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Trendy Restaurants for 2 fashionistas to people watch and munch - HELP!

Can anyone suggest some trendy/up and coming restaurants in Paris for me to grab a delish bite to eat while I people watch and absorb the wonderful fashionable Paree! Needs to be trendy and a hotspot! I need to be inspired! Please, any help is much appreciated!

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  1. Brasserie Thoumieux (on rue St-Domique) ; it's part of the Costes empire, so you can have you share of "fashionista"

    BTW, even if I'm not really a "fashionista", I really liked the place; I went there for lunch, and it was nice, probably at dinner time it's more "upscale".

    pix: http://www.flickr.com/photos/thesorus...


    1. I see you posted this on three boards (London, Paris and Antwerp). Inspired by the fashion or the food? If fashion what sort: street, mainstream, eurotrash or or haute?

      1 Reply
      1. re: PhilD

        All good questions. Depending on the answers, Le Fumoir, Café de l'Industrie, doudingue, Café Burq could all be options.
        And "trendy" has become sort of tricky in this town. If you're in, you're out.

      2. I like blackbookmag.com's recommendations for trendy Paris restos. Also, try lefooding.com. Haven't been yet but Mama Shelter is a hot spot, even saw it advertised in a trendy hotel I was staying at in South Beach Miami.

        1. Trendy, fashionable, hot? Hummm, why go Costes when you can go in style to places like KGB, MBC and DB (notice a trend, initials, isn't that the textmessaging message/era?)
          I (and my faithful companion the PPP) ate at two places Fig and Pud think are that yesterday and today and so what?

          John Talbott, neither trendy, fashionable nor hot unless the space heater is on,

          2 Replies
          1. re: John Talbott

            Except for KGB, JT, you sooo lose me. You must be very hip.
            If there are more initials, I will need a glossary. In fact I need a glossary.
            KGB is, as the French say, très fashion, plus good eats.
            For a while the trendy thing is to use the street number as the restaurant name, 28, 13, 55. I began to wonder if one day I'd see a whole street of shops called, 1, 3, 5, etc.

            1. re: Parigi

              Indeed, Le 122 is fab as is Table 28 but is not faconable.
              MBC is Gilles Choukroun's (ex-Cafe des Delices, ex-Angl'Opera, ex-Cafe Very, ex-Mini-Palais, ex-oh you know) new place in the 17th - MBC standing for mint, basil and coriander rather than mango, basil and coriander as it was elsewhere. http://www.paperblog.fr/1586700/m-b-c...
              DB is what Dominique Bouchet has on his cards/website/etc http://www.dominique-bouchet.com/#/en...
              And I am very, very hip, just ask my grandchildren, whoops, don't.


          2. La Societe 4 Place Saint-Germain----also part of Costes group

            1. La Fidelité and Derrière are probably your best bets but could be hard to get into. La Société and Thoumieux, mentioned already, are good choices as well. Derrière was just written up today in the NY Times.


              2 Replies
              1. re: Parisian foodie

                Recently went to Derrière to see the hype for myself. I think it fits the bill for people watching and perhaps nibbling - though the food next door at 404 is far superior and the bar next door is a better vibe for people watching. I think all three are owned by the same folks. That being said, found Derrière to be a bit silly. I went along with the table in the bedroom thing having read reviews of the vibe, but the service was so bad we waited 20 minutes before the waiter asked for a drink order. No joke. I got up to leave and they were cool enough to chase us down, convince us to stay, and buy us a cocktail. We stayed. And the "complimentary cocktail" stayed on the bill, at 14 euros to boot. Fail!

                1. re: bobbystrange

                  maybe the location is inspiring at derriere - but I find the food totally uninspiring. I wouldn't bother going back myself. I'd try for something that's newer/more up and coming (i know derriere got some buzz when they first opened...but they've been around awhile).

                  I think the Mama Shelter suggestions on here are good...but I also think that's been around too long to be up & coming. (although that was my first thought when I read this post)

                  You want super fashion trendy inspiration? go grab a drink at the water bar at mega concept store Colette. This is where all the trendy hipster fashion forward people (and those who want to watch them) gravitate.

                  Or, my understanding is that Ferdi pulls in a pretty regular crowd of regulars from the fashion world. (i am not part of this world so would not know these people while eating there, so i can only repeat the reports and not verify them!) :) But, i do like their tapas-style food and drinks.

              2. Since Alexander Lobrano is too modest (and spot on) to contribute to this thread, I will reference you to his fashionista piece in the New York Times http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/20... and another he wrote on the Costes Empire which I cannot find the link to. As a good food site we should be promoting good food.

                8 Replies
                1. re: John Talbott

                  "As a good food site we should be promoting good food."

                  That is exactly my problem re the Costes places.
                  1. Food is not taken seriously there.
                  2. Worse, there is this mindset where fashion is somehow above food.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    I think Lobrano is food focussed rather than fashion focussed, after all he does say in his article "to escape those you have been with all day". I would say the answer to the question also varies depending on whether you want "local" fashionable places or the places that are full of trend setters during "Prêt" or Fashion Week. For the latter two my experience is that the fashionista are in all of the key restaurants with different nationalities favouring different places, the Brits for example seem to like Maceo, whilst even places like Lipp are bursting. During these big shows the fashion cognoscenti aren't looking at chic Parisians in restaurants, they are themselves tourists and are more interested in each other, thus they haunt the usual spots.

                    But where do the fashionable of Paris go? In my experience it depends on the tribe in question, however Paris fashion is far less tribal than cities like London, but that said the overall standard of dress is quite high. The overriding look tends to be across the Agnès B to Zara spectrum with few extremes. I would suggest the following:

                    Mama Shelter, is a very contemporary hotel with a popular restaurant and bar. The food is actually very good (does Senderens still exec?) and as it is a Phillipe Stark creation it attracts the trendy. For me it is model/DJ territory with a good mix of locals and visitors, in the later evenings it gets to be quite an elite scene with the cocktail bar proving popular. In the summer they have a rooftop BBQ area and show art films up there. It is worth staying there although a little out of the centre. The area around it, and close by Bellevue are "the new left bank" so expect to find studios, funky bars and cafes with lots of young "artists" and they corresponding fashion.

                    Le Chateaubriand is a good restaurant that has a fashionable edge, it does attract a fashionable local crowd as well as quite a few international visitors.

                    "Senderens" restaurant in town is also quite good for "well to do" fashion, it is close to the fashion houses in rue St Honore. There are lots of very chic people often wearing clothes from the local shops - Chanel, Hermes, Lanvin, Galliano, Comme des Garcons etc. The restaurant is wonderfully decorated (Stark again) and the food can be great, but it should be at these prices, but unfortunately it does sometimes miss.

                    Around the corner is "Hotel Costes" this is the home to the very rich and fashionable, lots of obvious labels, lots of gold and you should have your Ferrari valet parked (so don't arrive by taxi). I have never ventured in so can't comment on the food. Another good spot also Costes Bros is "Georges" on top of the Pompidou Centre, this is a bit more touristy and a bit more wannabe but still attracts lots of the young and internationally fashionable. As others have said Costes Bros places are focussed on attracting the fashionable "in" crowd, which is probably more about money than true fashion sense. Parigi is right food is second, but maybe not to the fashion, more to the money. Brasserie Thoumieux may be the exception that breaks the rule as they have at least employed a top chef, some like it, others don't, so it polarises.

                    On the left bank it can be good to head to the terraces of Cafe Flore and the Deux Magots here you find an interesting mix of old and new money. The grand dames of the 7eme in the finery plus lots of wealthy Russians and their nieces (so lots of LVH bags). One other good bar to try is "Le Palette" in rue du Seine, this is close to the Fine Art College and the School of Architecture, plus in a gallery area so it attracts lots of young fashionable students.

                    Finally, there is the Marais, this is the Gay heart of Paris and thus is also a great place for restaurants, bars and shops. Lots of young fashion on display and the probably the best place to take in the scene is from the terrace of Les Philosophes on Rue Vieille-du-temple (there are also a few other good bars/restaurants within a few hundred metres on the same street

                    Overall Parisians dress well, most are quite fashionably dressed, however the fashion is not extreme, it is a conservative chicness rather than wild and attention grabbing. Thus any restaurant or bar is going to be good for people watching.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      Phil I usually agree with you but regarding -
                      "Overall Parisians dress well, most are quite fashionably dressed, however the fashion is not extreme, it is a conservative chicness rather than wild and attention grabbing. Thus any restaurant or bar is going to be good for people watching."
                      Hummmm, women do but men (compared with 40 years ago), dress like schlumphs, unless in banking, etc.
                      If one eats in the 1st, inner 8th or outer 17th, ties and suits are there, but otherwise I think men are definitely into dress down Fridays every day.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        John, by conservative I didn't mean suit and tie. I meant conservative when compared to the fashion extremes of London or as evidenced by some of the Italian houses. For example you don't see many men in Paris restaurants dressed head to toe in Etro, they are more likely to be in Façonnable or similar.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          La Perle, on the corners of rues de la Perle, and Vielle du Temps, I'm not sure if they do food in the evening when people spill out on to the pavement but the lunch is ok. Smack in the middle of the Marais, John Galliano lives next door, loved by fashion/film/trendy people. Everybody says they hate it, everybody goes.

                          Le Sans Souci, rue Pigalle. Again cool hip fashion trendy film people (plus lots of very pretty and very handsome teenagers) who go there to eat, drink, check each other out and dissappear together into the toilets for long periods of time, before heading across the street to Chez Moun club, run by same group of people as Le Baron, La Fidelité, hotel Amour.

                          Chez Jeanette, rue du Faubourg St Denis. Calm during day - people from nearby hipper offices Gaultier, BETC, and bobos who go there for honest lunch. Packed, really packed, with younger parisian-bohemian (Jusitce, Edbanger) crowd in evening. Unbearable. REally nice decor.

                          1. re: vielleanglaise

                            Haven't been to Paris since I was 12 y.o,, with my parents (now 24 and married), are all of these places where one could wear a cocktail dress and pumps???....Any suggestions for places like that, or could I wear that to any nice dinner?

                            1. re: BlessedDiner

                              Regarding the restos discussed in this thread, I can't think of a single one where a cocktail dress would be right. Possibly Senderens, et encore.
                              Pumps, you can wear to any restaurant, lunch or dinner.
                              If one were to point a gun to my head to force me to choose overdressing or underdressing, the latter of course. Being overdressed in a trendy place? Just shoot me now.

                              1. re: BlessedDiner

                                Oh Oh, a question outside my comfort zone.
                                Just dress like you would at a Danny Meyer place and have the men dress as if they were snowboarding.

                    2. and one other thought - perhaps the cafe at Merci concept store.