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Sep 5, 2012 08:52 AM

Stade de France area - lunch suggestions

Any suggestions on a suitable place for a good lunch for a group of 8 before a Saturday rugby match in October. Kick-off is 14:35 and we could think of starting lunch at 12:00 or 12:15 but restaurant should be reasonably close.

Is there anything around the cathedral of St Denis?

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  1. Yah, as a matter of fact while La Plaine is barren, a new place is opening begining of October in the Puces de Clignancourt, 110 rue de Rosiers in Saint-ouen called Ma Cocotte chef'd by the guy from Bon Philippe Amzalak. There are some other places out there (I live nearby) I've tried and none have blown me away or inticed me to return.
    Since it's one stop on the RER from the Gare du Nord, that might be a better idea - Chez Michel or Casimir.

    2 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      Thanks to John for this - the guy always increases the sum of human happiness.

      Ma Cocotte it is then - we've tracked down the phone number (01 49 51 70 00) and reservations will soon be in place.

      Gare du Nord area had been the fallback but we're nothing if not adventurous.

      1. re: kerriar

        Although I am fond of Chez Casimir, I have heard that its weekend half-buffet-half-meal is not as good as its regular meals.
        Other alternatives very near Gare du nordd, at that hour, are two good eateries inside the great Marché St Quentin, practically across the street (diagonally) from Gare du Nord: the Portuguese rôtisserie lunch counter and a couscous place called Le Marrakech.
        On the couscous place, I can only find this re its former address, but it's the same guy. Remember the address here is wrong:

    2. Le Mets du Roy, rue de la Boulangerie, though I haven't been in years and there's a new management now.
      A Portuguese restaurant: Macedo de Cavaleiros, rue Henri-Barbusse, some say it's good.
      Not far, Le Coq de la Maison Blanche in Saint-Ouen. A landmark.

      10 Replies
      1. re: Ptipois

        Final choice went to Le Coq de la Maison Blanche in Saint-Ouen, mainly because of its rugby associations.

        It may be a landmark with a long history but seems to live on its faded laurels today. Menu looks ok but what arrived on the plate was uninspiring. Four had coq au vin à la campagnarde (heavy, over salted and served in a slap-dash manner as if thrown on the plate from a large pot – inconsistent portions and splashes around the edge of the plate were a bit too authentically "campagnarde") and two had selle d'agneau (dry, overcooked but then nobody had asked how we wanted it). Deserts were ok and really large – a Malakoff looked enough to feed a besieged garrison.

        The place is obviously an institution. At one point the maître d' paused in taking our order to greet the arrival of "monsieur le ministère" and everybody turned around to look before going on with their meals ("oh, c'est seulement lui"). Nobody in our group recognised him – the women decided that the attractive companion was the wife rather than mistress as he immediately started to take phone calls and generally ignore everybody.

        It is convenient for Stade de France – but hey, Paris is a compact town with a transport network and there are so many good places to eat.

        1. re: kerriar

          I see. According to your description Le Coq is now only the shadow of its former self. It used to be terrific. So sad.

          1. re: Ptipois

            There really was an impression that Le Coq used to be a great place but now feels as if it has seen better days.

            The last time +/- the same group had lunch together it was CLJ on a freezing cold Saturday in February - no contest here I'm afraid.

            Thanks to Ptipois et al for the various heads-up - I hope the report is useful to somebody if only to steer them in a better direction.

            1. re: kerriar

              Well, to be fair, it is not easy to find a bistro that compares with chez l'Ami Jean in Paris intra muros, let alone in slim-pickin St Denis.
              Indeed next time it is best to lunch in Paris somewhere near the RER line to Stade de France.
              For example, Pirouette has very good food and is very close to the Les Halles station.
              For more casual bistro food, recently I had a very good couscous at Martel on rue Martel, which is easily walkable from Gare du Nord. The setting is lowkey charming, the clientele funky. The restaurant also has French bistro food, but I did not try.
              But don't expect chez l'Ami Jean level.

              The traditional rugby street in Paris is rue Guisarde, with quite a few good eats options. It is not that far a walk to St Michel station: 14 minutes, unless you are drunk and lost.

              And are you guys going to be boisterous and sing dirty rugby songs? Then better chez Martel or chez Casimir, not Pirouette please. :-(
              You can sing your lungs out on rue Guisarde. In fact if you don't, people give you dirty looks.

              1. re: Parigi

                "boisterous and sing dirty rugby songs" - ah yes, those were the days when we rather went to Parc des Princes but recently we've all sunk into very bourgeoisie habits laced with only the occasional exhibits of bohemianism – guys who once painted the town deepest crimson until dawn now bring their girlfriends or wives (but generally not both) and ask questions like "can you depend on the quality of the fines-de-claires in this place?"

                Picking the wrong place to eat is the biggest sin these days.

                O tempora O mores!

                1. re: kerriar

                  If you are afraid of sinking into rugby whimphood inexorably, your salvation may indeed be a tour of rue Guisarde on a key date. And as I said upthread, the restos on the street (like Le Machon d'Henri) are really not bad.

                  I remember one rugby song that my French friends sang. As the first notes rang out, every wife and girlfriend and innocent woman bystander would get up and leave the table, taking care to grab jacket scarf bag, otherwise the latter accessories would be used as vivid props for the lyrics, and afterwards one would not want to use them, or touch them, ever again.

                2. re: Parigi

                  Not at Machon d'Henri. I think our historic waiter would escort the entire table to the door, not that there is ever a space for eight in the tiny room.

                  1. re: mangeur

                    Considering what he said about my bra size, I doubt it.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      The tall, slender "black"haired guy who works weekdays? Surprise on me! Or the younger, darker, stockier weekend guy?

              2. re: Ptipois

                "I see. According to your description Le Coq is now only the shadow of its former self. It used to be terrific."
                Circa when Ptii; I was unimpressed in the late 1980's if my dates can be recalled.