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2 Days in Paris - Itinerary review and a few suggestions needed...

Hey all,

I'd like to send a quick thanks for the regular posters on this board and to John Talbott for putting together such a great website, which I've killed countless hours on the past few days.

My wife and I are going on a 15 day trip through Europe and I have been working on planning our Sunday and Monday (I know, a lot of places are closed) in Paris.

We arrive at 11:30 a.m. by train on Sunday. Question number one, I figure we can get to our hotel in the 1st and drop off our bags by 12:30. What open air market has the most potential that late in the day for us to graze and enjoy different food stands as well as experience the buzz of a Paris Outdoor market? Thoughts on BistroY... Les Papilles for lunch?

I have sent an inquiry to the Hidden Kitchen couple to see if I could get on their list for Sunday evening. If that doesn't work out, I am thinking Le Marcab. Thoughts? It seems to be well reviewed and at a generous price point. Chez L'ami Jean and Rech had originally caught my eye for its Neo-Bistro approach but of course it is Sunday. Any suggestions are appreciated.

On Monday I plan to make a reservation for the Prix Fixe lunch at ZKG. Seems like a great choice based on John Talbott's writings. In fact, I spent a day in Paris two years ago and really wanted to go to ZKG but the company I was with could not appreciate it.

I imagine a lighter meal will be appropriate for Monday night. Maybe a wine bar with small plates? Fish seems to be a popular choice.

Is there anywhere in Paris that is well known for craft cocktails?

On Tuesday we are headed to Reims for a night, any suggestions on dining and small artisan champagne houses in the region are appreciated.

Wednesday we are headed down to Puligny Montrachet, any suggestions for wineries that produce great Red Burgundy on the way to Puligny are appreciated as is any dining options for lunch north of Beaune and dinner in the Beaune area. I have read good things about Ma Cuisine.

Thanks to all in advance. Of course all suggestions are appreciated and please let me know if you have any questions.


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  1. No Les Papilles on sunday.

    Outdoor markets close at 1.30pm, so you won't have a significant market experience that day. To maximize your experience, you should go to the closest market from your hotel. To my knowledge, none will be within walking distance so the question becomes what metro stop are you closest to. The obvious suspects are Raspail, Marché Saint Germain and Bastille, which is probably the most scenic of the three.

    Ma Cuisine is a great place, as are the other usual suspects in the Beaune area, from Jardin des Remparts to Loiseau des Vignes. Don't miss the chocolate and candy shops in downtown Beaune.

    3 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Thanks for the info Souphie.

      Is les Papilles open on Monday's? Any suggestions for a nice Sunday lunch should we be rushed at the market and not have the opportunity to fill-up? I've read Talbott's sunday suggestions but any others you may suggest are apprecaited.


      1. re: mcattrone

        Les Papilles is open Mondays.

        Re your arrival…
        You really have only 1.5 days in Paris (are you insane?).
        You may rethink crisscrossing Paris to go to restaurants. If I were to give myself 1.5 days in Paris (am I insane?), I would minimize the running around. Ze and Fish may be walkable for you. Marcab is a schlep.

        You did not say where in the 1st is your hotel. There is an excellent but small farmers' market Sunday morning on rue Montmartre near Les Halles outside the St Eustache church that closes quite late. (I mean the market, not the church, closes late.)
        Pardon my idiotic suggeston: Instead of running out to see the market, then run into the metro to emerge in another arrondissement hoping you make the last service, you're in a market, why not get and eat the food from the market? Get a good rotisserie chicken, pâtés, pastries, wine. If the weather is nice, picnic by the Seine.

      2. re: souphie

        Les marchés alimentaires par arrondissement ...
        For a complete list with locations, days and times see http://www.paris.fr/portail/marches_p...

      3. <On Tuesday we are headed to Reims for a night, any suggestions on dining and small artisan champagne houses in the region are appreciated.>

        Hands down, the best food in Reims is at L'Assiette Champenoise, which I heartily recommend. Lallement is maybe the best chef in France right now. You'll love it. ;)

        Ma Cuisine is, imho, also a "don't miss" place.

        In Savigny-les Beaunes, you might enjoy visiting with Michel Ecard, who makes some absolutely delicious wines of the place, and is very personable, as well.

        16 Replies
        1. re: ChefJune

          L'Assiette is absolutely the place to go in Reims. One of the best restaurants I have ever experienced, and I have been to many of the top Michelin starred ones. Read my report:


          1. re: rrems

            Sadly, not open on Tuesday. But thanks!

            1. re: mcattrone

              In regards to my hotels location it is near the Pyramides Metro Station.

              Does anyone have a suggestion for where to pick up something nice to have for lunch while touring Champagne? I'd prefer to eat in for dinner rather than lunch.

              I imagine a nice baquette, charcuterie and cheese would make for a nice picnic style lunch while touring. Any rec's near the hotel that I can pick this up the day before we leave would be great!

              1. re: mcattrone

                I would always suggest picking up food on the day during your travels (are you driving?). Baguettes are best eaten in the hours after they are baked, and good ones don't last. Do remember n the countryside shops will close for lunch so buy supplies a little before.

                Best advice if you don't want to eat a hearty meal at lunch time, or trek to a special destination, is to find a simple local restaurant or cafe (a Michelin bib) whilst on the road.

                1. re: PhilD

                  So the current itinerary I'm considering right now is:

                  Sunday Dinner:

                  Le Marcab
                  Lao Lane Xang 2

                  Monday Lunch = ZKG

                  Monday Dinner = Les Papilles

                  Looking for a suggestion near Gare De Lyon to pick up some foods for our day in Champagne - Sandwiches, Bread, Meat, Cheese - any ideas are appreciated.


                  1. re: mcattrone

                    "Looking for a suggestion near Gare De Lyon to pick up some foods for our day in Champagne"

                    Slim pickin there. Your best bet is to pick up something in the handful of good food shops on rue du Marché St Honoré near your hotel, instead of shopping for food near the train station.
                    Food shops are closed Sunday afternoon and all day Monday.
                    That leaves Tuesday morning when you can shop for food before you leave.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      "...the handful of good food shops on rue du Marché St Honoré" which used to include a fantastic chicken shop which had a rotisserie outside so you could buy a chicken to take on the train.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        It must have been the famous chickekn guy who was the purveyor for the Elysée. He moved his operation to rue des Martyrs 2 years ago.
                        Here is a recent article on him in the 'hood website Le Daily Neuvième, with not very flattering reader feedback:

                        Hubby poo roasted a chicken from him last night. It was excellent and also prohibitive as charged. But I must admit we never had bad service there. - At htat price the butcher should give us a massage !

                    2. re: mcattrone

                      My only response is to whether Marcab might not be better because of two things: first, it's the only French/French tablecloth restaurant on your list (Papilles is terrific but more paper/wood and wineshoppy) and second, depending on where you live, LLX2's type of Southeast Asian food may be something you can get.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        John, I quite like Liebovitz's recent comment on the subject of Asian food in Paris:

                        "I was recently amused reading comments in an article about budget dining in Paris, where a reader suggested going out for Pho (Vietnamese soup) was a better for the author, whose suggestions ran in the vicinity of €15, to save a couple of bucks, which is ridiculous. I like Asian food myself, but that's like going to Tokyo for a week and ordering a peanut butter sandwich because it's a bit cheaper than a bowl of ramen from a noodle stand."

                        I think David hits the nail on the head with this comment, for me Parisian Asian restaurants may be getting better and now seem to offer better choices for locals (I never had a great meal in my years there) but I still don't see Paris as a destination to try great Asian food, there are far better cities to indulge.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          "for me Parisian Asian restaurants may be getting better and now seem to offer better choices for locals (I never had a great meal in my years there) but I still don't see Paris as a destination to try great Asian food, there are far better cities to indulge."
                          This probably deserves a new thread. The one thing I like about ethnic food in Paris is that you've got (except for the fungible Asian traiteurs) folks from other countries using local ingredients/products with imported herbs/spices. I do think tho' that LLX2 does better than most cities' places, but for the visitor who comes from Calif, NY, Vancouver etc., forget it.
                          Pho in Viet Nam in '67-68 was the only thing worthwhile about that year.

                            1. re: PhilD

                              Tcha, a wonderful Chinese tea house in the middle of St Germain in Paris, has wonderful background music of Ry Cooder sounding Pipa tunes.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            "… that's like going to Tokyo for a week and ordering a peanut butter sandwich because it's a bit cheaper than a bowl of ramen from a noodle stand."
                            Tokyo perhaps, but in China's modern recipes, the Chinese do wonders with peanut butter. No kidding.

                            1. re: PhilD

                              David's comment leaves out the fact that Vietnamese (or couscous, or Laotian, or Turkish, or casual Cantonese, or veg South Indian, etc.) has become the only option for budget dining, strictly speaking, if you don't rely on sandwiches and crêpes only. Parisians like me who used to be able to go to various restaurants are now increasingly restricted to that option. French food on budget dining no longer exists, so there you are.

                              It also omits to mention that Paris has some of the best Vietnamese and Laotian restaurants outside of Southeast Asia (not so much now that Pho Bida Saigon is no more, but still).

                2. re: ChefJune


                  Thanks for the tip on Michel Ecard - from what I've read seems like an interesting Domaine and person. Is he located at the same address as Maurice Ecard? Do you have any contacting information for the Domaine?

                3. hopefully i'm not jumping in too late, but for craft cocktails in paris you have mainly three choices (all from the same guys): Experimental Cocktail Club, Curio Parlor and their latest (and my favorite) Prescription Club. These bars are going to deliver superb cocktails that stand up against international craft cocktail standards at a decent (for Paris) price. Some other good stops for craft cocktails: le forum, le secret, le magnifique (getting into expensive territory there)

                  1. Ditto on Ma Cuisine. Was just looking at some snaps I took there and dreaming of the lovely meal and lovely welcome of the place. North of there (though not very) is La Cabotte in Nuits-Saint-George was fabu and a bit further north is Chez Guy in Gevrey-Chambertin... the Joue de Boeuf braised in Pinot Noir for 12 hours was hauntingly good. Also ran smack into the entire staff from la Cabotte while we were there.

                    1. In Beaune, Ma Cuisine is my favorite restaurant, unfortunately it's closed in the week ends, La Benaton is my other favorite one in Beaune, but more expensive.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: danifajans

                        Had a great meal at Ma Cuisine last September. Hubby poo drank, I mean drank, his époisses.

                      2. Hey Matt,

                        Wow great groups of suggestions here. I'm American but happen to live in Reims and can help you with Tues plans.

                        Dinner at Les Crayeres, Le Foch, Le Millenaire or a taxi ride to Le Grand Cerf are all great choices. Small producers my favorite is a little town called Rilly La Montagne (15 mins outside Reims). I love Champagne PAQUES & FILS - 1, rue de Valmy - B.P. 11 - 51500 RILLY LA MONTAGNE - Tél : 03 26 03 42 53 / Fax : 03 26 03 40 29. You can buy here for 13-15 euro a bottle! It's really best if you speak french to go to small producers or hire a service to get you there with a chauffeur, car and translator so you can taste at a few! Email me if you need advice sydneykrueger@gmail.com

                        Also my ultimate fav go to resto in Paris where Obama and all Ambassadors go is this place in the 7th -Cigale Récamier (La) 4, rue RécamierParis, France 75007 Phone: 01-45-48-86-58. You pretty much have to order the Filet au poivre and the small dessert salted carmel souffle. It's incredible simple, buttery, delicious french food!

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Krueg42

                          I second Cigale Recamier, but the lack of a menu offering or lunch special make this a pricey experience. Worth it? Yes, but I do miss my old expense account when it comes to fine restaurants like this one.