Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > France >
Dec 4, 2009 03:18 PM

Paris for 2 Nights (1st timer) - A Bistro, A Brasserie, and a Haute House

Hello All-

I will be traveling to Paris for the first time in September 2010 on a honeymoon trip with my wife-to-be. I have been searching this board for a few months now and have enjoyed many of the reviews. I need a little help with my chow itinerary.

Likes/Dislikes: I am a bit more adventurous than my other half but neither one of us are big fans of offal (to the sneers of many on this board, I'm sure). We both eat meat and fish with limits on the shellfish. Our favorite meals in the past have included: Jean-Georges, Babbo, Cyrus in Sonoma, CA, etc.

Some things we are looking to eat:

Croque Madame/Mons.
Steak Frites
Chocolate Souffle

We are looking for 2 lunches and 2 dinners - on Monday and Tuesday.

For the first lunch we are looking for something light light a croque w/ lively cafe ambience. We are staying in the 6th near St. Germaine and are thinking Les Deux may be good for this.

For dinner - we are looking for good bistronomy type food near the eiffel tower or with a view of it. Au Bon Accuiel is our thought for this meal.

Tues Lunch - we are looking to do a starred restaurant lunch. Guy Savoy, L'Aprege or Le Cinq are our choices. Leaning towards G.S. but like the Le Cinq dining room.

Tues Dinner - we are looking for some simple brasserie-like comfort food. Steak Frites w/ a souffle for dessert. Late eating since we will be having a big lunch. We are focusing on places in the Marais area since it sounds like a good place to walk around and hang out at night. We are thinking of Chez Denise for this one with an earlier drink at Bofinger.

Any thoughts or suggestions? I would greatly appreciate the help, thanks.

In summary the tentative schedule:

Monday Lunch - Croques at Les Deux or Cafe Flore
Monday Dinner - Au Bon Accueil - around to watch the eiffel light up (8pm?)

Tues Lunch - G.S., L'Arpege or Le Cinq
Tues Late Dinner - Chez Denise

Please advise )

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I forgot to ask - Will we need reservations at Chez Denise for late dining? I am not sure what time we will be hungry again and would prefer to keep the dining time flexible. Thanks!

    1 Reply
    1. Les Deux Magots or Le Café de Flore may not be wise choices for croque monsieurs. They will be ridiculously expensive in any case. Try a more normal bistrot -- I'm thinking the one at the corner of Bac & Verneuil, for instance, but there really are many.

      ABA is one of my favourite restaurants because of its high quality classical modern food. It's fancy but a tad austere, not fashionable by any standard.

      If you like the room at Le Cinq, I can't think of any reason not to go. Savoy will be more expensive, a lovely human experience, food less good but quite good. L'Arpège is more risky, can be wonderful, can be obscene. Won't be luxurious anyway.

      Late dinner Chez Denise has no downside (assuming it's a weekday, otherwise it's not open). It's not that close from Bofinger and I'm not sure Bofinger is great for drinks. For beef, le Bis du Sévero or Le Sévero are better foodwise (see my recent pics), but they're not nearly as fun as late night Denise and they don't necessarily serve that late -- not after 10.30, I suspect. I'm not sure they have soufflé, though.

      10 Replies
      1. re: souphie

        Thank you so much Souphie. Excellent information - I will be sure to look into the bistro on Bac & Verneuil. I was a bit concerned about Les Deux/LCF's prices.

        I still waiver between GS and Le Cinq so will need to give that one more thought. We enjoy great service and feel GS will deliver that 3 star wow factor in that regard but the food (as well as ambiance) will be more determinative.

        Regarding ABA, what do you mean by non-fashionable? Is ABA more "old school" in terms of decor and ambiance? Would you compare it to Benoit or any other restaurant? We also have Fish, Ze Kitchen and La Maison Jardin (spelling) on our possible lists, but ABA's proximity to the Eiffel is a draw.

        I have also read some positive reviews on Jardis on this board. Would Jardis be more cutting edge?

        Thank you!!

        1. re: Searching4Dunny

          Re: "I have also read some positive reviews on Jardis on this board. Would Jardis be more cutting edge?" I assume you mean Jadis. Well, what do you mean by cutting edge? His idea was to recreate the dishes of yesteryear using modern ingredients and methods. So, the answer is sort-of.

          As for souffles; two places are terrific: the selfnamed Le Souffle and Cigale Recamier where one can get sure chocolate souffle but savoury ones (eg not desserts) as well. Both are reviewed chez moi.

          BTW I would support my mentor Soup's rec for the meat at the Severo twins; fab, esp the Cote de B.

          John Talbott

          1. re: John Talbott

            Re: Jadis, we still talk about how bad our dinner was there but as everyone else seem to like it, I suppose it's more to do with us than them.

            S4D, you'll find plenty of great service and wow factor at Le Cinq and for a honeymoon trip, it seems like a very appropriate choice to me.

            1. re: kikisakura

              Kikisakura, our Jadis experience was the same as yours.

              1. re: PhilD

                Thank you for your replies. John and Soup, I will look into the Severo restaurants. The photo of the beef on your website Souphie looks extremely delicious!

          2. re: Searching4Dunny

            I tend to think that pictures are worth a thousand words those days, so I would point you to pics of ABA:
            of Le Cinq:
            of Guy Savoy:

            Benoit has a traditional bistrot setting, which is something to write home about. ABA has an all black and white room with one big 19th century style painting. There's nothing special to see. In the plates, there's nothing you never saw if you know food some. Just excellent ingredients perfectly prepared at very just prices (again, see their pigeon, their sole, even their paté). That's one of my favourites because I'm a food nerd. To me, it's actually a restaurant that is closer to what Jamin was than today's Robuchon's restaurants.

            I don't know la Maison Jardin, but Fish is lovely. ZKG is kind of the opposite of ABA, one of the most "modern" restaurants in town, fusion and all. It's not cheap at night.

            John is right about Jadis. I think it's an exciting place because the chef is both unpretentious and passionate, and very very good. But in many ways it is another unremarkable place, like ABA -- nothing special in the setting and nothing spectacular in the plates.

            And you'll find pictures of all the places I mentioned in my gallery -- .

            1. re: souphie

              We ate at La Maison du Jardin (27 rue Vaugirard) last night.

              Excellent all around. Best meal we had in Paris on this trip. Will definitely go back on future trips.

              1. re: chilihead2006

                Happy to hear La Maison du Jardin is still good. It's a place you won't even notice, unless you look for it. I still remember it's perfect joue de boeuf.

          3. re: souphie

            "Les Deux Magots or Le Café de Flore may not be wise choices for croque monsieurs. They will be ridiculously expensive in any case. Try a more normal bistrot -- I'm thinking the one at the corner of Bac & Verneuil, for instance, but there really are many."

            Not only expensive but also not very good food, I made the mistake once! However, both are OK for a quick drink on the terrace, very expensive but great people watching.

            My "goto" for croques was Le Nemrod (51 rue Cherche-Midi) which is full of well to do shoppers resting after the "stress" of spending so much money at Bon Marche (a must do food hall). My advice for croques is to head for a cafe and not a bistro, it is snack food and bistros tend to be better for meals.

            Love the OP's name. Is he Australian and did he find it? Dunny, being Australian for toilet.

            1. re: PhilD

              Thanks PhilD. I will look into Le Nemrod - now that is a funny name! I am not Australian btw, but I have many friends who are and I guess the language has somewhat rubbed off on me.

              Thanks again!