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May 25, 2010 11:24 AM

Young and Vibrant Rec's for Paris!

My husband and I (29 and 30 yrs of age- visiting from Miami Fl) are going to Paris, yay!, it is my husband’s 1st time and for me, well I went when I was 16 so it could be my 1st time all over again. Apart from seeing the "must see sites" we are very well into food and cocktails/wine! Could you give us the best of the best rec's when it comes to what we MUST NOT MISS when it comes to everything from breakfast / lunch/ dinner / dessert / drinks? I love from the top top to the low key mom and pop type places. We are celebrating our 5th wedding anniversary so we may do one to two nice dinners and then the rest I would like to not break the bank but eat well! I am staying at the Hotel du Louvre and will be there from Thu to Wed (last week of May). Thanks in advance for all your help!

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  1. I'm going to stick with the Young and Vibrant lunch & dinner theme; you'll find substantiation for each on other threads:

    Regalade St Honore
    l'Ami Jean
    Ze kitchen Galerie
    Cafe Constant

    John talbott's Paris

    8 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      Gosh, John, you've just aken a bunch of decades off my age! Many thanks! :)

      1. re: John Talbott

        If you hearken to the "Old and Shaky's" recommendations try Claude Colliot, l'Agrume, Le Grand Pan, La Régalade St. Honoré, Le Bistro Volnay, Fables de la Fontaine...

        1. re: John Talbott

          With respect to John these are all very fine restaurants but I don't any as being especially "young and vibrant". I would recommend "Le Chateaubriand" (129 Avenue Parmentier) as one that has a very fashionable edge and fairly cutting edge food. Another that is interesting is "Mama Shelter" out in the 20eme, which is in a Philippe Stark designed hotel and has a clubby atmosphere with DJ's etc later in the evening, and depending on the weather they may have their rooftop BBQ n action. One I have not tried is Thourmieux in the 7eme which is quite an old brasserie taken over by the Costes brothers (of Hotel Costes) so it has the combination old glamorous old (OTT) Parisian decor with a fairly hip crowd (lots of expensive black clothes).

          1. re: PhilD

            Surely, John Talbott's recommendations (above) are all for young and vibrant food and for that are spot on - not for decor and atmosphere. Later this thread veers towards ambiance, which seems to be what SarahOM wanted.

            1. re: Fuffy

              Interesting argument but are Constant, Regalade and L'Ami Jean not firmly rooted in traditional bistro cooking? In some respects returns to the wonders of the past.

              1. re: PhilD

                But young and vibrant versions?

                1. re: Fuffy

                  Well not old and crusty that is for sure, and whilst I love them, I think I would still be disappointed if I went there wanting "young and vibrant".

                  1. re: PhilD

                    So where would you go for "young and vibrant" food?

        2. Sarah, we just stayed at the Bastille and have to recommend Rue de la Roquette for bars, pubs, cafes... the area definitely fits the "Young and Vibrant" you're looking for.

          5 Replies
          1. re: chez_isaac

            The Fountain of Youth must be at the end of this alley which has been hip and happening for decades.

            1. re: mangeur

              Rue de la Roquette is rather young, vibrant and suburban of late. Canal St Martin, Abbesses, Dupetit-Thouars, Oberkampf are more Parisian hip.
              Although I have never heard young and vibrant used in self-description, I agree that young and vibrant food may be Chateaubriand, l'Aromatik, Frenchie. O and that new wine bar on Oberkampf.
              But the OP may run into vibrant geezers like us who are giving recs here...

              1. re: Parigi

                Aux Deux Amis; yah it was hip. La Cantine de Quentin was too. How about 104? It's very young and vibrant - take a look at the pix on my website that has a carte made of children's colored magnetic letters, plus it's in "the" municipal funeral place and is huge and full of art classes, tai chi, etc. Someone mentioned Thioumieux and it is pretty good even though I'm allergic to the Costes' touch. Radical furniture and decor - Frederick e. Grasser-Hermé's Flottes O Trement (pix of that on blog as well).

                I just wrote a visceral pice/ reaction to the La Famille/Aizpitarte/etc bunch which reminded me that places like Cheri Bibi maybe cool but can serve pretty lousy food.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  "La Famille/Aizpitarte/etc "

                  Enjoyed the piece greatly. Touché.
                  Another Famille forelife-DNA which I miss is the old Café Burq. There is still a Café Burq, just as there is still a La Famille, but not the same…

                2. re: Parigi

                  Parigi, we had great beer/wine/charcuterie at Chez Prune that you recommended on Canal St. Martin - definitely young & vibrant!

            2. Thanks so much everyone! I will def report back! so excited!

              1 Reply
              1. re: SarahOM

                Boy this got the juices running; cannot wait to see the results.

              2. Hi everyone! Thanks so much for all your recommendations. I also went with some ideas from young folks that we met along the way and some books we read on good places to go. Of course we went to Chez Toinette the night of our Moulin Rouge experience, and I must say the restaurant was spot on. Long wait as it’s a very small two server restaurant, buts once we got the food, oh my it was very good! It takes time to eat here so keep that in mind. For lunch we tried Le Comptoir right near Shakespeare and Co in Latin Q, cute little café. We went to little spots like Le Chevre when walking around. But another highlight apart from Chez Toinette was the beautiful lunch at Café de la Paix, we had to go and just see how cute it is, and we also did Buddha Bar for dinner, and Buddha Bar’s Barlotti restaurant, great location full of little cafes and restaurants that were very hip. We ate in the row of restaurants several times, but Barlotti was the one that stood out. Of course, we went into many chocolateries and many cafes to try all of the crème brulees we could in search of the best one. We also visited whatever famous bakery we found in our book that was near where we were walking. The week in Paris was FANTASTIC! Will be returning soon enough, but up next I must do NY and Chicago, then again Ill save enough to go back to Paris’ Wine Country!

                8 Replies
                1. re: SarahOM

                  Thanks so much for this report. You prove once again that Paris has many faces, each seductive.

                  1. re: SarahOM

                    Thank you for the report.
                    But Chez Toinette? Café de la Paix? Shakespeare & co? Young and vibrant? Excuse me?

                    1. re: Parigi

                      LOL. I think we assumed that the OP's self description paralleled her restaurant preferences. Just as fallacious as assuming the same with JT and me!

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Good point, I also read the request as one for "young & vibrant" recommendations, and as you say many of the places the OP enjoyed are quite the opposite (which is a sensible caution for any others reading this thread and then following the OP's report).

                        Barlotti is pretty funky bar/restaurant, however Marché St-Honoré is a hub for some large corporates like BNP Paribas, thus it is quite a conservative version of young and vibrant.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          well two where very much young and vibrant (Buddha Bar and Barlotti) but you must mix it up once you travel 8.5 hrs....if not you do not get the whole experience. I appreciate the recs, but once you are there you must go with your daily schedule and the location you are at the moment...also its good to listen to the locals.

                          1. re: SarahOM

                            "well two where very much young and vibrant (Buddha Bar and Barlotti)"

                            Excuse me, by that sentence are you saying that Buddha Bar and Barlotti pass for young and vibrant, or did you mean something else?

                            1. re: Parigi

                              As Mangeur and I have suggested, this whole age thing as a filter/litmus test is over-rated. "young and vibrant" seems to be like art and porn, you know it when you see it. And "you" is not easily defined.

                            2. re: SarahOM

                              I was just pointing out to others who may read this thread that many of the places you ended up going are not "young & vibrant" which had appeared to be your request.

                      2. I have to agree with others: what does "young and vibrant" have to do with good food?

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: pikawicca

                          Everything and nothing. I feel it is tricky to divorce the enjoyment of the food from the overall restaurant experience. It is true it doesn't affect the intrinsic quality of what is on the plate but it may affect individual pleasure. Some look for a quintessential Parisian experience with all the trappings of history, others look for the modern, cutting edge scene. For many context is vital, for others it is irrelevant.