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Where to go after L'Ami Jean, Chez Michel, and other fantastic meals?

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Hey Chowhounders -

We went to Paris in May 2009 and thanks to the recommendations on this board, we ended up having one of the most memorable (eating) trips of our lives. Specifically, we had fantastic meals at Chez L'Ami Jean, Chez Michel, Chez Renee, Chez Dumonet, and L'Atelier Robuchon. We also had a lovely meal at Auberge Bressane and indulged at Pierre Herme, Lenotre, and Gerard Mulot.

We're heading back to Paris this December for a week and I've been researching the board for some new recommendations. It appears that the following places seem like worthwhile destinations: Le Gaigne, Frenchie, Le Regalade, Le Comptoir Relais, and Spring. What do people think? Should I try to book at these places for dinner? Would lunch be better than dinner at any of these places? Are there other restaurants/bistros we should consider trying? How about some not-to-miss boulangeries and patisseries?

Our priority is delicious French food, first and foremost. We love all kinds of food, but want to focus our energies on uniquely French and/or Parisian eating experiences. Thanks for your help. As I mentioned, we had an incredible experience last year and are hoping to have another one.

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  1. "Le Gaigne, Frenchie, Le Regalade, Le Comptoir Relais, and Spring. What do people think? Should I try to book at these places for dinner?"

    Asap. Maybe too late already for Spring and Frenchie, but you know what they say: you don't ask, you don't get.

    "Would lunch be better than dinner at any of these places?"

    I find Spring lunch to be better value.
    A resto like Le Gaigne seems to have better vibes at daytime, therefore lunch. But this point is so subjective that I can't even explain.
    Otherwise, I enjoy the other places at lunch as well as at dinner.

    "Are there other restaurants/bistros we should consider trying?"

    Les Papilles. Pétrelle.

    " How about some not-to-miss boulangeries and patisseries?"

    Do try Seurre, especially considering it is closing its doors by the end of the year…

    1. Le Comptoir Relais is very different at lunch and dinner. If you want fine dining, go at night. If you are willing to shoehorn yourself in for a fine food experience at a bargain price, try waiting for a tight space at 11:30 am.

      Anyway, this comment should kick your request back into the action.

      1 Reply
      1. re: hychka

        We loved Jadis in the 14th. As for uniquely French, try Petrelle. Frenchie and Spring have too much hype and too hard a reservation for my taste. Le Regalade (both the original in the 15th and St Honore) is fantastic food, especially if you order the special roasts (duck, cote de veau, cote de veau) for two as your mains. For pastry, you must go to Genin (in the 3rd) for millefeuille. Pain de Sucre is also worth a trip to and they also make a mean millefeuille, although my favorite one is at Julien (I admit it, I like that super sweet frosting on top) but only if you get it totally freshly made so the pastry is still really crisp so you do have to ask how long they've been in the case. Not an issue at Genin where they make them to order. Also gorgeous and delcious stuff at Des Gâteaux et du Pain, both sweet and savory, although the folks who work there (owner included) are not particularly friendly. But the breads are amazing. And if you can tolerate waiting in line, macarons from Lauduree (or spend a fortune and sit down and be cicilized and have your pastry with tea or coffee in their cafe.) They also make a fantastic lemon tart.