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Dec 21, 2010 08:21 PM

Assembling a gourmet picnic for NYE

My husband and I will be spending NYE (coincidentally also our wedding anniversary) in Paris this year. We know paying ridiculous prices for a bad meal and one glass of champagne is silly - and any post on here would say the same - so can anyone confirm what I've gathered from threads is how to assemble it all? Price is not a factor, just quality and variety. Helpfulness of staff would be appreciated but not expected.

Caviar: Petrossian (location? 18 Boulevard Latour-Maubourg?)
Champagne: Isn't there a Taillevent wine shop that supposed to have great selection...or should I just grab what I can at a local wine store? I would prefer to be more adventurous and pick out a few bottles and we'll do flights and compare notes.
Cheese: I know of Ferme St Hubert, Marie-Anne Cantin and Barthelemy
Meats: Les Galeries (Bellota-Bellota was one mentioned - where else is suitable?)
Pastries / Chocolates: ??? Besides Lauduree...

If you want to help me figure out an efficient way to tackle my shopping, I'm in the 17th. But we're mobile and get around cities easily, so if you name me off a neighborhood and can make all my stops together in and around one location, I'd love that. We're from NYC originally and enjoy the pit stops in small stores to gather a feast. Thanks to all for your ideas.

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  1. Caviar: I strongly recommend Prunier, they have excellent French-produced caviar and I heard the prices had gone down lately.
    For champagne I recommend Lavinia and Caves Augé, where there is a good choice of "champagnes de vignerons", get the Beaufort, you can't get better champagne at that price.
    Cheese: Dubois is my favorite.
    Hams: Bellota-Bellota has other locations in Paris. I like Pierre Oteiza on boulevard Saint-Michel and Boucheries Nivernaises for fresh meat. Otherwise, street markets.
    Chocolate: Patrick Roger, Jacques Génin.
    Pastry: Jacques Génin, Stohrer.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Ptipois

      I add to the above above both for chocolates and pastry: Tholoniat, rue du Chateau d'eau.

      1. re: Ptipois

        If the OP is looking for a shopping plan, I'd suggest that she shop over several days. If they have an apartment (i.e., refrigerator), no problems. But also in this weather, one can easily keep perishables on a hotel window balcony. We did just that earlier this month with wines, cheese, pates, clementines, milk and butter. We brought in freezables at night and stashed them behind the heavy drapes where, next to the french doors, it was still very cool.

        Using Pti's list, one foray could be to the Madelaine for Lavinia and Prunier. Another to St. Germain with stops at Oteiza, Patrick Roger and Dubois. And a third mopping up any remaining necessities on Montorgueil and Stohrer.

        1. re: mangeur

          "Using Pti's list, one foray could be to the Madelaine for Lavinia and Prunier. Another to St. Germain with stops at Oteiza,"

          Mais mais mais! There is an Oteiza at Madeleine, on 13 rue Vignon

          1. re: Parigi

            yes, but no Dubois at Madeleine! :(

        2. re: Ptipois

          I probably wouldn't recommend Lavinia, the prices are pretty terrible across the board. Agreed on Caves Auge, and I would add the Spring wine shop - also not the greatest prices on everything but only a tiny bit expensive and they have all the Egly Ouriet that anyone might need to celebrate the new year in style.

          I don't know about Prunier - I think their prices are a bit high but if you're not looking to go on an adventure it's probably not the end of the world to spend a few dozen Euros. I recently had a good laugh walking by their neighbors at La Madeleine who are selling black truffles for 3400 Euros a kilo and white ones for 6300 Euros. They must have such a blast whenever they sell this to someone...

          What do you think of Comptoir de la Gastronomie?

          1. re: QdeBro

            Lavinia and Caves Augé have the same manager/owner and if neither of them is particularly cheap, they are remarkable for hidden gems - mainstream stuff may be had elsewhere.
            For instance Lavinia is the only place where you can find the sauternes Domaine-Rousset-Peyraguey (entirely produced in biodynamy and a real bargain), the Lopez-Hermanos moscatel de Malaga, etc., and Caves Augé puts forward "champagnes de vignerons" among which you can find incredible stuff for about 30 euros.
            These places remain my favorites but the interesting stuff there requires a little searching. They're a bit like the Spring wine shop, on a larger surface.
            I haven't tried Comptoir de la Gastronomie as yet.

        3. Where is your starting point in the 17th?

          10 Replies
          1. re: mangeur

            Everyone, these are amazing recs! I too am a fan of the balcony refrigeration system. :-)

            My starting point in the 17th is Ave George V and Rue Vernet.

            1. re: mrswejo

              I am told confession is good for the soul and a grand "shopping" is bad for my soles, so here's my plan - lunch at Garnier with the ever-ready Colette, caviar, foie gras and Bellotta-B at the Galeries, bread from 6 corners and oysters from my Gillardeau guy at the NordSud. WIne, I guess I've got some in the cave.

              1. re: John Talbott

                Hah! John, many of your recommendations and that helpful ranking on your blog already have our lunch plans booked solid!

            2. re: mangeur

              Mangeur, here's the map I have based on recs so far, using the Four Seasons as a starting point:

              1. re: mrswejo

                Well done! And my hat is off to your energy. My husband and I take buses. (Pick up a 'Grand Plan #2', insist on the #2, from any metro ticket agent.) For the cost of a ride, you get an extraordinary overview of Paris. For instance, I would catch the #29 on rue 4 du septembre at Opera and ride across town to Reaumur-Sebastopol, then head north to Genin. This is just one concept of how to connect your dots.

                Consider also that depending on weather between now and then, the sidewalks could be anything from slushy to icy to a horrid combination of both, which they were in early December.

                1. re: mrswejo

                  Four Seasons is famously fengshui-approved. Most propicious start. :-)

                  1. re: Parigi

                    "Four Seasons is famously fengshui-approved. Most propicious start. :-)"

                    Oh oh, Parigi. How is the Garnier fengshui-wise? I'd hate to get off to a bad start on my quickie journey.

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      Uh oh, you take your fengshui chances.
                      I feel like Yao Ming, who is solicited regularly to check the Chinese characters in all the NBA butt tattoos. No wonder the poor boy has injuries all the time. It's Post-traumatic blabla.

                  2. re: mrswejo

                    probably too late...

                    You should be careful when shopping and wine is quite at the beginning of the list, it can be hard to walk around with all the heavy bottles you will buy.

                    1. re: Maximilien

                      Amen. Meant to mention that at the beginning of this thread. That's one reason I suggested that the shopping be split over several days, or at least several shopping forays. We frequently leave our centrally located hotel in one direction, schlep home our booty, go out again, return and, yes, go out in a third direction. Wonderful city tours in the bargain.

                2. I don't know Lavinia and Caves Auge (yet), but I admit to loving Caves du Taillevent.

                  1. So, tell us what happened....

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: hychka

                      Well, we did it in a not ideal way meaning wine first (despite knowing how heavy it would be).

                      1:00: We bought three bottles of champagne at Caves Auge (loved it, wish they would have let me photograph the store).

                      1:30: A quick bite for lunch, mailed some cards, onto Pierre Oteiza for parma and smoked salmon.

                      2:15: Prunier for two types of caviar (both French - when in Rome), creme fraiche, bread and an oyster spoon. I wanted the trio sampler but they were sold out. That place was packed! Briefly toyed with the idea of truffle oil next door Maison du Truffe but decided to keep moving.

                      2:30: Worrying about early closures, we didn't want to forsake Dubois to Jacques Genin, so we stopped at Hediard next door to Prunier for a few chocolate bites (not ideal, but whaddyagonnado?). Purchased a little box of 10ish different pralines.

                      2:45: Hopped on the Metro to get to Dubois. HEAVEN! I bought four types of cheese (goat, sheep, two cow and yes, the 7yr comte). We also did some shopping at the plaza market for berries, asparagus, cucumber, etc.

                      4:00: Back home, my husband took a power nap and I walked a block to Laduree on the C-L because I can't help it - tourist lines or not, the macarons are darn good. I purchased one of each.

                      4:15: Cracked open the first champagne and assembled the picnic. It was tres magnifique and I can't imagine eating any other way from now on!

                      TOTAL COST: 390 EUR

                      The good news is that the wine did not weigh more than my camera and three lenses so my hubby and I had equally heavy loads on our shoulder. With the cold weather, the walking and work kept us warm. We also enjoyed the stroll through Paris exploring, doing odd errands like mail, bank, purchased a few gifts, etc. Last but not least, the picnic just wound down today. The salmon and caviar made it thru the night and into the next breakfast, then the cheese, ham, chocolates and macarons sustained us for the road trip from Paris to Madrid. We threw everything else away this morning. The only bad news? We should have bought MUCH MORE CHAMPAGNE! Each suggestion by Caves Auge was amazing and for sure, we'll be back!

                      1. re: mrswejo

                        They sell Parma ham at Oteiza's now?!!!
                        Glad you were happy with Caves Augé. What champagne did they recommend?