9 Days in Paris - March 2011
I'm a newb to the forum world of CH so pardon any etiquette out of the ordinary. I've spent the last 2 hours reading posts on Paris and I'm completely enamored and hope I can get help from the experts that are posting here.
My boyfriend and I are touring through Europe for 3 weeks, but are focused on our Paris jaunt for 9 days. We have a loose list of recommendations from friends that have visited, but no true foodie recommendations. We arrive on a Friday (March 4) and leave on the following Saturday. We're New Yorkers, so we have high expectations of what's considered 'good'.
We've put out a request to Hidden Kitchen, but they only had one spot available when I was trying to get 2. Other than that, all other stops are only tentative. We are budgeted to spend about 100 Euro a day on food, but are willing to spend more if the experience is right.
Let loose your recommendations!
After you stow your bags,you need to fight the jet lag. Take a good walk around your hotel or apartment and get a lay of the land, what's where and just have fun. Stop somewhere and eat some soup or a salad. Look at the bakeries close by and sample something to see if the place is any good. Walk through a small grocery store or two just to see what they offer should you want to picnic or eat in...also just for the fun of seeing what people in Paris get to chose from. Find a cheese place and a wine place. Talk to people. See what interests you close by your home base. If you nap, keep it to an hour or less AFTER a walk and some food.
Our first night we go to Au Dernier Metro because it is casual, bright, loud, the food is good and everyone is friendly and it's a perfect place to start your visit. Also you can't miss seeing the Tour Eiffel on your way.
Breakfasts can be pastries and coffee or something elaborate, but we tend to eat breakfasts in.
Luncheons are your best buy at the better restaurants, but before Hidden Kitchen (evenings only) I'd eat light (preferably a picnic or street grazing on rue Cler or Montorgueil) and do lots of site seeing in the mid day.
We like to tour the open air markets and snag great stuff for picnics in the parks. If you aren't staying in an apartment, you can grab plastic utensils at fast food places or ask your hotel staff for some service for a picnic. Bring a wine bottle opener with you from home. Here's a link for open air markets and note that the closing times are most frequently not that long...go early. http://www.discoverfrance.net/France/...
Tell us about where you are staying and we'll be more helpful with recommendations.
And, have lots of fun!!!
<Bring a wine bottle opener with you from home.>
Make sure you carry that in your checked luggage, or the hawks at airport security will take it away from you!
We do the first day differently. If arriving in the morning, we go park our bags and hit the streets. FInd a nearby bakery for pastry and café au lait. Sightsee until lunch and have lunch at Willi's Wine Bar (in the 1er, behind Palais Royale). By 3 we're ready to crash, and usually retire early. Sleep through the night, and by morning, any sign of jetlag has completely disappeared.
If we went to bed at 3pm, we'd be wide awake about 8 to 10 hours later...11pm or 1am!! Of course we are all different when it comes to sleep.
But we do certainly do agree that a good walk and a lite meal are required. Someone recently commented that scouting out a good bakery close by your apartment or hotel is also an important first activity.
You cannot go wrong at Taillevant or Lasserre. I know there are different places but we have found these to be the best as far as quality and level of service. Taillevant's service was so finnessed that --we felt like we were the only ones in the restaurant (and we certainly weren't). No request was too much, not that there were many to make.
It isn't cheap, but you said 'blow out' so this would be my first choice. My other first choice would be at Lasserre. They require jackets, we were traveling light and they assured me there was a jacket waiting for my husband. What was waiting was a cashmere sport jacket that fit him as if it were customed. The elevator ride upstairs was fun but the first sight of the hundreds of orchids and the gorgeous dining room was breathtaking.
Chairs are comfortable and they had to be, as the meal was long and luxurious. Nothing was rushed, just a few hours of pure, indulgence in great food and wine and chocolate.
A live pianist entertains and as a little added touch, when you hear rumbling from the ceiling, just look up--it's the roof parting, opening up to a seasonal floral display and the magnificent Paris night sky. Enjoy!
btw....they take reservations on line.
The Hidden Kitchen experience is worthwhile. Ask to be wait listed, make other plans and blow off the latter if HK comes through.We've been a few times and there always someone who got in at the last minute.
BTW are you posting your Rome plans on the Rome Chowhound page? We are goig in May for 9 nights.
Good news re HK! You'll love it. The food is great and you'll meet neat people. Laura's wine pairings are smashing!
Also, stand in line about 11:30am at le Comptoir for a bargain lunch...it's a tight fit, but the food is incredible. And, I like Frenchie's. Go over early on and beg for a reservation...dinner only, I now hear. Have you read any of John Talbott's blogs on his lunches around Paris? His advice is excellent.
Go to the chow hound Rome page and look for my handle. See you there!