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Looking for a delicious meal near Palais Garnier in December

sweet100s Nov 2, 2013 12:20 AM

I'm looking for a delicious meal near Palais Garnier on a mid-December Saturday.

=== Context:

We are taking a tour that departs at Palais Garnier at 2:00pm and returns at 5:00pm. I'd guess that this creates the possibility of either an early lunch or an early dinner depending on your recommendations.

That Saturday will be the day after we arrive for vacation in Paris (10 days), Strasbourg, and Bruges, Belgium. We'll be staying in the 6'th at Hotel Au Manoir St. Germain des pres.

The only other dinner reservation I've made so far is Jules Verne. My first boyfriend after college always talked about it with such fondness; I want to experience it for sentimental reasons, even if its not as much in vogue these days..

=== Prep

This summer I read:
- John Talbott's incredibly informative blogs
http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...
- Paris by Mouth
- Chowhound of course
and copied and pasted info from there into our shared google drive docs we use for trip planning.

But that seems like a century ago; so much has happened since then. Family member was in hospice and then passed.

I know I need to start figuring this out. I've read (here?) that paris restaurants in December fill up quickly. I thought I'd start with something specific for this day since I know the location we'll be in.

=== Preferences:

1) In general, I enjoy eating out when it's a delicious meal that is beyond my (average) skill level or requires more time than I have available.

2) Atmosphere - When on vacation, I feel a stronger need to be in a nicer or interesting environment when dining out than at home. In other words, if deliciousness means a "dive" of a place, or as we have here in Austin Texas, eating delicious things from aspiring chefs food trucks in trailer parks, that's great. But when on vacation, I'm not comfortable in 'dives'.

I'd prefer full service or at least sit down in a place that is clean and either historic, visually interesting, either majestic quaint, or special in some way (an innovative chef, great classic dishes, etc).

3) We are omnivores though not "whole animal". I have completely enjoyed a braised beef tongue sandwich I felt adventurous for that :-). But things like pig knuckles, etc.. probably not.

4) We enjoy eating specific to the region or at least the country. I probably would never want to eat at a chinese restaurant while vacationing in Paris.

One of us has a seafood allergy. All seafood. So of course fish and shellfish. But also gelatin (with fish in it used to make gravies), worcestershire sauce (it has those sneaky anchovies), etc.
On the other hand I am fond of salmon, so would like to hear of any especially unique salmon preparations.

5) Budget. This is a special vacation. I haven't really set a meal budget. Last trip to Prague and towns nearby, our 2 most delicious and favorite meals were on opposite ends of the spending spectrum (in Cesky Krumlov, U dwau Maryí http://www.2marie.cz/5/en/normal/phot..., and the Four Seasons in Prague.)

From Google Maps, Palais Garnier is in the 9'th arr.

From John Talbott's blog, restaurants he enjoyed in the 9'th that caught my eye included:
Les Premices (I could not find on google
)Les Saisons
Charlot
Le Roi des Coquillages
Mamou

Paris by Mouth suggested:
Arola
Autour d’un Verre
Bourgogne Sud
Braisenville
Carnet de Route
Carte Blanche
Chartier
Chez Grenouille
Green Pizz
Hôtel Amour
L’Office
L’Orient d’Or
La Maison Mere
La Régalade Conservatoire
La Terrasse
La Tute
Le Cul de Poule
Le Dépanneur
Le Garde Temps
Le Pantruche
Le Vin au Vert
Les Affranchis
Les Canailles
Les Coulisses
Les Pâtes Vivantes
Les Saisons
Supernature
YOOM

For lunch consideration, which 2-3 would be the closest to Palais Garnier in case we are running late?

Thank you!

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  1. John Talbott RE: sweet100s Nov 2, 2013 01:12 AM

    Thank you for the kind words.
    I find the area around the Opera to be frustrating for food, I'd advise against the Cafe de la Paix and push you up the street to 111 Rue St Lazare to the brasserie Garnier itself where the "menu" is a reasonable 39.50 E for 3 courses plus a glass of wine and coffee and the sole and bar are an unreasonable 43 and 30 E respectively.
    However, I just had a fine meal at Le Lulli in the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal (facing the gardens) and Google maps says it's just 17 minutes from the Opera on foot.

    1. Parnassien RE: sweet100s Nov 2, 2013 02:07 AM

      The best choices in a 10-min walking radius from the Palais Garnier are whittled down to just a few at weekends:
      The Michelin 1-star Le Céladon in the Hotel Westminster on the rue Danou/ rue de la Paix would be my first choice because 1) it's so damn convenient and 2) it's a bargain on Saturday and Sundays when a very good multi-choice 61 € prix-fixe (including wine) is on offer for both lunch and dinner... very stylish decor... but don't count on an early dinner cuz it doesn't open until 7:30... you can bide your time in the Westminster's very old-school and quite delightful Duke's Bar;
      Lazare is a much more democratic and buzzy place in the Gare Saint-Lazare (about a 10-min stroll from the Opéra)... but very very popular and you need to book 3 weeks in advance so maybe not a good choice if you are unsure of your schedule... continuous hours so you might be able to have an early dinner (but not too early because it only serves tea, pastries and snacks from 3 to 6pm)... I'd actually keep it in your back pocket for another day... the trad Sunday lunch/ déjeuner de grand-mère is a glorious re-statement of trad French classics... love it;
      Goust on the rue Volney is much liked by some Chowhounders but I've only had one rushed biz lunch here so I can't claim to know it well... and no lunch, just dinner on Saturday.

      1. p
        Ptipois RE: sweet100s Nov 2, 2013 03:57 AM

        Why not just go to Les Jalles?

        1 Reply
        1. re: Ptipois
          John Talbott RE: Ptipois Nov 2, 2013 07:54 AM

          Fine idea.

        2. mangeur RE: sweet100s Nov 2, 2013 06:52 AM

          For your Opera lunch, I'd be inclined to consider Pascade. It is a concept restaurant and might introduce you to a family of dishes you could try to create at home. http://pascade-alexandre-bourdas.com/...

          3 Replies
          1. re: mangeur
            p
            Ptipois RE: mangeur Nov 2, 2013 09:21 AM

            I second Pascade. I like that place a lot.

            1. re: mangeur
              j
              jock RE: mangeur Nov 2, 2013 01:57 PM

              Pascade is very good, if a bit repetitive. Goust is extraordinarily good bot a lot more expensive and will take a lot more time.

              1. re: jock
                John Talbott RE: jock Nov 3, 2013 01:06 AM

                "a bit repetitive"
                Jock, sweet100s might not know that all they serve are pascades.

            2. n
              Nancy S. RE: sweet100s Nov 2, 2013 06:58 AM

              Since the tour ends at 5, why don't you spend a bit of time wondering to another neighborhood for dinner?

              1. Parigi RE: sweet100s Nov 3, 2013 10:24 AM

                I actually think that restaurants in general cannot offer a meal that allows you to be at the Palais by 2pm. Most of those on your list require that you leave the resto by 13h30. Restaurants start serving the earliest at 12h30. One hour in one of those better bistros is cramping your style and cramping the kitchen style. Don't give yourself a harried stressed out time. It's a meal, for heaven's sake.

                How about a simple meat & great wine & wonderful atmosphere at, say, 12h30 at the lovely wine bar Le Rubis (10 Rue du Marché Saint-Honoré) ? 10-minute walk to Palais Garnier, according to Google Map.

                P.S. If one of you does not do seafood, please don't call yourselves omnivores, becaues you are not. :)

                6 Replies
                1. re: Parigi
                  John Talbott RE: Parigi Nov 3, 2013 12:26 PM

                  Ok, I already suggested it above but the Restaurant/brasserie/etc Garnier is open "de 12h00 à 14h30" and Google maps says it's an 8 minutes walk, 4 if running to the Opera.
                  I disagree with Parigi for the first time in my life - you can have some oysters, sole and be there on time.

                  1. re: John Talbott
                    Parigi RE: John Talbott Nov 3, 2013 12:29 PM

                    Come on. We agree plenty of times, and laugh about it.
                    I have not known brasseries that have truly delicious food as the OP had asked. Brasserie for me means only convenience with sometimes a great ceiling. But if you say so…

                    1. re: Parigi
                      John Talbott RE: Parigi Nov 3, 2013 12:42 PM

                      But have you eaten there?
                      Do you agree or disagree one can get in and out in an hour and 1/2?
                      And have decent oysters and sole?
                      Your dear friend,
                      John

                      1. re: John Talbott
                        Parigi RE: John Talbott Nov 3, 2013 12:45 PM

                        No, I have not, but respect your taste and take note.

                        1. re: Parigi
                          p
                          Ptipois RE: Parigi Nov 3, 2013 12:54 PM

                          Brasserie should not automatically mean bad or even convenience food. Most Paris brasseries have gone downhill, but some used to be extremely good.

                          You can still have the very best choucroute in Paris at Bofinger and Garnier is one of the few excellent brasseries left.

                          1. re: Ptipois
                            John Talbott RE: Ptipois Nov 3, 2013 01:04 PM

                            "You can still have the very best choucroute in Paris at Bofinger and Garnier is one of the few excellent brasseries left."
                            I think this is cause for a whole new thread, because as Parigi intimated, brasseries have a bad cast to their name and indeed vary so widely.
                            And, so many have been taken over by the chains that there are few "independant" ones.
                            So, we live til another day,
                            John

                2. sweet100s RE: sweet100s Nov 3, 2013 11:10 PM

                  3 from your replies are now definite for the trip.

                  1) Pascade

                  mangeur, Pascade looks intriguing - the concept, the zen industrial interior, the chef. It also has 3 unique attributes:
                  - The concept of course. I now must try a Pascade.
                  - It's open continuously between lunch and dinner. Wow! Thank you Alexandre Bourdas you rebel you :-).
                  - It's so centrally located I can see tripping across it several times on my trip.

                  For that reason I will save it for between 2:30pm - 7:00pm on days when activities mean no sit-down lunch or we need sustenance before a later dinner reservation. In fact, if the trip is delayed the day before this tour and we arrive mid-afternoon, we will head there first as I know we'll be famished. That fills in my Plan B for arrival day.

                  2) Les Jalles

                  Ptipois, we will experience Les Jalles for a drink at that chic zinc bar after the tour. Something with Lillet please :-). (I've never actually tried Lillet. But I shall in Paris.)

                  3) Lazare

                  Parnassien, I don't recall exactly why, but I actually already had labeled Lazare on my Google "My Maps" for Paris with a green pushpin. A green pushpin means I'm certain either like it or we will need to go there for logistical reasons.

                  Maybe it's because it has the VERY unique attribute of sounding like a delicious French restaurant that is open 7 days a week for breakfast, lunch, dinner AND very late (from 7:30am - Midnight).

                  Or, I might have thought it was a Sunday definite, since a lot of places I looked up are closed on Sundays, and I will be in Paris across 2 Sundays.

                  Other places that look excellent

                  1) Goust

                  Parnassien, I LOVE the idea of handing over the wine decision making to the best sommelier in the world.

                  Odd - One site says they are open for lunch, but the Goust website says:
                  http://www.enricobernardo.com/WEB/ind...
                  Open: 5 days from 7pm to midnight
                  Closed: Sunday – Monday and Saturday lunch

                  but then elsewhere on their website they refer to:
                  "Luncheon menu Entrée/ main course, or main course/ dessert, 35 euros"
                  So maybe lunch during the week but not on Saturdays.

                  In case of Goust especially, I'd agree with parigi. It would probably be best experienced when there's time to meditate on the wine choices at either dinner or lunch.

                  2) Brasserie / Restaurant Garnier

                  John Talbott, is the Brasserie Garnier adjacent to this restaurant:
                  http://www.restaurantsparisiens.com/r...
                  I was looking for a link of their menu but only can find the restaurant menu.

                  Nancy S >> Since the tour ends at 5, why don't you spend a bit of time wondering to another neighborhood for dinner?

                  Great point. I forgot that restaurants don't open till 7.
                  I thought we'd either have
                  - Late breakfast + early dinner
                  or
                  - Lunch + Later dinner
                  But since early dinners are rare, I'll need to plan for
                  Lunch + Later dinner.

                  So I can narrow the scope to Lunch only for this thread :-).

                  5 Replies
                  1. re: sweet100s
                    John Talbott RE: sweet100s Nov 4, 2013 12:01 AM

                    "John Talbott, is the Brasserie Garnier adjacent to this restaurant:
                    http://www.restaurantsparisiens.com/r..."
                    This is the place; only one at 111 rue St Lazare. Don't worry about the title, the awning says bar a huitres, Zagat calls it a brasserie and most guides a restaurant - same place - a fish and shellfish leaning place.
                    Apologies for any confusion I caused.
                    And Goust is open for lunch or at least was when I went.in May.

                    1. re: John Talbott
                      Parnassien RE: John Talbott Nov 4, 2013 12:31 AM

                      Goust is open for lunch during the week but not on Saturday.

                      Pascade, I find, is more of a one-night stand. Might be fun for a one-off but then you never ring again.

                      1. re: Parnassien
                        sweet100s RE: Parnassien Nov 4, 2013 01:45 AM

                        I could see that because Pascade based on a specialty.

                        However, that's fine since my rule when on vacation is to not repeat a visit unless there are no other options or it's just that compelling.

                        I call that a "rule" because without it, my tendency would be to repeat what is good, known, comfortable. And in a place like Paris that would be a crime. :-)

                      2. re: John Talbott
                        sweet100s RE: John Talbott Nov 4, 2013 01:47 AM

                        OK, thanks John.

                        Too bad the Mamou bistro you reviewed isn't open during lunch.

                        http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                        1. re: sweet100s
                          John Talbott RE: sweet100s Nov 4, 2013 05:55 AM

                          Oh but there's so many others that are meritorious and "undiscovered."

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