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Need help whittling down Paris options for a moderately priced meal or two

hornblower Oct 18, 2009 01:57 PM

Looking for at least one romantic evening and at least one traditional French meal. We're students, and therefore rather averse to spending much more than 50euro pp, but we understand how such things can be. The following has been culled from an exhaustive perusal of Chowhound boards and other sources. I suppose the ideal would be a very romantic, traditional French meal with excellent food for not an outlandish sum. Or perhaps a very romantic non-traditional meal that's a little more expensive, then we could go to Au Dernier Métro or some other inexpensive place for traditional fare.

Chez l'Ami Jean
La Régalade
Paul Bert
Au Bon Accueil
Le Villaret
Le Violon d'Ingres
Les Cocottes
Ze Kitchen Galerie
Senderens (le Passage bar)
l'Angle du Faubourg

Many thanks in advance.

  1. h
    hornblower Oct 19, 2009 12:35 PM

    Wow, thanks for all the great replies. I think we're going to do l'Ami Jean or la Régalade for the traditional French, and somewhere else for the romantic one. The additional recommendations seem excellent from what I can tell. Rrems - not a deliberate slight, I do remember reading your reviews now, our list was more of what kept showing up. Now I think I really must expand it, though. The photos on M. Lapin's Web site are particularly intriguing, though frustratingly small. John - the rundown is much appreciated. In any event, I'm sure we won't be sorely disappointed. Thanks again to all for the advice. (Also, I'm not sure either how Les Cocottes got on the list; while I'd love to try it someday, it doesn't really fit into what we're looking for this time around.)

    2 Replies
    1. re: hornblower
      christy319 Oct 19, 2009 01:52 PM

      Remember that L'Ami Jean is at least Basque inspired, so not exactly what I'd call traditional French. Go if you want veal tongue or pigs feet and a bowl of rice pudding the size of your head.

      1. re: christy319
        Delucacheesemonger Oct 19, 2009 01:58 PM

        Their game, roasted or blood based stews, foie gras roasted whole, coquilles St Jacques, and cotes du boeuf and veau for two seem traditional to me. And great. Make your reservation early, getting to be a very tough ticket.

    2. John Talbott Oct 19, 2009 08:48 AM

      Chez l'Ami Jean - crowded so unromantic & uneven
      La Régalade - uneven
      Paul Bert - traditional, will work
      Au Bon Accueil - semiromantic
      Le Villaret - traditional uneven
      Le Violon d'Ingres - most romantic
      Les Cocottes - most unromantic, please, at a counter?
      Ze Kitchen Galerie - best chow, non-traditional
      Senderens (le Passage bar) - nah, neither
      l'Angle du Faubourg - romantic expensive

      John Talbott

      1. zuriga1 Oct 19, 2009 12:57 AM

        Personally, I would skip Ze Kitchen Galerie... I found the food disappointing and not good value for money. You can have a good meal at L'Epi Dupin for €35 or so... very typical, French meal and homey atmosphere. I haven't been to Le Violin, but it would probably be a great choice, too.

        3 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1
          souphie Oct 19, 2009 02:25 AM

          ZKG is more interesting for lunch -- mostly because it is better value.

          1. re: souphie
            zuriga1 Oct 20, 2009 04:47 AM

            Yes, I can imagine that to be true... as it is in many places. I'm at the age where I try not to eat two big meals in one day so I try to balance it all out when in Paris. When I had no money early in life, I couldn't afford traveling to Europe. Now that it isn't a problem, I'm old with a dying metabolism. :-)

            1. re: zuriga1
              souphie Oct 20, 2009 11:07 AM

              Try cutting carbs.

        2. d
          dockside Oct 18, 2009 08:57 PM

          In another post I recommended Le Petit Bordelais at 22 rue Surcouf, just a block or so from Chez l'Ami Jean. Not quite two years old, the restaurant is quiet and lovely. We had a meal for 95 euros, total. Very attentive staff and the chef came out to talk to us before we left. I had the tasting menu for 45 euros and husband's 3 course prix fixe meal was 30 or 35 euros. A very pleasant evening with wonderful food.

          1. r
            rrems Oct 18, 2009 05:47 PM

            Is there a reason Monsieur Lapin is not on your list? It seems to meet your criteria (and is much more comfortable and upscale than some of the bistros on your list) , and if you researched this board you surely read my recent comments? Even Le Petit Celadon (reported on in the same posting) is pretty close to your budget as wine and coffee are included.


            1 Reply
            1. re: rrems
              hornblower Oct 21, 2009 04:59 PM

              Just booked Monsieur Lapin -- very excited, thanks for the tip.

            2. c
              christy319 Oct 18, 2009 02:48 PM

              My pick would be Le Violin. Excellent food and service and a nice setting (I'm not sure I would describe it as particularly romantic, though. I guess that's subjective.). It was the best meal of our trip two weeks ago. I love Les Cocottes but it's very casual--definitely not romantic (you're seated on barstools at high tables). I also think Au Bon Accueil would be a good choice but I personally like Le Violin better. Au Bon feels a bit stuffy to me but I've only been once and perhaps it was just a particularly subdued group of diners.

              Chez l'Ami Jean is not what I'd call romantic--I don't really mind how cramped it is, but the family seated at the table next to us on our recent visit actually left after telling the waiter how uncomfortable they were (there were better empty tables but he did not move them). Also the chef constantly YELLED at his staff--fairly entertaining to us, to see how this restaurant functions--but not romantic.

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