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Sep 4, 2010 11:13 AM

1st Lunch?

My wife and I arrive very early in the morning off a trans-atlantic flight, and will surely arrive feeling pretty ragged. For my wifes very 1st day ever in Paris I'm trying to find that special Parisienne thing and after reading through a myriad of posts here, I thought that Chez L'Ami Jean might just be that spot.

If the above conclusion is correct, then would CLA (as you all refer to it) be better for lunch, a stroll, and then a nap, or should we do a simple sidewalk cafe for lunch, and wait until diner for CLA?

Please help me soon so I can make a proper reservation.

Thanks for you help. I'm really trying to make this very special for my wife.

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  1. Ok; when I started coming to Paris, before I had a place and started considering it home, my first meal at lunch was the best meal of the trip and something to be greatly planned for: le Bistrot d'Hubert, Chez Les Anges, Aux Lyonnais (both the latter in their earlier, better incarnations,) and later Bon Acceuil and Le Villaret.
    Alas, if I'm out of town now, even in Geneva or the Loire, I just book the next one on the list.
    As someone familiar with jet-lag, I would say that it depends on what sort of shape you and your wife are like 5 hours after landing; I'm raring to go, Collete is not so sure, my pal Paga sleeps a bit, but is game - it all depends.
    So, if jet-lag is a minor inconvenience, go to CAJ for lunch; otherwise go for dinner.
    But enjoy in any case.

    1. l am arriving Monday and have a lunch res, a bit later than usual, but lunch. Then home completely unpack and collapse. Rec stay awake as long as you can and the next day with luck, will be an early wakeup and fun fun fun. l like CAJ for both lunch and dinner. But love wasting time, calories and and money at same time, so lunch makes me very happy. You might check Le Grand Pan or Chez Denise as well. First one is great cotes de boeuf, porc, and veau in the wilds of the 14th and the second is right at Les Halles, Rivoli side, and is a fun party.

      13 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        The trick is to keep moving, I used to take Colette in the afternoon after a heavy lunch to Sainte Chapelle, kept her upright.

        1. re: John Talbott

          Jet lag hits us differently; so we tend to go to a high-end Cafe or something similar, where one of us can perhaps just order a salad and the other a full meal. This severely limits choices, especially since we want a place that is walkable. Cafe Constant being a good example.

          I too miss the original Chez Les Anges; escargot to die for.

          1. re: Oakglen

            Of course I didn't add the fact that we've rented a flat in the 6th next to metro Odeon. I was hoping to stay relatively close to home the 1st day, and is why I thought CLA . It's with in the zone.

            "my first meal at lunch was the best meal of the trip and something to be greatly planned for".
            - I try to do this the 1st time in any new locale. I think you'll agree, it can set the pace for the rest of the trip.

            "I would say that it depends on what sort of shape you and your wife are like 5 hours after landing".
            - I'm on pace with you JT, and the great spirited Wendy, a mere 1/2 step behind.
            Again agreed. "The trick is to keep moving" theory. Lay down for a moment and your dead meat.

            Chez les Anges comments deleted

            So would I be safe with... Chez L'Ami Jean or Le Bistrot d'Hubert - Big lunch at maybe 12:00
            Cafe Constant - light diner as the haze really starts to settle in around 7 or 8

            1. re: WileysHungryAgain

              The original Chez les Anges is long gone; near Odeon, for light fare, we tend to start at La Palette, for drinks, and maybe stop in at Le Cremerie, a quality wine bar. None mentioned are "destination" spots; they happen to be close by.

              1. re: Oakglen

                I guess I'll edit my earlier post. Cut down on the muck.

                So as long as you're still here, what about that 1st day plan?

                Big lunch at...

                Chez L'Ami Jean
                Le Bistrot d'Hubert

                Light (ish) Diner...

                Cafe Constant or semi close "destination"?

                1. re: WileysHungryAgain

                  I am quite interested in see Le Bistrot d'Hubert mentioned several times in this thread. Some years back we enjoyed many excellent dinners there. We somehow (it's so easy to follow the flow) drifted away and I haven't heard it mentioned in years. Recent reports, please?

                  1. re: mangeur

                    "Le Bistrot d'Hubert"
                    I was making historical references to places we used to go to but no longer do; I pass Le Bistrot d'Hubert usually en route to Thierry Burlot and think the prices are too too are Thierry's until he wakes up and realizes his market is gone and lowers them. I don't think I've been to Le Bistrot d'Hubert since the early '70's.

              2. re: WileysHungryAgain

                If I was near Odeon I would pop into Le Comptoir, very decent food and a street-side terrace. You get the hustle and bustle of central Paris with good bisto cooking so you settle in quickly. It isn't expensive, so low risk if you had a bad flight i.e. even the best traveller can be disrupted by screaming children. Nor do you need to book, so if the plane is delayed or transfers to Paris don't run smoothly you don't stress about about being late..

                I would vote against CLJ, it certainly is worth a visit, but it is dark and crowded and thus not my ideal lunch spot, especially if you are lucky and get some September sun....after all sunshine is meant to be a tonic for jet lag. It is a nice stroll away from Odeon but it, and the Constant places are not close.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Lunch at CAJ hasn't been crowded in a while. It is not these days. Which is too bad, cos' yum!

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Good advice from a man (PhilD) who is likely to know a thing or two about jet lag.

            2. re: Delucacheesemonger

              I agree with DCM.. stay awake as long as you can and then collapse. The next am, I am always on "French time" and ready for the whole rest of the trip. My first lunch is almost always at Willi's Wine Bar in the 1ier for a plat and a glass of wine -- then "home to sleep." ;)

              1. re: ChefJune

                Sounded like a good plan. Managed to stay up until 8, then woke up at 3 messed around for a few hours then back to sleep until 2 PM, whoops, another plan shot to hell.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  ooops! but at least you are THERE! I have to wait until March...

            3. FWIW. my husband and I used to subscribe to the "hit the streets running and integrate into the time zone" philosophy. I could do it, but jet lag (9 hour difference after a 13 hour flight) hit him differently.

              Our current schedule: Arrive in Paris 6-7am. Arrive hotel 8-9am. Coffee in room, clean up, shower. Hit the ATM, Proxi or Monoprix for bottled water, a wine store for in-room sipping stuff. Then out for a light lunch. Spring epicerie has been a good choice. Then we run a few errands, perhaps pick up train tickets and then...back to the hotel where we crash until 6:30 when we get ready for a solid and well anticipated dinner. This way we are up until midnight or so and sleep through the night.

              3 Replies
              1. re: mangeur

                Well I like the sound of this (PhilD) version too. Perhaps I'll mix and match suggestions. How would the following be for a decent 1st day?

                Le Comptoir for lunch


                Chez L'Ami Jean for diner

                1. re: WileysHungryAgain

                  Whichever place you choose for your first meal, I strongly recommend you google photo view it first to see if there are lots of windows & if it faces onto a larger street. In other words, you could end up somewhere wonderful, with cozy atmosphere and great food, but if you have no view onto a bustling street, it just wouldn't be the same!

                  1. re: OneMoreBite

                    1st Lunch Success: Comptoir

                    Beautiful early fall sunshine and a table on the sidewalk. Perfect suggestion for my wifes 1st

                    Moi- Polombe Roti avec les Giroles et Foi Gras - Very nice.
                    Shallots and fresh chives

                    Ma Femme- Saumon Roti avec Legume aux Saison - Loved it.

                    Next up Dinner. Chez Ferand or Au Machon