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May 13, 2012 09:12 AM

Less-Touristed Places in the 4th?

ISO of some more locals-frequented bistro places in the 3rd or 4th Arr. Prefer French, no ethnic. Moderately priced, if possible. Thanks for the help!

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  1. We are going to Metropolitan in the 4th on Wednesday night. It has some positive reviews on CH. We were able to reserve online.

    1. In the Marais/ 4th awash with tourists and suburbanites, the list would be very short and tentative... maybe just Le Hangar on the impasse Berthaud, Jaja on the rue Sainte-Croix de la Bretonnerie, Pamela Popo on the rue François Miron, Métropolitain on the rue Jouy, and, on a good day, Bistro des Compères on the rue Charlemagne. In the Haut-Marais/ 3rd the list would be longer: Chez Nénesse, Le Taxi Jaune, Au Fil des Saisons, Derrière, Le Vertbois, Pramil, Glou, Le Progès, L'Aller-Retour, Café Crème, L'Intention, Cantine Merci, Chez Jenny etc etc etc. But even here I would imagine that the proportion of parisiens would usually be no more than 50% at best (and far less on Saturday nights). Even though I've tended to list places where the food is good, the presence of locals is, however, more of an indication of style, trend and price than of culinary quality. We parisiens tend to eat quite late so if you have a meal at 7:30pm, you will find few of us anywhere. And BTW, "locals" are usually far better represented in ethnic restaurants.

      14 Replies
      1. re: Parnassien

        We are staying in an apt. next to Jaja. Worth checking out?

        1. re: macdog

          Jaja is a love it or hate it place. And, I think, a wee bit too expensive to take the risk for dinner. If they have a cheap prix-fixe for lunch (I dunno), yeah give it a go. The courtyard is lovely.

          Probably les Philosophes or le Trésor around the corner are safer bets.

          1. re: Parnassien

            Thanks Parnassien, John Talbott wasn't very impressed so we were probably skip it. Off to Terroir Parisien tonight. We had a good lunch at Chez Prune today, don't hear much about it on CH.

            1. re: macdog

              For some reason, lots of places around the Canal St-Martin don't get much attention from Chowhounders. Maybe it's because most tourists just cluster in the inner arrondissements. Chez Prune is great for a light meal and a bout of people-watching. And other lovely little places like Chez Marie-et-Louise and Bistro des Oies are sadly overlooked on this board as well.

        2. re: Parnassien

          The Marais itself has a ton of tourists. Would restaurants in nearby arrondissements not be an option?

          1. re: Parnassien

            Parnassein - it interesting how things change, I remember when Le Hangar was a fave of the board, I always assumed lots of tourists. But we rarely see it mentioned these days.

            1. re: PhilD

              There still are lots of tourists... just not as many as other places around the Pompidou. Only half the clientele is tourist rather than 90% elsewhere. It's difficult to find. A saving grace.

              1. re: Parnassien

                Last time I lunched at Le Hangar, I did not notice the nationalities of the diners.
                What else did not stand out was the food.
                It was not bad. It was not something I would cross town (or half a town, in my case) for. I would gladly go back there if I were in the lovely Jardin Anne Frank and there were a sudden thunderstorm.

                1. re: Parigi

                  Any thoughts on Le Petit Marche in the 3rd? It's Asian/French fusion menu is appealing for a change of taste. Only feedback I can find is on Zagats and Yelp (I know that can be highly suspect).

                  1. re: macdog

                    We thought Le Petite Marche expensive for the small portions the first time we went several years ago, but have been back twice and like it better. Quite good. Tables outside fill up quickly - Inside not very appealing. In Paris we usually eat out for lunch when we see only the French.
                    At the new White Gorilla (where Cotelettes was) the other night, we were the only non French. Lebey and I like it but my husband did not.

            2. re: Parnassien

              @Parnassien: As usual, yours was an informative and reliable post! We had a really lovely meal at Le Taxi Jaune tonight (Gâteau d'aubergines à l'agneau, wow) ... but it's closed tomorrow! We'd like to stay close here in the neighborhood (Filles du Calviere - Arts e Metier - Oberkampf) and find something of similar quality and feeling... Any tips, please??

              1. re: oswaldino

                Saturday night without rezzies is hell. Although the feeling is totally (and I mean TOTALLY) different, I'm tempted to suggest the Restaurant Pierre-Sang Semper on the rue Oberkampf in the 11th simply because the food is soooooo good and it's a no reservation place. If you get there at opening time, you might not have to wait long. Also on rue Oberkampf, the lovely Ober Salé which seems quite old-auntie at first sight but is quite trendy and the cuisine is pretty bistronomie-ish... and affordable. Pramil on the rue Vertbois/ 3rd is more sober and more expensive than le Taxi Jaune but might do. If you like seafood, i'Ilot on the rue Corderie off the rue Charles-François-Dupuis is new, cheap, and cheerful. But again, none of my suggestions have the Taxi's excessive cuteness.

                Let us know how you cope with Saturday-night la-rentrée hell. :)

                1. re: Parnassien

                  Merci!!! I'll you know...... Back to Maison et Objet....

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    Indeed the wait was way to long for our patience and schedule (for the record we got to Pierre-Sang at around 7:45 Saturday night and the waiter estimated a 9:30 table). The place looked great and was really hopping -- we'll stop by next time we're in town. So down the road to Ober Salé, found a table with no reservation, and had a very satisfying meal from start to finish, and the waiter was very welcoming indeed. bistronomie-ish describes it perfectly: gazpacho with halibut, red-wine braised beef and crème brulèe scented with anise, just to give an idea. Loved it, thanks!

                1. re: lemarais

                  Yes, please. And also Terroir Parisien.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    I think that Metropolitain was our favorite meal in Paris. They brought a small starter of guacamole and chorizo that was a an immediate hit for us Californians. I am a little hazy on what the rest of the family got, but I loved my crab soup to start and then cod with fingerling potatoes in a lemony sauce. My husband and one son got Calamari for an entree and second son got something he loved, but what it was escapes me. The server was extremely friendly and the whole place had a very nice vibe to it. Will definitely return for our next visit. Terroir Parisien was also very good and has a nice modern ambience with a big room and tables spread apart. My younger son had stingray and says it was the best meal of his week in Paris. I had a wonderful watercress soup and lamb with potatoes gratin. Will definitely go again.

                    We enjoyed Le Petit Marche if only for a slight change of taste. My son liked his Chinese chicken salad as a starter and i had a very good swordfish with mango (I think) salsa. Good spot for French food with a little Asian fusion thrown in. I think I read that it is owned by Chez Janou people.

                    Another spot that worked well for something different was our visit to Grazie on rue Beaumarchais. The twenty something sons needed a break from french food and their pizzas were a welcome change and very good. We also had a great mussels and clam starter that we all dug into. We had a great first, jet lagged lunch at Breizh cafe and the special I had of white asparagus and duck crepe was sublime. And our next day lunch at chez Prune near canal st. Martin was also very satisfying. I had a vegetable salad plate and one son had a wonderful plate of Gambas that we all tried and enjoyed.

                2. Anything good close to the rue des Lombards? How is le Grizzli?

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: lemarais

                    You are pleasant walk, considerably under a km, to Chez Denise.