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Back in Paris for 15 days!

We are finally back in Paris from Sept 28 to October 13. Our last trip in May 2012 was 11 nights with our 8 year old grandson, so gourmet a/o adventurous dining took a back seat to picnics, crepes and Chez Clement, lol (although we did make it to West Country Girl, Jeanne A and another orgasmic lunch at LCJ ~ the last one just me and some like minded hounds).
So I need to catch up on my "list" without making myself sick with gluttony. I've tried to plan a good mix of old favourites, new finds, traditional bistros and more contemporary cuisine.

Here's how we will spend our Paris trip :)

Sept 28 ~ keeping it open as we'll be jet lagged. Probably easy lunch near our apartment on rue Bourg Tibourg and early dinner at Pizza Momo, a reliable place for a fast, cheap meal that we've enjoyed over the last few years
Sept 29 ~ Baron Rouge for lunch (hopefully the oysters are out) and Le Pere Claude with friends (their suggestion, not mine ~ hope it doesn't suck, lol)
Sept 30 ~ Septime (dinner)
Oct 1 ~ Pleine Mer for an early dinner before a Johnny Lang concert at New Morning
Oct 2 ~ Bistro Paul Bert (dinner)
Oct 3 ~ Au Petit Sud Ouest for lunch (for Den's foie gras fix) and maybe L'Avant Comptoir for some nibbles after walking off our foie gras and duck at D'Orsay
Oct 4 ~ lunch at Spring (5th time at Mr Rose's temple of gastronomy)
Oct 5 ~ dinner at another favourite, Au Vieux Comptoir in the 1st
Oct 6 ~ possible lunch at Jeanne B, dinner at Marie Celeste (going early enough to start with the 1 euro oysters, lol)
Oct 7 ~ dinner at Paul Bert 6
Oct 8 ~ Eurostar to London for the day. In 9 trips to Paris, this is only the second time we have left the city (went to Reims in the fall of 2010).
Oct 9 ~ dinner at Pirouette
Oct 10 ~ possible lunch at Dans les Landes w/friends, possible dinner at Pierre Sang Boyer or Bones ~ thoughts?
Oct 11 ~ lunch at Chez l'Ami Jean w/friends, Fleetwood Mac at Bercy, looking for some place very casual, open late, near the Omnisport Arena that doesn't suck after the concert. We'll probably still be really full from lunch, so maybe more of a cheese/charcuterie place
Oct 12 ~ last night ~ thinking of either Bones or Ober Sale. Thoughts?

I like to book most dinners to avoid the dreaded "where are we eating tonight" syndrome which often leads us to making last minute, ofter horrible decisions which are based on hunger and desperation. Our days will be spend walking and exploring different corners of Paris. Breakfasts are always croissant, pain au chocolat, yogurt and fruit with coffee in our apartment and lunches are easy and fast, except for the few I've booked.

That's it ~ we plan to hit Comme a Lisbonne for those wonderful Portuguese tarts and Georges Larnicol for his addictive little Kouign Amanns since our apartment is close to both.

So our only decisions are Pierre Sang Boyer or Bones, and Ober Sale or Bones. We enjoyed Henry James at Au Passage in 2011 but as always, so many places, so little time, lol

13 more sleeps until we leave! Trying not to wish my life away, but.....eeekkkk! Den's going to have to tie me down so I don't float away in the next 2 weeks.

Happy weekend, everyone!

Jo

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  1. Great for you, hope to see you.
    Also hope weather improves, rained daily for a week now.
    Be at Pleine Mer this week.

    11 Replies
    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

      We'll try to bring some sunshine with us, lol. Hope you can join us at CLJ on the 11th!

      Going to Pleine Mer on your recommendation.

      Jo

      1. re: parisjo

        If going on 10/1 will keep you company if you wish.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Sounds good, as long as you don't mind an early dinner, since we have the concert at 8pm.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              We're thinking of around 6pm to give us time to eat without rushing. It looks like New Morning is a short walk from Pleine Mer so that should work. I'll let you know exactly once I call them to reserve a time. I'll make it for three!

              Jo

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                  ok, then I guess we'll see you at 6, lol

        2. re: parisjo

          DCM, CLJ on the 11th? Wouldn't be the same without you...SE
          (Oh and Jo your list is awesome. Personally I hope you choose Ober Sale over Bones so I can get a review before I book for the following week...plus, absinthe...)

          1. re: sistereurope

            I am leaning more towards Ober Sale from the great things I've read on here in the last little while. I've read both good and bad re: Bones, so we'll see. Is Cantada II close to Ober Sale?

            Can't wait to see you again!

            Jo

              1. re: sistereurope

                well, maybe we will meet up for that nightcap after all, lol

      2. Re: "Bercy, looking for some place very casual, open late, near the Omnisport Arena that doesn't suck after the concert": I'd recommend the Cafe Cartouche aka Cartouche Cafe which is open til 23h. The restaurants at the Cour St Emilion and Cinémathèque Française are pretty weak and Bert's in the UGC Ciné Cité Bercy, very basic.
        What other questions are still unanswered; the flurry of posts seems to duck them

        29 Replies
        1. re: John Talbott

          Thanks John, Cafe Cartouche sounds perfect.

          Other questions were ~ Pierre Sang Boyer or Bones on the 10th and Ober Sale or Bones on the 12th? We loved Au Passage when we went a few years ago, but have heard some good and bad reports on Bones and also on PSB. Ober Sale sounds great, just not sure if we should devote our last dinner there. Argh, so many places, so little time, lol

          Also, any thoughts on Le Pere Claude? ~ as I said, not our choice, menu looks ok, just hope it doesn't suck as it's Den's birthday that day. Since most of the places on my list are closed Sundays and our friend suggested Le Pere Claude after going earlier this year (he is French, but from Normandy, not Paris and now lives in Montreal with my best friend. They'll be on their way back from Portugal and we'll overlap on the 29th).

          Thanks in advance. Hope to meet up at some point,
          Jo

          1. re: parisjo

            For me, Pierre etc has never failed me nor James Henry, albeit I've not been to Bones cuz it's still just dinner.
            I've not been to Pere Claude in eons. If it's someone else's choice - go and report back, maybe it's still good.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Ok, thanks, I think it's one of those flip a coin decisions, lol. I just reread your 2 reviews of PSB and maybe that will be one winner. Just worried about the no rezzie thing, don't want to show up and they can't take us and then what? So we'll see.

              And of course, I'll report back ~ I always do. It's really hard to shut me up about Paris :)

              Jo

              1. re: parisjo

                Well, first off, go a bit early and stand there looking eager and second fall back to one of Parnassien's suggestions in the area he knows well (Ober-Sale, Villaret, Verre Vole etc). Auberge Flora is only 10 minutes away. But you'll get in if early.

                1. re: John Talbott

                  Sounds like a plan. Flora was on my list too, but there's just so many, it went on the "next time" list.

                  1. re: parisjo

                    Let fate decide. Try Pierre Sang first. If you can't get a table immediately, then stroll down to Ober-Salé (2 mins away) usually ok for walk-ins mid-week. Weekends are much more dicey eveywhere in Paris.

                    The food at Bones is very good indeed. But I have a few complaints: some nights it's so achingly hip but earnest that having a good time is somewhat of a challenge; and occasionally the music is very intrusive.

                    1. re: Parnassien

                      Yup, that sounds like the plan for the 10th.

                      As for Bones, that's exactly what I've been reading. I remember when we went to Au Passage, we must have brought the average age of the people in the restaurant up by about 20 years, lol. Our server made sure we knew it was mostly small plates and not the regular French classics. Of course, we knew this and loved our meal that night ~ first time for oursins, burrata and bonites for both of us, and we loved it all. We ended up talking with a young guy who was sitting at the bar, he had worked at Taillevent but his visa had run out and he had to go back to the states for a while. We had a great evening but the staff sure weren't sure we belonged there, lol. If Bones is even hipper, we'll feel even older :)

                      1. re: parisjo

                        "achingly hip" "Yup"
                        So that's why Souphie calls me a hipster.
                        I loved the atmosphere at Au Passage.
                        For an amusing diversion see "Caught in the Hipster Trap."
                        http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/opi...

                        1. re: John Talbott

                          I always found Au Passage to be consistently enjoyable (before AND after the change in chefs) ... and it is certainly less earnestly hip than Bones.

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            I don't understand the repeated references to hip. In restaurant terms, it is the opposite of what?

                            In the places that DH and I frequent, we could usually be the grandparents of the chefs, to say nothing of the waitstaff. We feel absolutely at home, are treated amazingly well, are welcomed back warmly each visit.

                            Maybe we should listen and watch more acutely for sniggering behind our backs?

                            1. re: mangeur

                              Mme Mangeur,
                              there are many degrees of "hip" in every large city in the world. In Paris, there are lots of almost tribal allegiances based on style, language/ argot, education, philosophy, music preferences, etc and many of these will indeed fall in the hip category. Very few are, however, exclusive and excluding. From my memory of the places you have visited and reported about on Chowhound, I think you have not yet experienced a fiercely or achingly hip eaterie (on for, instance, the Ménilmontant-side of the rue Oberkampf on a Saturday night) where your age and style would result in disdain. If and when you do, I bet you will feel like a drag queen at a Baptist convention.

                              The achingly hip is a very hard-core version of "bobo". They have a very defined dress code/ uniform/ look, talk endlessly about esoteric music, are very earnest, pepper their language with Verlan (argot de la Zone/ ghetto-talk) but, if educated, revert to perfectly grammared French when drunk, want to live in LA or Berlin, and tend to regard social skills as unnecessary.

                              To be fair to Bones, the clientele is a mix of mainstream foodies, common-or-garden hip, and achingly hip. Some nights are more tolerable than others.

                              1. re: Parnassien

                                You're right. While we often do spots east of Ménilmontant on Saturday nights, they are off Oberkampf, not on the main drag which has a more in-your-face vibe.

                                1. re: mangeur

                                  And, Mme Mangeur, a little off-thread detour. I just twigged to what might be your service problem at Chatomat. It's very much a "solidaire"/ socially responsible sort of place and is probably used for work experience for students at the new-ish restaurant industry training centres in "la Zone" to create employment opportunities for kids from deprived neighbourhoods. Not fully trained or fledged, the trainee serveurs/ serveuses probably haven't yet acquired the necessary social and waiting skills.

                                  But from what I have seen at other restaurants, they do eventually become excellent and knowledgeable waiters once fully trained.

                                  1. re: Parnassien

                                    Aha! That is exactly the kind of detachment we experience. They are perfectly pleasant and polite, just not connected to either kitchen or FOH. Good call!

                                    TITS, when you stand on your chair and salute the kitchen, nobody notices.

                              2. re: mangeur

                                Well let's see if this works as an example - Mama Shelter in the 20th - even I, a known hipster, wasn't hip enough.

                                1. re: John Talbott

                                  Dr T - it's not hip just young ;-)

                                  1. re: PhilD

                                    Phil:

                                    Explain please; there are older folk there but they look like the NYT cartoon

                                    http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/15/opi...

                                    Is that not hip?

                                    Dr T the night tripper/hipster/whadeva.

                                    1. re: John Talbott

                                      To be honest, John, I'm still not getting it. I/we never feel out of place. We are almost always "someplace" because that someplace offers something that we're interested in. e.g., dinner. Most of these places are run by and inhabited by people decades younger than we are. I can't say that I've noticed anyone or group looking particularly hip. Studied dress, yes. Posing, yes, but actually hip? Hip, like "elegant", has to look effortless.

                                      We go for the food and wine . As long as they hold their alcohol and keep their voices down, who sits next to me is not much I take into consideration. We interact with our waiter. And the kitchen. They seem happy to have us there. They happily let us rebook. Works for us.

                                      (Maybe living where we do makes you blasé. Walking to the trolley not long ago, a guy rounded the corner wearing a great t-shirt, vest and work boots. But nothing in between but a silver ring. Was he hip? He had obviously put a lot of thought into his costume.)

                                      1. re: mangeur

                                        "Walking to the trolley not long ago, a guy rounded the corner wearing a great t-shirt, vest and work boots. But nothing in between but a silver ring."

                                        Er, am I to understand he was not wearing ... pants...? Do not tell me where the silver ring was located. Please.

                2. re: parisjo

                  I think Le Père Claude is kind of ordinary and a little kitschy...foodwise, pretty much interchangeable with any of the other restaurants on this stretch of ave de la Motte-Picquet... although the old-school parisien vibes at the neighbouring La Galloise and La Gitane are perhaps more enjoyable, Le Père Claude despite its culinary ordinariness will nevertheless deliver a perfectly decent meal. After all, this is Paris.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    Thanks, at least we know what to expect. I'm not going to stress about it since we have such great meals to look forward to for the rest of the trip.

                    Maybe I'll try to reserve Bones for our last dinner on the 12th and if we can't get in, we'll do Ober Sale.

                    Thanks everyone for your input. Only 11 dodos left!

                    Jo

                    1. re: parisjo

                      Oops, 12 Oct is a Saturday night, no? Not a good night to find a table at Bones or Ober-Salé... or anywhere without a rezzie. Blame the weekend swarm of suburbanites.

                      And get in the true Parisienne mode. 22 dodos... your nightly sleep and a power nap before you go out at night.

                      1. re: Parnassien

                        Sorry, I meant I would try to get a reservation for Bones, and if I can't get one, I'll make one for Ober-Sale (assuming we don't end up there on Thursday if we don't get into Pierre Sang Boyer). Ah, what a hard life I lead, lol

                        Jo

                        1. re: parisjo

                          It's my daily grind in Paris. Choices, choices, choices. It's exhausting... and a helluva lot of fun. :)

                          1. re: parisjo

                            Hi Parisjo, am guessing you're already in Paris but if you're still taking feedback on Bones, I'd say you're probably safe from the dreaded terminal hipness. The young staff were earnest but friendly and unaffected, and the crowd reasonably diverse, when I was taken last week. Heads-up though that the cuisine was a little uneven. Too many elements of our no-choice menu were duds - an oddly bland tuna and lard bruschetta, an unsuccessful egg dish with bitter greens and some kind of health-foody grain.

                            You may have more of an issue of good fit with Mary Celeste. It is good fun and its menu of small eats is great but it is primarily a drinking spot with a less-diverse crowd. Food emerges only erratically from its kitchen and its pacing may not necessarily suit expectations of a sit-down diner. Maybe go early for a drink, then head off for dinner elsewhere.

                            1. re: shakti2

                              Thanks for the heads up. After my initial flurry of making reservations and suffering from FOMO, I've decided to not stress about the days we've not reserved yet and go with the flow. I think we will pass on Bones this time and enjoy the contemporary cuisine of Spring, Septime, Paul Bert 6 and Pirouette (already reserved) and the traditional familiarity of Au Vieux Comptoir, Bistro Paul Bert and Chez l'Ami Jean.

                              I think that's good advice for Mary Celeste as well. I think I forgot that being in Paris is the home run, not scoring reservations at every new hit in town. There will always be more of those, but just being in my favourite city in the world is already priceless enough for me.

                              We had an easy lunch at Les Philosophes today and an even easier dinner at Pizza Momo, a place we've been coming to for the last 5 years. Ended the evening with a night cap at the Lizard Lounge, right across from our apartment on rue Bourg Tibourg. It was a great first day, Den's snoring away and I'm not far behind him.

                              I think we'll be happy with a mix of new adventures and old reliables.

                              Jo

                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    6, not me Stefan. Sorry. Otherwise occupied.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      Awesome! See you tomorrow! Had an awesome meal at Septime tonight. Looking forward to seeing you (and Johnny Lang) tomorrow ~ will miss you, Mr Talbott.

                      Jo

                      1. re: parisjo

                        Well, it's nice to be missed but even nicer not to miss a good meal. Enjoy.

                    2. Jo, I just went to Mary Celeste two nights ago, and they had no oysters as they said they were not in season. I'm headed out to Bastille and Maubert tomorrow in search of them.

                      I would call ahead to Mary Celeste ot see if they have oysters available as it was a big disappointment. Luckily, we were able to get an early seat at the bar at Cafe des Musees as a replacement for our dinner after a couple drinks at Mary Celeste.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: twinkie

                        Thanks Twinkie, I think we may cancel the Marie Celeste reservation regardless. I was told while at Le Baron Rouge on Sunday that they would start their oysters this Sunday so that takes care of our crustacean fix for that day. I think I'll much prefer their ambiance anyways.

                        We had amazing oysters with DCM on Tuesday night at Pleine Mer ~ found out from this CH fountain of knowledge that the owner brings them back with him from Cancale on Tuesdays, so they were as fresh as fresh can be. 3 dozen with a bottle of muscadet and a kouign amann for 76 euros! Can't be beat.

                        Had a great meal at Bistro Paul Bert last night, finally got my steak tartare and it was tres yummy! So good in fact that I just canceled our lunch reservation at Au Petit Sud Ouest for today ~ just can't handle another heavy meal so soon (as Parigi and other hounds keep reminding us, lol)
                        Spring tomorrow for lunch ~ can't wait!

                        Jo