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lunch on l'le st louis

We'll be in Paris in mid-May and would like to have a lunch on l'le St Louis. Mon Vieux Ami is on my radar and I would love to know if chowhounds would put it at the top of their lists. Also, would a guy without a jacket (dressy jeans, if that is not an oxymoron) feel comfortable? Other l'le suggestions also appreciated. We'll be in "town" for a couple of weeks. Thanks.

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  1. If you're into authenticity - as in they barely speak English there - you might try L'Auberge des Deux Ponts at 7 rue des deux ponts. It's off the beaten track, which means prices are lower (an entree, plat and cafe runs you 13.5 euros. It's a family-run place with pretty decent, "home cooked" fare. I recently had the foie gras maison, a very nice pate, and duck confit. This is not 3-star fare, mind you, but is certainly an authentic Parisian experience. (I took my family there for Christmas dinner several years back and they won me over with their charm.) Plus Berthillon is right around the corner for dessert!

    4 Replies
    1. re: Jeffo405

      Sounds divine! Do you have any thoughts about similar places in the 5th? Merci beaucoup

      1. re: Jeffo405

        Sorry Jeff, after 6 years of annual extended visits to the Ile Auberge still stands out as one of the worst meals in all of France. Iceberg lettuce salad, and turkey with gravy and literally a busload of American students who spoke no French. awful. I think Carol could do better at Fou de L'Isle or the St. Regis, or better yet, have lunch off island and wander over for a stroll along the Quai with a coronet of Berthillon. Been meaning to get to MVA, but the reviews are always so mixed, mostly poor lately, and they are always consistently unfriendly on the phone. Even better, grab some cheese at Auberge St. Aubin, a baguette at Boulangerie Deux Ponts, and a bottle of wine from Nicholas and perch along the Quai, or down at the little parks at either ends of the Ile.

        1. re: Gman

          Are we thinking of the same place? The Auberge I know could not accommodate a busload of students! Again, it's not a starred place by any means, but the duck confit I had there was pretty good.

          1. re: Jeffo405

            Jeffo, here,s the weird thing: we've made a study of this odd phenomenon. There is a building two doors down from auberge which is somehow accessible from the basement of auberge, because in surprising clown car fashion, this is where the busload emerged from the night we were at auberge and trotted through the restaurant making their exit. Now I've often noticed the soft glow of lights through the bubbly opaque windows of the storefront two doors down which seems to have no direct street egress. We chocked it up to some quirk of the Paris building code.

      2. The food is good, but nothing special at MVA.

        1. Not on Isle St Louis but on the western point of Ile de la cite is Taverne Henri IV, one of our favorite places for lighter casual lunches in Paris.

          1. Sometime I think L'Ile Saint-Louis is doomed when it comes to dining. Even Mon Vieil Ami fails to deliver. At least I would certainly not put it at the top of my list.

            Isami on quai de Bourbon is arguably one of the best sushi places in Paris, but the atmosphere is pretty dull. And now there is stuff just as good if not better in the 1st and 2nd arrondissements.

            Best option for me would be to pig out on Berthillon sundaes at Le Flore en l'Ile (Western tip of the island, near the bridge connecting to the Ile de la Cité) in order to avoid the crowds at Berthillon, after having had lunch somewhere on the continent.

            11 Replies
            1. re: Ptipois

              I agree with Pti on the slim pickin on the Ile. Must one stick to the Ile? What about just across the Seine on the 5th side, in which case you have Ribouldingue for hearty meals, and le Réminet for light meals, plus Itinéraires of course.

              1. re: Parigi

                There's also Le Vieux Bistrot on the other island, just across the bridge.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  I think le Vieux is le gone? (Closed? ) But how about Brasserie de l’ile St. Louis? Yes, it's rather touristy and expensive for its class, but what a location, and we've enjoyed the character and vibe of this hundred-year old brasserie with the same somewhat grumpy waiters we've seen for years. It's one of our “first-lunch-back-in town” places -- we usally we split an excellent and piping hot omelet, salad, some herring, and the house riesling, while most folks around us (often French grandparents with grandkids) seem to order pretty darn good looking choucroute garnie. --- Jake

                  1. re: Jake Dear

                    "how about Brasserie de l’ile St. Louis?"
                    I have enjoyed simple dinners there too. The last time I went was with vegetarian friends. I thought that the longish traditional carte would surely have something for my friends.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Parigi, how did your vegetarian friends make out at Brasserie de l'ille St. Louis? I will be traveling with vegetarians and was wondering if there are options for them there.

                      1. re: nsilvest

                        You poor thing.
                        The oblivious carnivore that I am, I don't remember my friends' reaction, only that they found things to eat. The general attitutde here is that one settles for vegetarian, not necessarily good vegetarian.

                    2. re: Jake Dear

                      In true Parisian fashion I hardly ever set foot on the île de la Cité except to walk across it from the Left bank to the Right, but indeed you're right, Le Vieux is no more and has been replaced by a crêperie.

                      1. re: Ptipois

                        I tend to think like you re Ile Saint Louis. It is a pleasant to pass but is not a place I'd go for itself. Sort of a pleasant "there's no there there" kind of place.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          Paris grew two islands just for showing off.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            It is très bling, historic bling.

                  2. re: Parigi

                    Last time I had that sort of experience we had entrecôte and côte de bœuf at La Rotisserie du Beaujolais (good but official warning: avoid the roasted chicken), and then went to Le Flore en l'Ile for ice cream, really we could have done worse than that.

                2. Try Les Fous de L'Ile - it's right around the corner from our apartment and kind of our go-to when we don't feel like walking far. They've done a favourable renovation in the past couple of years and the food is good!! If you are looking for Michelin stars then the Ile is not for you but this place is mostly full of locals and the energy is great.

                  3 Replies
                  1. re: vicgirl

                    Thanks -- that type of restaurant is really what we are looking for! We'll be there sometime in mid-May -- you'll know us by the secret Chowhound "look":) Any other suggestions? We're staying near Notre Dame on the Left Bank. Thanks.

                    1. re: carol26

                      It sounds like you're staying in the 6th? You won't want to miss Gerard Mulot on Rue de Seine - excellent croissants and pain au chocolat. (Closed Wednesdays)

                      1. re: carol26

                        Le Reminet, which is recommended upthread, is practically in the shadow of the Notre Dame. Le Comptoir du relais and Les Papilles are a short walk away.