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Aug 11, 2012 01:36 AM

La Vilette?

Anywhere good to eat near La Vilette? (19th ar.)

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  1. Try the steak house, au Boeuf Couronne, or it's namesake, Petit Boeuf.

      1. I suppose you mean the Parc de la Villette which is always a bit problematic. Other than the somewhat pricey but consistently good Au Boeuf Couronné I've never found anywhere worth an entry on my "to-do-again" list on any of the perimeter or adjoining streets. We usually go to the outdoor cinema or for a concert and almost always bring a picnic. On occasion, we have gotten a decent meal at the café or sit-down restaurant Le Hulbot in the Cité des Sciences on the north side of the parc but sheer convenience is probably the only reason to recommend it. Further afield, the "104" multi-purpose arts complex on the rue Aubervilliers/ rue Curial has a sometimes wonderful (almost heavenly), sometimes less-than-wonderful restaurant Les Grandes Tables du 104 and the more consistent Café Caché. Very much on the hip circuit and therefore not suitable for tourists yearning for the cutesy. But if you hit les Grandes Tables on a good day, the excellence of the inventive cuisine is so outstanding that you will probably not remember you are out of your comfort zone. On a less than a good day, let's just consider it an adventure. A 20 minute walk from the la Villette through some very, um, interesting territory.

        For more traditional fare and ambiance, Le Laumière on the rue Petit/ rue Laumière is quite decent and well-priced if you stick to the "formules". The menu is littered with supplements so be very careful when ordering. Better on the fish than meat side. 15-minute walk from the parc.

        6 Replies
        1. re: Parnassien

          Thanks very much to both. I have been wondering about Les Grandes Tables and also wondering how far it is from La Villette. I' have been there before but from the nearest metro. I take it you don't mean genuinely interesting territory ? What is the walk like? impoverished? rebuilt?
          Actually yesterday we ended up taking a walk through Parc de la Villette and then genuinely not interesting long walk to cutesy 1893 Le Pres-Saint-Gervais in Pantin. Good old fashioned rich food But too out of the way to recommend. Hoche is the nearest metro..

          1. re: Fuffy

            "What is the walk like? impoverished? rebuilt? "
            How about pre-transition?

            1. re: Fuffy

              Pre-transition is the perfect description.

              Yes, the quartier Villette is relatively impoverished but no evidence of grinding poverty or menace. The main streets like the ave Jean-Jaurès, ave de Flandres and rue Crimée are typically parisien but the side streets can take you to little (and sometimes not so little) patches of West Africa, Algeria, Romania, etc. Personally I enjoy the immigrant kaleidoscope even if, on the food level, there are few, if any, good examples of foreign cuisines here. For a prefect representation of the quartier, the Thursday and Sunday market on the place Joinville is a combination of marché, bazaar and souq. Cheap and colourful with a sort of pidgin French as the lingua franca.

              The walk from the parc de la Villette to the 104 will, unfortunately, take you through some unpolished areas made even shabbier by the litter caused by dumpster diving on recycling pick-up days. Probably just under 2 km. Sociologically interesting but an architectural hodgepodge that can seem very dull after 10 minutes.( But far more human than your under-the-Périphérique walk from the parc de la Villette to le Pré St-Gervais in Pantin.) Getting a Vélibre to bike it is probably the best option. Second best, hopping on the #60 bus from the rue d'Ourcq just off the ave Jean-Jaurès to the Crimée-Curial stop can cut down the walking time by about 10 minutes.

              1. re: Parnassien

                Many, many thanks. And by the way, I made a mistake: the bistro we went to is called Le Pouilly-Reuilly and is in Le-Pre-Saint-Gervais.

                1. re: Fuffy

                  I'd weigh in on the side of the Grandes Tables over the Boeuf Couronne despite the distance.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    John, We are great fans and followers of yours. We find you very reliable. We like your Go? bit for when we are recapping in a hurry so please don't omit. All your hard work and suffering adds much happiness to our lives.Thanks.