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9 Days in Paris - Lunch and Dinner List - comments much appreciated!

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Hi there

Thanks for reading this. My husband and I are foodies and we are headed to Paris after my husband's insistence to have the best foie gras ever (and to celebrate my birthday) :) So I would be grateful for some feedback on my food itinerary. I am not sure whether some of the places I have down in my list are the must-gos or otherwise and which are better for dinner and which are better for lunch. We will be in Paris from 22nd October to 30th October. As mentioned, the husband loves foie gras, we love our steaks, I love my oysters and we are not interested in having ethnic food in Paris as we are from Asia and can get ethnic food easily. Would like a mix of Michelin-starred places and authentic bistro food and would love to hear what you have to say. Oh and we are staying at the Left Bank. Thanks!

Guy Savoy
Chez L'ami
Frenchie
Chez Garnier
L'argume
Le Meurice
Le Bistrot Lorette
Le Duc
Pierre Gagnaire
Thoumieux
Le Petit Retro
Le comptoir du 7eme
Le Recamier
Les relais de l'entrecote
La Tour d'Argent
Les Ambassadeaurs

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  1. I have been to Paris 3 times and am usually travelling alone, so I am too intimidated to eat at most of these places.

    But I love Le Fonataine on Rue Souflet you can look down from the patio to the Pantheon.
    Also Rue Mouffetard restaurant lets you see all the action there.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Luna2372

      Thanks!

    2. Do you mean Chez L'ami Jean or l'ami Louis. Either will give you the death-by-foie-gras experience. :-)
      Personally I find Chez l'Ami Jean more leisurely, with less chef yelling, at lunch, although I always enjoyed myself there, lunch or dinner.

      16 restaurants in total for 9 (full?) days is a lot.
      One major meal a day is plenty enough. Excuse me for not re-re-re-re-rewriting the reasons but I will invite you to consult this very recent post:
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/803472

      This is another current thread that covers your grounds somewhat. Excuse me if you have read it already.
      http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/7886...

      Your idea of mixing starred places with a bistro meals is a good one. You just need to schedule one major meal a day, and alternate starred places with non-starred places.

      -----
      L'ami Jean
      27 Rue Malar, Paris, Île-de-France 75007, FR

      25 Replies
      1. re: Parigi

        Yes it is nine full days and thanks for the links!

        1. re: Parigi

          Do you have any bistros to recommend? Thanks!

          1. re: misochi

            On your list? Chez L'Ami Jean is a magnum opus bistro. Did you mean Jean or Louis in your mysterious reference of l'Ami? I had already asked you in my last post.
            Thoumieux is not bad.
            Saturne is very good and is a good backup to Frenchie if you can't get in the latter or don't want to, since recent reviews have not been stellar (on Frenchie).
            Dans Les Landes is a very good tapas bar. Several days into your food trip, if you think you are getting proverbially fed up, the tapas style of eating may work, because you can order any number of smaller dishes.
            Bistro Lorette is a very nice neighborhood bistro, in a not very exciting neighborhood. If you are in the neighborhood visiting the musée Gustave Moreau or visiting the Amélie part of Montmartre, that will work. I don't know about crossing town for it.
            Café des Musées has nice traditional food, in a lovely Paris bistro settting in the Marais. But I keep worrying that it may be spoiled soon. Hope my vibes are wrong…
            Chez Casimir has better food, also in a lovely Paris bistro setting. But its service is weird. Its two waiters seem to play good cop bad cop.

            1. re: Parigi

              Thanks! Are there any restaurants that are on the Left Bank that are must-tries? I am deciding between a hotel at 7 rue Casimir Delavigne right now and 15 Rue Jacob 75006, both of which (as I understand it) are situated on the Left Bank.

              1. re: misochi

                Forgive me for repeating my question the 3rd time: On your list, did you mean chez l'Ami Jean or chez l'Ami Louis? Or don't you want to tell us?
                Both hotel locations are very nice.
                Lastly, Jean or Louis?
                And one last thing: Jean or Louis?

                1. re: Parigi

                  Apologies! I didnt mean to not answer your question! I dont know actually. I got this list of tips a year ago and the person didnt specify! "CHEZ L'AMI (sp) for best Foie Gras " Not sure what the "(sp)" means. Apologies once again!

                  1. re: misochi

                    Mystery solved ! Sort of. The two amis are in very different parts of town and have a very different take, and have their own fan club. I would be like confusing Tokyo with Kyoto !

                    1. re: Parigi

                      But both are good?

                      1. re: misochi

                        Yes. Maybe reading the long list of reviews of both on this board will help you decide.

                    2. re: misochi

                      I'm confused - I've been to Chez L'ami jean a few times and I don't think foie gras was even on the menu. So confused about why it would be on a list for best foie gras. Am I missing something?

                      1. re: estnet

                        Hi Estnet! I just had a long list of restaurants that I was hoping to have the friendly people here vet through and as much of a foie gras fiend my husband is, he doesnt need to have it at every meal :) so the discussion above just included some comments fellow chowhounds had on my choice of restaurants. Incidentially, do you have a best foie gras experience in Paris? Thanks!

                        1. re: misochi

                          Thanks for the clarification.
                          I think the best foie I had was at a restaurant in the ?17th - a few years ago, but sadly I can't remember the name. It was one I found about on this board and I was there for lunch - which was prix fixe.
                          The thing about the foie was - they offered a WHOLE roast foie for a small supplement - AND they were willing to do a half for one person! It may be the only time I felt like I couldn't eat more foie for a while :)

                          1. re: estnet

                            Thanks! Sounds great. Hopefully we'll have the same luck

                    3. re: Parigi

                      Parigi, I've read many of your posts (and delucacheesemonger) and you are a wealth of information! I have a trip planned for mid-October and I plan on staying in the Saint-Germain area. I've read a lot about Yves Camdeborde, Hotel Relais Saint Germain and, most importantly, Le Comptoir and L'avant Comptoir recently. I emailed the hotel and was told that Le Comptoir is booked up through March 2012, but that you can get in for lunch because they do not take reservations. From what I've read, this sounds like my kind of place. The chef is a bit of a renegade, the prix fixe dinner menu is set and reasonably-priced, and he has gotten a lot of good press.

                      I'm curious about your thoughts on Camdeborde and his restaurants. Are they worth seeking out? Lunch at Le Comptoir, or drinks & hors d'oeurves at L'avant Comptoir?

                      Thanks in advance!

                      p.s. To misochi, sorry to highjack your thread. Hopefully, my post will help you in some way too. :)

                      Also, I thought of finding a cheese shop called Dubois and Kayser Boulangerie. Oh, and what about Huitrerie Regis for oysters?

                      1. re: lynnlato

                        Lynne - did you search the board - Le Comptoir is featured in numerous posts.

                        If you stay at the hotel they generally keep tables for guests if you want the set dinner. Lunch (and Sat dinner) is quite different from mid-week dinner - no reservations and lots of choice from the "brasserie" menu. The set dInner is good but few reviews as it is tricky reservation (the toughest in Paris?) probably not helped by the fact that Yves is a France Masterchef judge.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          Yes, Phil, I did. I was just looking for some specific info from Parigi. And I'm aware that the hotel reserves tables for it's guests - sadly, they are booked (although they did email me twice advising that I am on a waiting list and offering a reccomendation of another 4-star hotel nearby).

                          The toughest in Paris? Really? That might explain why I want it so badly. That and the fact that it is a relatively laid back atmosphere and approach. I'm holding out hope that the company with whom my husband is doing business with while we are there might be able to pull some strings. Unlikely, I know, but a girl can dream. :-)

                          1. re: lynnlato

                            Huiterie Regis is excellent and open now, walked by it yesterday. They had Belons, Fines de Claire, and Pousses en Claire, running around 30 euros/12. Dubois and the original branch of Kayser are around the corner from each other near Maubert-Mutualite metro. Dubois is super.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              Thank you Dcm! I had written down some of your recs from another post and Hiterie Regis was one of them and is a must for us. I'm curious which are your favorite oysters? Belons?

                              I had also written down Maubert Mutualite Market for foie gras, pates & spices, Dubois cheese shop and Kayser boulangerie. Oh, and you mentioned Oteixo for spanish ham.

                              Good lord, how will I ever wait until mid-October to eat these things?

                              (Sidenote: interestingly, I adore my local Dean & DeLuca cheesemonger, Regina, who never fails to send me off with delightfully stinky cheeses, pates and salumi).

                              1. re: lynnlato

                                Try the pousse en claires , unavailable in States. Read up on what makes them what they are.

                                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                                  Do you know if Regis has Tarbouriech oysters? Thanks!

                            2. re: lynnlato

                              Yes really. Other tricky ones like Spring and Frenchie are nowhere near as long waits and the three stars are relatively easy to book. Le restaurant de Jean-François Piège may be as tricky - I am about to try. If you want the difficult to book dinner at Le Comptoir then you can turn up at 6:30 to see if there are any cancellations (then head for a drink) this was out trick when we lived around the corner, it usually worked but then we were regulars and recognized by the staff. if you just want the food then try lunch it is usually a manageable wait.

                              Is it worth it? As our neighborhood restaurant it was great for casual Friday dinner but we tended to head out to lots of other places as well and had better meals - although in those days probable not as good value. So good as part of the mix but not essential and we will probably have a few wines and tapas at L'avant Comptoir when we visit at Christmas rather than try for a table.

                              1. re: PhilD

                                Thanks for the info, PhilD. I think we'll play it by ear and chance and either try for lunch or maybe show up @ 6:30 and see if we can score a table for dinner, as you suggested. I am not so concerned with michelin ratings as I am in a casual yet lively dining experience and some rustic good food. That shouldn't be difficult to find, right? ;-)

                                Thanks again.

                                1. re: lynnlato

                                  Re Michelin: always good to remember Paris is home to Michelin so if it is going to be accurate then it will be most accurate in Paris. Also remember that lots of Michelin one stars in Paris are "casual dining with some rustic good food" the star is for the food not the atmosphere.

                2. re: Parigi

                  one major meal per day was what I had always thought too, so when my best friend & her partner came to visit last week and I played full-time tour guide I only booked us major lunches. However, we always found that we were starving for another "major" meal by the evening even if we had a 12-course meal at lunch, so we did things like: gagnaire for lunch(1pm), pastries in the afternoon(6pm), la regalade for dinner(10pm), and they would buy kebabs and frites outside my door when we arrived home at half past midnight.
                  We all still enjoyed every meal without blurring experiences. I guess it all depends on how big of an ogre you are, we were very much all ogres.

                  1. re: kerosundae

                    hahah sounds just like me. I'm greedy! You mentioned that you went to regalade last week - that's on my itinerary too - wondering what you would recommend to order and how you found it as a whole. And 12 courses sounds AMAZING!

                3. Just a thought, but if your husband is insisting on the best foie gras ever, you should maybe plan to go to the Perigord instead of Paris perhaps?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lax2mia

                    We initially planned to go Sarlat but decided to go to Avignon instead because we didnt want to drive.

                  2. Hi all! Have a more specific outline of where we are going and would love to hear your thoughts. Not sure what to have on Fri night (its my birthday) but didnt want to plan a big dinner given that I will already be having a big lunch - so any thoughts would be most welcomed!

                    Sat – Le Bistrot Lorette(L), Au Bon Saint Pourcain(D)

                    Sun - Drouant (L), Huitrerie Régis (D)

                    Mon - Le Cinq (L), Frenchie (D)

                    Tues - outlet shopping, Le Bis du Severo (D)

                    Wed - Les Ambassadeurs (L), hide (le) - Koba's Bistro (D)

                    Thurs - Reims - Les Crayeres (L), Itineraries(D)

                    Fri (my birthday!) - Le Meurice(L), (D)??

                    Sat – Le Relais de I’isle(L), Le Troquet (D)

                    12 Replies
                    1. re: misochi

                      All your picks are good.
                      Le Relais de l'Isle is an ok bistro with a pretty bar and nice location, nothing more. On a day when you have scheduled 2 meals, you can eliminate Le Relais if you want.
                      I don't know Koba's bistro.

                      I still wouldn't have two major meals on the same day. It just won't be enjoyable. But if you are blessed with such capacity, it is a blessing. Go for it !
                      What I mean is: don't force-feed yourself. That's not the way to enjoy Paris.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Thanks! Maybe I would try one of the chez amis instead of Le relais. :) not sure that it's a blessing to have the capacity to eat two large meals. I certainly can but boy does my wallet suffer. Any suggestions for a birthday dinner after lunch at Le meurice? Thanks!

                        1. re: misochi

                          I can generally pack away some food but after a lunch at Le Cinq (or Le Meurice) I could never do a real sit down dinner. If we want anything at all, we usually go for a crepe around 10:00 PM or maybe a light snack in our apartment. I suggest you not plan a dinner at a restaurant that you're really attached to trying (and enjoying) on the same day as a major, serious lunch so that you can cancel the dinner if you find you're too stuffed from lunch to enjoy it.

                          1. re: plafield

                            will do - thanks!

                      2. re: misochi

                        <Thurs - Reims - Les Crayeres (L), Itineraries(D) >

                        After lunch at Les Crayeres, I can't imagine you will want a full dinner. Might be a good idea to get some charcuterie, bread, cheese, etc. in your room for light eating in the evening after big lunches like this (and Le Meurice).

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          Why is that CJ? I have a tenative trip planned for next September and will I SWEAR TO THE FOOD GAWDS go to some really nice places. Also on my radar is a side trip to Reims/Epernay. Love the bubbly...So is Les Crayeres an opus food stop?

                          1. re: Luna2372

                            Hi Luna - if you are going next September, you can wait for my review of the places I will be visiting :) though of cos it might be different cos things might have changed given that it is almost a year from our trip. Think that CJ is recommending light eating cos lunches at michelin starred places are usually a long drawn affair - taking up to 3 hours (that has been my experience so far) and by the time you are done it might be 3 or 4 in the afternoon, depending on what time you start and most wouldnt be able to stomach a full 3 course dinner after.

                            1. re: misochi

                              Mis - I will be SooOOo looking forward to your review. I have been to Paris 5 times and never gone anywhere "starred" to eat.
                              Don't get me wrong, I have had marvelous food. But Paris is my secret place where I travel alone, and eating ***'ed in Paris alone is just too much for me.
                              But next fall I have made a pact with myself to A) eat in a ***star
                              B) take a trip to Reim/Epernay and C) miss my flight home and stay forever!

                              Bon Vacance Et Bon Appetite

                              1. re: Luna2372

                                :) i love my food and am star-struck so whereever I go, I make it a point to try some starred food - even if I am alone! I usually go for lunch cos it is more affordable and also I dont feel as 'lonely' if I was dining alone. You should give it a shot :)

                                1. re: misochi

                                  I will be waiting for your lunch reviews! And don't skimp on the details of the day...does foie gras go better with cubisim or dada? Or perhaps it's a perfect pairing with the opera...(another venue I'm going to conquer).

                                  I love this thread, and am so happy for you!

                                  This fall I just have to be happy with finding good food in Montana (family trip)

                                  a la prochaine,

                                  L

                                  1. re: Luna2372

                                    Thanks! It would be a birthday trip so am really looking forward to it :) Ha i cannot promise a does foie gras go better with cubism or dada review but i will be sure to reivew the restaurants i visit (and there will be many!) My restaurants have all been booked, a mix of stars and 'local' food. Am just trying to find a really good seafood place to have some seafood while I am there!

                            2. re: Luna2372

                              Luna2372: Les Crayeres is going to be a LOT of food. I know for m yself, when I've eaten an epic lunch, a lighter dinner is necessary, if not always desired.

                              But in Reims, I think Assiette Champenoise has better food, and more inventive.

                        2. We went to Le Bis a couple of nights ago and did not really like anything special. We were recommended it as great Steak, etc, but had better food other places.

                          Lunch or Dinner you have to try this place - http://www.aupassage.com/
                          http://parisbymouth.com/our-guide-to-...
                          BTW - we have had great success with this blog site.
                          We tried Le Verre Volé a couple nights earlier and thought it was good, but Au Passage was incredible!!!
                          Au Passage was the Best lunch/meal we had in Paris; went back a second time and dearly wish we could go again for dinner, but they are closed our last night in Paris. It is some of the best dishes (simply prepared, absolute passion into the flavors) we have had in months - NYC, SF, PDX areas included. If we were local, it would be our wkly go-to

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: DanielLP

                            Hi Daniel

                            Thanks for this. Would you recommend another place for steak in that case? Yes I have heard good things about Passage and will check it out.

                            Thanks!

                          2. I'm going to Paris Thursday and so excited. We, too, are staying in Saint Germain.

                            I would HIGHLY recommend filling a dinner slot with Guy Savoy. Amazing meal; been there twice and he was there both times and is such an amazing host. I felt like we were in his home. I can not even begin to describe the food. It was two of the most amazing dining experiences of my life.

                            The service is the best I ever had as well. To give a quick example, there were 10 of us. One of our friends was telling a story any using his hands (there MAY have been a few glasses of wine consumed at this point LOL) and he knocked into the stem of the glass, breaking it midair, a server caught the bowl of the glass with one hand and had a new glass on the table filled with wine and only 3 of us noticed it.

                            I would not go to La Tour d'Argent unless you have a time machine. :) Been there twice in the last 4 years and it felt so dated and stuffy. Its all tourists too.

                            1 Reply
                            1. re: spcnj

                              I have heard mixed comments about Guy Savoy - seems like it is either really good or really bad. I am not sure that I would want to chance that given the price tag of the experience.. that's why I chose le meurice, ambassadeurs and cinq instead.

                            2. Add this to your lunch or dinner options:
                              http://parisbymouth.com/our-guide-to-...

                              We went there two days ago for our last lunch and were blown away. I outright giggled at tasting a couple things. "How the hell do they get all those flavors to contrast and meld and be so mouth popping?!" We discovered that we were sitting next to a UK/France food critic and he said it was one of his favorites as well.

                              BTW - service was the best we have ever experience. Everyone was very friendly, pretty funny, and all seemed to actually love what they were doing. Twice the chef came out and walked the room to chat with people as well.

                              Worth the investment.

                              1 Reply
                              1. re: DanielLP

                                Thanks for this - will definitely check it out :)

                              2. Hi all - posted my review separately in another thread. Hope it helps!