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Best Bistros in Paris (Chez Denise, L'ami Louis or Aux Lyonnais)

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We are coming to Paris for two days and want to eat at one of the best bistros.

I have heard great things about Chez Denise, L'ami Louise and Aux Lyonnais... anybody feel strongly about any or a different one that I should really consider?


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  1. L'Ami Louis is three times as expensive as Chez Denise. Both are wonderful, in their own category. L'Ami Louis is like a three star restaurant as regards the quality of ingredients and cooking. Chez Denise, is that sense, is a much more authentic, blue-collar (sort of) bistrot.

    Aux Lyonnais is not bad. It's the Ducasse soulless interpretation of a bouchon, his homage to *les mères*. Always makes me feel like his "homage" was about beating them up and running away with their recipes. But there's no danger of enduring the mood of the owners or staff Aux Lyonnais, a very real risk with the other two options.

    2 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Souphie does haver a bit of jaundiced view on Ducasse. But IMO Aux Lyonnais is a fine restaurant and I have always enjoyed myself. Best advice is to book for the later sitting as it is more local with less visitors.

      1. re: souphie

        The last time I was at Aux Lyonnais I had such a terrible meal that it really felt like Ducasse had beaten up the mères, run away with their recipes and omitted to give them to the kitchen crew before he left.

      2. l think your choices, at least the first two are spot on, why not go to both. The reason L'Ami Louis is 4x as expensive is their wine list is awesome and expensive. Food at Louis for 2 will be about
        250 euros and you will be able to eat about half, their portions serve 4 easily, Chez Denise will cost you around 100 euros for 2, an advantage at Chez Denise is their house wine, a brouilly from their vineyard in Beauolais costs 28 euros a liter and you are charged for what you . If l had only two meals to eat here those two are in my top five.