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Jun 24, 2011 05:05 AM

Paris itinerary for November - please comment and all suggestion apprecieted


Me and my wife will be in Paris from 10/11/11 until 15/11/11 , we are both enthusiastic young foodies from Sydney, Australia. We'll be dining in few places in Spain, so far we have a booking in El Celler de Can Roca, Akelarre and Mugaritz, we also would like to book Tickets in Barcelona and Da Vittorio in Bergamo, Italy

Our plan for restaurant in Paris will be:

10/11/11 - Thursday : Arrive in the afternoon from San Sebastian we need recommendation for dinner, something bistro not fine dining. We are going to stay in Mercure Paris Opera Garnier (4 rue de l'Isly)
11/11/11 - Friday - Lunch at Arpege and dinner L'Amie Jean. Do you think lunch specialmenu at Arpege will good enough or should i add some dishes from ala carte? Looking from the few foodies blog, i'm quite surprised of the price of ala carte dishes ( lobster and poultry) . What is the best strategy to dine at Arpege if my budget for the food only max 400 -450 euro. I understand reading from the discussion ordering a la carte in L'Amie Jean is best way and i'm going to do that.
12/11/11 - Saturday - Lunch at Le Cing, again any ala carte dishes i should add as we are planning to order their lunch special. Dinner - any bistro recommendation near Louvre?
13/11/11- Sunday - My wife insist to go to Disneyland during the day, i guess i'm going to eat there,
Dinner at Le Atelier de Joel Robuchon
14/11/11 Monday - Lunch, need recommendation dinner at Ledoyen - i'm planning to go ala carte and my wife for the degustation, is it a good idea?
15/11/11 -Versailles area restaurant for lunch ? and fly to Sydney in the evening

I'm considering few place also but i have some concern

Le Chateubriand - is it a basque cuisine ? since we will be spending some time around basque area, should we consider this restaurant?
Pierre Gagnaire - i understand this board highly recommended this restaurant but i will eat in some highly rated avant garde restaurant around Spain, i just try to find a balance in the type of food we will be tasting in our trip. Based on our itinerary, is it wise to choose Arpage over Gagnaire ?
L' Astrance - My understanding about the food there is some sort of Asian influence French cuisine, which is what most Sydney restaurant are good at, and Pascal Barbot used to work in Sydney a decade ago, do you guys think L' Astrance is a good option for typical modern french cuisine or is there a better option around?
L'ami Louis - overprice? considering Paris have numerous wonderful bistro?
Any Ducasse bistro or restaurant recommendation?
I'm looking for help and suggestion for wonderful French cuisine restaurant/bistro,and
Patisserie (my knowledge only limited to Ladure and Pierre Herme)

Thanks in advance , any help and suggestion will be appreciated

Arpege Restaurant
84 Rue de Varenne, Paris, Île-de-France 75007, FR

Pierre Herme
72 Rue Bonaparte, Paris, Île-de-France 75006, FR

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  1. "Le Chateubriand - is it a basque cuisine ?" no.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      Parigi - depends what you mean by basque. For me Chateaubriand has a lot of similarities to Mugaritz and that is true modern basque.

      Iefan - I love both but if going to Mugaritz I would aim for more classic French in Paris which you have on your list - and as your from Aus try to get to Dan Hunter's place The Royal mail in Dunkeld - he used to be the head chef at Mugaritz.

      I also wouldn't be concerned about missing Astrance and Gagnaire as your Spanish experience will give you a really good experience of cutting edge food. So concentrate on the classics you already have on the list.

      When you get home you can compare and contrast "Felix" and "Gastro Park" to the real things you experienced on your can then laugh about the trip to Disneyland, there are far, far better things to do in Paris than a theme park.

      1. re: PhilD

        Thanks for the suggestion PhilD, i dined in Royal Mail last christmas and absolutely loved it.
        You are absolutely right about concentrating about the classic, do you have any experience with Joel Robuchon restaurant? is it still considered as a classic french or should i go to a place like Michel Rostang

        1. re: lefan

          Ate at L'Atelier in the 7eme a few times and enjoyed the food but thought the service too fast. it is modern classic French.

          I would be interested in understanding if his new one L"atelier Etoille is different - I understand it still has a bar to eat at which is putting me off. As far as I can gather his best restaurants is now in Macau not Paris "Robuchon a Galera" which apparently is very close to the famed Jamin - I aim to pop over to try it our soon - maybe worth a stop on your flight over?

          Top of my list for my visit to Paris later this year is "Le restaurant de Jean-François Piège" not much about it on the board but what I have read indicates it is good - tricky to get in as it is very hot and quite small.

    2. I wouldn't consider myself qualified to help with the restaurants (or anything really) but I did find these helpful during my resent trip for Patisserie

      (I loved both Laduree and Pierre Herme - if I had to pick one (and you should go to both, they aren't far from each other), I'd pick Laduree for the "atmosphere", I haven't eaten enough from either to make an educated judgement regarding overall quality)

      Also I'd recommend Patrick Roger if you're into chocolate.

      Pierre Herme
      72 Rue Bonaparte, Paris, Île-de-France 75006, FR

      75 Champs-Élysées, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

      1. Unless you eat as another poster, uhockey, eats, for me you are too optimistic on the quantity of the meals selected. Last at Le Cinq last month, and after lunch, granted with three bottles of wine, needed a walk and a long nap, dinner was out of the question. l envy your capabilities.

        7 Replies
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Unhockey post definetely inspire me :) i try to limit wine consumption and choose to have one long meal per day

          1. re: lefan

            Putting a spin on DCM's caveat, I have no doubt that you will be able to consume all of the food that your plans will serve up. And that you will enjoy it. But there are several kinds of digestion. One, obvious. The other is more elusive.

            It takes some contemplation to appreciate the nuances of a fine meal or extraordinary service or reflection on the room. While you are dining, you will enjoy all of these aspects. But only with some perspective, if only a day or so, will you refine the experience in your mind and memory.

            The biggest mistakes of our travel have been piling "butter on cream" in terms of rich experiences in too short of time. When we returned home, our memories were a jumble of expensive "was that at this guy or at that guy" confusion. IMHO...

            1. re: lefan

              Michael( uhockey)and l have shared many meals.His metabolism is ,in my experience, unique

            2. re: Delucacheesemonger

              I went to Le Cinq about 6 months ago and was VERY disappointed! Fancy, slow, average food. Better off with the smaller restaurants where the experience is about the food... My two cents.

              1. re: pamelabeck

                Sorry for your bad,l have been many times and has never disappointed me in any regard.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  The reason i choose Le Cing for Saturday lunch because i want to experience the service, the setting and of course their food , as i understand most of 2* and 3* restaurant are close on the weekend. I hope i make a right choice.

                  1. re: lefan

                    The service and the setting are hard to beat. Have fun.

            3. Very ambitious itinerary!

              For bistro near Louvre, try 1) Le Grand Colbert on rue Vivienne/ galerie Colbert. Very historic. And brasserie rather than bistro. Just above Palais Royal (the gardens are a must!). It's one of the few brasseries where you will find a clientele in your age group. Or 2) award-winning and amazingly affordable Spring on rue Bailleul (3 or 4 mins from Louvre).

              For pastries/ etc, try 1) Hugo & Victor on the boulevard Raspail @ rue Chomel in the 7th/ near le Bon Marché department store or second shop just off the place du Marché Saint-Honoré; and 2) Bread & Roses on the rue Fleurus in the 6th (and then doze in Luxembourg park) :)

              10 Replies
              1. re: Parnassien

                "Le Grand Colbert on rue Vivienne/ galerie Colbert. Very historic."

                Historic? You surely mean the address, not the resto. It is pretty, the food is ok (if I only have good-ok-bad to choose from).

                1. re: Parigi

                  it's a re-born (1992) bouillon (1900) in a 1637 building ... what other adjective would you use? food has been good my last 3 times (Apr-June)... or perhaps appreciation is not just a matter of taste buds ... le grand colbert pleases more than the stomach only

                2. re: Parnassien

                  Thanks for the suggestion, this is my first trip to Paris and we might not travel to Europe again in the next few years, hence a bit ambitious itinerary.

                  1. re: lefan

                    Sorriest, esp if you think you will not come back to Paris, why o why waste a day in Disneyland? Ambitious is not how I would describe a short trip that includes Disneyland.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      Well, i still try to persuade my wife not to go, however she agree with my restaurant itinerary ,i guess i have to compromise something :)

                      1. re: lefan

                        You can go outlet shopping in La Vallée Village too (near Disneyland) :) ... but seriously all your food choices are high notes (maybe too high) so maybe a little downbeat might be refreshing

                        1. re: Parnassien

                          Another recommendation for your bistro in the 1st (not too far from the Louvre) is Au Vieux Comptoir. We loved it, wonderful beef bourguignon and wine and chocolate dessert; also enjoyed my cod dish and foie gras. Pretty reasonably priced too and a lovely, buzzy, bistro atmosphere

                          1. re: laurenpk

                            While not in the upper league you would love the ambience of Le Grand Colbert, it is very near the Louvre and the seafood is very good. The Normandy oysters are huge if not quite as delicious as Sydney Rock or Coffin Bay. Willies Wine Bar is also in that area. Laduree on rue Bonaparte is another must. Try it for brekky. Shannon Bennett of Vue de Monde has written a good guide to Paris restaurants, worth a read if you haven't already.

                            75 Champs-Élysées, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

                            1. re: DownUnder

                              Thanks for the advice, i'll look for the Shannon Bennett's books.

                            2. re: laurenpk

                              I can second Au Vieux Comptoir. We had 2 great meals there and the lovely waitress made great recommendations for wine by the glass to accompany each of our separate courses.

                  2. Wow you have a lot of nice places on your list!

                    For a list of pastry-shops in Paris, this article is a pretty good place to start: