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where in paris should i eat if i don't have a reservation at chateaubriand, frenchie or comptoir?

Honoredb May 20, 2010 05:38 PM

Hi everybody- wondering if you could recommend some delicious bistros, either classic or innovative, where I'll be able to get reservations for lunch or dinner in less than two weeks. I've been to all the other Constant protege places (l'avant gout, la regalade, l'epi dupin), which seem tired to me. I would love to know about other places...have heard about paul bert, le pamphlet, l'agrume, fontaine de mars. Do people like these? Are there others you could recommend? Many thanks....

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  1. John Talbott RE: Honoredb May 20, 2010 06:27 PM

    l'Agrume yes but what do you mean by bistro?
    You seem to want new not "tired", correct?
    How about Le P’tit Caillou, Chez Grenouille, Bouchons & Assiette, Le Restaurant & Petits Plats, not eaten at much here.?

    John Talbott's Paris

    5.5 La Gazzetta

    14 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott
      Honoredb RE: John Talbott May 20, 2010 09:51 PM

      Thanks for the reply. New isn't essential--old would be nice, in fact, if the food has held up. I've done a lot of eating in Paris, but this trip is a bit spontaneous and I didn't have time to plan ahead, and so I need places that can accommodate me June 2-4. Yes, quite curious about La Gazzetta....

      1. re: Honoredb
        Parigi RE: Honoredb May 21, 2010 12:42 AM

        You should be able to get a reservation chez l'Ami Jean 10 days ahead.
        And surely at Carte Blanche and l'Aromatik a week ahead.

        1. re: Parigi
          Honoredb RE: Parigi May 21, 2010 02:19 PM

          I've been to Chez L'Ami Jean too often...excited to try some new stuff. Is Bigarrade attainable at short notice? And is it a stuffy place? Perhaps I could drop by for a late lunch the day I arrive....

          1. re: Honoredb
            Nancy S. RE: Honoredb May 21, 2010 03:19 PM

            Last year, a two month lead time was not sufficient. Maybe it's different now?

            1. re: Honoredb
              John Talbott RE: Honoredb May 21, 2010 04:31 PM

              Not stuffy but hard to snag a rez at.
              If you don't mind taking the chance go, and if you can't eat there, there are several places nearby (Fabrique 4 will do, Bouchon & l'Assiette is farther but better even.)

              1. re: John Talbott
                Honoredb RE: John Talbott May 21, 2010 09:52 PM

                Not sure which place you're referring to! (Gazetta? L'Ami Jean?)

                I don't want to return to Chez L'Ami Jean--it's always been a good experience, but, and I realize this is heresy on this board, I don't find it the "perfect bistro" that it's always described as: the food comes too fast, everyone there is a tourist (including lots of Americans with strollers) and, really the only important thing, the food is very good but no longer exciting, and not remotely challenging. And I think it's reasonable to want to be excited by a bistro. (Revelations are another matter.)

                Meanwhile, I'd like to be able to drop in places at 2pm for a late lunch. Can anyone vouch for La Bigarrade, Jadis, or the new Saint-Honore Regalade for a late lunch?

                1. re: Honoredb
                  Nancy S. RE: Honoredb May 22, 2010 05:11 AM

                  La Bigarrade often has its answering machine on, but if you call around 3-3:30pm they often answer.

                  1. re: Honoredb
                    John Talbott RE: Honoredb May 23, 2010 07:55 AM

                    "Not sure which place you're referring to! (Gazetta? L'Ami Jean?)"

                    Lost track of reference. Sorry.

                  2. re: John Talbott
                    Honoredb RE: John Talbott May 22, 2010 12:39 PM

                    Le Bouchon et L'Assiette has a terrific-sounding menu. Thank you. John, what are your favorites in (or near) the 9th?

                    1. re: Honoredb
                      John Talbott RE: Honoredb May 23, 2010 07:55 AM

                      Recall I eat largely at lunch at new places:
                      L'Aromatik is a standout
                      Chez Grenouille not far behind
                      Carte Blanche was my idea of a ZKG replacement
                      Rich (not Rech) I loved but haven't been in years
                      Pix of all at John Talbott's paris

                      1. re: John Talbott
                        Honoredb RE: John Talbott May 23, 2010 10:15 AM

                        Thanks, John. And let me say that I've enjoyed getting to know your blog over the last 24 hours. I arrive in Paris on June 2nd, and my good friend Zeva, who has a blog of her own about by-appointment-only services in Paris, tells me it's a shame I'm not arriving on May 31, when there's a big foodie gathering where one could meet the likes of you....

                        How late, I wonder, can one arrive for lunch at Chez Grenouille or L'Aromatik?

                        1. re: Honoredb
                          Laidback RE: Honoredb May 23, 2010 11:41 AM

                          Let me say that through the years John has guided me to place after place that were good finds and his taste is closer to mine than any of the other bloggers. I endorse his suggestion of l'Aromatik; we went for lunch and dinner this month...different menu and team, both good. Also Jean-François Renard at Carte Blanche continues to turn out highly inventive cuisine year after year. Another place you might consider in the 9th is Petrelle, unusual decor, lots of space between tables and above all a very good chef. Where Dr. T. and I differ is Chez Grenouille where 4 of us lunched last week after Pudlowski gave it his Coup de Coeur for the 9th this year and thenof more import, John rang in with an endorsement. I rounded up four serious forks and we were quite disappointed; heavy, oversalted, unimaginative food. The terrine was good but full of salt and no better than I get at a few traiteurs. Two of us had the piece de boucher and it was about as flavorless a steak as i have had. The wine list was mediocre made even more so by the absence of the most interesting selections, but who am I to speak against the great god "Pud" and even worst my esteemed mentor Dr. T. whose crumb trail I have joyously followed for years.

                          1. re: Laidback
                            Honoredb RE: Laidback May 23, 2010 02:32 PM

                            Thanks, laidback. This is quite helpful. And I gather that the lighting at Chez Grenouille is rather merciless, too. Speaking of atmosphere, which isn't usually a consideration for me--are Carte Blanche and Aromatik at all romantic? I'm also looking for a bistro--can be anywhere--for one delicious dinner in a cozy environment.

                            1. re: Honoredb
                              Laidback RE: Honoredb May 23, 2010 11:13 PM

                              Romantic is hard for me to get a grip on. I certainly would not consider Aromatik romantic as the seating is a little too close . Perhaps Carte Blanche if you get the back corner seating, Petrelle is dimly lit with widely spaced tables and unobtrusive service so if those things factor into your romantic equation it could work. One delicious dinner in a cozy setting could be Claude Colliot, especially if you sit in the more spacious back room.

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