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Sep 14, 2011 07:01 AM

5 days in Paris - dining and shopping advice needed

I've been reading the France board for a while and keeping track of recommendations but I would like some additional advice from those who know Paris well. We've rented a flat in the Marais, so will be rather centrally located, and with a kitchen so that we can take care of our own breakfasts at least. I would very much appreciate some suggestions for:
- Good, casual bistro or brasserie-type places that serve good quality meals (probably mostly dinner) for a moderate price. I'm not sure what, exactly I mean by moderate, but we won't be wanting to spend more than 50 euros p.p. on dinner, including wine. Location doesn't matter since we'll be close to a metro station and probably plan to walk a lot.
- One or two slightly more upscale place but not on the level of, say, Robuchon. I've been seeing a lot of mention of L'Ami Jean, Frenchie, Chez Josephine Du(something). Do any of these fit the bill? We aren't particularly interested in adventurous modern cookery but would appreciate delicious French food, prepared well.
- Great markets. I'll be doing more research before we go (late October) but I'm wondering if anyone has favourite outdoor or indoor markets - either the street kind of permanent. In this case closer to the 4th arrondisement would be helpful since we'll be shopping for food.

Thanks for any help. One reads all the posts and ends up more confused than before sometimes. I've tried to figure out what kind of food and price ranges are represented by the many recommended restaurants and it's not easy. It seems that most people who discuss Paris restos already know the places by name and reputation. I don't.

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  1. Just a few things on your mammoth request. Very close walking distance to you, 2 metro stops, is Chez Denise, very classic bistro. regarding CLAJ,CJDumonet, Frenchie ,yes they are what you are looking for, but the first two will top your price point by a bit. For a market you will be a few blocks from Marche Richard Lenoir, on Thurs and Sunday at the Bastille. Jacques Genin for sweets on Rue Turenne with very good boulangeruie across the street. Also great food stores on rue Bretagne, butchers, cheese, etc. Caves Bossetti on rue Archives is a super place for wine, Chartreuse, and Absinthe.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      To clarify - for the "slightly more upscale" restaurants, we are prepared to spend more than the 50 euros I mentioned. We'll probably do one of these dinners, and be a bit more frugal on the other nights. Thank you for your suggestions - very helpful.

    2. We are staying in an apartment next month in the Marais and we will eat at Cafe des Musees on Rue Turenne in the Marais and Les Papilles in 5th. The first is a casual but excellent local spot in Marais, Les Papilles is a walk across the river and has a wonderful no choice 4 course meal. We ate in both places last May and will be returning. We also had a good lunch at Breizh cafe and at Les Philosphes in the Marais. Both very casual but good. We are going to try Rino (I believe within walking distance to the Marais) and either Moustache or Saturne for our last two meals.

      5 Replies
      1. re: macdog

        Great - I'll make a note of those suggestions. I'm pretty sure our flat is either on or very near to Rue Turenne - so very convenient. I'm considering Chez Josephine Dumonet for our more expensive meal out. From what I've read, it hits all my weaknesses: duck confit, boeuf bourguignon, etc.

        1. re: Nyleve

          Definitely! We love Chez Dumonet and have returned almost every month since we moved here 6 months ago, because our friends kept wanting to eat duck confit =p
          Actually, if you're not planning to drink expensively, Dumonet is doable for E50 per person, especially since the duck confit and boeuf bourguignon that you mentioned are their low-priced entrees. And its quite acceptable to share entrees and desserts given the portion sizes. Though you might not want to since everything looks so enticing =)
          my experience here:

          1. re: xigua

            Le Gagne, has mixed reports lately, but we have had two impressive Meals there in the past year and the price is moderate.
            It is in the Marais
            We also enjoy CJD and have a reservation there next week.
            DH loves the confrit!

            1. re: erly

              We ate at La Gaigne last spring and although people running it were really nice I don't remember food being that memorable. Might have been what I ordered because some posters think very highly of it. Another spot that I have read about on CH is Au fils de saisons in the Marais. They have a duck with confit that sounds wonderful. Here is a write up from this spring on another post.

              Dinner on Saturday night was at Au Fil de Saisons, a place I couldn't resist trying after reading about it on Chez Christine's blog (link below). This restaurant is definitely on my list of places to recommend and to revisit. The amuse was a tiny cup of asparagus soup. For starters, I had the house foie gras - a large slice served with a sprinkling of pepper and sea salt and a few divinely supple dried apricots. My friend had the scallops, which were outstanding. My main, the house special duck cooked for 7 hours, with foie gras melting on top of it, was wonderful. My companion had the duck breast with chestnuts and grapes, and it too was fabulous. For dessert, I had the palette of ice creams. All five were delicious, but I was too full to eat more than a few bites of each. My friend had a millefeuille with rhubarb and kiwi which I thought sounded odd, but it was scrumptious. We shared a bottle of 2005 Chateau des Hautes Ribes Vacqueryas, a very smoky red wine that paired nicely with our duck. The tab for dinner was an even 90Euros for the two of us.

              1. re: macdog

                Wow. That sounds wonderful, and such a great price!