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Dec 1, 2012 11:20 AM

4 Days in Paris and a month worth of restaurants! Please help!

Hi everyone. I've spent the past couple of weeks trying to "narrow" down my list of restaurants for our trip to Paris Dec. 26-30. This site has been fabulous for commentary on specific places and new ideas! We were in Paris a few years ago and loved Le Severo and Le Comptoir the most, but had other good meals as well. I"m hoping you can all help me fine-tune this list.

Thanks so much in advance for your thoughts!


A few notes/questions as you look through these:

--We are staying in the 1st, on Rue des Pyramides near the Tuileries
--I'd like to have a mix of more modern French (but not TOO fussy or high science/molecular) and bistro/comfort food.
--Also a light(er) meal or two thrown into the mix for days we do lunch and dinner
--Any thoughts on which places are best for dinner vs. lunch are appreciated
--Very willing to travel for great meals, but would prefer not to do that for every meal
--Need one great steak frites to replace our favorite, Le Severo, which is closed that week
--We would do one higher end meal -- probably for lunch to avoid spending a small fortune -- as long as it's not too precious. Last time we had lunch at L'Astrance and loved it.
--The ones at the top of the list (*) are the ones that stand out the most to me as of now

There are some other places we've tried that are closed that week, like Bistro L'Ami Jean.

*Bistro Paul Bert (for our steak frites fix)
*Chez Dumonet Josephine
*Les Papilles
Frenchie (thinking of eliminating)
Frederic Simonin
L'Atelier du Joel Robechon (we have been to the one in NYC and really enjoyed it, so part of me thinks it's silly to go to this one. but it seems right up our alley in terms of food and atmosphere for a higher end place)
Table d'Eugene
Le Pantruche
Restaurant Garnier -- for oysters, maybe our first day since it is not far from our hotel and we'll be tired

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  1. I've been to all but Roseval and Verjus because they're only open at night and haven't been to Simonon since it opened but can offer no help in narrowing your list down because there are no weak ones on it. I guess I'd plug Pirouette because they are clearly making a great effort with great results. Garnier's fish & other seafood aren't bad either.
    And you've not got any of the newer Japanese chef'd places (except Sola which opened in 2011) that we've been talking about on an adjacent thread: L'Office, Abri, Clandestino, Les Degres de Notre Dame, H. Kitchen etc.

    9 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      Thanks, John. While I'm glad to hear I have so many good choices, I have no idea how I will make my final selections! Not a bad problem to have I suppose. I guess some will be decided for me as I will likely not be able to get in everywhere I want anyway.

      Do you think I should keep Sola or are those others you suggest better?

      I am thinking of laying it out something like this:

      Wednesday (aka jet lag day) -- stay near(ish) to hotel
      Lunch at Garnier or Spring (if we get in) or Salon du Fromage Hisida
      Dinner at Pirouette or Frenchie wine bar or Spring

      Lunch at Sola
      Dinner at Frederic Simonin (thinking of changing this to Septime if we can get in)

      Lunch at Robechon or maybe Jean Francois PIege (a friend just added that one to my list!)
      Dinner at Les Papilles

      Fromagerie 31 (not on my list, but a favorite cheese place our last trip)
      Dinner at Bistro Paul Bert

      1. re: debra1234

        Keep Sola. Have lunch at Spring followed by an aperitif at Frenchie bar a Vin and a late dinner at Pirouette. I doubt you'll be able to reserve at Septime, but you might as well telephone to see. I would choose Robechon for Friday lunch. Saturday seems fine enough. Still, this is a lot of food. (I'm a dinner only person.)

        1. re: debra1234

          I would keep Spring for a non-jetlag day. Daniel's brilliance should be enjoyed when you have full use of all your senses, lol.
          Maybe move Les Papilles to your first day ~ easy, no choice menu, comfort food, don't have to think about it too much to enjoy it (I know Spring is no choice either, but I would want to savour and remember everything I ate at Spring)
          Great list & Paris during the holidays ~ so jealous! Have a great trip,

          1. re: parisjo

            Excellent points re Spring and Les Papilles. Also consider that your panoply of options may serve you well since it is possible that some of your choices will be closed during your visit for year-end holiday.

            1. re: parisjo

              Sometimes I like to start with one of my better choices, notwithstanding jet lag, since my appetite is the best in the beginning.

            2. re: debra1234

              I just noticed that Spring is closed for lunch on the 26th, in any case.

              1. re: Nancy S.

                Thanks, all. Mangeur, I agree I will have to take what I can get in some cases based on places being closed and/or booked. Sola only had availability Thursday at 12:30 (which feels too early for our first full day, but I took it anyway).
                Jo, love that I will need "all of my senses" for a meal at Spring. Hope I can get in!
                Nancy, great idea to have an apertif at Frenchie followed by dinner (if we can stay awake!).

              2. re: debra1234

                Sorry I'm late in replying; out looking for canapes for our new apt.
                In any case, as Nancy S. said, hold Sola, it was my Number 1 in 2011 with a solid 8.0 (pix elsewhere), and don't do Spring on a jet-lagged day as Parisjo says.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Thanks, John. Saw your write-up...looked great! Congrats on your new apt.

            3. One less to choose from... Les Papilles is closed 23-Dec through Jan 2.

              5 Replies
              1. re: Gman

                Oh no! Les Papilles was in my top 3 if not #1. I couldn't tell on their website. Thanks Gman.

                1. re: debra1234

                  debra1234, I wouldn't be too disappointed. Imho, I've had lots of better meals in Paris than the one at Les Papilles. I thought it was very overrated.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      count me as one more in the overrated dept.

                      1. re: jock

                        Thanks, ChefJune, Parigi and Jock...I'll move on to other places!