post on this board when the topic of Paris recommendations comes up and a few months ago, a post on CLJ had over 60 replies.

                1. re: PBSF

                  "Mostly, get the foie gras or the cote de veau for two. They're top of their class (Chez l'Ami Jean)"

                  Am a die-hard fan of l'Ami Jean but I suspect that the poster is referring to the other ami here - Louis...
                  Between the two amis, definitely Jean.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    The current subject is Chez l'Ami Jean (CLJ) and not L'Ami Louis. Somehow, we've wandered from the 3rd arrondissment to the 7th. Such is Paris.

                    1. re: PBSF

                      Sorriest I voiced my suspicision because l'Ami Jean is not known for its côte de veau but the other Ami is…
                      Am too happy to stick to Jean, in more ways than one.

                    2. re: Parigi

                      I was absolutely referring to l'Ami Jean. Few people know it apparently but the best things to take at l'Ami Jean are the foie gras and cote de veau for two.

                      Not that they're bad at l'Ami Louis (they don't have a whole cooked foie gras for two, as far as I'm aware). But it's mostly the cote de boeuf that shouldn't be missed at l'Ami Louis.

                    3. re: PBSF

                      I think it depends on the day, Racines yesterday was all French (apart from us), Frenchie on Wednesday quite few English speakers, but on Thursday just us. Le Chateaubriand on Thursday was 90% visit to Le Pamphlet (albeit a few years ago) was 100% English speakers.

                      I guess that in the smaller places, that are hot on the boards as well as the local reviews it will be variable because of their size.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        I’m glad to see Le Pamphlet mentioned a couple times – we very much enjoyed it in June, and it seems quite on point to the original question.

                        The question of whether it is a place that attracts in inordinate number of English speakers, probably does depend, as PhilD suggests, on the day, and the time. (When we were there in June, there were loud Americans in the main room, and quiet ones – like us! – in the small room to the left.)

                        This brings up a pet peeve: Why do so many of my fellow Americans speak so loudly, and in doing so, obliviously take over the room? Even the table of four Germans in our little side room conversed at half the volume of some of the Americans in the main room. I often wish I had a remote control that I could aim at the offender(s) and achieve instant involuntary modulation. (Maybe this general topic deserves its own thread?)

                        Jake Dear

                        1. re: Jake Dear

                          I wonder if we are pre-disposed to recognise fellow countrymens voices? In our experience fellow Australians can also be very loud.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            And no one beats the French when it comes to noisy and rude.

                            We do have an ability to tune out of conversations that are not in our languages. I use it all the time with my in-laws.