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Sep 1, 2010 10:17 AM

Very Last Minute Trip to Paris

As it states in the title, Very last minute, so I could use a bit of guidance.

1st time posting on Chow Paris, because the last time I was in Paris... the internet wasn't.
Hey, I've been busy. I lived in Paris for a couple of years, quite some time back and will be returning (next week) with my wife...who's never been to Paris... Mon Dieu!!

I'm not looking to see how many M*'s as we can knock down in a week. Mostly looking for rec's on solid Parisienne Relais et Bistros, and neighborhood gems. A more leisurely experience.

Having said (typed) that, I thought she should experience at least 1 place truly epitomises the Parisienne experience, and of course Guy Savoy came to mind. I thought it would be a great way to start the trip. Fun, lively, great service, food etc. My 1st question is, lunch or dinner? Then the 2nd question would be, the Summer Menu (current) or Fall menu (changes I believe on the 15th)

After put that behind us, I was hoping for some help sorting through the roster of places discussed daily on this site.

I beleive the places listed below fall into common genus of restaurant. Solid, neighborhood, and hopefully not (but probably) over run with the likes of my type. Maybe if we're lucky we'll be able to visit a half dozen of these during our stay.

Simple Yea, or Ney and whether lunch or dinner is a better value or experience.

Frenchies - Poster child for the Lonely Planet or?
Le Bistro de Paris - Tourist Trap?
Ze Kitchen Gallerie
Le Paul Bert
Le Machon d'Henri
Le 21 - Easy walk back to the rented flat at Odeon
Le Baratin
Brasserie Fernand
La Petite Chaisse
Le Relais de l'isle
Casa Olympe

Thanks so much in advance. I look forward to, and value all of your opinions.


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  1. Of your list I've only been to Frenchies, which is hard to get a reservation at unless you walk over and ask. For my $ it's worth walking over and asking for a reservation.

    I've brought people to Paris and it's a thrill to be with them as things soak in. You have a great address for seeing so much of the city. Enjoy yourselves and good luck!

    1. I'll take you at your word:
      Frenchies - Poster child for the Lonely Planet or? Yea
      Le Bistro de Paris - Tourist Trap? Nay
      Ze Kitchen Gallerie Yea
      Le Paul Bert Yea
      Le Machon d'Henri - never been
      Le 21 - Easy walk back to the rented flat at Odeon - ah Minchelli at it again
      Le Baratin - Yea
      Brasserie Fernand whas that?
      La Petite Chaisse No no no
      Le Relais de l'isle Nah
      Casa Olympe Nah

      9 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        I agree with John about Casa Olympe, based on my one visit there. Haven't tried the others.

        1. re: fanoffrance

          Brasserie Fernand: yes, but I definitely prefer the branch on Blvd. Montparnasse (137) close to Vavin m├ętro stop. Fewer tourists compared to their two branches in Northern Saint-Germain to start with. Love their boeuf bourguignon and the saucisson sec and radis you get to start with.

          1. re: Dodo

            Chez Fernand Christine is the one I liked; our art dealer, Murielle Romand, is a regular. They all have different chefs; the one thing in common is quality ingredients. A short walk from Odeon.

            1. re: Oakglen

              Well thanks for direction. The Ney's are the most important.

              That was sort of our intention with Frenchies. A drive by reservation.

              John Talbott :
              Oh, an entree sized portion of sarcasm. You're a tough crowd. Was that,"Frenchies Yes?", or "yes, it's the poster child?".

              Dodo :
              To walk south or north to Brasserie Fernand. What dilemas I have.

              No thoughts on Guy Savoy?
              Any other places I might like?

              1. re: WileysHungryAgain

                "John Talbott :
                Oh, an entree sized portion of sarcasm. You're a tough crowd. Was that,"Frenchies Yes?", or "yes, it's the poster child?".
                You know when I hit Enter I actually thought - ohhhh, what'll Yea imply? Yes go there if you can get in.

              2. re: Oakglen

                We were sent to Fernand on rue Christine by a couple we met a Machon d'Henri. They were from the neighborhood and mentioned that they go to Henri for a simple, everyday dinner but to Fernand when they want something "nicer" "more romantic".

                We got off on the wrong foot with our waiter when I ordered rognons "saignant". He corrected me, saying, "No, madam. Rose." I finally caved in and agreed to "Tres, tres, tres rose." They came a little past medium. I left most of the plate. Our waiter more or less ignored our table throughout the meal. It was a very uncomfortable evening. My husband's plate was not memorable. (At least mine was.) We've not returned.

                Since then, I've read quite mixed reviews on the net, either "loved it" or "hated it".
                Most had to do with service or the complaint of preferential service given locals or known-to-house.

                1. re: mangeur

                  Ok, the whole thing about "local" and "regular" is only too true. When I benefit from recognition from the wait staff I certainly don't complain. It's a tough business; you take care of the people who take care of you. The same goes for NYC etc. Maybe Paris is a bit excessive in this regard; we live with it.

                  1. re: Oakglen

                    "Local" is not something we can change. But very often appearing at a restaurant several times in a couple of weeks brings recognition. And, yes, when we are the recipients of extra attention or comps we never complain.

                    What enrages me (anywhere) is not having my order taken seriously.

            2. re: fanoffrance

              I hold the minority opinion on this forum for Casa Olympe. Having stayed nearby for a total of about a year over a period of years, it had become one of my "go-to" places in the neighborhood. You will not be smiled at or fawned over and the seating can be tight but dishes like Mme. Versini's(Dominique Versini, the owner/chef; Olympe comes from the name of her starred resto years back in Montmartre) generous dish of roasted lamb shoulder with thyme keep their appeal time after time.

              Other comments...ZKG has a better rapport quality/price at lunch; Bistro de Paris is a tad too expensive for what it is; Frenchies is very good value, but good luck on getting in; Petite Chaise and Relais de l' can do better; I enjoy Paul Bert...this is all free advice and may be worth the cost.