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Need one more Paris restaurant - help please


Headed to Paris first week of July for 4 days and need help picking a restaurant for our last night. Also, input on the current dining plan is welcome. Traveling with husband and 20 year old twins, all of us foodies. And it's the kids first time in Paris. Here's the plan so far:

- Lunch at Comptoir du Relais or at L'Avant next door
- Dinner at Fish (La Boissonnerie)- will only do drinks and light dinner/snack if we have full lunch at Comptoir

- Lunch at Le Cinq for husband & I (kids off on tour of city)
- Dinner at La Regalade St. Honore - (would normally not do Le Cinq and La Regalade on same day but kids want a substantial dinner that night --the things we do for our offspring!)

- Morning food tour of Montmarte w Meg Zimbeck--tastes and snacks during the tour
- Dinner - Chez L'Ami Jean

- Day at Versailles
- Dinner??

Additional details:

- For our last night I would like a restaurant with a more modern style of French cuisine since the other choices (except Le Cinq) are more traditional brasserie/ hearty type fare. I would like to keep it to 60 -120 E per person. I want to walk out of the meal saying wow, this is a place I want to come back to.
- A friend suggested Gaya (she had 2 excellent meals there in April) but I cannot find any feedback re Gaya on Chowhound.
- We are staying in the 6th but are willing to travel and don't mind walking a couple of miles for a post dinner stroll
- We eat everything; however I do have a shellfish allergy --but I find that I can generally work around it. For this trip we are not that interested in Asian fusion cuisine (from Northern California, eat alot of good Asian food and some fusion here)
- The 20 year olds are comfortable in both fine dining and trendy/happening environments.
- Both Le Cinq and Chez L'Ami Jean are repeats from a trip last year (thank you Chowhounders for both recommendations.)

I have combed the boards for the last week and have failed to hone in on an obvious choice for our last night---suggestions are greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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  1. I went to Gaya a couple of years ago and liked it; I mean to go back again.

    Remember that it's a fish/seafood centric restaurant and is quite "modern".

    1. I strongly suggest Le Chatomat in the 20th. Its lovely, tiny, incredibly well priced, and the staff are friendly beyond expectations for Paris. You will need a reservation at least two weeks in advance, three might be better. Could not recommend it more highly. Found it to be just as good as places like Verjus, Septime, and Vivant, especially for the price (although the wine at Vivant still makes it worth it).

      1. My two favorites in Paris for modern French cuisine are Agape Substance and Passage 53, I've been to both several times, and each dinner has been superb.

        1. Two places we visited twice during our Apr/May visit that might fit your criteria are Neva Cuisine and Auberge du 15.

          1. Le Comptoir du Relais = OK if you show up early enough before lunchtime but I suppose you know that already. L'Avant-Comptoir is better for a snack.
            Gaya I'd recommend too.
            Fish La Boissonnerie has gone seriously downhill since the chef left for Albion (right bank). I'd recommend Semilla, just across the street.
            La Régalade Saint-Honoré, well, okay. If I really wanted good food as well as a substantial dinner, I'd pick Les Jalles, rue des Capucines. Flawless cooking. Come to think of it, that might be the last-night choice you're looking for. Please be warned that it's a bit on the expensive side.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Ptipois

              We had dinner at Les Jalles last month. I certainly agree that it's a better choice than La Regalade, which I find merely acceptable in terms of food and especially in terms of atmosphere. Les Jalles is a great space with great lighting and a very good menu.

              1. re: Ptipois

                I a very much in agreement with Ptipois. With Le Comptoir show up at 12:00 or after 2:00 and it is easier. It will be interesting to see what happens to Fish now Drew and Juan have Semilla up and running, I would try Semilla myself, but I believe they have settled down their cheffing teams Fish may rebound.

                As for Gaya - it used to be a favourite of mine, especially to sit at the bar (at least book the ground floor room). That is before the then chef headed off and opened Jadis. It is a Gagnaire restaurant and Pierre does rotate some of his staff from his 3 star restaurant through Gaya for experience so I would expect the kitchen team to be good and standards to remain excellent.

              2. You might consider Saturne for the modern one.

                1. Depending on your budget, I would go for Neva Cuisine or Kei.

                  1. Went to Terroir Parisien in the 5th last mont and really enjoyed it. Big and Airy, it's classic bistro food with modern twist and fresh local ingredients. I reccomend it highly and you can reserve online!


                    1. Thanks to everyone on their great suggestions. Here's a revised plan:

                      - Lunch at Comptoir du Relais
                      - Dinner at Terroir Parisien

                      - Lunch at Le Cinq for husband & I (kids off on tour of city)
                      - Dinner at Dans les Landes or Semilla

                      - Morning food tour of Montmarte w Meg Zimbeck--tastes and snacks during the tour
                      - Dinner - Chez L'Ami Jean

                      - Day at Versailles
                      - Dinner at Saturne or Les Jalles?

                      Based on the above list, would you choose Saturne or Les Jalles for the last night fab meal? Are the wines problematic at Saturne due to the biodynamic aspect? How would you compare the atmosphere between the two restaurants? Is one more vibrant than the other? They both appear to be strong food choices...

                      9 Replies
                      1. re: annebach

                        Have found the wines to be a great part of Saturne, yes they are bio, and some are oxidised, but in a very, very good way. Last time l did the pairing with dinner l was amazed at the diversity of the flavors and the perfect matching, it gets you a lot of wine, a great lot of wine if you do the pairing.

                        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Sounds good. Just not used to hearing the words "oxized" and great wine in the same sentence. After looking into things a bit more have decided that Saturne is perfect. And it will be interesting to try the wine pairing.

                          1. re: annebach

                            There's a big difference between "oxidation" in wines and "controlled oxidation". The former is an unhappy accident and the latter is a desired effect. Think dry sherry, vin de voile, etc.
                            In order to distinguish one for the other, it is customary to use the terme "oxidative" for the latter instead of "oxidised". At least that is what is done in French (oxydé, oxydatif, oxydation ménagée).

                            1. re: Ptipois

                              Thank you for the additional clarification. Booked Saturne for our last night so will hopefully be drinking some of these interesting wines...

                              1. re: Ptipois

                                Whilst I agree, and some Bio wines are pretty good, I find a lot a pretty atrocious. IMO a case of "emperors new clothes". I believe some wine styles benefit from it whist for others it is a gimmick. A good aged Rioja in classic style can be a superb contrast to the modern big over fruited wines. But, and it is a big but, lots of the bio wines are pretty averge, and many are verging on the faulty.

                                My advice with Saturne (and other Bio places) is to try the wines, be brave and experiment. A few are great. But if it doesn't taste great don't blame yourself and think you don't get it. Simply ask for something else until you find something good.

                                1. re: PhilD

                                  Random thought. We often go out of our way to find bio produce and meat, celebrate the Raspail bio market, but happily skarf wine from vines that have been heavily doused with herbicides and pesticides without questioning the residue of these chemicals. This method of vintaculture is only a handful of decades old, so we really have no track record for the long range effects of these residues.

                                  The option of trying even average but clean wines is not without merit, IMHO. And given time may take us back to the excellent wines produced before the government pushed for greater production through chemical intervention.

                                  Just thinking out loud...

                                  1. re: PhilD

                                    Just for clarification:
                                    Are you equating the difference between modern riojas and the old-style riojas with the difference between "natural wines" and, well, all other wines? (for lack of a proper terminology, advocates of "natural wines" make all other wines pass as "unnatural", which has been so far an unsolved problem).
                                    And, also, could there possibly be in what you wrote a confusion between bio wines and natural wines?

                                    The three dichotomies (modern rioja / old-style rioja, natural wines / other wines, bio wines / natural wines) are definitely distinct. So could we go a little further in those distinctions?

                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                      Sorry should have been clearer. My Rioja comment was related to the oxidized comment as the old style was was deliberatly oxidized compared to a modern one.

                                      And I should have been clearer on the Bio term, I used it as short hand for Biodynamaic rather than the meaning the French term Bio which means organic - which is different. And whilst I appreciate that Natural and Biodynamic wines are slightly different catagories they are in effect very similar in terms of the wine that is produced as Biodynamic grapes are often used to produce natural wines, and many natural wines use biodynamic grapes.

                          2. You may also consider Neva Cuisine... It was our favorite restaurant in Paris when we were there in May (more impressive than Chez L'Ami Jean, in my humble opinion). It fits the bill of being more contemporary than traditional, and is very delicious with great service as well.