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Nov 4, 2013 07:14 PM

Please critique my 5 nights in Paris plans (Dec)

Wife and I will be celebrating a milestone birthday in Paris in early Dec. Below is our planned itinerary for lunches and dinner for the 5 nights we are staying. We want to try and have a sampling of several different types of Parisian dining ranging from classic bistro to modern bistro to at least 1 or 2 "fine dining." We also have thought it would be nice to go food shopping and do a picnic. But it being Dec maybe that isn't a great idea. I also want to make sure that we are not overdoing it in the amount we are eating.

Ok. Here goes:

Day 1 - Sun
Lunch - landing in mid afternoon so will probably go eat light at L'Avant Comptoir
Dinner - L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon (St. Germain)

Day 2 - Mon
Lunch - Bistrot Paul Bert
Dinner - Septime

Day 3 - Tues
Lunch - Le Comptoir Du Relais
Dinner - Frenchie

Day 4 - Wed
Lunch - Les Cocottes
Dinner - Le Chateubriand

Day 5 - Thur
Lunch - Either shop for cheese, pate, bread, etc. And have a picnic. Or do a splurge lunch at L'Arpege. Or, go somewhere in the middle and go with somewhere like Aux Lyonnais or I hear Akrame is interesting.
Dinner - L'Ami Jean

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  1. . . . . This is like the CH's greatest hits list circa 2012- 2013. For me it would be an amazing week of eating, but quite frankly, I would be stuffed and overwhelmed by Day 4 . . . . . but perhaps my caloric tolerance isn't up to the level of most CHers!
    An outdoor picnic in December sounds like a raw, cold idea . . . .

    7 Replies
    1. re: bauskern

      "An outdoor picnic in December sounds like a raw, cold idea"

      I take that as a "bad idea"? :)
      So what do you think would be a better choice among the others? Arpege sounds like a great way to finish out the trip but I don't know if that's just overkill.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          Ok. So which days are being overdone the most? Which need to be reigned back and what are suggestions for somewhere else instead?

          1. re: Heeney

            All the days. One major meal a day is enjoyable. More than that, it gets less enjoyable and more painful.
            On a typical day, I would have one major meal and one wine-bar snack (charcuterie+salad) in lieu of a real meal.

            1. re: Heeney

              We did lunch at Le Comptoir (at the midday opening) and dinner at Septime without any issues and we are not big eaters, I imagine Frenchie would be fine.

              Day 5 it would be impossible to do Arpege and CLJ.

              1. re: ManInTransit

                Yes, day 5 is certainly my worry. Maybe skipping arpege may be for the best. Day 5 and day 2 were my biggest concerns for overdoing it. Thanks for the tip on day 3.
                Day 4 seems kind of in the middle. I know it's all subjective but I didn't think that would be too much.
                I can't imagine day 1 would really be too bad.

                1. re: Heeney

                  My initial comment was not based on any one particular day, but rather, doing lunches and dinners back to back [to back . . .] for five straight days. One concern I had was that the meals tend to run into each other, and by the end of the week it's hard to remember what dish you ate where, especially when it's a multi-course meal. When we were in Paris in June, I took photos of pretty much every dish I was served, and although it felt kind of touristy-geeky at the time, I'm kind of glad that I did because when I look @ the photos now, they bring back wonderful memories of what we tasted . . .

        2. "Aux Lyonnais or I hear Akrame"
          I'd avoid Aux Lyonnais and much favor l'Akrame.
          As bauskern said though, you're a far more vigorous eater than I.
          And as for the weather at Christmas, it can be anythinng from freezing to nice but I'd have a backup plan if nasty.

          1. I am going to add my two cents just to give you another point of view. Famous Paris restaurants are wonderful and all, but for me, one of the greatest pleasures of Paris is the outstanding food available from neighborhood shops and specialty stores. Maybe it's just me, but picking out some items from a boulangerie, a wine shop, a cheese shop, with a stop at a prepared salad place- some of the meat shops have great side dishes- this is the beauty of Paris. Then a patisserie for some espresso and dessert. That is easy to do in a hotel room. There are just so many wonderful and unique food merchants in Paris!

            6 Replies
            1. re: laraffinee

              Yes. That sounds like something we would LOVE to do for a lunch.
              But where to eat our purchases? Ideally outside is dec too cold? We don't really want to spend our afternoon in the hotel room eating at a small desk.

              1. re: Heeney

                Is it too late to cancel ? If you truly love food, when you visit Paris you should get an apartment with kitchen. The Paris with all that it offers is a major enjoyment, up there with restaurants and museums.

                1. re: Parigi

                  Oh, yes. It's too late to cancel the hotel and get an apartment.

                  1. re: Heeney

                    "The Paris with all that it offers is a major enjoyment"
                    I meant
                    "The Paris markets with all that they offer is a major enjoyment"
                    Moot point now. But if you can visit a market, it will be great thrill.
                    As I had suggested somwhere upthread, wine bars are a good option. Many of them offer simple homestyle eats. There are lots of threads on them. Two on the tourist routes are especially popular with hounds, including local hounds: La Tartine and Le Rubis. Up in Montmartre, Le Bascule too is a little gem in the middle of Amélie-land.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      We visited the Marche des Rouges Enfants??? Could that be the name? -- our apartment was very close by, so we browsed there a few times -- we got the makings for salads; there was a Moroccan couscous eatery; there was a spectacular cheese shop right next door - - very low-key and informal, but all the fixings for a delicious "picnic" back at our apartment. I just wish I could recall the name!

                      1. re: bauskern

                        Enfants Rouges, but I got the idea. :)
                        The couscous place there is quite good.
                        Rue de Bretagne in general is a good street for food shops.