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Upscale and takeout healthy and light for dinner?

hbfoodie7 Mar 6, 2010 04:49 AM

We have selected our more indulgent meals for our trip in June, but I wonder where to go at night after we may have had lunch at Le Cinq, for example.

Hearty casual French fare isn't really our thing day after day, so I need to find some really light options to throw in when our stomachs need a break. Both take out and sit down, but emphasis on quality vegetables, seafood, and where we can order small amounts, etc. Where do fashionistas with eating disorders eat? (Even though I am neither!)

Are there any restaurants that come to mind?

I am interested in trying Liza one night, as I love Lebanese food.

What are the favorite takeout or really causal places for the health conscious? Dalloyau seemed like a good match, too.

Thanks for your help!

  1. mangeur Mar 11, 2010 06:44 PM

    One way to ease up on heavy meals is to choose several entrees (starters) for your meal rather than a starter and plat. In fact, I have this in mind for several of our upcoming meals: one light starter to be followed by a double order of a slightly heavier one. This will give the house roughly the same tab as if I'd ordered one starter and a main. And truth be told, time and time again we find that the most creative and delicious dishes are found in the entree (starter) section of the menu. Plus dessert or not, or maybe one to be shared by two.
    Note: This may or may not be allowed if your are ordering from a set 3 course menu, but the difference may be worth it in order to have the meal you want.

    1. h
      hychka Mar 11, 2010 05:46 AM

      Yes, eating in is tough to do in a small hotel room. Yes, we have done it many times because my business required too many restaurant meals and occasionally my wife and I simply wanted to stay in our bathrobes and watch a movie. We have done this in hotels in Chicago, Boston, NYC, SF, Vegas, etc. I have absolutely no Paris hotel experience as we rent apartments there because we also like to cook in several meals with the fine ingredients we can get from the markets. Also, I have ODed on hotels and avoid them whenever possible. Nonetheless, in Paris we have taken home several meals that could be eaten without a kitchen. There are many stores that offer to measure out cold food to go...salads, grape leaves, olives, quiche Lorraine, etc., etc. Add some bread, cheese and wine and you have a feast. You can carry home those falafels on Rossiers and use your corkscrew for what it was made to do...no knives or forks needed and you can shower off when it spills! HA! Good luck and have fun!!

      1. menton1 Mar 7, 2010 07:44 PM

        As others have indicated, regular restaurants in France just don't do take-out. With a couple of dozen Starbucks in Paris, you can actually get coffee-to-go now, but that's about the ONLY place.

        You can get great prepared food at the giant food halls, like in Galeries Lafayette, and Bon Marche (La Grande Epicerie). Also Fauchon and Hédiard. The poulet roti is usually terrific at the outdoor markets and at traiteurs. You can also do some terrific pique-nique stuff at these places.

        For ultra casual, Monoprix has made over a lot of its stores and has a really casual sit down self service and some mid-level takeout stuff.

        When you mentioned casual Lebanese, I also thought of Chez Marianne in the 4th, more generalized Middle Eastern but quite tasty.

        Staying at the Ritz, eh? Good job! :)

        5 Replies
        1. re: menton1
          tmso Mar 9, 2010 01:47 AM

          Whatever you people are smoking, you're not paying much attention when you drink coffee. Besides the take-away coffee sold in nearly every metro station, a huge number of bars will happily sell you your coffee in a little paper or plastic cup, often with a lid.

          1. re: tmso
            menton1 Mar 9, 2010 05:23 AM

            You obviously haven't lived in the US, tmso. "Happily" is just silly. The French basically still scorn take out. If you consider a cup that burns your hands, no lid (so that it spills all over your pants), and melts plastic into the coffee as "takeout", it's basically a non-starter. Starbucks has the real deal, java jackets and cups just like in the US. But if you think you'll enjoy that take away coffee from a bar in Paris, think twice.

            1. re: menton1
              tmso Mar 11, 2010 04:26 AM

              I get take out coffee maybe two or three times a month. A little paper cup with a lid seems perfectly fine to me. And yes, the servers at the bars I go do are perfectly happy when serving me coffee to take out.

              << just like in the US. But if you think you'll enjoy that take away coffee from a bar in Paris, think twice >>.

              Both the coffee and the container are very different in the US. The reason I'm generally not so happy with my take away coffee is not because it's not Starbucks, but because I wish it was as good as the coffee at my old bars in Italy.

            2. re: tmso
              Parigi Mar 9, 2010 05:42 AM

              "the take-away coffee sold in nearly every metro station, a huge number of bars will happily sell you your coffee"

              Every? Huge?

              1. re: Parigi
                souphie Mar 10, 2010 02:45 PM

                Yes. Almost every café will let you take your coffee out in a little cup. And all "bakeries" in the métro.

          2. v
            vielleanglaise Mar 7, 2010 10:19 AM

            Do you know where you will be staying?

            11 Replies
            1. re: vielleanglaise
              hbfoodie7 Mar 7, 2010 05:41 PM

              We won a stay at the Ritz.

              Rotisseries don't seem like really practical choices, because I don't really care to carve a chicken in our hotel room with the room's corkscrew, but maybe I am misunderstanding what a chicken man is? : )

              1. re: hbfoodie7
                hychka Mar 10, 2010 04:48 PM

                If you can't find a knife to cut up chicken then can we assume you can't find a spoon and fork and napkin? How do you expect to eat "take away" if you have this attitude? What exactly are you looking for here.. signed "short fuse in Indy."

                1. re: hychka
                  PhilD Mar 10, 2010 05:27 PM

                  To be fair to the OP they did ask for "sit down light meals" as well and 99% of our replies are for take out.

                  1. re: hychka
                    hbfoodie7 Mar 10, 2010 07:20 PM

                    I have nearly lived in hotels for years, and it never would occur to me to try and eat a whole chicken in hotel room without a having a proper kitchen. Maybe I am in the minority. Have any of you honestly done this?

                    1. re: hbfoodie7
                      Parigi Mar 11, 2010 12:29 AM

                      Who said a whole chicken? The rotisserie sells half or eveb quarter.

                      1. re: Parigi
                        hbfoodie7 Mar 11, 2010 05:15 AM

                        That is useful information! Chickens are sold whole in the US. I suppose I will be packing plastic forks and knives in our suitcases.

                        1. re: hbfoodie7
                          Parigi Mar 11, 2010 07:20 AM

                          Btw, high congratulations on your Ritz "win".
                          O and tell the hotel to show some class and give you some nice silverware for your in-room picnic!
                          It might - and should - do that. Once I was staying in a vineyard b&b in Burgundy - read: nothing Ritz-y - and was too exhausted to go out to dinner one evening. The vintner not only told me in which village I could find a good traiteur, but he also insisted on lending me proper dinnerware: porcelain plates, real wine glasses, silverware, cloth napkins, the works. And he nagged me: "whatever you do, you must dine comfortably." Is that the best of French spirit or what.

                        2. re: Parigi
                          John Talbott Mar 11, 2010 07:01 AM

                          In fact, my chicken guy sells wings and legs and breasts alone and will chop up a 1/2 chicken or whole chicken into how many pieces one wants.

                          1. re: John Talbott
                            PhilD Mar 11, 2010 11:09 AM

                            ....and the really good thing is that when you wake up the next morning the room should smell of nice roast chicken, it is so nice to be able to remember meals.

                            I can understand picnicking in a room (although Paris hotel rooms tend to be tiny - maybe not the Ritz) to save money or if you are staying for a few weeks and are sick of restaurants (we stayed for over a month in one in Paris). But there are lots of wine bars and cafes that have simple menus and light meals. Many will sell a simple composed salad, you can sit outside and soak up the Parisian atmosphere.

                            1. re: PhilD
                              hbfoodie7 Mar 11, 2010 01:15 PM

                              That was more of what type of info I was seeking, take out only if we are completely jet lagged and exhausted, but I was seeking meal options that we would not feel expected to order multi-course meals, and even better, find restaurants that put health and taste as top priorities.

                              1. re: hbfoodie7
                                souvenir Mar 11, 2010 03:46 PM

                                Two other types of light dinners come to mind.
                                1) Savoury crepes or galettes- depending on the type of filling you choose can make them pretty healthy or pretty decadent. But still, it's the type of establishment where one would not feel required to order a multi-course meal. There are earlier threads on crepes. I like the Breizh Café, http://www.breizhcafe.com, in the Marais.
                                2) Japanese- There are a couple of options near the Palais Royal on the rue de Richelieu which would be a short walk for you. One- Matsuri,http://www.matsuri.fr/restaurants.html, appears to be unchanged; the other, Issé Tempura & Tapas, seems to have been transformed into Una seï by Issé. It's been a few years, but if I was interested in a light, healthy meal, I would consider one of them. I'm hoping someone else who has been recently can comment on whether they are still good.

                2. John Talbott Mar 6, 2010 09:10 PM

                  Coming back to "takeout", while not French, both Noura and Mavrommatis have light but upscale stuff suitable for a light supper.

                  1. PhilD Mar 6, 2010 11:56 AM

                    We often head to "Maceo" or "Fish" both have light options on the menu and both chefs seem to have quite a light touch. However, one of the strengths of a lot of French restaurants is that their fish and salad are good and generally available (salads less so at dinner) so I think the trick isn't to choose the restaurant* but instead to restrain the ordering.

                    * obviously you do need to avoid those specialising in hearty food or aimed purely at tourist with cassoulet and duck confit.

                    1. Parigi Mar 6, 2010 07:09 AM

                      In my experience, takeout is not so much in the French moeurs.
                      There are many traiteurs. They all look good. Very few are really good. Ditto the rotisserie chicken stands. The whole genre seems to lend itself to style-over-content.
                      The French think one should sit and enjoy a leiisurely meal, and not run&eat. Likewise there is no takeout coffee in a styrofoam cup either. -- On this I agree with my adoptive country.

                      For ok takeout, every market has tons of traiteurs and rotisserie places.

                      In my neighborhood - the 9th near rue des Martyrs, I recommend
                      - Papilles gourmandes on 26 rue des Martyrs
                      - the couscous takeout at Wally on 36 rue Rodier.I also recommend markets that enjoy high quality standards, such as Maubert and Richard Lenoir. In those markets you also have more of a chance to get good takeout food. The best tip is to queue up at the longest queues. -- Sorriest, a bit primitive as tip, like buy-low-sell-high.

                      P.S. Whatamithinking? The best takeout venue in Paris is happening right now: the Salon de l'Agriculture. My hubby poo always stocks up all kinds of goodies, including farm-fresh foie gras and wines there. This morning it seems Sarko had the same idea.
                      I highly recommend the food fairs that take place in Paris, like the Ham Fair (Foire aux Jambons) in the suburb town of Chatou starting next wkend for 10 days, and marché de producteurs de pays, usually in late May and mid November.

                      6 Replies
                      1. re: Parigi
                        John Talbott Mar 6, 2010 10:30 AM

                        I would respectfully offer another opinion from the other side of the Mont.
                        Re: "Ditto the rotisserie chicken stands."
                        On the rue du Poteau we have have fine rotisserie - Maitre Mathieu - who does everything from short ribs to Thanksgiving turkeys (28 the year I last asked).
                        Re: "The French think one should sit and enjoy a leiisurely meal, and not run&eat."
                        Couldn't agree more.
                        Re: " Likewise there is no takeout coffee in a styrofoam cup either." Well it's more like an ancient Amtrak cup, but our newslady, outdoor fruit stand workers, butchers, etc., do indeed schlep their coffees back to work in containers as they're setting up.
                        But I agree in principle, that sit down is better than take-out altho' I did that tonite with sushi from real Japanese sushi-folk.

                        1. re: John Talbott
                          Parigi Mar 6, 2010 10:37 AM

                          "On the rue du Poteau we have have fine rotisserie - Maitre Mathieu"

                          We are not disagreeing at all, not even on this point. The proof is that you have your initié's roast chicken address and obviously do not patronize just any roast place. I used to have my own initié's rotisserie too, sniff sniff, until My Chicken Man joined the China-Eldorado and up and went to Beijing to set up his rotisserie biz there, boohoo.
                          Must run to help hubby poo cook the aiguillettes de canard that he got from the Salon de l'Agriculture. Ciao, chow.

                          1. re: Parigi
                            Laidback Mar 7, 2010 05:04 AM


                            one factor in choosing my apt. on St. Lazare was M. Patureau's rotisserie directly across the street. Even though he has sold out we will again be there in May. Is the new owner not keeping the same standards? The Sunday morning lines used to extend well into the street, which is also the case with Dr. T.'s Maitre Mathieu who also has a wider selection, especially the selection of sausages which I couldn't get home with without sampling on the way.

                            1. re: Laidback
                              Parigi Mar 7, 2010 05:52 AM

                              "one factor in choosing my apt. on St. Lazare was M. Patureau's rotisserie directly across the street."

                              Your and My Chicken Man is now turning his rotisserie in Beijing somewhere, localizing his seasoning with Dan Dan sauce. I used to have his number on speed-dial, under the name Chickenman.

                              "Even though he has sold out we will again be there in May. Is the new owner not keeping the same standards?"

                              The consensus is a slow nooo. It is not bad, but no better than not bad. The chicken has definitely lost that loving feeling.

                              "The Sunday morning lines used to extend well into the street,"

                              That's why I had his number on speed-dial... Come (what) May, we can cry on each other's shoulders at the Marché de producteurs de pays.

                              "which is also the case with Dr. T.'s Maitre Mathieu who also has a wider selection, especially the selection of sausages"

                              That's it I'm invading the 18th. -- Is it the part of rue Poteau near J Joffrin? That's practically the burbs !

                              1. re: Parigi
                                Laidback Mar 7, 2010 07:56 AM

                                Yes it is probably less than a block from the metro and across the street from the excellent Fromagerie Quatrehomme. 5 stops from you on the trusty old line #12.

                                1. re: Parigi
                                  John Talbott Mar 9, 2010 01:02 PM

                                  "which is also the case with Dr. T.'s Maitre Mathieu who also has a wider selection, especially the selection of sausages"

                                  That's it I'm invading the 18th. -- Is it the part of rue Poteau near J Joffrin? That's practically the burbs !

                                  Yes and I take umbrage at the burbs definition; our food is definitely cityfood. As Laidback notes, we're at food center.


                        2. John Talbott Mar 6, 2010 06:49 AM

                          If you can hold on for 8 days, I intend to put together and post just such a list at another hound's request.
                          But I'd love to see others' thoughts.

                          John Talbott

                          4 Replies
                          1. re: John Talbott
                            John Talbott Mar 12, 2010 11:32 AM

                            A week late and several dollars short here it is (incorporating some suggestions from here):

                            Soups, salads and sandwiches from places like Cojean (several locations)
                            Soups from soup shops like the Bar a Soupes
                            Pizza (Bought from places like my nearby Zorglubino or heated from Picard)
                            Falafel from places like L'As du Falafel
                            Crepes from places like the Breizh Café
                            Charcuterie and cheese from wine bars like La Cremerie
                            Appetizers and wine from places like l’Avant Comptoir
                            Caves with food like La Cave Beauvau
                            French (or at least Basque) tapas at places like Afaria
                            Souffles at places like Cigale Recamier
                            Carpaccios, vegetables and tartars from places like Les Fines Gueules
                            Oysters from places like Le Nord-Sud on my street or sit down at l’Ecaille de la Fontaine
                            All sorts of seafood from brasseries such as Brasserie Lorraine
                            Sushi at places like Enichi
                            Corsican stuff from places like La Casaluna
                            Tomatoes and salads from Rouge
                            Pasta at places like Les Pates Vivantes
                            French fries once the Belgian guy near Parmentier opens up again
                            Tea and cakes at salons like Mariage Freres
                            Pastry from Laduree
                            Half-portions from Petits Plats
                            Salads, lentil salad, sausage and piquillos at places like Zinc Caius
                            Salads en plein air at Saut de Loup or Tokyo Eat
                            Rotisseried fowl at Maitre Mathieu
                            Mechoui from Wally the Saharian
                            Lebanese mezes and desserts from Noura
                            Greek mezes and desserts from Mavromatis
                            All sorts of finger food from the food halls at Galeries Lafayette and Bon Marche

                            1. re: John Talbott
                              hbfoodie7 Mar 12, 2010 06:34 PM

                              You're my hero.

                              1. re: John Talbott
                                schtroumpfette Mar 13, 2010 02:11 AM

                                Nice list! Sorry hbfoodie to drag us back to rotisserie talk but JT could you tell us the business hours of Maitre Mathieu? I walked by earlier in the week and your chicken dude was not around.

                                1. re: schtroumpfette
                                  John Talbott Mar 13, 2010 03:14 AM

                                  Hummm. Never on Sundays (afternoon) or Mondays or early Tuesday but most days 10-1 or 2 and 5-7:30 PM. Pretty much same hours and days as the market(s).

                                  I don't think he's that great, eg worth crossing more than 3 streets for; indeed my downstair's neighbor much prefers the chicken from Caulincourt/Custine.

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