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Dining in Paris with an elderly person -- moderately priced, quiet, no stairs?

visciole Nov 3, 2009 07:56 AM

My husband and I will be going with his elderly father to Paris this spring. My father-in-law is lively and loves food, but he has a few limitations. He can't hear too well, so very loud restaurants are out. We know from experience in NYC we have to choose places carefully to accommodate this. Also, if the bathroom is down or up a long flight of stairs, that's a no-go. Finally, to make matters even more difficult, he likes to eat early! I expect no place begins to serve earlier than 7:00, but later than 7:30 is probably too late for him.

So, can you please recommend any moderately-priced (no more than 50 euros per person without wine) Parisian establishments with good to excellent food that fit these criteria?

We are open to making lunch the main meal of the day, but would like to have at least a few nice dinners out.

Thanks!

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  1. mangeur RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 09:03 AM

    Edited out because the restaurant I was proposing does not serve until 20h30. Sorry.

    1 Reply
    1. re: mangeur
      d
      Dodo RE: mangeur Nov 3, 2009 09:25 AM

      I'd go with brasseries with continuous service, since small bistrots won't open till 7:30 in general and will still be almost empty then.
      Too bad that La Rotonde has its bathrooms downstairs (not too long though).
      http://www.rotondemontparnasse.com/an...

      Also, I highly recommend you travel on the bus rather than on the métro which involves sometimes several flight of stairs. It will take some more time to study the maps, but it will definitely be a lot more convenient and you get to see things.

    2. c
      Cher Martin RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 09:28 AM

      You don't say exactly where in Paris you will be staying. Perhaps transportation won't be a problem, but using either the Metro or the busses sounds like an obstacle.

      3 Replies
      1. re: Cher Martin
        visciole RE: Cher Martin Nov 3, 2009 09:43 AM

        We will be staying in the Marais, near Place des Vosges. Yes, you're right, the Metro will not be possible, though I think buses should work. He can do a few stairs, just not a long flight late at night after a glass or two of wine! But we are also willing to take a few taxis if that's what's necessary to get him to a nice restaurant or two.

        1. re: visciole
          o
          Oakglen RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 12:02 PM

          Guirlande de Julie (upscale) and Cafe Hugo should be walkable. Sorry, I don't know about lavatory access. All of the grand hotel restaurants have elevator access; try the bar at The Meurice, good Martini's and casual food (albeit expensive).

          1. re: visciole
            RandyB RE: visciole Nov 5, 2009 11:31 AM

            A very nice, quiet place in the Marais is the former Rouge Gorge, recently renamed Mères et Filles. (Same women own it and cook, I think.) It is on the rue St. Paul, one block from the Seine end. Price is definitely in your range. On the internet it says they open at 17h, but that may just be for wine. Unfortunately I don`t know their bathroom accessibility. If you are interested, I could check. I am right around the corner from them.

        2. Delucacheesemonger RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 09:39 AM

          If lunch works, a possibility is Table du Robuchon. Quiet, excellent food, bathroom same floor and while 59€ special for lunch is a little higher than your target, the price includes wine, water, and song, no not song coffee. One of best bargains in Paris. As l enjoy quiet greatly, l will say of your needs, that may be the toughest in your price range to get, thus lunches are usually quieter. If you can stretch both your budget and flight of steps for bathroom, Michel Rostang has amazing food, his quenelles du brochet define the item; quiet and luxurious. For lunch special is 75€, but for 20€ more you get again wine, and great wine, water and coffee; no extras at all, none.

          1. souphie RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 10:35 AM

            Joséphine Chez Dumonnet can fit the bill but it might be a bit too noisy (not NY noisy fortunately). Chez Christophe can also fit the bill, it is quiet, too quiet, has excellent food, is in your price range, has no stairs. But it's on a hill. Le Quincy could work.

            You're basically describing exactly what makes a luxury place, and few have a 50€ option for dinnner. As DCM says, Robuchon works for lunch, so does Le Paris at the Hotel Lutetia, Le Céladon in hotel Westminster.

            La Grande cascade has a 65€ option for dinner, 85 with wine, probably the best dinner deal in town. But bathrooms are upstairs. That said, they might have an elevator.

            3 Replies
            1. re: souphie
              souphie RE: souphie Nov 3, 2009 10:38 AM

              It finally hit me: Tante Louise, rue Boissy d'Anglas, is the perfect match. Quiet, delicious, bathrooms without stairs (specify you want to be at the ground floor when you reserve as they have a mezzanine), in your budget. Now please don't tell me it's on a weekend as this would further restrict options.

              1. re: souphie
                visciole RE: souphie Nov 3, 2009 11:14 AM

                Thank you everyone, for the great suggestions. Souphie, we will be there over a week so we can pick and choose days. We can go on quieter nights, if they exist in Paris. In NYC that's usually Monday-Wednesday, so I'd imagine the same holds for Paris?

                We'll have a kitchen so I can cook with the great ingredients from the markets whenever we don't want to go out. And my father-in-law adores bread and cheese, so he won't go hungry.

                But of course everyone who goes to Paris wants to experience a few good dinners out! Perhaps we can spend a bit more and just go out fewer times.

                A bit noisy is OK, as long as it's not NY noisy-noisy. So I'll certainly check out Josephine Chez Dumonnet.

                We want to make the trip good for him, since it will probably be the only time he'll experience Paris, so I do really appreciate the suggestions.

              2. re: souphie
                Delucacheesemonger RE: souphie Nov 3, 2009 11:08 AM

                As an aside Le Quincy was the hottest restaurant l have been in for a long time. l felt l was eating by a bessemer furnace.

              3. ChefJune RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 12:40 PM

                Willi's Wine Bar in the 1ier and La Cagouille in the 14eme are both all on one level, restrooms, too.

                6 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune
                  w
                  Weather RE: ChefJune Nov 4, 2009 12:21 AM

                  I have to say that I had an uncomfortable experience at Willi's Wine Bar last month and would not recommend the place to anyone. I made reservations for a Friday night, solo diner. Even though they had my reservation, the staff would not give me a table, stating that all their tables were for 2+ diners. I ended up eating at the bar--indifferent service and food was poorly prepared, plus everyone coming into the restaurant had to squeeze past me, so I was treated to arguing couples, etc. Clientele seemed to be exclusively English-speaking (I know, this isn't an indication of the quality of a restaurant in Paris, but it this case it argues that Willi's is a tourist trap.). Set menu (3 course) with wine was 49 euro--not worth it, IMO.

                  1. re: Weather
                    PhilD RE: Weather Nov 4, 2009 10:15 AM

                    Do you really think that was unreasonable?

                    It seems perfectly logical to seat solo diners at the bar rather than having empty slots in the dining area. The bar and dining area are in the same room; maybe 6 to 10 feet apart; the bar is a normal place at Willi's Wine Bar for people to be seated and to eat (there is a clue in the name of the restaurant) not just solo diners; and a reservation is generally a reservation to eat at the restaurant not for a specific spot. It is quite a wide area with space to walk past diners seated at the bar, however it is a tiny restaurant in a city of small crowded restaurants, so space is always at a premium, even in the dining area. The restaurant has maybe 20 to 30 covers so one empty chair represents quite a high percentage of their daily revenue, I think it is entirely reasonable to optimise their table allocation.

                    Yes, it is a restaurant that is popular with English speakers, and some nights they can be the majority, but on other nights the minority. I wouldn't say it is a tourist trap as the cooking is far above the tourist traps of areas like the Latin Quarter or the area around Notre Dame; for me a high percentage of English speakers is simply one of the "risks" of dining in a popular restaurant in Paris.

                    IMO €49 including wine seems reasonable for a three course dinner in central Paris, most menus without wine start at least €35. Sorry you didn't have a great experience, and didn't enjoy your food, but I really don't think you can blame the restaurant for the seating position - I bet there were no spare slots in the dining area, and there were probably other diners at the bar (including couples).

                    1. re: PhilD
                      w
                      Weather RE: PhilD Nov 5, 2009 10:57 AM

                      Maybe not unreasonable; no doubt it was quite reasonable from the restaurant's POV, but they lost a customer. This is the first time I've been refused a table at any restaurant anywhere in the world specifically because I was by myself, particularly when I'd taken the time to make a reservation well in advance. Compared to other, similarly priced restaurants that I ate at over the long weekend, both the food and the service were sub-par--not worth what I paid for the meal at Willi's.

                      1. re: Weather
                        RandyB RE: Weather Nov 5, 2009 11:24 AM

                        I'd say both unreasonable and outrageous, unless they told you when you made the reservation that was their policy. I travel a lot by myself, in many countries, and have never had that experience anywhere.

                        1. re: RandyB
                          PhilD RE: RandyB Nov 5, 2009 12:24 PM

                          Why is it "unreasonable and outrageous" it is a place that has both tables and seats at the bar where they regularly serve food? Surely a reservation for diner is a reservation for a meal, it is up to the restaurant to seat you in the appropriate space in their dining area, and in this case the regular dining area includes tables and the bar (it always has).

                          I could understand this being odd if the bar and tables were in different rooms but they are not; it is one room.

                          I could understand it if it was a loud/raucous bar with lots of drinkers and few diners; but it isn't, the few people who have a drink at the bar are diners waiting for their tables.

                          I could understand this being an issue at a restaurant; but it is a wine bar.

                          To me it looks like a mismatch of expectation to the experience, and that is fair enough. It also sounds like you didn't think the food/service was value for money, and that is fair enough. But to chastise a small, busy wine bar for seating a diner at the bar, rather than a table, seems slightly strange.

                    2. re: Weather
                      ChefJune RE: Weather Nov 4, 2009 10:57 AM

                      I always sit at the bar at Willi's! Never thought negatively about it.

                  2. John Talbott RE: visciole Nov 3, 2009 12:59 PM

                    Funny thing, the edition of Time Out Paris, which I worked on, had handicapped access indications and it's too bad others don't do that. It was a pain for me to write it up, but must have been a blessing for folks in wheelchairs.

                    John Talbott
                    http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: John Talbott
                      visciole RE: John Talbott Nov 5, 2009 11:45 AM

                      Thank you, Randy, that is very kind of you! No need to go out of your way, though -- my husband and I can check it out once we're there, it's very near to where we'll be staying.

                      I appreciate all the great suggestions, and thanks also for making me appreciate the NY restaurant scene an all its fabulous low-cost options.

                      Maybe we'll get lucky and the exchange rate will improve before spring.

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