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Feb 2, 2011 04:27 PM

4 days in Paris, Saturday through Tuesday in early May

This will be my first trip to Paris (other than an overnight on the way home from Beaune) and I would greatly appreciate suggestions for lunch and dinner. I have little interest in formal, high-end dining. I love cassoulet and duck confit. I would like to find a place that has excellent Bresse chicken as I have never had it. In Beaune I had my best meals at Ma Cuisine and Le Benaton. I also liked Le Jardin de Remparts and Bistro de L'Hotel. I was underwhelmed by Lameloise.

So, given that brief profile, please steer me in the right direction for deeply satisfying, authentic, fun meals at restaurants that are welcoming. If they accept reservations, that would be even better.

Thanks in advance for your help.


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  1. L'Auberge du Quincy, av. Ledru-Rollin ( ).

    You won't find good Bresse (or Bresse at all) outside of fine dining. And even there, it's rarely cooked properly. This is one of the great French dramas: we have the best chicken in the world and almost no one to cook them right.

    1. For cassoulet try La Sarladais; they also have confit as does Aux Fins Gourmets and Le Florimond. And souphie is right about Bresse chicken in Paris.

      1. The cassoulet in Paris rarely approaches the real thing (3 different types) only to be found in SouthWest France; A similar problem to the Bresse chicken issue...

        As far as welcoming and satisfying, that's pretty easy in Paris. 99% of restaurants not only take reservations, but they welcome them, even if on the same day.

        "Fun" in a restaurant stirs up thoughts of those horrible " theme" places in the US. Fun in dining in France is basically the experience of the meal. The French are pretty serious about dining, so " fun" is a different experience than it is elsewhere.

        1. I second Aux Fins Gourmets, especially considering the kind of dishes and setting that you seem to like.
          Gut-busting Quincy too, of course.

          11 Replies
          1. re: Parigi

            Thank you all for the quick replies. This is very helpful and I am having fun researching the recommendations.

            Souphie- Your take on the cooking of chicken is illuminating. I confess that I actually did have Bresse once in Beaune and thought it was dreadful. I have friends that have waxed poetic about their experiences of Bresse cooked in pig's bladder. I can't remember where, perhaps Troisgros. Hence my quest. If I go for Bresse at a fine dining establishment in Paris, where would you recommend?

            Menton- Your comments about the welcoming atmosphere, satisfying meals and reservations are encouraging. Just to clarify, instead of "fun" I should have said "relaxed". I have the most fun in a warm, relaxed restaurant where great food can be a spiritual experience without the expectation of prayer and supplication that I have experienced in some higher-end restaurants here in the States. If you have any suggestions for higher-end dining in Paris that are "relaxed" please add those here.

            Thanks again....I am so excited as I just got a reservation confirmation for the Beaune leg of our trip at Ma Cuisine.


            1. re: Gridrocker

              Bresse in Paris: Ledoyen, Le Cinq, maybe Le Bristol (the latter uses lesser quality chicken but still turns out a great dish).

              1. re: souphie

                <warm, relaxed restaurant where great food can be a spiritual experience without the expectation of prayer and supplication>

                Chez Josephine Dumonet totally fits the bill. Pretty fab duck confit too. And a humongous pot of excellent cassoulet (minus the crispy crust as in most restaurants, unfortunately!) The foie and the beef bourginion are to die for. Totally fun, relaxed place!

                1. re: souphie


                  Do you know if Ledoyen, Le Cinq or Le Bristol offer the Bresse on a lunch menu? Are the lunch menus significantly different from the dinner menus?



                  1. re: Gridrocker

                    I will answer because I've actually been looking into this for my upcoming trip.

                    Le Brisol offers it at the listed price. Guy Savoy will add it for a per-person surcharge to their lunch menu.

                    I do not know re: Le Cinq or Ledoyen.


                    1. re: Gridrocker

                      Most French restaurants offer the same menu at lunch and dinner. But there is usually a a lunch prixfixe deal, which is much less expensive than the other options. At Le Cinq, Ledoyen, those prixfixe deals, while different, are as good as the rest of the menu. Not so at Bristol.

                      And I don't think you'll find Bresse on a lunch deal. You can have it for lunch of course, but ALC, and usually pretty expensive (I think Le Bristol's is over 250, for example).

                  2. re: Gridrocker

                    Quincy does do 'Poulard en Vessie' according to its menu. Been there three times and they did not have it any of those times. Just noticed he has changed to 'Pot au feu en Vessie' What up with that.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      I love Le Quincy but wouldn't trust them with Bresse anyway.

                    2. re: Gridrocker

                      I have never had better chicken than the poulet de Bresse en vessie as served by Eric Frechon at the Bristol; much better than the same dish we were served in Bourg-en-Bresse at the Auberge Bressane. It impressed us enough that we made a second visit the following year. My photos are poor but here it is as presented , then as plated...moist, savory deliciousness. Perhaps my plate-mate Phyhllis may chime in.

                      1. re: Laidback

                        I would agree about the bresse at Le Bristol.....

                        1. re: HoosierFoodie

                          Where in Hoosierville do you eat? ( We try in West Lafayette when we aren't in Paris.)