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May 20, 2010 10:45 AM

Seek recommendations on Paris “mom and pop” type restaurants

Husband and I (long married) will be in Paris for five days in June. First trip to France although we’ve traveled extensively outside the US (Southeast Asia, Central/Latin America, Africa, elsewhere in Europe). We like most cuisines, little we will not eat, but want to focus on French food. We love to cook and eat and appreciate good ingredients prepared well, but we don’t like pretentious or trendy food. Atmosphere is not important. Prefer great mom and pop place to 5 star fine dining. We speak very little French but passable Spanish, German and Italian. Will be based in the 6th but will be using metro. Have read the message boards, but overwhelmed. Not looking for the most memorable dining experience of our lives … just good food/wine for good value. Lunch will be big meal of the day. Something light for dinner.
Hope this helps … look forward to your suggestions.

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  1. Les Cerisaie sounds like your kind of place: small, dedicated owners, definitely mom and pop turning out outstanding food. Very reasonable. In your neighborhood.

    Farther away and with a very young "mom and pop" is L'Assiette et Le Bouchon: small, warm welcome, excellent food, very inexpensive. The enthusiasm of these young people spills out into the dining room and is obvious in the food. With thanks to our John Talbott:

    Mom's not in the kitchen here, but I think that Les Papilles might fit your bill: lovely garnished soup served from your table's tureen, a copper pot of some kind of usually braised meat and vegetables, small composed cheese course (or green salad if you prefer), some variation of panna cotta or creme caramel or creme brulee or... This is actually a wine shop, so you just pick your wine from the shelf or, better, ask Bertrand's recommendation and pay shelf price plus a small corkage, around 7€. Almost in your neighborhood.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      I was going to suggest the first two but Mangeur beat me to the punch.
      L'Agrume has more a Mom and kid flavor to it than Mom and Pop but Le Concert de Cuisine I think is a much younger young Mom & Pop and terrific, albeit Japonesey.
      And Itineraires, which I find inconsistent but Chows love, is very much Mom and Pop.

      1. re: John Talbott

        Itineraires is certainly husband and wife but not what I'd consider Mom and Pop. Unless Mom and Pop were really, really hip! ;)

        1. re: mangeur

          Thank you so very much. Your recommendations sound perfect.
          Just to clarify, mom and pop can be hip, gay, young ;) makes no difference. Just looking for quality food at reasonable prices that is excellent but not pretentious. Not sure "mom and pop" is the proper phrase or if it's meaning in my head "translates" to French.;) But from your recommendations, I think you understand.

          1. re: jeepgal10

            Ah, I guess my age is showing - for me, Mom and Pop places are where the husb is at the piano and the mate at the front. If Mom and Pop is hip or gay that changes the whole set of choices.
            "quality food at reasonable prices that is excellent but not pretentious" is largely what we discuss here - Afaria, Regalade2, l'Agrume, etc etc etc.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Er, no, your age isn't showing but perhaps your restaurant kitchen sex role biases are. Don't worry. I won't tell Raquel Carena.

              That said, Le Baratin is another mom and pop shop that fits this request.

              1. re: John Talbott

                "If Mom and Pop is hip or gay"

                shouldn't that be Pop and Pop, or Mom and Mom?

      2. This was an excellent, informative thread.

        I will get much use of these 'mom & pops' suggestions during our trip to Paris next month with a teen in tow.


        1. We love Le P'tit Troquet in the 7th, at 28 rue de L'Exposition

          Madame Vessiere is lovely, handles the tiny dining room with her daughter, her husband is the chef. Very romantic place, too, reasonable prices, very good food.

          1. Au Gourmand is pop and pop, with a great reception and good price/quality ratio.