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Sep 30, 2013 01:26 PM

Paris, need recs

Hello, I am new to asking for advice here from fellow hounders. I will be in Paris mid-November for 4 nights. I've completed most of my dining list, however I'd like some recommendations for other options. I'm staying in the 7th, but that doesn't necessarily mean I have to focus my dining on that area. I'm looking for traditional fare, typically frequented by locals. I've read in the past about many bistros with young, up and coming, chefs popping up all over the city. This would be up my alley. Would also love to have some good confit de canard. Price point would be upwards of $50-60 per person (I'm not a wine drinker [sorry!], so don't include that when estimating price) for a three to four course meal (is that doable in Paris?). I hope this is descriptive enough. Parnassien, I'm especially looking for your suggestions :-).

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  1. For your confit de canard (not something you need to cross Paris for), Au Petit Sud-Ouest on the ave de la Bourdonnais in the 7th... not a creative up-and upcoming chef but solid regional cooking... and totally within your budget.
    For excellent updated trad at relatively sweet prices, La Cuisine de Philippe in the 6th... used to be full of locals but tourists have recently discovered it but no deterioration in quality as far as I can tell.
    For upcoming chefs (some have been coming up longer than others), Métropolitain on the rue Jouy in the 4th and Roseval on the rue d'Eupatoria in the 20th.

    4 Replies
    1. re: Parnassien

      Merci beaucoup! I forgot to add that I'd also like to try something ethnic. Perhaps Moroccan. I love me some good bastilla. Are you well versed in this subject? If so, I'd love to hear suggestions.

      1. re: smaointe

        Au Petit Cahoua on the boulevard St Marcel in the 13th has an unusual main-course duck bastilla. Very good chicken bastilla at Le Casbah on the rue de la Forge Royale in the 11th. So far, I haven't come across a good pigeon bastilla in Paris.

      2. re: Parnassien

        FWIW, my wife and I ate at Metropolitain (rue Jouy) back in June, after a day watching tennis at the French Open. It was one of the best meals of my life, and the dessert (a meringue "egg" with fresh strawberries) was utterly spectacular! The restaurant is small, but the waitress was very helpful. Though we both speak barely passable French, there were items on the menu that we didn't recognize, and the waitress would run back to the kitchen to ask the chef for the English translations. We actually ate at around 7:15 pm which is impossibly early by Parisian standards, but it meant that the waitress had more time to go over the menu with us and explain certain dishes. Had we gotten there at 9:00 when the place really filled up, I don't think she would have had the time or patience to answer our many questions. This is a place I would gladly return to.

      3. <I've completed most of my dining list>

        Why not reveal what is on it? Might help others suggest places likely to interest you.

        4 Replies
        1. re: rrems

          Good point. Sorry, was in a rush when posting this. My other dining destinations are: Auberge Pyrenees Cevennes, Comptoir de la Gastronomie, Bistrotters, Bofinger (not certain on this one yet, but wouldn't mind trying Alsation food for the first time), and Le Souffle.

          1. re: smaointe

            Ahhhm, why these? except Le Souffle which is great food for 16 year olds. Bofinger is a great setting for 14 year olds as well.

            (In rereading this it sounds like a put-down, what I meant was that in hosting my tribe over here, I've branched out to non-CH, non-NYT places like Le Souffle or Recamier or Bofinger for food and decor that pleases them.)

            1. re: John Talbott

              Hehe this is why I didn't want to name the places I settled on. I was fearing backlash from the CH community, but I chose Auberge and Comptoir (not the famous one) because they serve what I hear is good cassoulet. I know you can't get traditional cassoulet in Paris, but I searched long and hard for a place that served it in traditional style, ie in an earthenware dish. If you have better recs for this I'm all ears. In terms of the recs below I'll have a look. I'm not a French speaker but I am able to decipher some menu items on my own. I just wanted to choose one, maybe two, spots that were truly filled with locals and had good, regional, cuisine. Thanks!

              1. re: smaointe

                Ah don't be too timid, only some of us bite.
                I'd be interested in Parnassien's wise word, but I've had inconsistent luck at L'Auberge since the couple from Lyon took over.
                This thread is three years old but still may be useful:

        2. "typically frequented by locals."
          Let me give my lecture #33b once again.
          Americans want to go to great places that are reasonably-priced, well-vetted but where no English is spoken and no ugly Americans will be seated next to you in the Yankee-section.
          Rule 1. eat at lunch.
          Rule 2. go before places are touted in the NYT or on CH,
          Rule 3. be willing to get out of the center city.
          So just looking at my last 7 days, we've been to Les Climats, Lazare, Christophe (no English at lunch), and the Cafe Figue (granted at Spring and 110 Taillevent, 30-50% were our compatriots and Bon Coin is well-known here d/t Parnassien's kind references but no English was heard at lunch.)

          10 Replies
          1. re: John Talbott

            John, are lunch reservations necessary for most places? I like your idea of going to the better places for lunch and would like to do that. I'm trying to plan out my restaurant itinerary at the moment and need to know how to tackle that issue I mentioned. Thanks!

            1. re: smaointe

              Yes, sorry for my sore throat but reserving, even the same day, as I often do, is what should be done for many reasons which is why I have a sore throat.

              1. re: John Talbott

                And what's the recommended time frame? How far out can I make them? Does going in November make any difference in terms of number of people reserving (fewer, more, the same)?. Quick question about Lazare. I'm planning on going for lunch on a Sunday around maybe 2-3 pm. Would I still need to reserve for that time slot?

                1. re: smaointe

                  Is Lazare open on Sundays? it doesn't look like it on the web page.

                  1. re: wally

                    Yes, the website says ouvert touts les jours, which means everyday.

                  2. re: smaointe

                    "Quick question about Lazare. I'm planning on going for lunch on a Sunday around maybe 2-3 pm. Would I still need to reserve for that time slot?"
                    Oh yes, times 2, it's open 7/7 and a good friend tried to sneak in yesterday at the bar and there was no chance. When I went a few days earlier (having reserved 8 days before) the bar seats were all occupied until at least 3h30.
                    As lemarais says "what's the downside to reserving?"
                    Nike had it right - "Just Do It."

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      Ok I'll keep that 8 day time frame in mind. Much thanks!

                      1. re: smaointe

                        But that was lunch rez's 2 weeks ago - this is the NYT's next big find, call now. Trust me.

                        1. re: John Talbott

                          Really? Wow. I'm planning to go November 24. Still think I should reserve now? Oh, do you think someone there speaks English? I can maybe attempt to make a reservation in French, but I'd be more comfortable doing it in English hehe.

                    2. re: smaointe

                      Paris I'd a big business centre, French workers go to restaurants at lunchtime (not just tourists) they reserve because it's busy, even if it's just a few hours before they want to go. Good and average restaurant fill up.