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Mar 6, 2010 12:41 PM

First night suggestion

We arrive in Paris after 5 days in Barcelona on a Tuesday evening (6 pm). I don't know how long it will take us to get to the hotel, check in, etc but am guessing we will be starving around 9-930. We are staying in the Latin Quarter. This will be our first visit to Paris and want our first meal to be casual and relaxed after a half day of travel. Any suggestions for places in the Latin Quarter or close by (Marais)? I'm thinking Les Papilles.

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    1. "I'm thinking Les Papilles."

      I'm thinking the same thing. It's always our first night choice, so welcoming, cosseting, approachable and delicious. Such a good segue into Paris' food scene. Also, your arrival time fits with their second seating. Do reserve beforehand and tell Bertrand of your arrival schedule.

      5 Replies
        1. re: mangeur

          Les Papilles will be on vacation when I am in Paris on March 20th - any replacement suggestions - I am disappointed - I was looking forward to going there.

          1. re: claudco

            I was trying to get in on the 23rd. What are the days they will closed? I have not been able to reach them today.

            1. re: cinemagrrl

              I was told that they would be closed for that week, a bummer for us also.

            2. re: claudco

              We like the food at l'Ourcine a lot, just over the border in 13e, but the service can be disorganized to the point of distraction. The FOH is often short-staffed, resulting in a shortage of knowledgeable servers. At times the chef (ex-Regalade) has come out to help serve and bus. But patient diners are rewarded with solid bistrot fare at reasonable prices.

              91, rue Borca
              01. 47.07.13. 65
              Metro: Gobelins Bus: 21 or 27 on St. Michel
              Closed Sunday and Monday

          2. Thanks, mangeur/claudco. back to my original question, can anyone suggest a place for us in the Latin Quarter/Marais for our first night. We're staying in the 5th. Will be getting in from Barcelona at 6 pm and probably heading out to eat at 9-930. Le Pre Verre? Le 122? Anywhere else?

            7 Replies
            1. re: cinemagrrl

              You could try Restaurant Itinéraires (5 Rue de Pontoise) it gets mixed reviews, we went after it first opened and it was not fantastic but I understand it has settled down.

              For a first meal you can try "Fish" in the 6eme, it is a short walk from the 5eme (and probably closer than the Marais), it is a casual wine bar with servers who speak good English thus is is an easy first meal in a city that can be intimidating. Kiwi/Cuban owned but a popular local haunt especially later in the evening (the first sitting tends to be mainly tourists).

              1. re: cinemagrrl

                Le Pre Verre was our least favorite meal in Paris this trip (January 2010). Food seemed amateurish.

                1. re: cinemagrrl

                  "Thanks, mangeur/claudco. back to my original question, can anyone suggest a place for us in the Latin Quarter/Marais for our first night. We're staying in the 5th."

                  L'Oucine was my suggestion for your first night. It is literally a couple of hundred yards from the 5th.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    Manguer - I'm going to call them tomorrow. Thanks. I missed your post at first glance.

                    1. re: cinemagrrl

                      Could you tell us why the 4th and 5th are preferred? Much as I trust Mangeur's opinion, my last meal there with a quite good French food-critic was disappointing for us both, he more than I.

                      The current hot one in the 5th is certainly L'Agrume, 15, rue des Fosses Saint-Marcel in the 5th,, closed Sunday and Monday night, with a daily special costing 11, lunch formula at 16 and a la carte 35 €

                      As for the 4th; The (Restaurant) Claude Colliot, 40 rue des Blancs-Manteaux in the 4th,, closed Sundays and Mondays is as if Colliot never left Bamboche.

                      John Talbott

                    2. re: mangeur

                      It is in the 13eme and quite a long way from the heart of the Latin Quarter. Where is your hotel?

                      The 5eme is quite large and hotel operators are liberal with the use of the term "Latin quarter". You wlll need a metro or taxi to get to this restaurant, and the metro will involve a change unless you walk from Port-Royal. If you are going to do that it really opens up the whole of central Paris.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Of course, if you are willing only to walk a couple of blocks for dinner, you are correct. As I wrote, we approach l'Ourcine from rue St. Michel, and by extension Gay Lussac, Claude Barnard to Les Gobelins, riding the #27 bus (from our hotel in the 7th near the Pont de Carrousel). From our hotel, it is less than a 20 minute bus ride. If one can easily get to Les Papilles, l'Ourcine should be only a 10 minute extension via either the #21 or 27 bus that runs past the front door.

                        I'm sorry, John, for your bad experience. We have yet to be disappointed in terms of food quality and interest. If it is offered and if you are willing to pay a 15€ supplement, I can't recommend the pigeon (bloody, if you wish) too strongly. Heaven.

                  2. Les Papilles has been on our list for a while, but so far we’ve not been. Elsewhere in the 5th, we recently enjoyed:

                    Chez René. (This place feels like 1957 — the year it opened. The cooking is similar to that of Au Petit Marguery, 13eme (just across the street from the 5th). We had beet salad, oeufs mayonnaise, excellent boeuf bourguignon, and warm Saucisson de Lyon, all with a nice Lyonnaise rouge, and finally tarte orange.) 14 Boul. St Germain. Métro: Maubert Mutualité. Tel. Closed Sun & Mon.

                    We also recently liked (at souphie’s suggestion) Rotisserie de Beaujolais -- a good place for dinner on a cold winter Sunday evening. Having heard here that it's usually best to stick to the rotisseried items, we had the chicken and the very rare pheasant. As one would expect, there’s a good selection of Beaujolais. (Speaking of which, that’s the name of the friendly house cat, which patrols the room.) 19 quai de la Tournelle. Métro: Maubert Mutualité. Tel. (Closed Mon.)

                    Finally: We also love Ribouldingue – and so may you, if you like offal. 10, rue St-Julien le Pauvre. Métro: St-Michel. Tel. And Le Languedoc is still our favorite neighborhood spot, in the outer 5th. 64, Boul. de Port Royale. Métro: Le Gobelins. Tel. Open 12:00 noon-2:30 (lunch), 7:00-10:30 (dinner), Note: Closed Tues. & Wed.


                    1. I only chose the 4th and 5th because we are getting in a little late and figured we wouldn't want to travel too far the first night. Our hotel is located at 46, boulevard Saint Germain at Maubert-Mutualité station. As I am not familar with Paris, I really have no idea about distances. Thanks for all the suggestions! I can't wait for our trip.

                      2 Replies
                      1. re: cinemagrrl

                        Le Pre Verre is within a couple of blocks.
                        so is Le Petit Pontoise UTF-8&q=le+petit+pontoise+paris&fb=1&gl=us&hq=le+petit+pontoise&hnear=paris&cid=1066918772778280520 as is Itineraries, already mentioned above

                        But after you get your feet on the ground, please be willing to use public transportation to wisk you around town to some of the really good names discussed on this board.

                        1. re: cinemagrrl

                          sounds to me like you are practically at the doorstep of Chez Rene. Food there is solid, and ambiance is warm. Still remember the lamb with white beans. ;)