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URGENT! Paris: ISO exceptional small, neighborhood spots in the 6th arr.

  • m

My parents lived in Paris for several years back in the 60s (ridiculously lucky), visited regularly since then, and are going back for their 50th anniversary this weekend for a week. They rented an apartment on Rue de Sevres, just a block from the Sevres Babylone metro. They both speak fluent French - my dad is a native - and have basically been there, done that to all the obvious places in Paris.

I'd love to give them some current recommendations in their neighborhood for those quintessentially Parisian, small, cozy, quiet places that locals in the area frequent - restaurants and cafes primarily, but also particularly wonderful boulangeries, boucheries, charcuteries, patisseries... anything really that will transport them to the "real" Paris.

Farther afield suggestions are also absolutely welcome (I'm having a hard time searching the chowhound site), too, but they're in their late 70s so close is good.

THANK YOU in advance for assisting me with this public service! :)

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  1. I have no idea what the "real" Paris is -- I mean, if it means the one of people who live here, it's made of gyros and macdonalds and MSG Chinese, and also good bakeries.

    That said, there is not much that is new and noteworthy in the Sèvres-Babylone neighborhood. Two high end pastry shops appeared in the last couple of years: Hugo and Victor, which some admire, and Philippe Conticini's La Patisserie des Reves, that has been widely discussed on this board and whose musts include brioche feuilletée, "grand cru" chocolate cake, Paris-Brest (mostly the filling), Kouign-Aman (when it's brown enough), chausson aux pommes.

    Then there are many old classics, such as Vérot patisserie (tip top), a few butchers on rue de Sèvres, Barthélémy for cheese, la Grande Epicerie for fancy grocery, Le Paris, L'Atelier for fancy dining, Christian Constant rue de Fleurus@Assas for pastry and sorbets, Milcent for bakery, Joséphine as traditional bistrot... but none of that is very new.

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      Ha, Souphie -- I wrote the same thing about "real" Paris -- does that mean places that are touristy and serve bad food are "fake" Paris? But I edited myself.

    2. They probably already know about Fromagerie Quatrehomme but it is excellent and on rue de Sèvres.

      Mamie Gâteau is a sweet salon de thé on rue du Cherche Midi with lovely cakes salés, quiches, and salads.

      Charcuterie Verot near métro St-Placide.

      La Cigale Récamier for soufflés.

      There is a market three times a week on bd Raspail. I prefer the Tues/Fri to the Sunday marché bio, which is outrageously expensive.

      I live in this neighborhood and look forward to seeing other suggestions.

      1. I am far from an expert on Paris, having only been there once in recent years, but we had a lovely meal in La Cerisaie, which isn't very far from where they are staying. I felt it was very Parisian (SW French cuisine though) and we didn't notice any other English speakers when we were there. Excellent food, reasonable prices and buzzy atmosphere. Booking essential. Do local chowhounders think this fits the bill?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Theresa

          I suppose, but maybe also M. Arabian's Cameleon or 6.5/10 La Moustache, 3, rue Sainte-Beuve in the 6th, next to Le Timbre, 01.42.22.56.65, closed Sundays and Saturday and Monday at lunch where I ate a couple of weeks ago.. Pix at John talbott's Paris.

        2. The "real" Paris you seek is so expensive these days, it's really for the rich and tourists with a wad to blow. I mean what's it going to cost me to get a decent tartare at Josephine? $100 or something?

          2 Replies
          1. re: Busk

            La Marlotte is reasonably priced and not frequented by tourists; nothing special perhaps, but acceptable. Basile is a somewhat upscale cafe, also quite decent for a salad or sandwich. Both are nearby.

            1. re: Busk

              At that price, you'll get the old Sauternes with it.

            2. Thank you for your suggestions! Yes, I should clarify that they would be happiest in places NOT overrun with tourists, but more frequented by people who live nearby and have a quiet glass of wine and meal at the end of the day.

              7 Replies
              1. re: Maya

                Well, I've been outed at La Cerisaie and La Marlotte by our fellow country-people but I betcha no one yet (except Richard Hesse), non-French has found Moustache, ditto Cameleon.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  You only win ½ that bet; the American head honcho at BP has been advocating Cameleon since way before Arabian. Now we are going to besiege Moustache.

                  1. re: Laidback

                    "Cameleon since way before Arabian." Ah but his holding court is what elevates it.

                  2. re: John Talbott

                    John Talbott, I enjoyed your post on Moustache, but didn't see one on Camelon -- is there one?

                    Avoiding Yanks and other Anglophones in the 6th is close to impossible. They are everywhere.

                    1. re: Cookingthebooks

                      Hummmm: had to go back to the archives to 2006:
                      Old school, old prices - old son.
                      7.0 Le Cameleon, 6, rue de Cheveuse in the 6th, 01.43.27.43.27, open everyday, is Jean Paul Arabian’s latest venture. Arabian, of course is the ex-partner of Ghislaine and came here from Le Restaurant in Lille and Ledoyen + Pierre au Palais Royal and one place in the 18th not on his resume that none of us can recall, in Paris. He brought in Chef David Angelot from Ledoyen and since September or so has been providing fine updates of classic cuisine at reasonable prices – 25 for two, 30 € for three courses with glasses of wine at 4 € and bottles starting at 19 €. I went with my “real food critic friend” and we had a ball. The bread was first rate (Poujauran, he posited). We shared: escargots on top a sauce/soup of chopped-to-infinity parsley and fried calamari with tartare – both superb. Then we shared: a fat slice of calf’s liver that was neither top-flight product nor cooked to my specification (which would be really raw inside), but the accompaniment – macaroni with cheese (I jest not) and pork with coriander flavored carrots and tiny onions was so wonderful that it offset any lingering doubts about the liver. Finally we shared what I never would have ordered without prompting, a divine pain perdu with roasted pineapple and beer, yes beer, zabaglione. The bill with coffee, a bit more wine and a tiny digestif = 94 €, although the bar person charged us 100 €, and my famous friend didn’t dispute her math, figuring like I did that we’d tell the story of her inability to divide 94 by 2 enough times to make up the 6 €. Oh, on the way out we saw several other dishes, onglet, raie and other stuff that was equally appealing.
                      ”Should one go?” I cannot think of a reason why not to.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Correct me if I am wrong about Le Camelon being in place more than 30 years, but I recall eating there in 1974...right next to Reid Hall...steak frites for a broke undergrad and some lovely rhone...

                        1. re: penthouse pup

                          I do not know.
                          I do know from my 1969 Gault/Millau that it was a jazz club/etc at 57, rue St Andre des Arts in the 6th then and in September 18, 2006 began its current life under M. Arabian.