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May 18, 2011 11:15 AM

A few ideas on rounding out dining in paris late june

Hi - I need some advice in filling in a few gaps on our upcoming 25th anniversary trip to Paris in late June. I’ve been reading books, blogs and online forums (including this one!) and I’ve got pretty good idea of our sightseeing and food itinerary, but I have a few blank spots. I’m hoping some of you can offer your expert advice. Our hotel, Jardin de L’Odeon, is a few blocks North of the Luxembourg Gardens, near the Odeon Theatre.

Wed – we arrive about 9:30 am. I anticipate that by the time we get to the hotel, etc… we’ll be ready for a stroll around the neighborhood and a light lunch. I’m thinking picnic. I’ve read some good places. Can you picnic in Luxembourg gardens? I’m just not sure… Any thoughts on a charcuterie nearby? I know there is Gilles Verot. Also Cosi…

Dinner - Chez L’Ami Jean.

Lunch somewhere in the neighborhood on Left Bank. I thought it might be fun to sit outside and people watch for a bit. Yes, I know Deux Magots is super touristy, but given it is what it is, is this a decent choice? It seems to get better reviews than Café des Flores. Brasserie Lipp seems to be indoor seating only. Any other suggestions? We could cross over bridge...

Dinner - Le Chateaubriand.

Lunch - L’as Du Falafel
Dinner - ? This will be after a full day of walking, including a visit to the Louvre, so I think it would be nice to stick close to the ‘hood. I’m thinking of Le Ferrendaise or Au Bon Saint- Pourçain. Any other ideas?

Anniversary Lunch - Le Cinq (thanks everyone for that advice on previous post)

Dinner - We’re planning on seeing a friend perform that night at Aux Trois Mailletz in the Latin Quarter. I thought we might eat there too. Anyone ever had dinner there? I haven’t been able to find out about the food.

Lunch – we’ll have just toured Montmartre/Sacre Coeure – I’d like to lunch up there. Any suggestions? I’m thinking this could be as easy as grabbing some street food. Or is there someplace charming we should try at the artist’s square Place du Tertre? Or just wander and let our taste-buds decide?

Dinner on last night – La Rotisserie du Beauolais

Thank you!

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  1. Yes you can picnic at the Luxembourg garden. Good charcuterie: Oteiza on St Michel. Or get a picnic from the Maubert market (hours can be found on this board or online).

    Please don't go to Deux Magots. if you must go to a famous café, let it be the Flores.
    Plae du Tertre is full of clone portraitrists also working as barkers. Please avoid.
    Try Allée des Brouillards, Avenue Junot, rue Lepic, rue des Abbesses instead.
    Restaurant: good quick snacky lunch, Coquelicot on rue des Abbesses.

    Alternative to l'As de F: Le Gaigne, in the same general 'hood.

    12 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      Thank you! Appreciate the advice. I don't need to go to a famous cafe, just would like to be able to sit outside and enjoy the scenery.

      1. re: antoniac

        La Palette, 43 rue du Seine, is our choice; it's just down the street from the print shop, Gallerie Documents. La Palette has a history that rivals the more famous cafes and the food is decent.

        1. re: Oakglen

          And La Palette still has a Turkish toilet !

          1. re: Parigi

            I'm also a fan. It's amazing how "local" it feels, given its location.

            1. re: Parigi

              Sadly, I am told the Turish toilet is gone, as you may recall, it was in a freestanding location near the bar. It did add to the timeless "quality" of the place.

              1. re: Oakglen

                Have any of you ever eaten at Aux Trois Mailletz? It's a piano bar upstairs and jazz club downstairs, but I hear they serve food. According to Trip Advisor it was good, but I'm more interested in hearing from someone on this site.

          2. re: antoniac

            Deux Magots is a great place for people-watching, but do not eat there. It's a good place for an early evening drink.

            1. re: rrems

              I agree with rrems. Whilst these classic cafés are overpriced and the food is not notable they are still great to visit and are part of the Paris experience. I nearly called them tourist traps but the prices are high enough to deter most regular tourists and thus they tend still have a lot of well healed locals as regulars (or savvy locals who can stretch out a drink for a few hours).

              My advice is grab a good table on the terrace and enjoy a couple of pre-dinner drinks. Deux Magots has more polish than La Palette and attracts an older, wealthier crowd; La Palette is popular with students and gallery owners and has a younger vibe.

              1. re: PhilD

                "La Palette", "Deux Magots", "I nearly called them tourist traps but the prices are high enough to deter most regular tourists and thus they tend still have a lot of well healed locals as regulars (or savvy locals who can stretch out a drink for a few hours). "

                You bring up an interesting phenomenon: We have noticed over time that many of the "overpriced" and so-called "zombie" restaurants and cafes are host to a recognizable cadre of neighborhood regulars. What goes here? They've been patronizing these places so long that they ignore the decline? Or, for them, there is no decline? Que pasa?

                1. re: mangeur

                  Both were local to me when I lived in Paris and we frequented both. As "locals" we tended to do things that fitted into our lifestyle rather than cramming in lots of restaurants in a short space of time. So La Palette was nice in the summer for an after work drink on a Friday evening (after I had driven home from La Defense I had no desire to hop on the metro or bus to go for a relaxing drink), not so good in the winter when they close the terrace. Deux Magots was good for a glass of wine on a Sunday afternoon or as an early evening aperitif on a warm spring evening before we went home to cook dinner.

                  However, I don't think that meant we accepted poor standards, we simply utilised the places for what they do well, and thus they met our needs. I think that is why the "where are the best" irritate. Because when you live somewhere "best" is modified by convenience; you choose the best that meets your needs i.e. you may walk past one or two boulangeries for a good breakfast baguette but you don't jump on the metro to cross town for one (after all the coffee would be cold by the time you got home). And the "best" cafe is the decent one closest to where you shop.

                  However, is this the same for Zombie restaurants? Not certain about that, we tended to avoid those in our nab as generally they failed to deliver anything worthwhile.

                  1. re: PhilD

                    "Because when you live somewhere "best" is modified by convenience; you choose the best that meets your needs." Of course, this makes complete sense. I live in Chicago, I don't go to the best restaurants after work for drinks or take-out, I go to my the spots in my neighborhood I favor.

          3. I was just in Paris 2 weeks ago.. had my favourite meal, out of 2 weeks in Spain & France, at Les Papilles. I got the recommendation off David Lebovitz's blog; and it did not disappoint! We had an amazing 4-course meal for 33e, paired with a fabulous bottle of wine; the most awesome part, there is no menu... chef and owner write the daily menu on the chalkboard outside. And this cozy, warm bistro had a packed house every night we walked by. We too, stayed near Luxembourg gardens; Les Papilles is located about 3 blocks from the gardens on rue Gay Lussac. I say you fill your Friday night dinner spot with this lovely, lovely gem. Oh, and check out David Lebovitz's blog for more ideas!

            5 Replies
            1. re: juneplum

              You clearly are new to the France Forum on chowhound. Les Papilles is one of the very most popular places with the posters on this forum. {:-O

              1. re: ChefJune

                As much as I like Les Papilles, I would not say it tops the tops of Spain (or of France). But am grateful that at least juneplum doesn't say that the secret to eat well in Spain is to eat Chinese...

                1. re: Parigi

                  LOL I never said it was the tops of Spain & France... I just said it was the tops of my most recent trip. I thought I'd add my two cents, since antoniac wanted a suggestion near her hotel.

                  p.s. I would never have thought to eat chinese in spain.... besides, being chinese myself, I think I would save my chinese food for asia... or my mom's house LOL

                  1. re: juneplum

                    My point exactly. (And I am Chinese too.)
                    And I can certainly understand how a restaurant, without offering the best food (but still very good food), could give one the most enjoyable experience. Many things go into an enjoyable dining experience. Food is one of the things.

              2. re: juneplum

                Great suggestion, thanks juneplum!

              3. FWIW, places I like not yet mentioned . . . (listed alphabetically)

                Atelier Maître Albert
                1 rue Maître Albert
                75005 Paris
                011 33 1 56 81 30 01

                Au Bon Accueil
                14, rue de Monttessuy
                75007 Paris
                011 33 1 47 05 46 11

                Café Constant
                139, rue St-Dominique
                75007 Paris
                011 33 1 47 53 73 34

                Le Comptoir
                9 Carrefour de l'Odeon
                75006 Paris
                011 33 1 43 29 12 05

                Le Suffren
                84, avenue de Suffren
                75015 Paris
                011 33 1 45 66 97 86

                1. A rereading of your original post brings Le Ferrendaise to my attention. We loved it the first time we ate there, shortly after it opened. We returned twice, once with another couple who did not find it life-changing. During our last meal, my husband looked up and asked, "What was your logic for booking here again?"

                  That's all...

                  2 Replies
                    1. re: antoniac

                      "I’m thinking of Le Ferrendaise or Au Bon Saint-Pourçain." And to further echo mangeur's point: We've been to both about a year ago, and were charmed by the tiny ABSP -- but not so much by LF.

                      (At ABSP we had simple dishes well prepared: Marinated leeks, rabbit with tarragon in aspic, chicken in a tarragon cream sauce, blanquette de veau, and a pretty good tarte tatin -- although it leaned too much toward applesauce -- all washed down with a reasonably priced Irancy. Note: Cash only. The fellow next to us didn't have cash -- the owner told him "no problem, just bring it tomorrow." Wow.) -- Jake

                  1. I read your preference to stay in your neighborhood after a day on the town. But please realize that after an hour sit-or-lie-down, a shower and maybe a glass of wine in your room, just about any area of Paris is only minutes away by bus or metro. Getting out and away may be the best R&R. Please don't limit yourself.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: mangeur

                      So true... I think overall, it's essential to know what is happening right now on the dining scene, but you can't micromanage your food experience in Paris. Kinda ruins the point, don't ya think? I mean, obviously, there are a few places where reservations are essential, but once we're THERE... what is to stop us from hopping on the metro and heading back to a bistro we saw earlier in the day that enchanted us. I have a great list, thanks to you all, and I just can't know what our experience is going to be until we get there. Oh my god, I can't wait to get there... just three weeks away...

                      1. re: antoniac

                        Suggestion: while you are out during the day, jot down the name, address and phone number of any enchanting bistrot you might want to return to. Or pop in and get a card. That way, if you later decide to return, you can give them a call and be sure of a table.

                        1. re: mangeur

                          Good advice: in Paris if it is good then you need to reserve. If you don't need to reserve it probably isn't good (in Paris terms). You may think that is weird, bad restaurants in Paris, but remember all the millions of tourists need to eat somewhere and most are not as discriminating as you.

                          For lots of visitors this is their first experience of French food in France so many rave over pretty average spots - the advantage of Chowhound is you can avoid this "learning" and hit the better spots. Random choices may look good as they hit the cues designed to tempt the visitor but beware if too cute their market is the tourist dollar.

                          That doesn't mean you need to reserve months in advance, many will be OK on the day, and others a few days before, only a few need reservations much before. Although like any big city Thursday to Saturday are the most tricky as the locals are out as well.