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Helping in narrowing down the Paris list

a
antonia2 Jan 13, 2014 11:28 AM

In my best French style . . . Bonjour.

We are headed to Paris for two weeks in early July. It is myself and my husband for one week and we are then being joined by another couple. We love to eat and one of us is pretty serious about wine.

We are staying in apartments, one near Palais Royal, one on the Left Bank. But we are happy to travel for good food.

Using Chowhound as a guide, I have compiled a list of 36 restaurants. The "theme", if there is one, is really good food, under 100 E per person. We have some experience eating in Europe (including France) and like the idea of set menus. We also want to have a couple of meals in a brasserie (since we will be there on two Sunday's).

So, here is the list in no order (well, maybe alphabetically). Help us eliminate some and highlight the best. For dinner only.

Abri
L'Ambroisie
Atelier Joel Robechon (well we want at least one Michelin *)
Auberge Flora
Aux 2 Oliviers
Bistrot Victoires
Bistro Volney
Caius
Cafe des Musees
Chatomat
Goust
Huitrerie Regis (one of us loves oysters(
L'Arome
Le Cornichon
Le Pantruche
Le Pario
Le 6 Paul Bert
Le Florimond
Le Petite Cour
Le Saotico
Le Verre Vole
Les 110 de Taillevent
Les Bistronomes
Les Papilles
Les Tablettes
Lilane
Ouidino
Philou
Piroette
Pramil
Regalade St. Honore
Spring
Suave
Toyo Ze Kitchen Galerie

Have at it.

And merci bien.

  1. a
    allende Jan 13, 2014 02:28 PM

    100 Euros... with or without wine?

    4 Replies
    1. re: allende
      a
      antonia2 Jan 13, 2014 02:58 PM

      Tough question -- but hoping for with wine -- I may be naive, but E100 per person seems like a reasonable ceiling.

      1. re: antonia2
        John Talbott Jan 13, 2014 05:55 PM

        You're not naive, although I as always would advocate for lunch - in Europe, in France, one walks, one museums, one gardens. But so be it.

        1. re: John Talbott
          a
          antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 06:19 AM

          John,

          Are you suggesting substituting some lunches for dinners? This is always a big question for us -- usually we are out and about all day, often eating in a museum cafe or something light and then having a larger dinner.

          I know that the French and other Europeans often have a large lunch and light dinner and we would be fine with that. An excuse to buy food at the Grand Epicerie and eat at home.

          We would definitely consider some lunches.

          1. re: antonia2
            John Talbott Jan 14, 2014 07:23 AM

            "Are you suggesting substituting some lunches for dinners?"
            Yes: I know we are not typical Yankees trying to cram everything into one or two weeks and explained our changes over the year on this post http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/john_talbotts_paris/2013/11/eating-in-france-as-a-resident-versus-a-visitor.html
            And I've given the advantages of eating lunch here
            http://www.bonjourparis.com/story/eat...

    2. John Talbott Jan 13, 2014 05:51 PM

      So Toni, just to get the rules straight before we let the dogs loose - 14 evening meals, preferably set/menu/prix fixe, under 100 e all liquids included, right? John

      1 Reply
      1. re: John Talbott
        a
        antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 06:20 AM

        Well, we're trying for that . . . Of course, if it is a very great place, we would spring for more.

      2. Parigi Jan 14, 2014 12:52 AM

        I'd eliminate
        Pramil
        Regalade St. Honore

        I would not cross town for
        Pantruche
        Papilles

        4 Replies
        1. re: Parigi
          c
          chowess Jan 18, 2014 06:07 AM

          Parigi (and Ptipois),

          Apologies if I seem to be asking the obvious, but any reason you would not go to Regalade St Honore and Les Papilles? I just posted a request for updates on these two restaurants now and this post caught my attention. Many thanks.

          1. re: chowess
            p
            Ptipois Jan 18, 2014 07:10 AM

            La Régalade Saint-Honoré : lower-than-average-quality products that even careful cooking cannot redeem.

            Les Papilles : better products but the place IMO has gone downhill. But since I haven't been there in some time, I am ready to be corrected by people with more recent experiences. What I'm sure of, though, is that the wines are far less interesting than they used to be.

            1. re: chowess
              Parigi Jan 18, 2014 09:54 AM

              My experience with those two restaurants are quite similar to Pti's. If I work nearby and am stuck with eating out all the time in the 'hood, maybe. -- No. I still would not go. My go-toplace in the 5th is Dans les Landes.
              As for the Palais Royal-Bourse area, Terroir Parisien Bourse is light years better than Régalade SH.
              I so miss the old Chez Pauline. Had my wedding dinner there. Sob.

              1. re: Parigi
                John Talbott Jan 18, 2014 11:30 AM

                "I so miss the old Chez Pauline. Had my wedding dinner there. Sob."
                wish i'd known you then but we had some mighty fine meals there nevertheless.

          2. p
            Ptipois Jan 14, 2014 01:30 AM

            And I'd eliminate
            Abri
            Auberge Flora
            Le Verre Volé
            Les Papilles
            Chatomat: reservation quite difficult (phone never answered)

            Careful, you put Toyo and Ze Kitchen Galerie on the same line.

            4 Replies
            1. re: Ptipois
              s
              shakti2 Jan 14, 2014 05:34 AM

              Any particular recent reason to eliminate Abri ? I went when it was a hot new opening in 2012 and had liked the food, the earnest young team and the great price, and would be sorry to hear if it hasn't kept up the momentum.

              1. re: shakti2
                a
                antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 06:25 AM

                Based on John Talbott, below, we're keeping keeping Abri.

                1. re: shakti2
                  p
                  Ptipois Jan 14, 2014 11:17 AM

                  Particular reason: yes, inconsistent food without much originality.

                2. re: Ptipois
                  a
                  antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 06:25 AM

                  That was a typo. Thanks for the help. This is making it much easier.

                3. John Talbott Jan 14, 2014 05:17 AM

                  I am going to go at this is a different manner, by giving a diverse list to “include” not exclude I (I’ve cheated and added some not on your list):
                  Oysters Huitrerie Regis
                  Other fish Clamato (also open on weekends)
                  Meat Hugo Desnoyer
                  An old style bistro Le Cafe des Musees
                  A new style bistro Bistro Volnay & Pirouette
                  Bistronomique Les Bistronomes
                  An old style resto Le Florimond
                  A new style resto Goust & Les Tablettes
                  An elegant resto 110 Taillevent
                  A bar a vins plus Le Verre Vole
                  One by a Japanese chef Abri
                  One by a French chef with Asian Ingredients Ze Kitchen Galerie
                  One by a Brazilian chef Le Pario
                  One by a Yankee chef Spring
                  One by a Korean/French chef Pierre Sang Boyer in Oberkampf
                  A brasserie Garnier
                  (I confess I have not been to L'Ambroisie, Caius or Atelier Joel Robuchon in years nor Aux 2 Oliviers, Chatomat (I only eat at lunch) Bistrot Victoires, Lilane, Ouidino, or Suave ever)
                  (And there should be a place for L’Auberge Flora, L'Arome, Le Cornichon, Le Pantruche, Le 6 Paul Bert, Le Saotico, Les Papilles, & Regalade St. Honore)
                  (And I dropped entirely - Le Petite Cour, Philou, Pramil, Toyo and the two Darroze's on another thread)

                  6 Replies
                  1. re: John Talbott
                    a
                    antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 06:24 AM

                    Actually this is helpful. Thank you. And we're keeping Abri.

                    Toni

                    1. re: antonia2
                      Parigi Jan 14, 2014 06:31 AM

                      I lunch fabulously recently at Abri.
                      But a couple of things:
                      The very nice waitress kept recommending the "menu supplice" (torture menu). After a while, I understood that she meant, in her charming accent, "menu surprise".
                      Last week I tried to call to make another appointment and had great difficulty. After trying to call for an hour, I got a gentleman who told me the hour when he would have a table. I said: "please wait a second ; I will consult my husband." The gentleman hung up instead.
                      After another hour trying to call the restaurant, I got the same gentleman who this time told me the restaurnat was full for that evening.
                      Therefore do expect a degree of "téléphone supplice".

                      1. re: Parigi
                        John Talbott Jan 14, 2014 07:26 AM

                        Parigi:
                        Your caution about making reservations and communicating clearly at Abri are well-taken.
                        Toni: There are other great places chef'd by Japanese guys: Les Enfants-Rouges, Kei, Sola and Concert de la Cuisine.

                        1. re: John Talbott
                          s
                          shakti2 Jan 14, 2014 07:56 AM

                          Kei is fine and Sola better than fine but a person is unlikely to come out under 100 euros at dinner time. Encore in the 9th and Étude in the 16th are good options as well.

                          1. re: shakti2
                            John Talbott Jan 14, 2014 08:52 AM

                            Whoops, forgot the dinner restriction. Looks like Les Enfants Rouges has a 35 E menu at both meals though.

                        2. re: Parigi
                          a
                          antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 07:28 AM

                          We will take this under advisement. We hate "supplices".

                    2. u
                      UPDoc Jan 14, 2014 08:57 AM

                      If you've not done it yet, I strongly recommend luncheon at la Tour d'Argent. The Menu is 80euro, leaving something in your purse for a bottle or 2 from their fabulous cellar. I recommend one of their well cared for village Bourgogne blancs (Rully, Vire Clesse etc and with the plat a Bandol which pairs nicely with the Magret)
                      The view is wonderful and the ambience elegant.
                      A great way to spend 2 1/2hr. And then...a walk along the Seine to Notre Dame

                      1. Parnassien Jan 14, 2014 11:34 AM

                        A great list. Hardly a stinker among them. I'm not a fan of the Atelier Joël Robuchon which is, I think, a concept formulated in Las Vegas and should really stay there... there is a certain lack of joy and "Frenchness" in both his Paris outposts. But since you specify dinner, the other starry option will require a second mortgage... l'Ambroisie is a 300+ € place with an air of formality that might not go down well with Mr No-Tie. A "bargain" alternative might be one-star la Grande Cascade in the Bois de Boulogne... especially pleasant in summer when dusk can linger until after 10pm.... and a set menu with wine and coffee around the 100€ mark ... whee!

                        As long as you have such a good list, I personally wouldn't over-do the planning and allow for whimsy and circumstances to make your final decisions. One of the circumstances is weather. If there happens to be a heatwave, so many Paris restaurants, usually long narrow and badly ventilated, turn into saunas. Dunno about you but sweating like a pig is not my idea of an enjoyable meal... nor do suffocating temperatures help the kitchen produce the best cooking. I know it's difficult for tourists to suss out which restaurants might be no-nos during a heatwave but in general I'd check the Michelin guide and Cityvox.fr for air-conditioning and/or terraces and use Google street-view maps for corner locations (for cross-ventilation) and openable fronts. Perso, I rarely book more than a day or two in advance and, in summer, I often make rezzies at two or three restaurants for the same night and then cancel when I'm sure what the weather will be and can decide which resto would be the more suitable. Some of your choices, like Spring, will require rezzies weeks in advance (but Spring is air-conditioned so no problem even if there is a heatwave). Other choices like La Petite Cour are only recommendable if there is a heatwave... the courtyard, not the cuisine is the asset here.

                        "Quartier" is also a very important circumstance. Maybe I'm just a bad "foodie" but convenience, neighbourhood buzz/vibe, peoplewatching, and the opportunity to explore la vie parisienne quite commonly determine my restaurant decisions as much as the quality of the cuisine.

                        Strange how personal preferences can be so different. I'd put Auberge Flora in my top 10 while Pti dismisses it. As a local, I'm not terribly taken by Les Papilles but know that visitors do appreciate its warm welcome and unfussy cuisine and so would not discourage you from trying it. Lilane and Cornichon, both overlooked by JT and others, are two of my faves. Huîtrerie Régis almost universally recommended on Chowhound is great for takeout but, as a restaurant, always makes me wonder "why did I come here when I could have gone to Ecume des Bulles around the corner?".

                        5 Replies
                        1. re: Parnassien
                          a
                          antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 11:47 AM

                          Thanks so much for this great information. We were in London a few years ago in the summer and experienced some of that sauna-like dinning. I'm usually not a great fan of airconditioning -- despite living in Ohio which is awful in the summer. But there are times when it makes all the difference.

                          We are tourists and although we are very conscious of our poor accents, two of us do speak passable French and so can handle making a phone call on the fly, as it were.

                          And we also like the idea of "quartier" and exploring "la vie parisienne" is very appealing, In fact, we are trying to combine just that with great food.

                          And I'm taking Joel Robuchon off the list. And taking a long look at Grande Cascade.

                          1. re: Parnassien
                            ChefJune Jan 14, 2014 12:53 PM

                            I have to agree with parnassien on Les Papilles. I'm still wondering what's so all-fired terrific about the place. It wasn't bad, but nothing to gush over. And I LOVE Ecume for oysters. :)

                            1. re: ChefJune
                              mangeur Jan 14, 2014 01:28 PM

                              Les Papilles is where we take or direct first timers to Paris, non-foodies, those who would otherwise just find a salad or omelet or steak frites in the cafe nearest their hotel. No need for them to speak French, read a menu in French, make hard or even soft choices among confusing options. And the food is accessible, wine drinkable and the cost of 4 courses a bargain in terms of quality and quantity, a stress free experience, one of welcome and comfort food. (The same people who have loved it, love Machon d'Henri.)

                              When I make restaurant recs, I try to read between the lines of the OP. LP fits some requests like a glove, and is all wrong for others.

                            2. re: Parnassien
                              John Talbott Jan 14, 2014 02:13 PM

                              "Cornichon....overlooked by JT"
                              Not so; I said "there should be a place for it" - along with Flora although I was disappointed by its limited menu on New Years Day but t's my fault for assuming they'd be up & running.

                              1. re: Parnassien
                                p
                                Ptipois Jan 14, 2014 08:57 PM

                                About L'Auberge de Flora, I admit it needs a second visit. The first one was dreadful and the chef was present. But I know Flora is basically an excellent chef so I'm ready to update.

                                Abri, on the other hand, has never shown me anything but inconsistency (some dishes quite good along some incomprehensible cooking errors) so I can't recommend it.

                                I'd warmly recommend L'Hédoniste, which hasn't been mentioned at all.

                              2. mangeur Jan 14, 2014 12:10 PM

                                While we've enjoyed several outstanding dinners at Chatomat when it first opened, we have since found a disconnect between the kitchen and dining room. That is to say, that while we are sure that someone is knocking himself out in the kitchen, the delivery is cool and ho-hum. We haven't been back in a year.

                                We also wouldn't return to Les Bistronomes where we found the food nothing special and the service what I would describe as tourist oriented, "fawning" and up-selling. In the same vein, we don't return to L'Arome which opened sweetly but since seems poor quality/value ratio and aimed at the local hotel crowd.

                                1. ChefJune Jan 14, 2014 12:55 PM

                                  No one's mentioned my personal favorite -- Maceo -- and it is both near the Palais Royale (15 rue des Petits Champs) and well within your budget. It's fine dining w/o the high price. :)
                                  http://www.maceorestaurant.com/maceo_...

                                  1 Reply
                                  1. re: ChefJune
                                    Parnassien Jan 15, 2014 01:27 PM

                                    ChefJ, we were counting on you to mention it. :) Since Antonia is staying near the Palais Royal, light, airy and very comfortable Macéo should indeed be a strong recommendation.

                                  2. u
                                    UPDoc Jan 14, 2014 01:48 PM

                                    With all respect to Parnassien, My wife and I enjoy atelier JR St Germaine and book it for the Sunday 6:30 seating.
                                    Though it is seating at a bar the stools are very comfortable. For a group of 4 request a corner which makes conversation easier. The rosewood and red decor with jars of colorful fresh vegetables, eggs etc.is pleasant.The multiple choices in the tapas;like oriented menu allows for an infinity of variations so each visit becomes unique for us. We generally depart Paris at noon on Monday so we have plenty of time for last minute packing.

                                    37 Replies
                                    1. re: UPDoc
                                      Parnassien Jan 14, 2014 03:02 PM

                                      I often wonder if people who like the Atelier Joël Robuchon like it because it's objectively good or because of Robuchon's international renown or because of a narrow experience that limits their ability to compare. I'm often obliged to have expense-account meals there and, I must say, it's my least favourite starred resto. Food is good and can be a great value but I am quickly turned off by the formulaic ritual, well-rehearsed script, and joyless presentation. As a Parisien, I simply feel it's just for the tourists and that its soul has been lost somewhere between Paris and Las Vegas. Of course, opinions are just opinions and someone else might have another reality that makes the Ateliers JR unmissable stops on their passage through Paris.

                                      1. re: Parnassien
                                        Parigi Jan 14, 2014 03:28 PM

                                        For very much the same reasons, L'atelier JR leaves me cold these days, although it did not use to.
                                        And I don't know if it is a Parisian thAng, although I am a fellow Parisian. The Atelier is just intensely unexciting. -- I do remember it being exciting once, or was I dreaming ? Who changed?

                                        1. re: Parigi
                                          mangeur Jan 14, 2014 03:48 PM

                                          An interesting reflection, Parigi. It applies to all of us as our experience grows but also dining rooms wax and wane.

                                        2. re: Parnassien
                                          a
                                          antonia2 Jan 14, 2014 03:45 PM

                                          We are of two minds about eating in Michelin starred restaurants. The idea of doing such a unique experience is extremely appealing. Many years ago, I had lunch at Moulins des Mougins and I can STILL remember the food, the ambience, the service, etc. Nothing like it in the world. If my memory is correct the cost was 500F for lunch!

                                          On the other hand, these restaurants are sometimes joyless (Moulin was not) and without French "soul".

                                          Now, if there a Michelin starred with joy and soul, we're there.

                                          1. re: antonia2
                                            Parnassien Jan 14, 2014 04:32 PM

                                            Antonia,
                                            for the fun and soul factor, have a look at perennial Chowhound favourite Le Cinq, especially for the bargain lunch. I also enjoy Guy Savoy, Michel Rostang in the 17th for its "frenchness" and, more recently and more surprisingly, Le Meurice.

                                          2. re: Parnassien
                                            u
                                            UPDoc Jan 14, 2014 03:48 PM

                                            "I often wonder if people who like the Atelier Joël Robuchon like it because it's objectively good or because of Robuchon's international renown or because of a narrow experience that limits their ability to compare."
                                            Well, that lets me know what your imagination is like. I've travelled the world and visited Paris numerous times since 1968-71 when an "obligated volunteer" with the US Army in Europe. For several years now we've been fortunate to visit Paris annually for a week.
                                            So far I've successfully avoided Las Vegas and therefor cannot comment on your comparison of JR's "soul" in S Germaine with the LV venue.
                                            Mrs Wells' book on l'Atelier and JR's "the Complete Robuchon" have given some insight to the "soul' of his cusine. I don't find it lacking at l'Atelier St. Germaine nor have I yet found it a boring place.

                                            1. re: UPDoc
                                              Parnassien Jan 14, 2014 04:23 PM

                                              UpDoc, sorry if my remarks ruffled your feathers... they were only meant to explain a different perspective.

                                              I'm not all that familiar with Ms Wells but do note that her assessment of Robuchon dates from 1995. Dunno if she would be pleased or displeased by his "brand" in 2014. In any case, I'm not aware that there is any infallibility when it comes to food writing. My own opinions are based simply on experience and very specific personal preferences distilled over the years.

                                              As the ever wise Mangeur points out in another post, experience grows but restaurants also wax and wane. One of the great joys of Paris is that the depth and breadth of the food scene allows us to change course, avoid repetition, and explore. Such exploring has caused me not to value the Ateliers JR very highly.

                                              1. re: Parnassien
                                                u
                                                UPDoc Jan 14, 2014 05:23 PM

                                                I enjoy your comments to the France CH blog, but here we are in agreement-we disagree about JR
                                                Please see ; http://parisbymouth.com/our-guide-to-...

                                                1. re: UPDoc
                                                  mangeur Jan 14, 2014 06:30 PM

                                                  Doc, your conversation with Parnassien highlights one of my favorite themes, the importance of vetting one's restaurant guru. Palate and style are not absolutes. They are continuums and exist on different planes. I love Chowhound, and I religiously follow the recs of those Chows whose likes parallel mine while respecting those whose don't.

                                                  1. re: mangeur
                                                    Parnassien Jan 15, 2014 03:50 AM

                                                    Mme Mangeur, I sorta disagree. Some of my most memorable meals have been accidental. I'm rarely in the position to make my own choices about where to go. Dining companions (friends, family, colleagues, clients) all have a say and sometimes I just allow lazy convenience/ whimsy to guide me. So, I end up at lots of restos that are outside my usual palate preferences. And very often I'm pleasantly surprised. Nature and tribal allegiances do make a few food critics trusted guides but my "unguided" accidents still account for far more successes.

                                                    1. re: Parnassien
                                                      mangeur Jan 15, 2014 06:57 AM

                                                      While I am not saying "I want your life", if i lived in Paris and was literally dragged around to a different restaurant each day, I wouldn't complain for a long time. Since I'm stuck in mine, I need to cash my dining opportunities with a little more caution. Like most Chows visiting France, we have an ever growing list of new names to consider as well as a stable of favorites that we don't have enough time to revisit.

                                                      Go to bed at night and thank your stars!

                                                      1. re: mangeur
                                                        a
                                                        AGM_Cape_Cod Jan 15, 2014 07:17 AM

                                                        Amen

                                                    2. re: mangeur
                                                      u
                                                      UPDoc Jan 15, 2014 06:36 AM

                                                      Thank you, Mangeur. Your additions to the France blog are valued. It is a joy for us to be able to visit Paris and the variety of experiences there have been memorable. This Feb. I have finally been able to gain a reservation at Spring and the new David Toutain.
                                                      A couple of years ago we tried the JR Etoile venue and found it less pleasant than St. Germaine. In planning this year's visit-fortunately my son and his wife are again able to join us- they and my wife have insisted on the St Germain location again.
                                                      It must be difficult to be required by others to eat where you expect that you will not enjoy your experience.

                                              2. re: Parnassien
                                                ChefJune Jan 16, 2014 08:49 AM

                                                Not often mentioned, but Robuchon's former place, Jamin, provided some of the most amazing food I've ever experienced. I've not been to either Paris Atelier, but my experience and the reports of friends who have been there is that they are not in the same ballpark. At all. Ao if you're thinking of reliving the old days at Atelier, you will surely be disappointed.

                                              3. re: UPDoc
                                                a
                                                AussieBeth Jan 14, 2014 09:38 PM

                                                My two cents: I have been lucky enough to eat at JR St Germain three times over the last few years (most recently in November 2013) and have always found the food absolutely delicious, and the service friendly and engaging. To me, it is filled with joy, and one of my very favourite places to eat. The small plates allow you to create your own menu if you like.

                                                1. re: AussieBeth
                                                  a
                                                  antonia2 Jan 15, 2014 07:14 AM

                                                  One of the things I love about Chowhound is the discussions. Always informative about specific restaurants, but also the discussions about food and food philosophy are equally interesting.

                                                  So, we have narrowed it down to 30! And we do have 14 days/nights, so that's basically 2 choices for each night/day.

                                                  I'm thinking we will try to narrow it down further by focusing on those restaurants that are in walking distance of where we are staying -- for the most part -- so that we can "walk off" our meals and enjoy a Parisian stroll. And staying mindful of eating outside if possible, our budget (goodby Michelin 2-3 stars), and air conditioning.

                                                  Here's the list:

                                                  Abri
                                                  Ambroisie
                                                  Atelier Joel Robechon (kept it after all)
                                                  Auberge Flora
                                                  Aux 2 Oliviers
                                                  Bistrot Victoires
                                                  Bistro Volney
                                                  Caius
                                                  Cafe des Musees
                                                  Chatomat
                                                  Goust
                                                  Huiterie Regis
                                                  L'Arome
                                                  Le Cornichon
                                                  Le Pario
                                                  Le 6 Paul Bert
                                                  Le Florimond
                                                  Le Saotico
                                                  Le Verre Vole
                                                  Les 110 de Taillevent
                                                  Les Bistronomes (might go)
                                                  Les Tablettes
                                                  Lilane
                                                  Maceo (unless . . .)
                                                  Ouidino
                                                  Piroette
                                                  Sola
                                                  Spring
                                                  Suave
                                                  Ze Kitchen Galeries

                                                  1. re: antonia2
                                                    mangeur Jan 15, 2014 07:28 AM

                                                    You are doing an admirable job of cutting your list. I do realize how hard it is to let go of a name.

                                                    The way I pare the list for each visit is to re-researh each name, making sure to visit such sites as le fooding as well as scouring the restaurant's website if it has one, each time asking myself do I REALLY want to eat here? Often i will pick up on something that is a real turn-off and problem solved. I have learned not to heed the herd consensus that any place is a "must do".

                                                    1. re: mangeur
                                                      a
                                                      antonia2 Jan 15, 2014 07:33 AM

                                                      That's pretty much how I do it too. Takes a ton of time -- I'm lucky that I am both obsessive compulsive about these things and have enough time to start early.

                                                      But it works and we have had memorable meals in many, many places thanks to Chowhound.

                                                    2. re: antonia2
                                                      u
                                                      UPDoc Jan 15, 2014 07:30 AM

                                                      Bistro Volnay on rue Volney

                                                      1. re: UPDoc
                                                        a
                                                        antonia2 Jan 15, 2014 07:34 AM

                                                        Thanks for the correction.

                                                      2. re: antonia2
                                                        John Talbott Jan 15, 2014 08:55 AM

                                                        This is becoming difficult - for instance Le Pario is way away (M: Charles Michels).

                                                        1. re: John Talbott
                                                          a
                                                          antonia2 Jan 15, 2014 10:30 AM

                                                          John,

                                                          We're going to use proximity as one "filter". But we are still going to travel wherever for good food.

                                                          1. re: antonia2
                                                            Parnassien Jan 15, 2014 01:44 PM

                                                            While I do strongly advocate using restaurants to explore the more buzzy real-life quartiers like the Haut Marais, les Batignolles, Sud Pigalle, Faubourg St-Antoine etc, I'm carried away by your proximity cue and seize the chance to illustrate the fact that one's own quartier can be a source of delight and discovery... I don't mean to add to your already long short list but I just want to point out that restos close to home can sometimes be as good or better than the ones in other quartiers that get all the Chowhound accolades. (That sentence is way too long... sorry)

                                                            The perimeter of the Palais Royal, for instance, yields lots of gems... Franck Enée (for creative cuisine) on the rue Mozart, Lulli (for a dose of well-priced style and elegance) on the rue Valois, Bistro Valois (for a bit of re-created old-fashioned style) on the place Valois, Le Balm (if in the mood for style, trendy clientele, and good but somewhat overpriced nosh... but still can fit under your 100€ ceiling) on the rue Valois, Aux Bons Crus (for some old-school bistro fare) on the rue Petits Champs, the light and airy and very stylish Macéo on the rue Petits Champs, Willi's (for wine and wine bar fare) on rue Petits Champs, Juvéniles (another wine bar) on the rue Richelieu, L'Entr'acte (for an apéro or snack) on the rue Montpensier, Bistrot Victoires (for one of the best price-quality ratios in Paris) on the rue Vrillière... and hell why not? I also enjoy the Brasserie Le Grand Colbert on the rue Vivienne for the setting, see-and-be-seen buzz, and superior oysters (but rarely risk ordering anything else).

                                                            A 10-minute walk west through Little Tokyo et voilà.... the Place du Marché Saint-Honoré for another cluster of foodie goodies and much patronized by office workers on their lunch breaks... Café des Abattoirs (a carnivore's delight and my current fave du moment in this area) on the rue Gomboust, the pâtisserie Victor et Hugo (for very superior pastries and chocolates) on the rue Gomboust, Les Cartes Postales (for a taste of nippon-français), Très Honoré (for an expensive cocktail in the very designy downstairs lounge... but just cocktails, ok?... the food is kinda mediocre), L'Ecluse bar à vins for a sample of excellent Bordeaux (but again food is not the greatest), the now inconsistent Rostang-empire L'Absinthe still decent enough for good-value lunch, Le Pain Quotidien for breakfast, Le Rubis wine bar on the rue du Marché St-H for some lunch or early evening charcuterie, and Ecume Saint-Honoré for some take-away or eat-there coquillage for lunch Tue to Sat or dinner Fri-Sat.

                                                            1. re: Parnassien
                                                              John Talbott Jan 15, 2014 01:53 PM

                                                              "Lulli (for a dose of well-priced style and elegance) on the rue Valois, Bistro Valois (for a bit of re-created old-fashioned style) on the place Valois, Le Balm"
                                                              As usual, Parnassien, your human culinary GPS skills astonish; I never really realized how packed the rue de Valois was with good joints until Lulli opened - i guess it's obvious when you realize that all those fine eaters at the Ministry of Culture across in the Palais Royal won't eat slop.
                                                              Another street to add to Parigi's "feng shui" list.

                                                              1. re: John Talbott
                                                                Parnassien Jan 15, 2014 02:04 PM

                                                                JT, the rue Valois revival is very recent. The re-do of the Grand Hotel, Ministry of Culture and that side of the Palais Royal seems to have taken longer than the building of Versailles. And so most of the rue Valois was pretty desolate for the last xx years. But what a fab slice of foodie real estate now, eh ?

                                                                1. re: Parnassien
                                                                  a
                                                                  antonia2 Jan 15, 2014 02:38 PM

                                                                  We're doomed, my husband says.

                                                                  But, I am going to add some of the nearby restaurants to our list because that's a great idea -- look everything up again to check out patios, air conditioning, etc. and then make our final choice.

                                                                  (And I'm tempted not to share with anyone . . . )

                                                                  1. re: antonia2
                                                                    mangeur Jan 15, 2014 02:49 PM

                                                                    When the chips are down, you are your own best counsel. Enjoy every one of your final choices!

                                                                    1. re: antonia2
                                                                      Parnassien Jan 15, 2014 03:00 PM

                                                                      For planning types, Paris is hell, innit ? :) Just way too many choices and too many opinions and no right answers. Hint: Got a hat ? Let the fates decide.

                                                                      With your list and our suggestions, wherever you end up will not be bad. .

                                                                      1. re: Parnassien
                                                                        a
                                                                        antonia2 Jan 15, 2014 03:58 PM

                                                                        Too many choices, too little time . . . But it is always that way in places like Paris. And we're going to do a combination of planing and serendipity. Can't go wrong in Paris with the great suggestions from you all. And where we are staying (both weeks) are so centrally located that nothing is more than an hour away and most are within 20-30 minutes, so good for a stroll home to partially work off the calories and the great wine.

                                                                        I promise a report when we get back.

                                                                    2. re: Parnassien
                                                                      John Talbott Jan 15, 2014 05:30 PM

                                                                      "the building of Versailles"
                                                                      Think the renovation of the Musee Picasso; Place de la Republique or indeed Buren's cols inside the Palais Royal.

                                                                      1. re: Parnassien
                                                                        Parigi Jan 16, 2014 05:15 AM

                                                                        A couple of nice little bistros around there:
                                                                        - La Bourse Ou La Vie. But the food goes through good, bad, good, bad, and is now back to good. I can't vouch for it any more. -- Sort of like L'absinthe. I love the square and once loved the resto. But again I can't recommend it any more. If you say it is back to good, that's good to know.
                                                                        - Juvéniles has the kind of dependable honest food that wine-focused places often do.
                                                                        - Is Un Jour à Peyrassol still good. I had a wonderful meal there a few years ago, but I don't want to recommend a place where I have not been in the past 18 months.

                                                                        Did you or someone else recommend Palais de Tokyo, or did I or Zhuangzhou dream it ? My experience is very different there. It is hip as hell but the food is less than average. My hip friends love it and drag me there all the time. Alas, I am not hip enough to appreciate an all-hip-no-palette kind of place. It's one of those Paris places where I eat at home first before going. Nearby Aux Marches du Palais is so much better.

                                                                        Yes I raise both hands and feet to agree that to limit oneself to 1-7 arrondissements is bafflingly self-defeating.

                                                                        1. re: Parigi
                                                                          John Talbott Jan 16, 2014 06:01 AM

                                                                          A wine-lover & I ate at La Bourse ou.... a couple of weeks ago and despite the classic bistro dishes I thought it only merited a 5.2/10.
                                                                          As for the Palais de Tokyo, the restaurant uptop is a chancy place, best sampled in summer outside and the one down the stairs, Monsieur Bleu, that I think Parnassien was referencing, is strictly for the 1%'ers (5.7/10 last summer).
                                                                          I agree a more down to earth alternate is Aux Marches.

                                                                          1. re: Parigi
                                                                            p
                                                                            Ptipois Jan 16, 2014 06:23 AM

                                                                            There seems to be several restaurants at Palais de Tokyo. I know one, Tokyo Eat, and I sure do not recommend it. Except if you're dying to hear a dj sample Les Compagnons de la Chanson, but don't go for the food anyway.

                                                                            1. re: Parigi
                                                                              Parnassien Jan 16, 2014 10:14 AM

                                                                              Parigi, your threads are tangled. The newish Monsieur Bleu at Palais de Tokyo was suggested for another topic (group dining).

                                                                              1. re: Parnassien
                                                                                Parigi Jan 16, 2014 11:17 AM

                                                                                Sorriest. Nor has the place improved with the move either. :)

                                                                                1. re: Parigi
                                                                                  Parnassien Jan 16, 2014 11:57 AM

                                                                                  Why oh why does your assessment of Monsieur Bleu make me think of Brice de Nice when he says "je sais nager... mais pas dans l'eau" ?

                                                                  2. re: antonia2
                                                                    ChefJune Jan 16, 2014 08:50 AM

                                                                    <Maceo (unless . . .)>

                                                                    Unless what? ;)

                                                              2. a
                                                                antonia2 Jan 19, 2014 07:01 AM

                                                                Just to add to the general confusion, our friends read about the new David Toutin Restaurant. Any thoughts?

                                                                2 Replies
                                                                1. re: antonia2
                                                                  John Talbott Jan 19, 2014 07:07 AM

                                                                  Terrific; several of us have been and commented positively. I gave it an 8.4/10 which is about as good as it gets http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...

                                                                  1. re: John Talbott
                                                                    a
                                                                    antonia2 Jan 19, 2014 07:45 AM

                                                                    John,

                                                                    I did check on your website to see if you had gone and saw the great review. We've added to our list!

                                                                2. a
                                                                  antonia2 Feb 5, 2014 10:40 AM

                                                                  Ok, we've narrowed it down to 7 restaurants. Here's the list:

                                                                  Aux 2 Oliviers
                                                                  Cafe des Musees
                                                                  David Toutain
                                                                  Goust
                                                                  Le 6 Paul Bert
                                                                  Les 110 de Taillevent
                                                                  Maceo
                                                                  Spring

                                                                  Any FINAL thoughts?

                                                                  8 Replies
                                                                  1. re: antonia2
                                                                    Parigi Feb 5, 2014 10:42 AM

                                                                    Good list.

                                                                    1. re: antonia2
                                                                      John Talbott Feb 5, 2014 11:59 AM

                                                                      Why Aux 2 Oliviers and Maceo (oh, yah, Chef June)?
                                                                      Replace with BAT and Desnoyer - for something completely different as Monty Python would say.

                                                                      1. re: antonia2
                                                                        m
                                                                        manouche Feb 5, 2014 01:25 PM

                                                                        Just one -
                                                                        I hate to be negative - especially when it concerns my beloved neighborhood "cantine" of the last 5 years - but things are not as they once were at Cafe des Musees.

                                                                        Too much success, way too many tourists who don't appreciate or understand the place (which really messes up the works), food and service have steadily slipped - and very noticeably so. Sincerest apologies received from the management, but a couple of comp'd drinks doesn't make up for the fact that things are out of control. If I wanted drinks, I would have gone to a bar.

                                                                        It is a shame that this has happened, but I would give CDM a pass for awhile, until they decide how they are going to handle what has become a very unfortunate situation.

                                                                        1. re: manouche
                                                                          John Talbott Feb 6, 2014 01:23 AM

                                                                          "I hate to be negative"
                                                                          But if one does not point out a restaurant's shortcomings how are visitors to know?
                                                                          Even by 2011 (6 years after it's remake) I remarked that "if you want to among Francophones, this is not the place."

                                                                        2. re: antonia2
                                                                          Parnassien Feb 6, 2014 02:30 AM

                                                                          Often, many restaurants can be fine within a specific context. Café des Musées is probably ok for Sunday lunch but not so fine at other times.

                                                                          But Aux 2 Oliviers ?! When La Ferrandaise, la Cuisine de Philippe and even Au Petit Suisse are just steps away ?! I don't get it.

                                                                          1. re: Parnassien
                                                                            Parigi Feb 6, 2014 02:43 AM

                                                                            "many restaurants can be fine within a specific context. Café des Musées is probably ok for Sunday lunch but not so fine at other times."
                                                                            That's funny. Sunday lunch the only time I go. Both food and service are good. Diners and staff are in a markedly mellow mood. Most tourists are out checking off their sightseeing checklist.

                                                                            1. re: Parnassien
                                                                              a
                                                                              antonia2 Feb 6, 2014 10:01 AM

                                                                              Thanks Parnassien -- and everyone.

                                                                              We have eliminated Cafe des Musees, substituted Cuisine de Phillippe, but kept Aux 2 Oliviers.

                                                                              Nothing is perfect . . .

                                                                              1. re: antonia2
                                                                                John Talbott Feb 6, 2014 11:40 AM

                                                                                Listen Antonia, you're going to have fun, that's what's important. Eat well,
                                                                                John

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