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The Paris List ( Need advice please)

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Returning in 30 days and this is what we have so far for dinners ( usually at 9-10pm and will have less planned lunches but stongly considering Le Cinq )
Sun La Fontaine de Mars ( arrival)
Mon Hiramatsu ( birthday night)
Tues Chez Dumonet Josephine
Wed Dominique Bouchet ( bringing a guest from Auxerre to a lovely stand by)
Thurs Le Quincy
Fri Open
Sat Chez L Ami Jean
Sun Shan Gout ( excited about this and the break from french cuisine)
Mon Petit Pontoise ( departing with a sentimental favorite)

The return trips are to old favorites Petit Pontoise, Fontaine de Mars, Dominique Bouchet and Hiramatsu..Whereas Quincy, L Ami Jean, Jospehine Dumonet and Shan Gout are new to us thanks to all of you. I have followed this board daily for years and read Soup and JohnT blogs incessantly. We have one open night ( Friday) and I am having a brain drain. These choices are mine and I am somewhat of a traditionalist ...the open nite I am thinking of something more edgy for my very adventurous Husband ( who is taking me on this trip to celebrate a disgustingly big birthday) while not leaving less adventurous me hungry For a Friday nite I would like upscale atmosphere , not too raucous ( L Ami should fill that bill for the week) Anyhow I am at a loss...location not an issue nor is price but not looking for a 3* experience but 1 or 2 * ok...would you please help...thanks so much

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  1. Went through my posted `Favorites of 2009` list and saw three restaurants with multiple items on the list. Two, Le Quincy ( My God, the grenouilles), and Chez L`Ami Jean( The flaming foie gras) you are already going to. The third which may be my fav is L`Ami Louis. Besides my listed joys, the escargots and potato galette, the Cotes du Boeuf was and is the class of its field and the scallops might very be the best ever eaten. Add this to a phenomenal wine list and IMHO it is so worth the sometimes difficult reservation process

    1. OK, so you've read my blog and Soup's "incessantly" now let me tell you the truth:
      Le Cinq : OK, price/quality in question
      La Fontaine de Mars Why?
      Mon Hiramatsu ditto
      Tues Chez Dumonet Josephine Sure
      Wed Dominique Bouchet For sure
      Thurs Le Quincy Very sure
      Sat Chez L Ami Jean You and 500 others
      Sun Shan Gout ( excited about this and the break from french cuisine) Yessssss
      Mon Petit Pontoise ( departing with a sentimental favorite) No more, gubbye.

      Honest John

      6 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        Fontaine: a brief walk from our apartment , plan to order simply and suspect we will be jet lagged Don't want fish that night ( Fables ) Perhaps Thomieux ? ..Husband not thrilled either so its in play Plus its Sunday
        Hiramatsu we had an amazing tasting there 2 or 3 years ago and liked the food , service and elegance of the room
        CAJ I read here about it as though it is the Holy Grail and thought I had really missed an experience Honestly dont' look forward to the elbow to elbow
        What has happened to Petit Pontoise? We have never had a bad meal in 10 years of visits and clearly chose it over next door and we were at both last year. Not seeking anything but honest old school for a couple of nights ... has it gone downhill or did you never like it ?
        Do you have an " edgy" suggestion for my night in question?
        Incessantly Yours .

        1. re: capeanne

          "What has happened to Petit Pontoise?"

          After eating there twice after it was written up in the NYT, visit #3 I was disgusted by the sugary-ness of the foie gras and never returned. Too much else to do.

          1. re: capeanne

            For "edgy" go to Le Chateaubriand (129 Avenue Parmentier, 11eme), it is a set five course meal for €45, and in some respects it is "Mugaritz on a budget". The space is "distressed brasserie" the staff are all tall and bearded in long white aprons, and the crowd is usually quite hip and fashionable. At the moment it attracts food tourists rather than tourists.

            Mugaritz is a chefs restaurant so the "Mugaritz on a budget" style is definitely edgy and often risky. I loved it.

          2. re: John Talbott

            Just to replay old discussions, honest Julot says:
            Le Cinq's lunch deal has the best price quality in town. Also, it's the best restaurant in town, for food and service and setting. ALC is very expensive though.
            La Fontaine de Mars is straightforward and excellent, entirely reliable, quite enjoyable. It is a tad expensive, but that's the price of security and comfort.
            Chez l'Ami Jean has no equal in town. If you go for a late lunch, there's no elbow to elbow. Going on a saturday night is asking for trouble. Their cote de boeuf this week was phenomenal, different and as good as Sévero's. Their riz au lait is unparalleled. Food lovers love l'Ami Jean dearly. Plus, it's been successful for almost ten years and hasn't gone downhill or significantly raised its prices.
            Le Petit Pontoise is not bad, not cheap. Clearly not in league for any award but also not a bad place.

            1. re: souphie

              Thanks Souphie, sorry to rekindle old debates. I will rethink the timing of CAJ. However we are still homeless for the Friday in question. In requesting an " edgier" recommendation , my previous experiences of someplaces that meet the criteria are a very good dinner at Auguste several years ago ( which we happened upon by accident) as well as a meal we enjoyed at L Avant Gout...I know they are very different atmosphere and attitude wise but at least on the evenings we dined ,there were unusual yet successful and unique taste combinations with enough traditional stuff to keep me happy . Any recommendations appreciated.

              1. re: capeanne

                Bistral, Chateaubriand, Ze Kitchen Galerie, l'Avant-Gout, le Pré Verre, l'Astrance, la Bigarrade. Not sure which ones are open, too lazy to check on that family day.

          3. for the money, i'd pass on Le Cinq and have Taillevent instead.

            3 Replies
            1. re: lemonslemonslemons

              lemonslemonslemons : how recently did you visit each of them?

              On my visits over the last few years I would rate them the other way around. Le Cinq is on a roll under Briffard, but Taillevent seemed to lose direction. The Michelin guide that comes out in March will be interesting, will Le Cing gain, will Taillevent continue to lose or gain back the lost stars?

              1. re: PhilD

                was at both LeCinq and Taillevent this time last year, but only Taillevent last week (probably won't return to LeCinq for a while after my first experience). I didn't fine Taillevent to have changed at all, post the loss of the star, completely outstanding in every way. I too am most interested to see how this year's guide treats them both.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Don't fret every word from every person you read. Stick with the assessment that you and the other well-versed regulars on the board would reiterate on this particular issue.