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3-4 dining recs in Paris - "reasonably" priced (whatever that means!!!)

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Would love to hear from others as to recommended dining places in Paris. We will be there at the end of this year. Although we will be in Paris for 1 week, we are the flying to the Maldives to continue our honeymoon which will “stretch” the bank account somewhat (or just put a rather large dent in the credit card). For this reason, any top-end restaurants are out. Also, this is primarily a “tourist” trip rather than a “foodie” trip so we’ll probably look at 3-4 nice places to dine and, other than that, will either buy food from the markets to prepare ourselves or just eat at a place which is convenient to wherever we are at the time (hopefully avoiding too many tourist traps).

To be honest, my SO is a somewhat “safe” eater and she doesn’t eat pork either. Ham, yes... bacon, yes... pork, no. Go figure! She mainly eats chicken, seafood, lamb. Hopefully this doesn’t restrict us too much as to options, especially with set menus.

Anyway, here are some places that I’ve shortlisted so far (in no particular order), depending on bookings of course:

Chez l’Ami Jean
Violin d’Ingres
Les Fables de la Fontaine
Spring (perhaps wishing thinking re bookings??)
Le Regalade St Honore

Would love to hear other Hounds’ thoughts on whether the places listed above sounds suitable to our requirements, as well as any other places that we ought to consider.

We are staying on Ave de la Bourdonnais in the 7th but don’t want this to limit any recommendations. We are happy to travel as long as it is relatively central, and don’t want to spend all of our dining time in the one neighbourhood anyway.

Look forward to hearing from you.

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  1. Let's first concentrate on "other than that, will either buy food from the markets to prepare ourselves or just eat at a place which is convenient to wherever we are at the time (hopefully avoiding too many tourist traps)" before the others jump in with comments on your choices and alternatives and reasons to spend much more because you are, after all, in Paris on your honeymoon and no honeymoon is complete without a $500 meal

    Check here for markets near you and where you are sightseeing. http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/...

    Be sure to schedule a falafel lunch on Rosiers.

    Local Monoprix shops have a great selection of many interesting foods for home prep and picnics. I buy most of my wine there, too. Read up a bit, watch what the locals buy, write down what you like in restaurants, buy three or four and see what you like and dump the rest...it's cheaper that way in the long run. Also, read about parings because that can make or break the experience.

    Speaking of picnics, plan a few picnics in the parks. We especially like Bois de Boulonge and Bois de Vencennes, but these can be VERY long walks. Plan to venture in only to the lakes, unless you want a workout.

    We like to graze as we walk down rue Cler and Montorgueil. These markets have great fresh fish for cooking at home. Also, the roast chickens are something you'll talk about after you've forgotten the restaurants you went to.

    For affordable restaurants, read up on what John Talbott has to say as he is probably most current in that department and he has not steered me wrong yet....http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/

    Finally, should you share with us some basic outline of activities for sightseeing, folks on this board will be able to help with suggestions close to where you need to be.

    AND, don't forget to pack a lock for Pont de Arts.

    Enjoy each other! Good luck! And, have fun!!!!

    8 Replies
    1. re: hychka

      "AND, don't forget to pack a lock for Pont de Arts."

      Please don't...

      1. re: Rio Yeti

        Yes, please please don't. Those locks are a nuisance.

        1. re: Ptipois

          I now purposefully avoid the bridge.

          1. re: John Talbott

            Same. I try to walk across only bridges constructed exclusively in stone (where there's no opportunity to attach a lock).

            1. re: Nancy S.

              In our never-ending mission to be trendy, I recently noticed that the Brooklyn Bridge is now full of locks. Not to mention tourists taking pictures of them as if they are the sight/site they are there to see. I have grown old.

              1. re: Steve R

                Oh no, this disease is contagious.
                A Pox!!!

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Its everywhere - I was on top of Table Mountain in Cape Town last month and they are there as well. A pox indeed.

    2. "We will be there at the end of this year." "Spring (perhaps wishing thinking re bookings??)"
      With this kind of lead time, Spring is in no way wishful thinking. Call as soon as you have a date in mind. You'll get in, I have no doubt. :)

      2 Replies
      1. re: mangeur

        Made a res at Spring for lunch today in early October, was told they were full for dinner for most of the month, thus sooner rather than later.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          "they were full for dinner for most of the month"

          DCM means most of October. -- Well, after his resa, all of October.

      2. "Chez l’Ami Jean
        Violin d’Ingres
        Les Fables de la Fontaine
        Spring (perhaps wishing thinking re bookings??)
        Le Regalade St Honore "

        All good. Call Spring now. Bon appétit.

        1. I may be opening a can of worms here, but is anyone game to rate the following list in their order of preference?!

          5 Replies
          1. re: 91010

            My choice would be: 4, 5, 1, 3, & 2

            1. re: 91010

              "is anyone game to rate the following list in their order of preference?!"
              What following list?

              1. re: John Talbott

                Apologies, John. That should have read "above list" - ie

                Chez l’Ami Jean
                Violin d’Ingres
                Les Fables de la Fontaine
                Spring
                Le Regalade St Honore

                1. re: 91010

                  I'll have a go at it:
                  Spring
                  Chez L'ami jean
                  Violin d'Ingres
                  La Regalade
                  Les Fables

                  1. re: 91010

                    On reflection, I wonder what the end-game is here?
                    To find one, two, three places.
                    All are decent albeit there have been negative comments on each.
                    If you want one - Spring is it.
                    If two - add L'Ami Jean if you want jammed together seating in a setting as we ran into in the 1970's vs the Violin if you want more elegance and refinement.

              2. I haven't eaten at any of the ones you listed, but if you're looking for reasonably priced, I would suggest:

                1. Le Mesturet at 77 rue Richelieu. Think of a classic bistrot with a friendly neighborhood feel, but elevated quality. The prices are some of the best I've seen at this level of cooking.

                For example - full menu (first course, main course, dessert) is between 23-28 Euros. I ordered a la carte and had a terrific steak tartare accompanied by a sauce to die for for all of 12 or 14 Euros. The quality of the meat was superb.

                2. Liza at 14 rue de Banque for haute Lebanese cuisine. This place is not that cheap - dinner for two was around 65 Euros, BUT - they have a lunch spot next door that doles out excellent Lebanese sandwiches for 5-7 Euros.

                3. Stohrer at 51 rue Montorgueil has some of the best croissants and pains aux chocolats in all of Paris. It's an historic landmark and earns its reputation every day with outstanding quality and professional counter service. They have salads and things which you could also make into a wonderful gourmet picnic.

                4. Rue Montorgueil in general is a great street for high quality pate, cheese, etc. for dining en suite or for picnics.

                Good luck & enjoy your stay!

                1 Reply
                1. re: Scott O

                  All are very safe. Plus, you would score some serious points for showing her the pastry shop (Stohrer). : )

                2. Hi, my fiancé and I are going to the Maldives in July and I would love to know where you went and what you thought of the food?

                  1. "To be honest, my SO is a somewhat “safe” eater and she doesn’t eat pork either. Ham, yes... bacon, yes... pork, no."
                    Wait. A. Minute.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: Parigi

                      I understand. When I was eating semi-vegetarian, the only meat I would eat was headcheese and andouillette. :)

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Ham and bacon are pork.
                        "Semi-vegetarian" is not vegetarian. It's like saying you're a semi-virgin.
                        Why not say "semi-carnivore"?

                        1. re: Parigi

                          I was understanding the illogic of it all. :)

                          1. re: Parigi

                            hahaha my dad was definitely a carnivore, but having been raised Jewish, he'd never eaten pork until he hooked up with my goyische mother (her father raised pigs!) He loved ham, bacon and ribs, but would not eat any meat with "pork" in the name... no chops, tenderloin, pork loin roast. And almost all the Jews I know eat Chinese food. What is that mystery meat? Probably pork, but they "don't eat pork."