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Paris restaurant suggestions

sugargirl1 Apr 19, 2010 01:25 PM

I will be in Paris for 3 days in June. Have reservations for Chez Marcel for dinner. Would like suggestions for restaurants that are comparable. Note, I am a fan of diners, drive-ins and dives.

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  1. John Talbott RE: sugargirl1 Apr 19, 2010 01:35 PM

    If it's funky you want:
    Afaria common table
    Cantine de Troquet no rez's
    Cheri bibi
    Les Papilles
    Cocottes de Constant - diner like set up
    Cafe Constant - elbow yourself in
    Le Grand Pan
    l'Atelier de Joel R - upscale diner-like
    Cul de Poule - dive
    Rich - not Rech - baccarat-gaming/etc tabled bar/boite and downstairs a hip bar

    24 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott
      sugargirl1 RE: John Talbott Apr 21, 2010 06:37 AM

      Thanks, John. I really appreciate the help.

      1. re: sugargirl1
        John Talbott RE: sugargirl1 Apr 21, 2010 09:53 AM

        It's too bad you haven't had more replies, I suspect the title looks like a thousand others whereas you really want something completely different as Monty Python would say (anyone out there ever heard of them?)

        1. re: John Talbott
          PhilD RE: John Talbott Apr 21, 2010 02:07 PM

          John, it was the "I am a fan of diners, drive-ins and dives." that stopped me. This genre isn't Parisian so it is tricky to recommend. Even restaurants that look like dives are really stylishly distressed, and those where you can eat at the bar don't serve "short-order" food.

          1. re: John Talbott
            mangeur RE: John Talbott Apr 21, 2010 05:21 PM

            Who's them?

        2. re: John Talbott
          Shooley RE: John Talbott Apr 21, 2010 02:44 PM

          Can I butt in here? I'm going to be in Paris in a few weeks for just 2 nights (then heading to Campania), and currently have reservations for Chez Michel and Afaria. But I'm wondering if we should switch to L'Ami Jean instead of Afaria....any thoughts???

          1. re: Shooley
            John Talbott RE: Shooley Apr 22, 2010 12:11 AM

            Sure butt away.
            I think they're very different; the same in unstuffy ambiance but CAJ is tightly packed and what we who were misfortunate enuf to have been born in the US not Kenya think of as a real bistro serving real bistro food with a Basque twist, whereas Afairia has both bistro fare (in the dining room) and "tapas" with a Spanish-French border touch at the common table in front which I think is more fun. If you challenge me to differentiate between Basque and Spanish-French border food, I'd take the 5th (anyone remember that?), both use espilette peppers, etc but CAJ would never think of serving cod balls.

            1. re: John Talbott
              Shooley RE: John Talbott Apr 22, 2010 04:49 AM

              We were in the Basque area of Spain last year for a couple of days, then headed south to Rioja, so I'm familiar with the cuisine. But, just wondering if one is a better overall food experience...we have a reservation already at Afaria, but not for CAJ, and someone somewhere mentioned bank week??? We'll be there only May 10 and 11.

            2. re: Shooley
              souphie RE: Shooley Apr 22, 2010 12:47 PM

              I think you should switch to CAJ instead of Chez Michel, which is pretty much the same only less good.

              1. re: souphie
                John Talbott RE: souphie Apr 22, 2010 12:50 PM

                As always I agree with Soup.

                1. re: John Talbott
                  Parigi RE: John Talbott Apr 22, 2010 12:56 PM

                  I agree with the two sensei.

                  1. re: Parigi
                    John Talbott RE: Parigi Apr 22, 2010 01:08 PM

                    Sensie = a five piece, melodic, rock band from Jacksonville, Florida.
                    Oh man, let's go back OT.

                  2. re: John Talbott
                    dietndesire RE: John Talbott Apr 22, 2010 01:10 PM

                    May I disagree that y'all always agree?

                    1. re: dietndesire
                      John Talbott RE: dietndesire Apr 22, 2010 01:29 PM

                      When we eat together we do; Internet dining is another story.

                  3. re: souphie
                    Nancy S. RE: souphie Apr 22, 2010 02:01 PM

                    My last meal at Chez Michel was disappointing, compared to its former glory.

                    1. re: Nancy S.
                      Shooley RE: Nancy S. Apr 22, 2010 02:15 PM

                      Merci a tous!

                      1. re: Shooley
                        Shooley RE: Shooley Apr 22, 2010 02:18 PM

                        But, wait a minute! If I switch to CAJ, then is going to Afaria the next night too much Basque?

                        1. re: Shooley
                          PhilD RE: Shooley Apr 22, 2010 02:24 PM

                          CAJ isn't really Basque. Jego may come from there, and the old bar he took over may have been a old Basque rugby bar, but his cooking, and the restaurant he established in the bar, is Parisian bistronomique. Yes, a few Basque influences, but also influences from lots and lots of other regions.

                          1. re: PhilD
                            Shooley RE: PhilD Apr 22, 2010 02:42 PM

                            Are you guys on some kind of expense account, or what? I envy your constant dining experiences. I want to eat for a living.

                            1. re: Shooley
                              John Talbott RE: Shooley Apr 23, 2010 12:42 AM

                              I'd call it more like an expensive account. Hard work too.

                            2. re: PhilD
                              John Talbott RE: PhilD Apr 23, 2010 12:53 AM

                              Agree with Phil; as I tried to explain on another thread discussing Basque places, both the above use espelette, etc but CAJ is more of a classic bistro with Basque twists, Afaria has stuff on the tapas menu Jego wouldn't serve and the front room common table (which is where to eat) is more like sitting on the Spanish-French border than anywhere else. Au Bascou is truly Basque - axoa - for instance as is La Cantine du Troquet with things like merlu a la Basquaise.

                              1. re: John Talbott
                                Parigi RE: John Talbott Apr 23, 2010 01:00 AM

                                What is known as Basque cuisine has itself gone through a lot more evolution than other French-Spanish region cuisines.
                                Is it just me (I)? Once upon a time I identified Basque cusine as stewy hearty dishes. The restos in the Basque region have largely moved away from that, perhaps led by all the young Basque chefs who rule the world. It is now light and inventive and, more so than other cuisines it seems, excells in the aigre-doux game

                                1. re: Parigi
                                  PhilD RE: Parigi Apr 23, 2010 01:25 AM

                                  Not just you, I agree. I see the Basque region of France being very influenced by their Spanish cousins. The Spanish push the boundaries more, but the ideas seep across the border. My strongest memory 100% Basque food was a very cold Christmas market in Bilbao with copious amounts of cider, mountains of soft black pudding, and a very merry atmosphere.

                                  That said food regions in France are quite porous. Few restaurants will stick 100% to regional dishes and thus most menus will have dishes or influences from across France.

                                  1. re: PhilD
                                    Shooley RE: PhilD Apr 23, 2010 06:44 AM

                                    Hola! Thanks one and all. And, hard work aside, I still like your job, JT! Though, mine is second best: I sell wine for a living...

                                    1. re: Shooley
                                      Paris_luver RE: Shooley Apr 28, 2010 02:22 PM

                                      bonjur! I am from france myself,my mother taught me english though. One of my favorite resturants is Arpege! Delicious! Hope i could help you darling!

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