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Apr 29, 2010 12:57 PM

Finding a "hot" restaurant scene to take our teenagers to in Paris

We are joining some friends in Paris this June, renting a flat and bringing our two teenage daughters to celebrate their birthdays (18 and 16). We've traveled quite a bit in the past with our daughter and it is always fun to find a "hip" new place to eat where the atmosphere rivals the food (or sometimes exceeds it, since they so want to be "cool" right now). We've taken her to Tao and other places like that in the states; when we're traveling in Asia or Europe, we tend to go more low key and great food. However this time, while we're going to enjoy some great places for the adults as well, we're hoping to take them to a restaurant where they'll feel like celebrities and where they can have a special evening. Any ideas? Thanks.

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  1. I think "Mama Shelter" is still hip and fairly cool, "Le Chateubriand" definitely has a "be seen" vibe about it. And maybe downstairs at "Colette" for lunch, this is a key fashion store on Rue Saint-Honore with the best pieces from most designers, and it has a restaurant downstairs.

    "Georges" on top of the Pompidou Centre probably still ticks the boxes, I think it is more wannabe rather than truly "in" people. Of course if it is known place it probably is no longer really hip. Other Costes Bros places like their "Hotel Costes" and "Thoumieux" will attract the rich and fashionable.....not certain if that is hip.

    2 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      I was told that the Bobo set has discovered the new/old Thoumieux; that might be the best of a mediocre group. Don't forget your black-on-black gear; and bring lots of Euros($35.00 Martinis, etc)

      1. re: Oakglen

        I channel Kate Hepburn's prescription: "Give me a cashmere turtleneck and good black slacks and I can go around the world." Well, yes. Lots of Euros are good travel companions, but I'd hope that paying that kind of tariff for a drink is just plain dumb? Non? Well, as John and I often say, we are often out of the loop.

    2. OMG, even tho' Soup claims I'm a hipster, I'm not 16 or 18.
      Hummm, yah the Costes places are cool but in a time-warp food-wise.
      OK, '"hip" new place to eat where the atmosphere rivals the food' - Ralph's (eg Ralph Lauren's Danny Meyeresque - but it's hamburgers and suchlike. New places like Regalade, Simonin, Frenchie, Concert de Cuisine, l'Agrume, Chez Grenouille, Petits Plats, etc are good food but not hip or cool.
      "hip old place" - yah "Thoumieux" has beautiful waitresses with......., well, you don wanna know, or Les Debats, equally gorgeous chicks (sorry feministes). Cheri Bebi, certainly hip and Aizpitarte-family-inspired but food only so-so.
      An Irish bar maybe (after they dump you)?
      Adrian is the King of Cool, Adrian, where are you? Or Forrest, who knows the cocktail scene.

      9 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        No, I do want to know.
        Beautiful waitresses, that ticks a box, indeed.

        1. re: John Talbott

          Well, it's been a long time since i was 16 or 18 as well. Some good suggestions already going around here without my help. But, my thoughts on a few mentioned:

          Mama Shelter is probably the best of the hipster joints for a combination of decent food, atmosphere, etc. Even though i think they mainly rely on their cool rep to bring in the customers they do stand-out drinks and I've heard not-bad to good comments about the food.

          To inspire a bit of awe in teens, I'd say the Buddha Bar or any of that group (Barrio Latino, whatever BFly is now, etc) are impressive from a decoration standpoint. They are definitely beyond their sell by date in terms of true hipness. But that's not really that important if you just do want the hot ambience packed with lots of people wanting to see and be seen. (also I personally think there may be a bit of resurgence for the Buddha bar as i've heard it mentioned by a few bar industry types)

          I think John's idea of Ralphs is a good one (i haven't been there yet in full disclosure)

          You can always find something pretty showy around the Arc de Triomphe. A possiblity might be the relatively newly opened restaurant/bar from Olivier Demarles called La Villa. While i don't rate it as one of my favorite places for cocktails here, I do think it meets this criteria - it's new, in a bit of a showy area, the decor is cool & the staff are all pretty pleasant (at least there were when i went there.)

          Pershing Hall hotel has a restaurant and their interior deco is cool/hip/impressive. I think they have a huge verticle garden which you can see from the restaurant part.

          I believe that non-members can reserve for lunch at Le Cercle. (not dinner) So if you want to do a lunch instead and want to go some place in Paris that has less than 200 member (read; very exclusive) you should check into try to lunch there. the restaurant part is small - but the inside of the place is gorgeous - and that's the kind of hip and hot place I would like someone to randomly take me to. It's got a big following of theatre types - and again, it's smaller so you won't get the buzz of so much public around you that you might get at buddha - but I definitely felt quite cool having a drink at le cercle.

          Also, there's always tokyo eat at the Palais Tokyo. I personally don't bother with the food there, but I do think the atmosphere is really fun and funky.

          1. re: forestcollins

            Thanks for the ideas. I was wondering if anyone would mention Buddha, so I'll check it out. You are right, cool and wanting to be seen are definitely two different things. At 16 and 18, they really don't get "cool", so anywhere with a scene will be fun. Thanks to all for the ideas - I've written them all down!

            1. re: dwsully

              It will be interesting to see if BB has changed. It, or Barrio Latino are definatly worth checking out if only for a drink, but the food has always had a dire reputation.

              I am personally wary of BB because it is now a chain (the next Hard Rock Cafe?) with branches opening up in other cities. On my last visit the dining room seemed to full of visiting business people in grey suits (the hip only wear black) but they were having fun.

              1. re: PhilD

                I second Barrio Latino, one funky place.
                Another great drink-don't-eat place is Doudingue on rue Durantin. Not just the bar, the whole street is très hip.
                Quite a few of the bars along Canal St Martin are great spots to see and be seen and are not oppressive about being trendy. Example: Chez Prune, where the food is even not too bad.
                Slightly further up, Point Ephémère on quai Valmy is a multipurpose space: bar, concert space, gallery. Always something/someone worth watching...

                Am I the only person to have a problem with a bar that treats Budda as a piece of furniture? And who feels like drinking in front of Buddha? (Answer: lots of idiots.) The last time I went, invited by a client (maybe the same night Phil turned up), I had to turn my back on big B or I would have been in no mood to drink.
                Since BB is now a chain, a matter of time before we have a Jesus bar...

                1. re: Parigi

                  "Since BB is now a chain, a matter of time before we have a Jesus bar..." Parigi there is one, just near the Cathedral in Antwerp, it is quite a weird experience as the place is full of church stuff (statues etc.)

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Hilarious, sounds too trendy for words.

                2. re: PhilD

                  Thanks, yes. I have just had that confirmed by several. BB off the list!

              2. re: forestcollins

                "Also, there's always tokyo eat at the Palais Tokyo. I personally don't bother with the food there, but I do think the atmosphere is really fun and funky."
                Yah Forrest that's the poblem except in full sumer out on the parvis where the view convinces you the food is worth eating.

            2. you could try Thoumieux (rue St-Dominique), part of the Costes empire.