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Feb 15, 2012 05:59 PM

How soon should I reserve? Are the restaurants, I have listed all similar in cuisine/style?

We will be in Paris for 5 days and nights in early June, part of a month long visit to France. We have been to Paris many time but not since 2005.

For dinners, I would like to keep the cost per person somewhere between €30-50 max not including wine. It seems our list is heavy with traditional French bistro style cuisine, with nothing modern or edgy, so would welcome any suggestions so long as the price point matches up. In years past we always made it to La Fontaine de Mars (obviously pre Obama), and Chez Denis. We may want to return to them again. Anyway, here is our list. Would like to narrow it down to probably 6-8 lunches and or dinners and if room in our stomachs, wing the rest or just have charcuterie etc at a wine bar. We will be in the 1st arroidoisment so I know there are plenty of good wine bars there. List in no particular order.

La Regalade Saint-Honore
Les Fines Gueules
Cafe des Musees
Les Papilles
Cafe Constant
Bistro Le Paul Bert
Chez L'Ami Jean
L'Auberge Cafe
Le 122
La Chateaubriand( is it beyond our budget and how difficult are resos for first seating)
La Comptior(seems the resos are too difficult, maybe the no res lunch or L'Avant Comptior)
Chez Michael or Cafe Casimir(do they exceed our budget)

Will also try and work in some oysters. We love Le Baron Bouge but don't think they serve oysters in June. Do most of the Places specializing in oysters still serve them in June? And finally, love classic steak tartare heard Les Fines is popular for it but have read conflicting reviews, most positive except some that the beef does not stand out because of the pesto? Any suggestions, recommendations greatly appreciated. Oh and as my original posting ask how far in advance should I reserve for any one of these restaurants listed especially given it will be the first week in June. Thanks

La Chateaubriand (would this be more than the €50 max per person?)
Le Comptior (reservation seems unlikely or a hassle, perhaps the no res lunch or L'Avant Comptior)
Frenchie or Spring (how difficult are resos and do they exceed our budget)

La Fontaine de Mars
129 Rue Saint-Dominique, Paris, Île-de-France 75007, FR

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  1. I forgot to list Frenchie or Spring but concerned about difficulty with resos and there price point.

    5 Replies
    1. re: mick

      I am at least as paranoid as you. We usually book 3 weeks in advance, either by phone from home or through our hotel, emailing our deskman our requests. (He nags me to just send him our needs and not bother with international calls, etc.) The worst that happens is that one choice is not available on the day I have suggested and we have to make revisions. Sometimes I anticipate those that are harder to book and suggest that he book these first, then fill in around them, giving him the closure days for our list. That said, this lead-time is not sufficient for either Spring or Frenchie.

      Le Chateaubriand is a crap shoot, the highest of highs on some days for some diners and the pits at other times for others. I need to review your other posts to calibrate your tastes, but we found LRSH a huge yawn, if not outright disappointment. Cafe des Musees might be a better lunch choice than dinner; we were surrounded by loud English speakers and served by distracted waiters at dinner. Food was ordinary and conversation was impossible. If you haven't been, Les Papilles is sweet, delicious and comforting if not eye-poppingly revelatory. Given your list, I would also recommend La Table d'Eugene in the 18th, one of our favorites, a modern bistrot anchored firmly in the classics.

      1. re: mangeur

        Wow,so already too late for Frenchie and Spring. Oh well, maybe try and hit Frenchie wine bar. Spring was bar is no longer, correct? So they would be booked for both lunch and dinner? From what I've looked at 3 weeks should be sufficient lead time for others. Will definitely check out La Table d'Eugene online, thanks. Also, don't know if La Baratin fits and or Philou. Appreciate your feedback on LRSH.

        1. re: mick

          No, no, not too late for YOU to book for June seats at either. I meant that my normal 3 week leadtime would probably not get you at table at either. You should be in good stead.

          1. re: mick

            I love Le Baratin; my husband doesn't. It is classic, bare bones, old fashioned, excellent plain cooking, seething with atmosphere...but that is very hard to describe or define. You will either find it homely and amusing or surly and "meh".

            We haven't hit Philou, but will this spring. Will report, if there is something to say.

            1. re: mick

              Baratin and Chez Casimir fit your budget and IMHO should be on your list. Pleine Mer, for oysters might be open, but Rgis will not be. Chez Denise does my fav tartare in Paris. Paul Bert and it's sister restaurant for oysters next door L'Ecallier du Bistro are not my favs despite being 100 yards from my flat. Lastly original Regalade is preferable to St Honore location.

        2. I was about to answer to your list, but mangeur beat me to it with La Table d'Eugène, then I wanted to answer your question about Le Baratin, but she did it again...

          Anyway I agree completely with everything mangeur said.

          But just to add something to the post, the name of the restaurants are Le Comptoir and l'Avant Comptoir (since you repeatedly wrote "comptior" I'm assuming it is not a typo). That will help you search for the restaurant online.

          5 Replies
          1. re: Rio Yeti

            Found them online but thanks for the correction. Is L'Ecume Saint-Honore open during June and are there oysters worth seeking out?
            Regarding so called wine bars which of these are actually that as a opposed to having full on food service and which would consider making a trek to.
            Le Cochon a L'orille
            Le Rubis
            Vermis Wine Bar
            Le Garde Robe
            A La Clochon Des Halles
            Frenchie Wine Bar
            Les Pipos
            Bar de la Croix Rouge
            Fish la Boissonnerie (new place opening soon x street?)
            Au Passage
            Aux Deux Amis
            La Verre Vole
            Le Dauphin (alleged cool factor could knock me out)

            In past have gone to Willi's, probably will not return, very good food just doesn't do it for me.
            Love Le Baron Bouge, will return and Au Petit Fer a Cheval.

            1. re: mick

              drop la regalade st honore and add the original location

              for more modern try jadis - or am I so 5 minutes ago?

              1. re: mick

                Ref wine bars. The ones i know:
                Rubis, has a dining room upstairs but is pretty much pure wine bar downstairs, traditional rather than great wine - but i love it.
                Juvenilles, not really much of a bar, more tables in shop, sells food but mainly wine focussed - OK.
                Frenchie, tries to be a winebar but most go to eat - good for food less of a bar.
                Fish, is food for most, but get a seat or pot near the bar and it works well for a drink, good advice (maybe too much English for some) long list and lots of interesting by the glass - i always enjoy it .
                Au Passage - is a restaurant with a bar and few non dining drinkers - very good but only for a meal.
                Le Dauphin - too cool for school, a good bar wasted as everyone is there for the food - not one i woud go back to.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Interesting, thanks. Just the sort of info I was seeking with re: wine bars. Curious if you know, other than Spring do the restaurants I listed have typical fixed priced menus under the €50 mark. Obviously, not including wine or supplements. I've searched CH and many websites including the restaurant sites but seem to get conflicting information. Perhaps some reviews or info I've received is dated.

                  1. re: mick

                    From memory those that i know do: Realade, Cafe des Musees, Papilles, Constant (but if it doesn't it i cheap), CLJ, Chateaubriand (just above at €54), and Le Comptoir du Relais (yes at lunch and Sat/Sun dinner and weekday dinner during holidays). L'avant Comptoir doesn't have seats.