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Jan 29, 2013 05:05 AM

Paris - what restaurants to pick for next trip ?

Annual trip set for May, and now for the fun part :-) I wrote about the places visited last year, in short CLJ full tasting menu at 80 E was the best meal i probably ever had, especially at this price point. Septime on the other hand, was not a good lunch and we will avoid it this trip.
We will have a small apartment and do inhouse eating, but i'm still looking for a couple of lunch and dinner options.
I very much want to visit again CLJ for a crazy tasting menu, i wonder if there is anything else in the city of this cliber and not a "fancy exprience", that may fit the bill of around 80 E pp and might be as good or close to CLJ.
Other options - i'm thinking about places like Dans Des Landes, Le Galopin which is close to apartment, maybe Jadis for lunch.. But don't know, maybe i'm missing real gems except from the more "known" options i mention. And also would be glad to know info on possible very small "family" ran places with exceptional cooking and the more neighborhoody "romantic scene" of some small tables inside or on sidewalk, that capture in your opinion a true Parisian expirience of this type of eating, regardless of Arr. number. For my GF it will be the first time in the city, and i know she will be glad to eat in this "type of place"..
Thanks for the help !

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  1. Dans Les Landes has great food but is not romantic. It is hip , which means noisy, and it has a giant-screen for rugby matches, sud-ouest oblige. Great, hip atmosphere, great food. Romantic? Not.
    But once I mad such a (non-)recommendation of another resto to a visitor, who ended up going anyway. He wrote back with the rebuke that any place that is in Paris and has great food IS romantic. (So why did you ask for a romantic spot, dude? Grrrrrrrrrr)
    Chez l'Ami Jean is another good example. I love it to bits but would not consider it romantic. (Do you, who is planning on going back ?) When it gets busy, I am half-sitting on a stranger' lap and I hear his sweet nothings much more clearly than my date's.
    Quoique… for a resto that I consider non-romantic, it has sure given me an inordinate number of orgasms. But that's between Jégo and me (and my girlfriends…)
    So I must admit I understand nothing about visitors' concept of romantic setting and snould stick to recommending what I consider to be good food. :)

    4 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      I hear you Parigi :-) Actually if my GF would have known that i was looking for something with a hint of "romantic" mixed inside, should would have thought that i've gone really and badly mad.. I think we will leave the romantic moments for the seafood and wine feasts at the apartment "-)
      I guess i mean more the mood of this "crazy good food in Paris no-nonsense bistro happy setting" or so, and CLJ applies for number 1 i guess in this list. Actually when i ate the tasting menu last year it was at lunch, and place was half full, and "in the corners" i could have imagined it to be a "romantic potential" darkish bistrobar setting place.. A bit complicated, i know..
      So for sure i will stick to the good food, as my unofficial religion commands, and probably will do also Dans Les Landes. How do you rate it compare to Au Passage and Les Papilles ? Wgich of those is a "must try" ? Or none of them them is not exceptional enough to be crowned "not to be missed" ? Thanks for your opinions and info now and in the past :-)

      1. re: oferl

        Dans Les Landes serves very different food from Les Papilles. Since it is the same arrondissement, sometiems visitors asked us to choose, and hands down we went for DLL. Much more inventive, much more choice.
        I have not been to Au Passage in a year, so am not in a position to compare.

        1. re: oferl

          If you go to Dans Les Landes, ask for the table next to the kitchen. That's the quietest area of the place, and you sit at a normal table with your feet on the floor, not on high bar stools.

          1. re: bcc

            Thanks, wrote this to myself, this place was on my list last year, but eventually did not try it, but food there sounds "special" and interesting enough to try.

      2. Take a look at Casa Olympe on Rue St Georges. Menu changes frequently. Had a wonderful meal there about a month ago. Rarely mentioned on this board.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Thanks a lot, indeed first time i read about it, taking a look around in the net for more info. Starting also to catch up on latest threads here to get more updated reviews and talks about latest places..

        2. "Romantic"?
          I see no romance on this thread - I see good food but not romantic.
          Do a search, I swear we've been down this road before - with the Tour d'Argent, Grande Cascade, Pre Catalan.

          5 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              I keep coming back to "romantic."
              This thread prompts three ideas: Violin d'Ingres, Les Ambassadeurs and Le Crillion.

              1. re: John Talbott

                I understand your obsession with "romantic" because it means so many different things. I keep hearing the line from the old song "My romance doesn't need a castle rising in Spain...", realizing that I don't consider palace dining rooms and other upscale restaurants romantic. Great for snow jobs, of course, and for anniversaries after a certain age. But for me, a small room without invasive music or glaring lights, little distraction in the way of decor or complicated service, peopled by other couples equally absorbed in themselves. An intimate space where we can talk and gaze and laugh.

                1. re: mangeur

                  Harummpf. My "obsession"? The OP used the word.

                  But I agree with you that "a small room without invasive music or glaring lights, little distraction in the way of decor or complicated service, peopled by other couples equally absorbed in themselves. An intimate space where we can talk and gaze and laugh." is perfect. That's why I've started taking decibel levels in the restos I report on.

                  But still Margaret, ah sorry, Mangeur, don't you think the magic of an elegant place, even for a guy like me, who's half in the grave, is something special and romantic.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    It may very well be. And if it floats your boat, I say "go for it". Just saying that I personally don't find super posh romantic.

            2. Try this:


              Fantastic and enormous traditional French fare.

              1. We've only been to Paris once so far . . . but try Hier et Aujourd'hui - - - it's a little off the beaten track [I recall in the 17th, but you have to walk about a mile from the metro] . . . very much geared to the locals in the neighborhood; run by a husband and wife; small place, maybe 7 or so tables, but the food was delicious.
                I think there is now possibly a new owner/cook, but check some other threads on CH . . .

                6 Replies
                1. re: bauskern

                  You raise an interesting issue and confusion; between Hier et Aujourd'hui in the far reaches of the 17th which is OK for what it is and Le 122: Le Bistrot d'Hier et Aujourd'hui in the heart of the Minstries in the 7th, which is splendid.

                  1. re: bauskern

                    Hier et Aujourd'hui closed in May 2011

                    I second Dr Talbott re Le 122. Very Pleasant space, food and check their website for music offerings

                    We shall be eating there when I take My wife to Paris for Valentine's Day. V Day luncheon at La Tour D' Argent
                    UP Doc

                    1. re: UPDoc

                      Happy Valentines to you and the Missus; I'll be eating United's worst.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Well, i didn't mean to turn this into a "romantic" thread :-) But i think that i got a couple of very interesting options for the "small neighborhoody place" category, so thanks a lot everybody !
                        And BTW : liked website of Le 122 and menu listed there, good candidate for "the list" "-)

                        1. re: oferl

                          I think the 122 is a classy place with consistently good food.

                      2. re: UPDoc

                        And, re Le 122, we lunched there and third it -- pleasantly open and light space, nice dining, we likely will return for dinner. -- Jake