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Solo in France - Reservations?

kireland Mar 6, 2013 05:45 AM

I am going to be in France this month for four nights tacked on to a business trip. My husband can't join me so I will be solo. I've travelled in Europe before but never on my own. When I travel solo in North America I usually dine at restaurants with nice bars as I prefer to sit at the bar when dining solo (feels less alone). I tried to book my hotels in France close to restaurants I want to dine in so that walking alone at night isn't an issue (my thinking is late night dinners so that I can be out and about during daylight hours and closer to 'home' later at night - all the better after several glasses of wine)!
- I have one night in Kaysersberg ( Alsace) and I am staying at Le Chambard, which has it's own very good restaurants so I'm covered there (going to dine in the Winstub).
- In Reims I am staying for one night at the Grand Continental, which looks like it is close to many restaurants though I've yet to book one (Assiette Champenoise does not look like it would be that close/safe to walk to).
- My last two nights are in Paris and I am staying at Hotel du Cadran in the 7th off the Champs de Mars.

While I am interested in recs for Reims I am most concerned about Paris. I will be there in just over two weeks, on a Friday and Saturday and I haven't made any reservations yet - sacre bleu! I had tentatively been thinking of drinks and oysters at Huiterie Regis on the Friday followed by a light late-ish (9:30) dinner at Cafe de Flor (craving something simple and well prepared like roasted chicken or a great omelet). On the Saturday I was thinking of going more upscale and nouvelle - drinks at Fenchie followed by a late dinner at Chez l'ami Jean or Reed's. I know both of these restaurants are small/popular but as a solo diner I am hoping that might make it easier to slide in. Am I delusional - should I make reservations somewhere before leaving? If not at the places I've mentioned then where?

Thanks in advance!

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    Oakglen RE: kireland Mar 6, 2013 08:18 AM

    There are a number of quality spots near the the Cadran; Dr. T has reviewed many of them. I would add Florimond and Cafe Constant (no reservations/ bar seating available).

    3 Replies
    1. re: Oakglen
      John Talbott RE: Oakglen Mar 7, 2013 08:31 AM

      I guess I've reviewed all, but I would heartily endorse:
      All three Constant places
      Catherine Reed
      L'Ami Jean
      and a bit farther away Le 122

      1. re: John Talbott
        kireland RE: John Talbott Mar 7, 2013 09:12 AM

        Merci John! I am calling Chez l'ami Jean today and have decided on Cafe Constant for my other dinner. CC, Huiterie Regis and Frenchie wine bar do not accept reservations so wish me luck with winging it!


        1. re: kireland
          John Talbott RE: kireland Mar 7, 2013 10:15 AM

          The trick with the CC is to get there at an hour that Parisiens would consider unseemly early - in my case because i eat only lunch - at 12 on the dot. He has a counter if all else fails.

    2. ChefJune RE: kireland Mar 6, 2013 01:13 PM

      Assiette Champenoise is a bit out of Reims. But it is well worth the cab ride!

      1. k
        kireland RE: kireland Mar 7, 2013 08:15 AM

        Oakglen & ChefJune, thank you for your replies! I had been meaning to look up Cafe Constant and jsut did so. They have just the dish I've been craving - Volaille «Patte Bleue» rôtie au beurre d’herbes, petits oignons, lardons et champignons - and that has convinced me! It is also closer to my hotel than Cafe de Flor, one of my objectives. I will just have to visit Flor one afternoon instead for a glass of wine and people watching - poor me!

        1 Reply
        1. re: kireland
          ChefJune RE: kireland Mar 7, 2013 11:26 AM

          good choice. the food at Flor is (imho) abysmal.

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