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Sep 4, 2013 08:58 PM

Food blogger with FOMO in Paris

My husband and I will be in Paris in October for four nights- first time for both of us. I write a restaurant review blog and food is a primary reason for our visit. I am planning meals at Septime, Le Chateaubriand, Ze Kitchen Galerie, and need one more restaurant for dinner and some more traditional bistros for lunch to balance out all the modern cuisine. My husband does not eat meat or shellfish, so that is one thing to consider.
Can anyone help with something I really shouldn't miss? We are staying in the Saint-Germain-des-Prés area.

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  1. For trad, the weight of Chowhounders seems to be behind Joséphine Chez Dumonet on the rue Cherche Midi in the 6th and, for Basque cuisine, l'Ami Jean on the rue Malar in the 7th. Both would be excellent choices for Paris virgins. But promiscuous moi also likes the bang from Chez Denise in Les Halles in the 1st... unfortunately not open on Saturday and Sunday... late night (until 5am) during the week. For updated classic, I also like Bistro d'Alycastre on the rue Clément near the Marché St Germain in the 6th... which, for a foodblogger, has the added interest of a self-taught chef. And La Cuisine de Philippe on the rue Servandoni @ rue Vaugirard in the 6th... lovely quiet setting across from the Luxembourg gardens and exceptionally friendly service... only minus: great reviews in guide books so now lots of pesky tourists.

    Although difficult to fit into the sightseeing schedule of first-time visitors, the 3rd, 11th and the 12th arrondissements are great foodie territory (and less tourists). A lovely welcome-to-the-real-Paris resto, Ober-Salé on the rue Oberkampf in the 11th... great food and a gem of a waiter full of insights into the French eating scene. And to make it more of a Paris experience, an apéro with nibbles at Mary Celeste on the rue Commines in the 3rd, le Barav on the rue Charles-François Dupuis in the 3rd or L'Entrée des Artistes on the rue Crussol in the 11th or a digestif with coffee at Le Progès on the rue Bretagne/ rue Vieille du Temple in the 3rd or Le Charlot on the rue Bretagne in the 3rd.

    I'd also strongly recommend a morning visit to the Marché d'Aligre (which includes a covered market where you get the best quality as well as a rather chaotic open air market) in the 12th... it not only puts you in the epicentre of one of Paris' most vibrant foodie territories with an excellent variety of restos, wine bars, cafés but also gives you a sample of the market scene so important to daily life in Paris. Some nearby streets like rue Cotte and rue Paul Bert have such a concentration of excellent eateries that it's almost impossible not to have a good meal.

    If you can't make it to the 12th, you can also try the Marché Maubert (Tue + Thu + Sat mornings) on the boulevard St Germain @ Maubert-Mutualité métro in the 5th... for FOMO types, the Laurent Dubois cheese shop is an unmissable. The Marché de l'Alma (Wed + Sat morning) on the avenue Président Wilson in the 16th is also a great stopover on your way to or from the Eiffel Tower... for first-timers there is a sudden, unexpected and awesome view of the Eiffel Tower from the rue Manutention gap/ stairs down to the Seine next to the Palais de Tokyo on the ave Prés Wilson.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Parnassien

      "for FOMO types"
      Congratulations for deciphering FOMO; I thought it meant
      **** Otherguy Meat Obviater.

      1. re: John Talbott

        I'm in advertising... fear-of-missing-out is my bread and butter. :)

        1. re: Parnassien

          I have to give credit to Parnassien for bringing up the phrase FOMO in a response to me in a different thread. It fit so perfectly I had to borrow it!
          Thanks for your suggestions. The hard part now seems to be making reservations for Septime and Le Chateaubriand. The websites are not clear how this works. Suggestions welcome!

          1. re: startsev

            Telephone either. English spoken at both. If you are staying in a hotel, you can ask your desk to call them for you. If not, I'd call from home.

            I call around 6:30pm PARIS TIME in order to catch a real person rather than a box.

      2. re: Parnassien

        change in plans for Sat. We will go to Versailles and then head back to Paris and want to do late lunch near Champs Elysees. so now need a bistro in that area.

        1. re: startsev

          Strongly urge you to reconsider. The effect of the tourist and suburbanite swarms on the Champs Elysées is deadening. And, and to make matters even worse, some of the few good restaurants in the vicinity (Marloe, Crom'Exquis, Le W, Le 39V, l'Arôme, Caius, Le Vernet, etc) are closed at weekends. Of the limited possibilities: Le Boudoir on the rue du Colisée @ r Ponthieu for bar à vins nosh... and not too expensive; the Maison d'Aubrac on the rue Marbeuf... great beef but not so great when you get to the non-beef items... can get pricey but cheaper fast-food off-shoot next door if budget is a concern; and Publicis Steakhouse on the Champs Elysées @ r Presbourg/ l'Etoile. With the possible exception of the Publicis Steakhouse or the Maison du Danemark, there is nothing Chow-worthy and/ or affordable on the Champs Elysées itself.

          Although a bit of a walk, Mini-Palais in the Grand Palais (entrance on the Seine-side, near the intersection of the ave Winston Church and the Cour la Reine) might be a good option for a little respite from Champselyéesitis... colonnaded terrace bar with eats, resto, and another bar inside. Plus a fab view of the Pont Alexandre III and Les Invalides when you arrive and leave. Continuous hours so late lunch is possible. Cheaper (and idyllic if the weather is good), the courtyard café in the Petit Palais on the other side of the ave Winston Churchill.

          1. re: Parnassien

            was thinking about doing more of a cafe rather than full lunch since we hope to do major dinner that night. Was leaning to Bread and Roses. But Mini-Palais looks good too.

            1. re: startsev

              Certainly Bread & Roses would be a good option. Sorry not to have suggested it but in my mind it's in the Madeleine area rather than the Champs Elysées. I know and like the Rue Madame mothership in the 6th very well but have not been to the rue Boissy d'Anglas branch. Some grumbles that it's not as good as the original but I can't confirm.

            2. re: Parnassien

              I was going to suggest Le Boudoir and Savy, but I saw they were closed on Saturdays. I think La Maison de l'Aubrac is always a good option. I also suspect it might be rather difficult to visit Versailles in the morning and be back on Les Champs for lunch.

              1. re: Ptipois

                we are trying to squeeze in as much as we can in too little time, planning to spend about 3 hours at Versailles and figuring we will return to the city around 1:00 pm and then have lunch. I hope this works!

          2. In all of your modern selections, you have a good chance of furthering your sea bean quest since salicorne is much in fashion at the moment. Enjoy!

            1. I GOT it NOw FEAR OF MISSING OUT...
              JUSTread the previous blog...thats PERFECT, it describes
              alot of us FOODIEs from the U.S of A