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Five nights in Paris, and then off to Alsace for three nights of exploring a region of which we know NOTHING!

Thanks to many of you we have [I think] a fun itinerary for our first five nights in Paris. Then, on the suggestion of some of you, we're off to Alsace where we are staying in a small hotel just outside of Corton. I think we have a fun assortment of dinners lined up in Paris [we're staying in the 11th, so that defined many of our choices], but we are wide open to suggestions for Alsace.
For Paris, 1st day flying in, where I know we'll be jet-lagged and tired: dinner at Le Barav wine bar. Seemed nice and simple.
2nd night: dinner at Metropolitain
3rd night: Dinner at Marie Louise by Canal St. Martin
4th night: dinner at Galopin? [left message on phone today for reservations]
Last night: thinking of dinner at Ober Sale.
Any comments would be appreciated. We're hoping to have lunch at Au Passage one day, but most days we'll sort of wing it, depending on what neighborhood we're exploring. My sense of all the above restaurants is that the food is good, the prices are reasonable, and the vibe is low-key. With those adjectives in mind, if anyone has recommendations for Alsace, we're open to all suggestions. We'll have a rental car, and we're staying at http://www.agneau-katzenthal.com/
[thanks to a CH recommendation!]

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  1. It's a very good line-up for Paris. Just a minor caveat: Le Barav is small and can get very crowded in the evening... there's also a confusing system of buying your wine separately from the wine shop (part of the bar).

    Le Mary Celeste on the rue Commines in the 3rd is a delightful and excellent new kid on the block and should be considered. ... wine bar/ cocktail bar/raw bar/ small plates resto combo... maybe a 5-min walk from your apartment

    6 Replies
    1. re: Parnassien

      We have 6:00 PM reservations for a Tuesday night at Le Barav, and we were just looking for something simple. It will be our first day in Paris, and I'm guessing we'll be pretty tired and out of sync with the time change, so Le Barav seemed pretty low key. I did like the fact that you could purchase a bottle of wine next door and then drink it with dinner at the bar. But if you think we'd have a better time at le Mary Celeste . . . . . ? The reality is that any place we go to in Paris is going to be head and shoulders above our local choices back at home!!!

      1. re: bauskern

        I'm a "both...and", not "either...or" kind of guy so I'd do le Barav AND le Mary Celeste. BTW, Mary Celeste has an oyster happy hour from 5 to 7pm but I suspect the kitchen doesn't get into full swing until 7 or so. And even 7 is early for Paris (peak dinner time is 8 to 10pm).

        You should have le Barav all to yourself at 6pm so my worry about overcrowding doesn't really apply in this case.

        1. re: Parnassien

          This is a question for you and John --we would like to visit the Rodin museum, and are looking for a simple place to have lunch in the 7th. I looked at John's extensive list of restaurant reviews, but most of the places seemed a hair pricey or a little too much food [we're dining out most nights]. Any recommendations would be great.

          1. re: bauskern

            There's a little buvette/ snack bar in the absolutely lovely gardens of the Musée Rodin. Not exactly haute cuisine but quite decent and, in these exquisite surroundings, everything tastes good.

            Le 122 on the rue Grenelle/ 5-min walk is a restaurant both JT and I like a lot... you can get away with a 1-course lunch there. Similarly and also just a 5-min walk, La Laiterie Clothilde on the rue Bellechasse will do a light lunch.

            It's a Costes place and so will get an immediate sneer from most Chowhounders but Café de l'Esplanade on the rue Fabert on the other side of Les Invalides is quite an enjoyable place for a salady lunch and people-watching. Maybe a little over-priced but the setting makes it almost worth it.

            You can also take pot-luck during a walk down the rue Bourgogne... there's a few boulangeries like Rollet-Pradier (be prepared for attitude) and another whose name escapes me that sell sandwiches... I seem to remember salads being available at one of the Rollet-Pradier outlets (there are several on the rue Bourgogne) but not sure.

            1. re: Parnassien

              bauskern; Agree with Parnassien, and I don't think the 122 is overpriced.

              1. re: Parnassien

                Thank you both. Sounds like we'll find something that meets our needs. [ I still have memories of our first trip to Paris three years ago when we visited the Musee d"Orsay, and we found a spot for lunch about a block or two from the museum, and the food was so bad, that I turned to my wife and said, "Well I guess it is possible to find a bad meal in Paris!"

      2. "Metropolitain" The one in the 4th or the 16th (which I very very much prefer - 6.0 rather than 3.5/10.

        4 Replies
        1. re: John Talbott

          The one in the 4th
          rue de Jouy 75004 Paris

          We've heard nice things about it . . . . Someone on CH said that it was one of the high points [meals] of their trip . . . . We're not looing for super-fancy; just good food and nice atmosphere, and reasonable prices. . . .

          1. re: bauskern

            For this one (and only) time, you can ignore the Talbott guy. :)

            Métropolitain is great!

            1. re: Parnassien

              I agree, Parnassien has it right all the time, everyone else loves it, I hit it on a bad day, go.
              But if I'm right, P I getta meal on your sleeve. At McDo's.
              John

              1. re: John Talbott

                I'll report back to you after we've eaten there . . . .
                [but given the dearth of good places to eat near where we live, realistically, I think we're going to love each and every place on our list!]

        2. Your Paris dining plans sound dandy to us. We've happily rented an apt in the 11th and enjoyed the area.

          Re Alsace, glad to see you are going to the little hotel in Katzenhal, just outside of Colmar, and very near other nice villages. For dining nearby -- and putting aside the fairly numerous Michelin starred places -- we hope you might enjoy the hotel's nice little dining room, and two other local and similarly fine (not fancy) places that we again recommend, mentioned in your earlier thread --
          http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/888657 -- "Restaurant des Cascades," in Stosswihr, at the end of the road in a low-mountain valley, http://www.restaurant-des-cascades.com -- and "Le Pressoir de Bacchus," up north at 50 route des Vins, 67650 Blienschwiller. -- Jake

          1. Although it is wonderful that you have such an itinerary, leave room for the unexpected. My first time to Paris, I came with a scholarly notebook, worthy of a travel thesis, and that was ok, but the best times I had were when I just wandered around and followed my nose, and the colors and sounds of the city. I ended up living there for a year and a half, and I never used that notebook with all the listings and recommendations and all, and had fabulous food, wonderful fun and beautiful experiences. Give more trust to your "we'll sort of wing it" and I have no doubt you will have many marvelous experiences!

            1 Reply
            1. re: laraffinee

              That's certainly good advice! I'm trying to balance a certain obsessiveness with the Paris portion of our trip with a more relaxed "we'll just see what we see" when we arrive in Alsace.
              We're staying in the upper 3rd/11th [Bd du Temple] with lots of time to just walk around the neighborhood. Our trip is one month away and I'm very excited.