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Sep 21, 2009 09:18 PM

Paris -- any brasseries still worth going to??

We would love to have a meal in a beautiful room but it looks like all the brasseries have been taken over -- by the Flo Groupeand the Freres Blanc -- and institutionalized and are now mediocre. Are there any left that can still be recommended? Extra points for good choucroute.

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  1. Brasseries have been taken over but they're not that terrible. Foodwise, La Rotonde is head and shoulders above the other Brasseries but the room is not exceptional and they were very rude with me last I went a couple of weeks ago. Le Café de a Paix is fancier but prettier, food is high end.

    For beautiful room, they often mention le Train Bleu. Senderens is not bad either, in a jugendstill meets science fiction style.

    I'm also told that l'Européen, across the street from Train Bleu, is not bad for food.

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      We had a great time at Brasserie Balzar a few years ago and want to go in February when we are in Paris. However, their web site no longer comes up. The Flo website does respond, but then nothing on that site can be accessed. Does anyone know if they have all closed? I specifically want to know if Brasserie Balzar is still open. Thanks for your help!!

    2. Chez Jenny at Republique does a decent choucroute, good oysters as well.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        I have a vivid memory of watching this tiny Frenchman, dining alone, putting down a huge plate of pig's feet and choucroute at Bofinger. He seemed quite happy. I'm sure Chez Jenny is a superior restaurant in all other aspects, as is La Rotonde, despite the "attitude". Balzar has choucroute as a side dish, but I have never seen it served.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          I have a great memory of a lovely choucroute at Chez Jenny, and a lovely gentleman who waited on me, and brought the perfect Pinot Blanc.

        2. The brasserie side of Closerie des Lilas has great atmosphere and OK food at steep prices. Was not impressed by Marty last time I was there. Had a surprisingly nice meal at Wepler (Clichy) last year, with pleasantly retro 50s decor. I always stick to the simplest food (oysters, tartare, etc.) in brasseries.


          1. This is a useful subject thread. On most of our trips to Paris, we enjoy a busting brasserie as a nice break from bistros and restaurants. We’ve tried, and generally enjoyed, most of the Groupe Flo places (and of those, we’ve especially enjoyed the seafood platter at Terminus). We recently were not very impressed by Marty, although we liked the deco décor. For some reason we’ve avoided La Rotonde, but at souphie’s suggestion, we’ll try it.

            A Paris friend has been telling us to try Le Ballon des Ternes (103, av. des Ternes, 17eme). It gets a rather poor Zagat rating, and I’ve seen only one bare (but positive) mention on this forum. Have any others been?

            Jake Dear

            3 Replies
            1. re: Jake Dear

              It's OK, serving mostly tourist groups and business types (like me in previous days); overpriced for what you get. The English menus should give you a clue. Definitely not a "destination" brasserie, if there is one in Paris. There are superior brasseries, in more interesting parts of the city.

              1. re: Jake Dear

                "A Paris friend has been telling us to try Le Ballon des Ternes (103, av. des Ternes, 17eme). It gets a rather poor Zagat rating, and I’ve seen only one bare (but positive) mention on this forum. Have any others been?"

                Yes, it was our four's favorite for a while. Before that so was Marty's and before that Jenny and before that Bofinger. I've finally realized that except for when I'm entering or exiting the Chunnel train at the Gare du Nord at strange hours, I'm better off cooking choucroute myself.

                John Talbott

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Have been meaning to try Jenny for a while. Had a totally decent choucroute at Bofinger about four years ago but haven't been back since. I really liked that they kept the sauerkraut on a platter over sterno to keep it warm for second helpings. I think le train Bleu is worth seeing, if only for a drink. None of the food seems exciting though I don't mind the gigot d'agneau one bit.

                1. re: Parigi

                  We were totally underwhelmed at Jenny, although the room is lovely. Totally great food at La Rotund and fortunately for us, no rudeness at all.

                  1. re: plafield

                    Had awful meals at Bofinger and Jenny in the past, so won't return. My parents thought the choucroute at Bofinger was decent in January. I guess I'll stick with Le Rotunde, but had relegated all Paris brasseries to the wasteland category of the big, skanky places around Chatelet.