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Chez Michel...any recent experience? Or other recommends for the 10th?

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Dear France Chowhounds,
I'll be in Paris from May 5th - 11th (volcano willing!), staying in an apt in the 10th. I was thinking of staying close to home the first night, and would like your thoughts on Chez Michel. I've always had it on my list but never made it, and reviews seem mixed - some from the fall put us off from going there when we were in Paris in Oct.
Would Chez Casimir be a good alternative? I searched the board and see that others recommended Le Poisson Rouge. Any other suggestions? Anyone heard of L'Ecluse Valmy?
Thanks!

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  1. I've recommended Café Panique, 12, rue des Messageries (10th), Métro: Poissenniere. Tel. 01.47.70.06.84. But as far as I can tell from this site, nobody else has ever been! It's a smart and classy neighborhood place in a contemporary arty setting, about a 4 minute walk from Chez Michel. Jake

    1. I didn't find Chez Michel to be all that wonderful. I found the food disppointing and trying too hard to be "unique". The free winkles were very nice, but our mains were disappointing. Not bad, but not great eaither. Dessert choices were uninspiring too, but maybe that's just the night we went. We had better food at almost every other bistro we went to. We loved Chez Casimir when we went, but that was about two years ago. They had a sublime lentil soup which was ladled over foie gras diced small enough to be cooked by the heat of the soup. Wonderful! The crab tian my partner had was also superb. We liked Casimir so much more than Chez Michel.

      1. Well, I've been to Chez Michel a half-dozen times and especially in game season, thot it rather OK, but Colette, wonderful canary in the mine that she is, to mix a metaphor, smelled a rat long ago and refuses to go. Chez Casimir under Philippe Tredgeu was very nice but alas is no longer me thinks.

        However, all is not lost in the 10th, April 26, 2010, I ate at the old/new La Grille which I found totally unchanged from 20 years ago, and if you liked it then, you'll like it now and vice versa. Pix at you know where.