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A week of dinners in Paris...?

My husband and I are coming to Paris in the end of May and bringing my precious mother and 18 yo niece who will have just graduated from high school. Mom and I were in Paris 15 years ago, stayed in the 6th. My niece has never been to Europe and is over the moon about this one week adventure. She is a fairly sophisticated eater (from a young age she liked escargots--which I think counts as sophisticated?). We are staying in the 7th. My thinking is that we will be tourists for most of the day and will want something close-ish to our apartment for dinner. Following are our dinner thoughts:

Friday: Café Constant or Le Caisse Noix
Saturday: Chez L'Ami Jean
Sunday: Les Fables de la Fontaine
Monday: returning from Normandy around 8 so will probably be too exhausted to go out for dinner?
Tuesday, Wednesday: I need your help. Based on my research, I am thinking of Les Papilles, Le Florimond, Catherine Reed, or FL. Any thoughts/ suggestions?
Thursday: Spring (have a reservation)

Any opinions? Are we on the right track? I have been perusing the Chowhound France for a month or so...so know that this is a group with opinions---and I look forward to hearing them.

Re my husband, he is a prince and suggested that we bring my mom and my niece. He is not a wine guy, he likes beer. Do French restaurants (in general) have a beer option? A Belgian beer, IPA, Porter, Leffe Blond or Brown, something else interesting and not an American lager would be very appealing. If not we will ply him with fine beers at our apartment before and after dinner.

Looking forward to hearing what you might think....

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  1. I am generally biased against much of this star dining. And even though I could have, I chose Not to dump a family fortune {$110k + today) on an education at New York's Culinary Institute, and instead simply got a large backpack and an Eurail pass, and proceeded to hike about the wilds of Europe. Quite fortunately, what caused me to rethink food in the first place, and what led me directly to the door of a chef who would change my life forever.

    Jacques Cagna had only been in business for a few months when my partner Elly and I stumbled upon his shop near the Louvre and marveled at his astounding Prix-fixe menu. Broke, hungry, and fatigued to near exhaustion, he essentially gave us a free meal. (Like 22 francs for the wine, plus tip.)

    Cagna's recipe is based on his native Provençale, turned high-style Japanese, turned urban fusion, or post nouvelle- whatever. He contributed to the volume, Europe's Master Chefs, and had maintained a steady 3-star status throughout. Recently, his popularity had fallen and he closed his flagship store, largely due to the enormous overhead near Galleries Lafayette, or as his website says, Jacques had desired a much needed rest.

    Luckily, his newer operation continues to thrive today, although I can only guess as to how local patrons perceive it. They probably serve a first class lunch. I suspect his sister still manages the entire affair and if you are lucky enough to meet Jacques in person, he will probably offer you tips on some of his own well-guarded local favorite spots.

    http://www.larotisseriecagna.fr/

     
    2 Replies
    1. re: chezKiva

      ChezKiva- I am wondering if you meant to respond to another thread?

      1. re: cathleenmarie

        No, I seriously really want to know if people appreciate " La Rotisserie d'en Face " ???

    2. We really liked Les Papilles. The market menu is very good and a great value too. Lots of choices for wine but as to beer, I noticed that the options I saw weren't that great for a beer lover. Kronenbourg and 1664 are not too far from American lagers. Found much better stuff in the stores.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Bkeats

        Thanks for the feedback on Les Papilles...I was beginning to waver on this selection. Perhaps better beer in restaurants is a lost cause, as it sometimes is in the US. We do not want to choose restaurants solely on beer selection, may be too limiting in France. I will be sure to report back on the dining experiences...and the state of the beer selection.

        1. re: cathleenmarie

          Its a good idea not to focus on the beer choices when selecting a dining destination. Most places I was at had maybe 2 or 3 choices. Not anything that a beer lover would get excited over. If you are renting an apartment, go to a store and check out the display. Many more options and compared to what you pay in the states, very reasonable prices.

          If you are staying in the 7th, Les Papilles should be an easy walk. One other option I will mention is Chez Denise. Its on the other side of the river in Les Halles. We stayed in the 7th last month but it was a short walk over the Pont Neuf. I loved the basic traditional food they served. Refills on the frites is dangerous as it will lead to over indulging.

      2. "Friday: Café Constant or Le Caisse Noix
        Saturday: Chez L'Ami Jean
        Sunday: Les Fables de la Fontaine
        Monday: returning from Normandy around 8 so will probably be too exhausted to go out for dinner?
        Tuesday, Wednesday: I need your help. Based on my research, I am thinking of Les Papilles, Le Florimond, Catherine Reed, or FL. Any thoughts/ suggestions?
        Thursday: Spring (have a reservation)"

        All look good. A bit Constant-heavy.
        For Tuesday/Wednesday, and if it is important for you to stick to the 7th, Catherine Reed looks promising, no?
        Since you considered Les Papilles, in the remote 5th, you may want to consider Dans Les Landes, for something different but equally inventive like many of the bistros with modern take that you seem to have a penchant for.
        I also don't see how La Rôtisserie d'En Face relates to your post, but there must be a connection. I had a great lunch recently in San Sebastian. Why don't you go there instead? :-)

        3 Replies
        1. re: Parigi

          Thanks so much for the advice...I would not have noticed my Constant heavy itin. Will revise as follows...not dramatically different, but tweaked a wee bit. Of course always open to advice.

          Friday: Le Caisse Noix
          Saturday: Catherine Reed (booked)
          Sunday: Café Constant, am trying to find something open on Sunday...may try Café des Musées because we will be in the Marais that day?...but people in general seem to like the Café Constant
          Monday: Just checked out Dans Les Landes and wonder if it might be a nice, relaxed option post-Normandy. I see they are open until 11 and it is tapas-esque. We most definitely can deal with that very remote 5th.
          Tuesday: Still weighing options (maybe a little side jaunt to San Sebastian, as you suggest--though it is a little farther than the 5th!)
          Wednesday: Chez L'Ami Jean
          Thursday: Spring (booked)

          1. re: cathleenmarie

            Sunday lunch at Café des Musées is nice and relaxed, full of locals. A very different atmosphere from the dinner crowd. If you sightseeing in the Marais, and it being Sunday, CdM is a good option.
            Very smart to end your trip with chez L'Ami jean and Spring. End on a crescendo, yeah !

            1. re: Parigi

              Café des Musées for lunch is a fabulous idea. Was thinking of dinner but lunch makes so much more sense.
              Thanks for the thumbs up on the itin. I will be sure to report how everything goes after our trip.