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Jan 19, 2010 04:32 AM

Supper in the Marais area

Myself and my 'squeeze' are visiting Paris later this month (January). I'm hoping for some recommendations for good places to eat in the Marais area. We'll be staying on the Rue des Archives. There seems to be such a wealth of possibilities. I can't wait to get there!

We are taking four of our relatives to dinner on one of the nights. They are all seasoned Parisians of many years standing and wouldn't be impressed by anything ostentatious. It will be the first time they've met, so I'm looking for somewhere quite intimate, with delicious food, a discerning wine selection and good value.

For the rest of our stay, we're up for everything! If you have any particular favourite spot for a lunch or somewhere to really push the boat out on one of the evenings. That would be wonderful.

Many thanks in advance - Voluptua

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  1. Paris is expensive, but basically the more you pay, the better it can be. So we'd need to know your budget to respond to you better.

    Also, the topic of nice little bistrots is very amply covered on this board. That said, adding the "intimate" requirement significantly decreases available choices. Being an almost seasoned Parisian, I would go for Le Pétrelle, but that's assuming you and your guests can take the profoundly non-ostentatious quality of it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      Thanks for that quick response Soupie . . . Our budget would be around €25 for lunches and €80 per person for dinner. All good wishes, Voluptua

    2. I love Le Petit Fer a Cheval, 30,rue Vieille-du-Temple. It's a bar in the front, with a small dining room in the back. The menu is posted on a blackboard and you can pretty much watch your meal being prepared from your table: the kitchen is clearly visible behind a door that's usually left open. Economical, friendly and tasty. Good for lunch, too.

      1 Reply
      1. re: famdoc

        I've had a number of conistently delcious meals at Le Hangar 12, impasse Berthaud, (Tel: 01 42 74 55 44) It's tiny place that can be a little challenging to find down a tiny side street in back of the Pompidou. They only take cash, a la carte, but fine value, espesially the fab slab of foie gras over olive oil potato puree.

        Le Pamphlet 38 rue Debelleyme, (tel 33 1 42 72 39 24 Closed Saturday lunch, Sunday, Monday lunch) is quite lovely with a mid 30's E 3 course menu.= that's an outstanding value.

        Gaigne, 12, rue Pecquay in the 4th, (, closed Tuesday – thus open Saturday, Sunday and Mondays) has been getting some great reviews and is on my short list for our next trip to Paris, particularly for a Sunday evening when so many of the good places are closed.

        If you like crepes, Breizh Café 109, rue Vieille du Temple (01 42 72 13 77 closed Monday and Tuesday, but open continuously throughout the day the rest of the week) is the real deal and some of the best in Paris. Buckwheat with excellent quality fillings and very reasonably priced. Best to reserve as it get quite crowded during prime dinner and lunch hours.

        And I highly recommend leaving the Marais as well, as there is fantastic food all over the city. If you want a real splurge and an incredible food, service and ambiance experience, treat yourself to the 85E lunch special at Le Cinq , avenue George V (8th) 33 (0) 1 49 52 70 00 Amamzing!

      2. Here are a few photos from Le Petit Fer A Cheval (which translates as "horsehoe," owing to the shape of the bar). BTW, the neighborhood is spelled "Marais" which means marsh.
        Despite the crowds, it is one of my favorite neighborhoods, a mix of a Jewish ghetto, an art gallery haven, a focus of gay activity and some nice boutiques.

        1 Reply
        1. re: famdoc

          It translates as little horseshoe because it is a tiny bar. It was one of my favourites for a early beer on a Friday evening, however I wouldn't especially recommend the food as it is pretty basic cafe/bar fare.

          Far better to head 50m along the road to Les Philosophes which has better food and a lot more space, it is a great venue to sit and people watch, especially from the terrace, there is also L'Etoile Manquante in the opposite direction and La Belle Hortense almost opposite which are all good bets for a drink and snack (but not fine dining).

          All of these (plus a few others) are owned by the same person Xavier Denamur and so you will see bread and wine supplies being ferried between each place.

        2. In reading over your criteria, Le Gaigne came immediately to mind. It's intimate, not ostentatious, simple, and the food is GREAT. Right off Rue des Archives on rue Pecquay and Rue des Francs Bourgeois. I think this fits your bill to a "T".

          2 Replies
          1. re: menton1

            Le Gaigne no question.
            Colliot, Au Bascou & Breizh also fun.

            John Talbott

            1. re: John Talbott

              Many thanks to you all for sharing your recommendations. I'll post a report when I get back.

          2. I'm always at a loss about places in the Marais, except Colliot and le Gaigne and the Dome (which I haven't been to in years), especially in its heart or near St Paul.
            Well, I had a terrific meal at the Comptoir des Mers today (1 rue de Turenne) - it's tiny; 12 inside seats, 6 outside, but attached as it is to a fish store and take-out shop, has high quality (and pricy) fish. Pix you know where.

            John Talbott's Paris

            11 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              John-- The Marais is a very exciting area, and there are lots of places to eat in the Marais! You should get there more often!

              Monjul--- A unique presentation, with food as art.
              Le Coude Fou-- Wall murals are a great accompaniment to the food.
              Vins des Pyrenees-- Haven't been personally, but good buzz.
              Le Grizzli-- Long standing restaurant, some say it's a little variable...
              Baracane/Bistro de L'Oulette-- very good bistro.
              Le Trumilou-- Rustic but good.

              And get over to Dome du Marais, John, it's a really good experience!

              1. re: menton1

                Menton1, are you familiar with Au Fil des Saisons? Some love it; on the other hand, some French online forums... (hope that was vague enough)

                1. re: menton1

                  Amen to Le Grizzli, Baracane and Dome du Marais -- especially the Dome, where theseafood was superb.

                  1. re: dcbbq

                    Heading to the Marais at the end of April; any new suggestions to add to the ones above? Thanks~

                    1. re: DebitNM

                      "any new suggestions"

                      There are. You will find them all by searching "Marais".
                      If you still have specific questions on those recs found, I am sure many on this board will be happy to reply.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Thank you for you insight. I did do a search, which is how I found this thread. My search turned up limited posts and none all to current.

                  2. re: menton1

                    John, don't listen to him. Vins des Pyrenees (the only one I have tried) is not good.

                    1. re: Fuffy

                      I beg to differ. Quite a few Irouléguy wines are quite good.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        I quite agree about the excellent wines from the deep southwest. I think that Fluffy's comment about 'Vins des Pyrenees' refers to the restaurant, not the wines in general. Earlier reports on the restaurant were less critical than recent ones. I've not been.

                        1. re: mangeur

                          Definitely the restaurant not the wines of the region I was objecting to.