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Sep 1, 2010 08:46 AM

Dining solo on New Years Eve in Paris

How depressing, right? I've researched this topic on the board, and everyone seems to say that buying things from the market and eating at home is the way to go.... however, its not very festive on new years eve to sit by yourself over a piece of foie in a hotel room.

also, the solo dining situation sort of dictates that i can't really do a menu that includes a whole bottle of wine (or copious amounts of food, anything), as i cant drink (or eat) that much myself and i'm flying back to the states the next morning. i will do pretty much anything- ethnic food... whatever. i would maybe even consider just doing a lunch on NYE, if such a thing exists, and then just go out later and drink some champagne.

i will be staying at hotel berne opera (right near the metro), near the 18th and 9th arrondisements.... any thoughts would be v. helpful. thanks in advance.

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  1. I see that all the rooms in your hotel have satellite TV. I think that I would go for that extraordinary lunch, then in the evening hole up in my room with some foie gras and champagne and watch the world in celebration.

    (I have often taken half bottles of wine down to favorite deskmen who always seem delighted, "Ahhh. For my lunch, madam!")

    3 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      maybe i should disclaim this by saying that i am a 25 year old woman and i have every intention of going out new years eve and meeting a cute french boy ; ) so holing up in my room isn't exactly my cup of tea. i thought maybe if i ate earlier in the day, i would not feel so heavy later that night.

      any recs on who would be open for an extraordinary lunch on this odd day?

      1. re: monpetitescargot

        Right! If I were a 25 year old woman, hoping to meet a cute French boy in the evening, I'd fan thoughts of the big lunch and, what, go shopping? Get a Paris haircut? Maybe I'd have a late omelet or salad and head out to see the world. Later, where'd I go? That's the question. Experts?
        It really depends on your scene. Can you tell us more about your fantasy evening and even more about this cute French guy?

        1. re: mangeur

          after long abandonment, i am bumping my own thread- ridiculous, i know. yes, i want an omelette! i want an omelette. maybe with french feta? is that me being spoiled?

          yes, i want a paris haircut!

          and champagne! champagne that isn't too expensive. not too clubby, but somewhat youthful place to be new years eve?

    2. Your hotel is near the métro Rome, not near the metro Opéra. And unfortunately not a very lively corner. You are not far from rue Lepic which has an excellent market. You can always do a room-picnic with foie gras and bubblies.
      That may be a better solution than going to one of those expensive and usually not that good NYE resto blowouts.

      1. Well, I avoid eating out mainly to save my already fading hearing and steadily eroding stolen wallet but I can see doing an ethnic meal at a place where that ethnic group doesn't celebrate NYE: hummmm, Chinese (Parigi, thots?), Laotian (Lao Lane Xang 2 but that's a schlep), Muslim (Etoile Marocaine in the 8th, ah but that's near the Champs, wrong), Jewish (nah), Indian (I give up), what's the answer teach?

        14 Replies
        1. re: John Talbott

          oui, monsieur talbott, i have read many positive things you have said about lao lane xang 2. i do not mind a schlep, that may well be a very good option for me.

          1. re: John Talbott

            do you have any north african recommendations? besides etoile marocaine?

            1. re: monpetitescargot

              Much discussion on this Board exists. I like l'Atlas.

            2. re: John Talbott

              I think every restaurant celebrates NYE in Paris to some extent, regardless of their cultural origin. Just because everybody and their brother is out in the streets on that night (yes most people celebrate or entertain at home but there's still a good number left outside, not to mention the fact that everybody has to go home at some point). Some restaurants in the Ivry-Choisy Chinatown even gave up removing the holiday tinsel and leave it on all year round, probably to save the trouble of putting it on again. I usually stay at home or celebrate with friends like most French people but last time I dined out alone at Claude Colliot's and was absolutely pampered. My idea was to walk home at 1 or 2 PM and see what the streets looked like. Aside from mild electricity in the air and a lot of broken glass it was just the usual with more drunks. Wherever you go expect to walk home or catch one of the night buses if they're running (that time around the métro was supposed to be running all night but around 1 PM the RATP suddenly decided it wouldn't), for transportation is not at its highest that night and taxis tend to turn off counters and triple the fares. I suggest you find your cute French guy before midnight, and - even better - before the fated date, there is a sell-by date which is 12:00 on New Year's Eve. Where to achieve that kind of encounter should perhaps motivate the creation of a separate thread.

              Oh, and don't eat anything with French feta in it. French feta is a thing that should not exist, an anomaly of the cheese world, devised to use up the overproduction of ewe's milk in the Roquefort region. For your omelette I suggest ardi gasna, or fresh brocciu, or just real feta.

              1. re: Ptipois

                You mean 1 or 2 AM (middle of the night), right? 1 PM is 13h00 in French.

                  1. re: fanoffrance

                    Yes of course. Thanks for correcting. I wrote that at 6:30 AM.

                  2. re: Ptipois

                    « the métro was supposed to be running all night but around 1 [in the morning] the RATP suddenly decided it wouldn't »

                    This seems to be something of a tradition with the RATP: they get grouchy on the new year, and at the first sign of trouble (crowds, stink bombs, whatever) decide to shut down the metro. Something to be aware of, especially for a woman going out alone. Either stick to the part of the city you're staying in; or plan on going home early; or plan on staying out all night.

                    1. re: tmso

                      Or use a Vélib and watch out for the glass.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        That's how I ended out walking my bike halfway across the city two years ago, until my companion found a free Vélib ;-). It's not a good night for available transport in this city...

                    2. re: Ptipois

                      thank you so much, ptipois! ohhh, that is good to hear you were doted on, on new years' eve, dining solitary. i travel by myself quite often but this is the first time i have ever travelled alone during a holiday of this nature.

                      thank you so much for the transport information regarding new years eve. it is very helpful and something i was wondering about.

                      okay, so where is the spot to get my lovely omelette and glass of wine on new years eve, then? i would love a suggestion. i am keeping my dining simple and leaving room for champagne later in the evening, i have decided! i will have an omelette and some huîtres from some oyster bar... somewhere.

                      additionally, ill only be in paris this round for about 3 or 4 days. shall i do lao lane xang II or a cous cous restaurant????

                      no worries about the hypothetical french boy. i have a rather cute boy américain now. though when i come back with my report, i will let everyone on this board know if that was still the case for the duration of my stint in europe ; )

                      1. re: monpetitescargot

                        I'd do lao lane xang, I love that place! in fact, if I didn't live just down the street from it, I'd want to go everyday! Yes accessibility, ironically, automatically eliminates it as a dinner choice.

                        1. re: kerosundae

                          I love it too, esp on weekends, Christian holidays, etc.
                          For me it's a trek from the 18th so it's not at all convenient but rather a trip to an exotic other part of P.

                        2. re: monpetitescargot

                          I am SO jealous. I just came back from a solo trip to Santa Fe ... fun, but not nearly as glamorous! If I were you, I'd check out Montmartre on New Years Eve...have some crepes & champagne... JEALOUS!!!!

                    3. The original comment has been removed
                      1. Another place open all the time is the Etoile Marocaine on the rue de Galillee in the 8th where I've eaten alone when rest of the French world was offduty.