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Mar 13, 2012 09:19 PM

Paris in two weeks with my Italian chef husband

Hello Paris Chowhounders, any first hand knowledge of Rino, Il Vino, Ciasa Mia, Il Vicolo, Carpaccio?
My hubby thinks it's a waste to eat a single Italian meal in Paris, wants "real" Paris bistro food. He is in the school of local and eat every part of the animal school of eating. We are definitely doing chez josephine dumonet, but beyond that all the recs start blurring together... Merci beacoup, vous etes tres aimables tout le monde!

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  1. Had a very nice lunch at Rino last fall. It is very small, so definitely need reservations. All the others sound Italian, so a little confused. We will be in Paris this May and planning to eat at Le Galopin, Les Papilles, Au Vieux Comptoir, Au Passage, Dans Les Landes, Cafe des Musees and a small Vietnamese sandwich place in the 3rd I read about on the boards. Chez L'Ami Jean should also be on your list. It gets high marks from most people.

    4 Replies
    1. re: macdog

      Oops, just to clarify, the restos I listed ARE italian, was thinking of trying one if any came highly recommended from a foodie point of view. Your itinerarylooks very similar to ours :) and yes Chez L'Ami Jean is on our list for sure! It would be awesome if Parigi or Parnassien, Soupie, etc. Could be there, and we will definitely be trying lots of french wine ;)

      1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

        It is great and refreshing to read a post from someone whose spouse is a chef and knows what he wants. So often we get posts from visitors whose spouses who are picky eaters who want to eat nothing in Paris. :-(

        My fave bistros include a few mentioned by macdog: Le Galopin, Dans Les Landes.
        Another one I like very much is Chez Casimir, with its magnum opus cheese platter.

        The Vietnamese sandwich (banh mi) shop must be the one on rue de Volta, on n°7. I don't think it has a store sign. Don't go next door by mistake.
        Try to get there by 12 if you want to avoid crowds queueing.
        My faves have been the slightly spicy (not killer spicy) barbecue pork or beef banh mi. Angéla will probably ask you whether you want spicy. The word in French is "épicé".

        Unfortunately I will be away in 2 weeks. I always prefer lunch chez l'Ami Jean when the staff is less stressed, and Jégo yells less and the room's noise volume is normal. :-)
        Café des Musées is another bistro that is best as a lunch spot, for similar reasons. Its location is ideal for a nice long after-lunch walk in the lovely neighborhood. I have always had nice lunches there, had good food and good service, especially Sunday noon when it is full of locals, with very few non-French. I have heard that dinners can get hectic and service has its ups and downs.

        For Chez l'Ami Jean, I'd reserve now for a dinner spot in 2 weeks. Or 1 week or 10 days ahead for a lunch reservation.
        For the other places, reserving 1 week in advance is fine. -- You can possibly reserve later, but why risk missing a restaurant you really want to try, during a limited period in Paris?

        1. re: Parigi

          Thank you so much Parigi, vietnamese is one of my favorite foods, and I can't wait to try it in Paris. And my husband loves sriracha sauce, that is so funny you should mention how to say spicy in French :)
          Grazie mille!,

      2. re: macdog

        I second Au Passage, esp. for lunch. It's mostly locals and not too crowded. the menu de marche is the best bang for your euro. 19.50 for app, main, cheese and dessert. last time i was there, they had the most delicious veal liver....

      3. Though the chef's from Rome, Rino isn't "Italian" and is very good. In a similar vein, I really like the Galopin on the rue St Marthe in the 10th. I'm sure others have written better right-ups of it here or elsewhere.

        The Bahn-mi Parigi writes about on the rue de Volta are very good. She might like to know that a new banh-mi place has opened up on the rue des Petites Ecuries, right near the entrance to the passage of the same name.

        30 Replies
        1. re: vielleanglaise

          "She might near the entrance to the passage of the same name."

          I did notice and have been waiting for feedback from our fave guinea pig - you.
          There's such a thAng as a mediocre banh mi, you know. :-)

          1. re: Parigi

            I know -Tang frères sandwiches don't cut the mustard.

            I have a diminutive tapioca junkie in my household who's bugging me to try their bubble tea. I'll check it out before the end of the week. BTW, have you tried the other wares of the dimsum lady at the Marché St Quentin?

            1. re: vielleanglaise

              Tang Frères has very good laqué dishes. The young laqué chef once showed me the bullet holes on his body, all from 4 June 1989. All the more reason to guy his stuff.

              "I have a diminutive tapioca junkie in my household who's bugging me to try their bubble tea."

              Angéla on rue de Volta does it quite well.
              Spouse or child? The tannin plus sugar may make a child - or, hell, spouse - do cartwheels non-stop.

              "have you tried the other wares of the dimsum lady at the Marché St Quentin?"

              I have by now tried all her minimalist dumplings. All good, esp the ones with cloud-ear (black gooey looking) mushroom.
              Egg rolls: tried the small kind, great. bigger ones, with chcken, with lamb (!): very good.

              The diminutive lady is very dedicated. She even tells me in which order to eat the dumplings, putting on one side of the container the spicier ones and reminding me to eat those last.

              The socalled "épicé" sesame noodle. LOL, I can't convincet the patronne that seeing the word épicé, people will think it's spicy. She think épicé only means "containing spices". Well, it is not, but not at all épicé. Par contre, I find the Indochinese sweet note a bit heavy here.

              Sorriest for hijacking this thread. Vieille started it !

              1. re: Parigi

                Both child and spouse uncurable junkies. They know about Angéla's bubble tea, though there seems to be a preference for 37.5m2's.

                1. re: vielleanglaise

                  The brunch there may be the only brunch I tolerate.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    I just tried banh mi from new place on the rue des Petites Ecuries. Had the beef. Brisket, lots of vegetables. Very good though I'd add a bit more spice.

                    Tapioca fans in my house thought bubbles were a bit too gummy, but otherwise seemed to enjoy tea.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Aie, aie, aie. One of your posts that I wanted to reply to seems to have disappeared into the ether. I'll reply in friendlier climbs.

                      2. re: vielleanglaise

                        Any more specific coordinates for "new place on the rue des Petites Ecuries?

                        Ooops. Just found your previous post:."rue des Petites Ecuries, right near the entrance to the passage of the same name." Many thanks.

                      3. re: Parigi

                        I LOVE 37m2's bubble tea. They top Q-Tea, ZenZoo, Bubble-T Chatelet, and Bubble Tea Belleville any day (though hubby prefers Bubble Tea Belleville).
                        -boba addict

                    1. re: Parigi

                      No apologies needed, this is why Chowhound Paris is the best, it's like I am at a dinner party with the best mix of interesting people :)

                      1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                        What a wonderful description! If I was actually at this dinner party, I would be frantically writing on bits of paper and my skin, trying desperately to remember each tidbit of potentially blissful eating!

                      2. re: Parigi

                        I hate to brag, but I now have Gold Card status chez Angela. She gave me her cell number on a Postit which means I will now be able to call ahead to order.

                        1. re: vielleanglaise

                          Get in line. I have had her on speed dial for a year. :-)
                          She and the très regretté Original Chicken Man - he didn't die, he went to Beijing to seek fame&fortune, with his rôtisserie on his back, - were the only 2 food suppliers whom I have had on speed dial, sandwiching the emergency number. Well, they are all "urgence", in the French sense of the word.
                          I tried and did not like the Petites Ecuries banh mi place - actually the place is very nice, it's the banh mi (seasoning, baguette) I don't like - and went to Angela the next day to confirm my taste memory..
                          Indeed her's is superior by a couple of leagues. She's got the best home-brew seasoning plus good baguette. (But am thinking of offering to pay her 1 euro more to trim the fat a little bit.)
                          But she does not have a space for eating the stuff, which means I only go to her in the warmer months, when I can picnic on Jardin Anne Frank.

                          1. re: Parigi

                            Also, PE banh mi is not open on Saturdays.

                            FWIW, had excellent salad and grilled ravioli at Raviolis Chinois Nord-Est. + there are 20 of each to choose from. 20, rue Civiale off Belleville.

                            (husband says they won't put Clement Street out of business.)

                            1. re: mangeur

                              I'm eating with your husband :-)

                      3. re: vielleanglaise

                        "I have a diminutive tapioca junkie in my household who's bugging me to try their bubble tea."

                        Your tapioca junkie must, must try Beauthé
                        32 Rue Poissonnière

                    2. re: vielleanglaise

                      Oh I am so glad to hear first hand accounts of Rino! Thank you so much, and bahn-mi's are so scrumptious.. Addictive really,

                      1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                        Rino is one of my favorites. Small portions of imaginatively combined flavors, never once (for me) off key. Tiny passionate kitchen. 4 course or 6 course no choice menus. Once when I wrinkled my nose at one course, the chef offered a substitute that was under consideration for a future menu. (Beet gnocchi with grilled squid!) Fabulous. At all other visits, all of the courses offered were delightful. Again, this is not a place to go for large servings or chunks of protein.

                        1. re: mangeur

                          Absolutely understood, we have Chez Denise for that! My husband makes amazing gnocchi, by the way, when done right they are small pillows of ethereal bliss that melt in the mouth like I can't explain, I'm not kidding..

                          1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                            I know you're not kidding. When done right, they are exactly as you describe. Rino's, that night, were just so.

                            There are several styles of gnocchi now being featured at these new-style restaurants, sometimes the pillow style and sometimes sauteed after poaching, resulting in little toothsome nuggets. Both good, but also good to understand which it will be when ordering.

                        2. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                          l agree with Mangeur's opinion of Rino. While nearby Septime is a far prettier room, this is far better food, IMHO. The wines from both come from the same store on Rue Paul Bert.

                          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                            Wow, it looks like Rino is on the approval list of some highly esteemed chowhounds- and that reminds me, how IS Bistro Paul Bert lately, man, they are getting some flak from the tourists that for sure, the female server especially. There are so. Many wonderful suggestions on this board for bistros that I really want to cull the wheat from the chaff. Thanks a mil DCM!

                            1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                              For me, Bistrot Paul Bert is a big miss. Shame very close to my flat, but was not happy there or their sister resto next door, L'Ecailler du Bistrot. Current info from Jock on Il Vino, seems to like a great deal.

                              1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                                Stopped by Paul Bert last saturday, it was good (mackerel was awesome), andouillette perfect for a cold-ish grey day; very good wine; no fault.

                                1. re: Maximilien

                                  I know as many folks who LOVE Bistrot Paul Bert as I do those who say "meh," or "eh." I'm going to try it for myself next trip.

                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                    Wendy Lyn wrote a spot-on article on the bistro, using Paul Bert as the example. It explains lots about why the same restaurant can be such a chameleon.


                                      1. re: mangeur

                                        Oh my gosh, I swear I started to choke up, she did a great job explaining that wonderful vibe that some very lucky establishments are handed to them from the food and dining Gods ;)

                                        1. re: mangeur

                                          Excellent article! I just forwarded it to my family so they'll know what to expect from the bistros we hit next month.

                            2. Your spouse is right, no good Italians in Pariggi. Creative lunches, Le comptoir, rue de l'odeon; L'Atelier de Joel Rebouchon(a tad pricey but fab); oysters/shells at L'Ecume in rue du Marche St Honore, or the small street leadig tothe march St. Germain. Dinners: Josephine, Spring (must book now, it will knock your socks off with tis creativity)', lots of good newbies in St. Germiain. Check out Le Fooding, if you spewk French. Best frogs' legs, beef at Moulin au Vent/Chez Henri. Bon appetit, Cuhica FIlleq

                              6 Replies
                              1. re: chicfille

                                "no good Italians in Pariggi"
                                Where's that? ;-)

                                1. re: Parigi

                                  i think it's somewhere near st germiain

                                  1. re: Parnassien

                                    My husband is at Vinitaly right now in Verona, winemakers from all over the world. Anyhoo, we are meeting in Paris this thursday. Turns out my hubby wants to eat cassoulet! Sorry but, What is a real cassoulet and where do we go to eat a good one??

                                    1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                                      Yay, Josephine has cassoulet on the menu, good enough! That will kill three birds with one stone, since I am going for both the beef bourg. AND the duck confit..

                                2. re: chicfille

                                  Merci beaucoup chicfille for your thoughtful suggestions, coincidentally we are going to eat at Josephine for our first Paris dinner :)

                                  1. re: Mcallasmtallchief

                                    Save room for the mille-feuille, enough for four people.

                                3. The original comment has been removed
                                  1. For a chef, or anyone with professional training, or perhaps anyone with a passion for originality, Spring offers a unique experience, book way in advance.