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Restaurants for Large Family Group Near Musee d'Orsay

bfkirk Jun 18, 2013 10:40 AM

I'm looking for a location near the Musee d'Orsay for a relatively early dinner on a Thursday (7:30 or 8pm) with a group of jetlagged family members.

I'll be with family who've never been to Paris and want to ease them into the experience so was leaning towards something a bit more rustic. We have a group of 8 and tried unsuccessfully to get into Chez L'Ami Jean. What else would you recommend that's not too far away that might be approachable for a large party? I was thinking Maceo but that feels like more on the fine dining side.

Thanks in advance!

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  1. p
    Ptipois RE: bfkirk Jun 18, 2013 11:42 AM

    Brasserie Thoumieux, rue Saint-Dominique. A group of eight is very unlikely to enter Chez l'Ami Jean. Thoumieux is quite near and seems to be one of the only places in the neighborhood that would accommodate such a large group. Pretty good food, too.

    1. v
      Vinnie Vidimangi RE: bfkirk Jun 18, 2013 11:45 AM

      There is a buffet in the Museum. I never got around to trying it. Comments please.

      22 Replies
      1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
        bfkirk RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 18, 2013 01:37 PM

        Thanks. I've heard the museum restaurant is beautiful with mediocre food.

        1. re: bfkirk
          Ptipois RE: bfkirk Jun 18, 2013 04:26 PM

          It is beautiful with mediocre food.

          1. re: Ptipois
            John Talbott RE: Ptipois Jun 18, 2013 05:04 PM

            It is beautiful with surprisingly good food, given one's expectations. Sorry Pti and kirk.
            And while I'm at it, my last and only meal at Thoumieux since the Costes/Piege takeover resulted in my co-dining food writer friend's verdict "if it's Sunday, you're wealthy, lazy, need a voiturier and work-study coat check person as well as "beautiful," tall, rail-thin, tanned, slit-skirted waitresses, it's better than Bofinger."
            My rec: Les Climats, esp if it ever stops hailing/colding - 8 can sit in the garden or inside if awful.

            1. re: John Talbott
              bfkirk RE: John Talbott Jun 18, 2013 05:38 PM

              Menu looks good. Is it more fine dining or brasserie feel?

              1. re: bfkirk
                John Talbott RE: bfkirk Jun 18, 2013 05:47 PM

                Which one?
                Les Climats?
                Gastrobistro or bistronomique, in the vocabulary of Demorand, I'd say.
                But red red red; take a look at Figaro's pix http://www.lefigaro.fr/sortir-paris/2... or mine.

              2. re: John Talbott
                Ptipois RE: John Talbott Jun 18, 2013 10:54 PM

                Sorry to differ from your distinguished food writer friend who unfortunately isn't a contributor here, but I still recommend Thoumieux as a sensible option for a family group of eight people trying to find a decent meal in the neighborhood.
                Once you get past the typically Costes coat-check floozies, the food is good and the place is spacious. I'm afraid the food at Les Climats would be a bit too fussy and ethereal for the OP's demand.

              3. re: Ptipois
                John Talbott RE: Ptipois Jun 18, 2013 05:18 PM

                It is beautiful with surprisingly good food, given one's expectations. Sorry Pti and kirk.

                1. re: Ptipois
                  Steve RE: Ptipois Jun 19, 2013 07:49 AM

                  Mediocre is being kind. Very kind.

                  Still, I can't say I regretted eating there. A picture is worth a thousand words:

                  1. re: Steve
                    Ptipois RE: Steve Jun 19, 2013 07:51 AM

                    Indeed, that sure must help the prepackaged salmon tartare and canned île flottante go down.

                    1. re: Ptipois
                      John Talbott RE: Ptipois Jun 19, 2013 08:11 AM

                      Jeez guys, lighten up.
                      The day I went the Vichyssoise was really different and good, the fresh not frozen but drab rouget came alive with the bitter orange rind accompaniment, there were lots of fresh veggies and the creme caramel was different - with mango and Szechwan pepper.
                      For what it is, it is.

                      1. re: John Talbott
                        Vinnie Vidimangi RE: John Talbott Jun 19, 2013 10:25 AM

                        John Talbot .How much is it? What is extra? How much?
                        Fresh fish, bitter orange rind accompaniment? A buffet? Wow! This would be past some "good" North American restaurants.

                        Two days ago I went to an expensive "Irish" steakhouse. The garlic mashed potatoes were mostly instant- garlic included.
                        The chocolate pecan tart was disgusting - literally- and tasted stale to boot. Sysco!

                        Pitipois. I assume that you confirmed that the salmon tartare and ile flottant were industrial. I didn't know that you could can ile flottant. Why would anyone want to? Were there some good things to choose from? I do agree that Gresham's Law is operative on a buffet- bad items on your plate drive out good.

                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                          John Talbott RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 19, 2013 10:48 AM

                          I'm confused what we're talking about.
                          The Restaurant at the Orsay serves a regular meal not a buffet and my meal was 97.10 E for two of us (the menu is quite reasonable (16.50 E) and even a la carte is about 25-40 E.)

                          1. re: John Talbott
                            Vinnie Vidimangi RE: John Talbott Jun 19, 2013 11:19 AM

                            The last time I saw Paris there was a buffet there. Obviously, I have been away too long. But I have promised the Ms. -often.
                            My apologies to all.

                            Know of any good buffets in Paris? Fifteen years in college dorm dining halls made me what I am now.

                            P.S. A quick and subsequent internet search shows that the buffet is no more, except for a cold lunch buffet at 14.90 euros.
                            Comments please.

                            1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                              Ptipois RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 20, 2013 01:00 AM

                              There are some awesome breakfast buffets in palace hotel restaurants (Le Meurice, Le Bristol, Le Crillon - oops closed for renovation) and there are some not-so-awesome Chinese buffet restaurants at lunchtime in the 13eme, but I can't think of any other buffet around here.

                          2. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                            Ptipois RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 20, 2013 12:50 AM

                            No need to describe any further. Who wants mango and Sichuan pepper on their crème caramel? Just serve decent crème caramel. Fussy added details often mean that they were added to something not quite right (as was the case, lettuce, tomato, cherry tomato, olive, stale breadstick, etc., etc., on my - duh - industrial tartare de saumon in a brasserie recently, I won't say where).

                            The main idea is: just don't go to the musée d'Orsay restaurant to eat, but you can perfectly go for the beautiful setting.

                        2. re: Ptipois
                          Steve RE: Ptipois Jun 19, 2013 10:12 AM

                          Hey, I'm pretty sure they removed the fish from the box before microwaving. Which of the two got microwaved, I am ill equipped to say.

                          FYI: I had a table-service meal.

                        3. re: Steve
                          Vinnie Vidimangi RE: Steve Jun 19, 2013 08:41 AM

                          Given where the buffet is and given the lack of enchantment of those who have gone before us, I suspect that there is considerable inconsistency in the offerings. (It ain't the Ponderosa in Niagara Falls, and even there one can cobble together a sort of reasonable meal at the price. No, no, I just looked).
                          One but essential determinant of the quality of your buffet meal is how good you are at the art of buffet. Another is that you conform your expectations to the potential of the format. So it is up to the individual glutton, I mean diner. In any event, rump steak is a favourite. Can you reserve a particular table?

                          I used to go out as a group of eight. Two ninety- year old grandparents, English working class, one was a salt fiend, the other had an amazing list of allergies some of which even were real, a Ms. who is a superb cook but went vegtoid lite on me after marriage, four young children, and me who of course is the perfect gourmand. Oh yeah, except for the grandparents, we keep kosher lite. And we had great success at our family outings. Of course I had to find the right buffet.

                          Say you go to one of the recommended restaurants. Do you really think that everyone in your party will like rognon? Carp? Tepid soup? Make sure that the place that you choose has steak on the menu! And remember, there is no ketchup, and salt and pepper are not on the table.

                      2. re: bfkirk
                        Vinnie Vidimangi RE: bfkirk Jun 18, 2013 07:38 PM

                        You are going with a group of people off an airplane who probably have diverse tastes. Get real! Get ideal!

                        1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                          Beach Chick RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 19, 2013 04:52 AM

                          Spot on..

                      3. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                        PhilD RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 19, 2013 04:08 PM

                        I didn't realise there was a buffet restaurant - I know there is a restaurat that has a menu (its on-line) plus there is the cafe behind the clock - but that wasn'y a buffet either. Have things changed?

                        1. re: PhilD
                          Vinnie Vidimangi RE: PhilD Jun 19, 2013 05:20 PM

                          I don't know what goes on there now and I didn't know then. Anything that I said about buffet was based on inference not experience. One of my inferences is that things have changed and now the buffet format is greatly restricted.
                          Someone who actually knows something please post so that all my posts can be ignored.

                          Perhaps the buffet had been offered and continues to be offered to a limited extent in the same room as table service.

                          1. re: Vinnie Vidimangi
                            PhilD RE: Vinnie Vidimangi Jun 20, 2013 03:49 AM

                            My question was based experience - so happy to see you admit you don't know what you are talking about.

                      4. Parnassien RE: bfkirk Jun 19, 2013 01:38 AM

                        I sorta agree with Vinnie. Jet lag can turn a usually great restaurant into a wasted and wasteful experience. And even without the jet lag, a group meal needs lots of compromises to be successful

                        So, maybe La Frégate on the quai Voltaire @ the rue du Bac would be a better bet. Classic brasserie food that's not going provoke any tastebud ecstasy but usually decent enough for the genre. Just a 2-min walk from the Musée d'Orsay. And glorious setting overlooking the Seine, Tuileries and Louvre.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: Parnassien
                          mangeur RE: Parnassien Feb 21, 2014 04:48 PM

                          Thought I was the only one in the world who touts La Frégate. It is what is it: on the river, charming welcome, tourist central but always rather well dressed and behaved tourists, simple food that is often surprisingly good from the perspective of the visitor, rather reasonable prices. Only been once, then with my d-i-l. We had a charming and memorable time. Would go back with her in a heartbeat. Or with a family group of 8.

                        2. PhilD RE: bfkirk Jun 19, 2013 04:21 AM

                          Is Cinq Mars still going and is it still good? Used to be a great little bistro behind the museum.

                          5 Replies
                          1. re: PhilD
                            John Talbott RE: PhilD Jun 19, 2013 04:24 AM

                            TMK, I thought about it too Phil but rejected it due to size of the group.

                            1. re: John Talbott
                              PhilD RE: John Talbott Jun 19, 2013 04:03 PM

                              Its not a bad size for 8 - booking essential though

                              1. re: PhilD
                                Ptipois RE: PhilD Jun 20, 2013 12:57 AM

                                Cinq Mars is still going and it's still good.
                                Thoumieux (the brasserie, not the upstairs which I don't recommend at all) maintained as iconically perfect considering the initial question.

                                1. re: Ptipois
                                  PhilD RE: Ptipois Jun 20, 2013 03:47 AM

                                  We are in Paris in September and my wife has Thoumineux on her list - good to hear it gets your OK (don't worry we have others known for the food).

                                  1. re: PhilD
                                    Ptipois RE: PhilD Jun 20, 2013 07:17 AM

                                    Good. Remember - downstairs not upstairs and don't miss the freshly churned vanilla ice cream with toasted hazelnuts.

                          2. John Talbott RE: bfkirk Sep 27, 2013 01:19 PM

                            Ok; ignoring the chatter and chatterboxes here, I will report that my/our meal at Les Climates today in perfect weather, in the garden, with meself and four fine ladies who were between seances at the Musee d'Orsay, was pretty close to perfect. And with a zillion bottles (actually 8,500) of Burgundy (for 15-5388 €) to arrive at the end with a total bill of under 100 € a couple, for a star-quality meal, it cannot be beat.

                            1. John Talbott RE: bfkirk Feb 21, 2014 08:43 AM

                              This is not an answer to the OP but a great place for groups from 10-100 is the Maison de l'Amerique Latine which has a new chef, one Thierry Vaissiere, who has been everywhere for someone so young - la Maison Blanche, le Café Faubourg, le Jardin des Sens, la Tour d’Argent, Lucas-Carton, and Drouant. The private rooms face their fabulous garden, which has not changed.
                              But but but - despite what others have written, it's only open for lunch. Three of us dined there today, one of whom declared it the best resto of her visit in Paris (and she lives here). http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: John Talbott
                                Beach Chick RE: John Talbott Feb 21, 2014 09:03 AM

                                Merci John..
                                This looks fab for late summer dining.


                                1. re: Beach Chick
                                  John Talbott RE: Beach Chick Feb 21, 2014 09:25 AM

                                  Oh whenever its warm that garden is a great place to be.

                                  1. re: John Talbott
                                    Beach Chick RE: John Talbott Feb 21, 2014 09:30 AM

                                    I'll be in Paris late September but I hear you..whenever its warm.
                                    Gorgeous garden to dine al fresco..

                                2. re: John Talbott
                                  Parnassien RE: John Talbott Feb 21, 2014 11:11 AM

                                  The Maison de l'Amérique Latine has always been one of my most beloved spots. But a slight correction... it is open for dinner from May to September.

                                  1. re: Parnassien
                                    John Talbott RE: Parnassien Feb 21, 2014 11:14 AM

                                    OK, correct; but many reporters say it's open at night now. I just wanted to warn folks.
                                    The rule as always is to call.

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