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Going back to Paris for a week- review our restaurant ideas?

The hubby and I are doing an anniversary trip, 1 week in Avignon/Provence and then 1 week in Paris (Sat-Sat in mid-October). We had an incredible time in Paris back in the spring of 2011 (only 3 days though). Since we've got a whole week this time, I'd love some tips on restaurants. Food, wine & art will be our focus for the week :)
Here's a very tentative schedule right now:
Saturday- La Petite Cour (we're arriving late that afternoon and this place is a very short walk from where we're staying...could also move to Sunday)
Sunday- Having trouble finding a good place that's open on Sundays, tips?
Monday- Frenchie (will book as soon as October dates become available)
Tuesday- L'Astrance (Hopefully, was planning to call on Sept. 1 to try to get a reservation for Tues or Thurs) We definitely wanted at least 1 Michelin experience on the trip...
Wednesday- Au Petit Sud Oest, hubby loves duck, and again a repeat from our last trip
Thursday- Esens'All (again, was going to call in advance, we know it's a tiny place...); My husband found this one on tripadvisor, I'm not entirely sold and it's a bit far from where we are staying in the 6th arr.
Friday- Au Vieux Comptoir (our favorite bistro from our last trip)

Also want to try to do lunch at Yam T'cha one day (my husband is a big fan of fusion places, so I was hoping this would hit the spot)...

Would love any suggestions or substitutions, and thanks!!

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  1. My last two meals at La Petite Cour, as charming as the setting is, were disappointing. Camdeborde's Relais is not far, nor is Semilla.
    Sunday - Axuria or Comme Chez Maman
    Esens'All - never heard of it, not that that means anything; TripAdvisor has been doing strange things with their rating of places hardly known, at least to me.

    1. been quite disappointed with recs from trip advisor. So much so that I don't go there for that any more. fwiw.

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        I agree ChefJune, particularly for cities with thousands of options. TripAdvisor doesn't seem to keep up with the most popular or newer places, or distinguish between Michelin-starred restaurants and others, etc.
        Any particular favorite restaurants of yours in Paris? :) Thanks!

        1. re: laurenpk

          love, love, love Josephine, Chez Dumonet. And Maceo is a big fave, as well.

      2. Quite agree that the draw for La Petite Cour is the setting, not the food. Better cuisine in a 5-min walking radius: Bistro de l'Alycastre on the rue Clément, Bastide d'Opio on the rue Guisarde, La Cuisine de Philippe on the rue Servandoni @ rue de Vaugirard, Semilla on the rue de Seine.

        For Sunday in the 6th, Bistro de l'Alycastre (updated trad), Point Bulles (French-Lebanese/ champagne bar with live jazz on Sunday evenings) on the rue Clément. In the 5th, Terroir Parisen (very designy setting) on the rue Saint-Victor @ rue Pontoise/ rue Monge. In the 7th, Les Climats (gorgeous cadre + conservatory + garden) on the rue de Lille @ rue du Bac.

        Frenchie. Bof! If you must. But not worth the sadomasochistic hassle or able to meet the hyped expectations that canonization by the NY Times has created, IMHO. A better French version of Frenchie: Caius on the rue d'Armaillé in the 17th ( a 10-min walk from the Arc de Triomphe).

        L'Astrance. You'll need a second mortgage. And a bit too reverential to be fun. For a more fun haute-gastronomie experience, Le Cinq in the Hotel George V in the 8th, Guy Savoy in the 17th, or La Grande Cascade (a bargain!) in the Bois de Boulogne/ 16th.

        Au Petit Sud Ouest. A great price quality ratio.

        Essens'All. Pas mal but not worth the trek to the trendy Batignolles quartier.

        Au Vieux Comptoir. Adorable.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Parnassien

          You are truly amazing !

          As a curmudgeon, was not thrilled at all with La Grande Cascade and for Au Petit Sud Ouest agree with the price ratio quality and the owners were warm and welcoming.

        2. We just got back from a week of culinary magic in Paris - much like you're planning (went to Yam'Tcha, Le Cinq, Pierre Gagnaire, La Tour d'Argent, etc.). I initially had my heart set on Astrance but we were waitlisted. After reading some of the posts here, I was glad that we didn't get in. I'd love to hear about your experience should you go.

          Le Cinq and Yam'Tcha were my two absolute go-backs. Yam'Tcha was especially memorable. In fact, I'm dying to find some place *like* it in the US (impossible, I know) - simply prepared yet amazingly flavored food. We loved it so much that we went back to Yam'Tcha the next day for lunch.

          While we were dining at Yam'Tcha, we chatted with the gentlemen at the next table, one of whom was a regular. He also mentioned Ze'Kitchen Gallerie and Chateaubriand to us. I would dearly love to have exchanged emails with him because he was definitely a fellow foodie (and probably Chowhounder!). Next time I'm in Paris, I will try those other two restaurants. Anyway, wanted to share our experience.

          1. Thanks for all the suggestions! Ill re-think on a couple restaurants, and I appreciate everyone's thoughts!

            2 Replies
            1. re: laurenpk

              We are going to Paris in a month so I am trolling for great suggestions. Thanks for the suggestions of Semilla. It looks great and we are staying on the Rue Dauphine so that is close by. Any thoughts on LaTable d'Aki? It is such a small place not sure if we will be able to get in.
              What do you all think of ZeKitchen Gallerie?

              thanks for your help.

              1. re: suzieq4

                The only way I've gotten into Aki is to go the day before and banged on the door before service; but it's well worth the schlep.
                As for Ze, as my loyal/bored readers know, I'm in love with it and Ledeuil, no better deal for a starred restaurant I know of in town (that is, at lunch, at least).
                Semilla is terrific too.
                You've got three winners here.

            2. Hello again-

              Ok, I'm trying to narrow down a couple meals, mainly for Tuesday & Thursday night.

              I would like to try Yam'Tcha on one of those days, is it worth it for dinner or would it be better to go for lunch and then do a lighter, more casual dinner that day?

              Also, still trying to decide on "the" restaurant. We loved Le Cinq back in 2011 (went for lunch), so we'd like to try somewhere else. I'm having a really hard time deciding though because while we're willing to pay for a very nice meal, we DON'T want a stuff atmosphere/service (which is the vibe I'm now getting about L'Astrance). What about Pierre Gagnaire? I've also been interested in trying Spring, but I'm getting the sense that that's not in the same league as Le Cinq, Guy Savoy, etc. Am I wrong? Would Yam'Tcha give us a winning combination of top-notch & innovative food plus a fun atmosphere?

              Thanks for everyone's great suggestions!

              2 Replies
              1. re: laurenpk

                "I would like to try Yam'Tcha on one of those days, is it worth it for dinner or would it be better to go for lunch and then do a lighter, more casual dinner that day?"
                I'm well-known or annoying for opting for lunch as the primary meal and light for dinner, so I'd say Yes.
                As for all your other ideas, you are correct that Spring is not in the same league as Le Cinq, L'Astrance, Pierre Gagnaire, Guy Savoy, etc., etc., it's orthogonal - to mix metaphors - do some searching and I doubt you'll find many detractors of Spring.
                "A couple other places that are intriguing: Ze Kitchen; Le Restaurant."
                As for Ze Kitchen, with Spring, it's where Colette and I go when she deigns to visit. I disagree with folks who say it's fusion or you can get it in NY or Santa Monica - you cannot.
                Le Restaurant? Which one? The one in l'Hotel, Le Marriott or the 18th? None are in the same league or orthogonal.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Le Restaurant in l'Hotel gets good reviews in many media. Michelin star, hip bar.

              2. A couple other places that are intriguing: Ze Kitchen; Le Restaurant...

                1. Yes, Yam' tcha is an excellent place, if you can grab a table I'd say please do it.