HOME > Chowhound > France >

Discussion

An overnight from Paris

  • ccferg Jan 18, 2014 02:34 PM
  • 181
  • Share

I'll be in Paris with my adult daughter for a week in late March. In the middle of our stay, I'd like to take a train to a pretty town (within an hour or so) where we could stay at a nice country place and enjoy a good dinner in town. I had thought about Giverny or Vernon, but the gardens don't open until the week after we leave. Any suggestions?

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
Delete
Posting Guidelines | FAQs | Feedback
Cancel
  1. My favorite for this type of outing would be Chablis, the medieval town 90 miles SE of Paris - home to the famous wine. Stay at the lovely Hostellerie des Clos with its Michelin starred restaurant and fabulous wine list.

    Hostellerie is next door to William Fevre winery, go for a tasting, and walk over to Domaine de l'Obedience the medieval monastery that is now home to Domaine Laroche winery for a tour and tasting.

    the town is quite walkable, but do leave the stilettos at home because the streets are cobblestone. :)

    5 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      Fine idea. But i note with surprise that the train ride is almost 3 hours (2hr49min) from Paris Bercy station.

      1. re: mangeur

        There's Reims, Tours, or Dijon, as well.

        1. re: mangeur

          1 h 30 train ride to Auxerre, then drive to Chablis...

          1. re: Ptipois

            or Auxerre itself, actually -- lovely town.

            1. re: Ptipois

              1h15 to Joigny, mind you.

        2. Although a logistical stretch, Honfleur in Normandy. But oops, 2 hours by train from Paris St Lazare to Pont-l'Eveque and then half hour by rental car. Stay at Le Manoir des Impressionistes... walk into Honfleur old town for dinner at Sa-Qua-Na.

          A little more accessible, the cutesy town of Barbizon (famous for its pre-impressionists painters who made it their base) on the western fringe of Fontainebleau forest... 40 mins by transilien train from the Gare de Lyon to Fontainebleau-Avon and then 30-min bus or 10-minute relatively cheap taxi to Barbizon... or, a wee bit shorter, train to Melun and then bus/ taxi). I usually go by car so not entirely familar with the train/ bus thing and you should consult www.transdev-idf.com for coordinating bus schedules with train arrivals. Several historic hotels like the expensive Hôtellerie du Bas-Bréaux (which also has a decent but relatively pricey restaurant) and charming B&Bs like Le Ptit Angelus. A cluster of relatively good restaurants surprising for such a small town (but you will get better food in Paris): Les Biches (my most recent-- and very enjoyable-- experience), La Bohème, La Clé d'Or, L'Angelus. Better to go at mid-week... Barbizon's prettiness makes it an appealing wedding venue so weekends can get a little too busy with all that newlywed bliss and feasting... and, ironically, also popular (or so I hear) for an adulterous weekend when discretion is required. En tous cas, Barbizon is also a good base for visiting the previously royal Château de Fontainebleau, the cheesy (in a good foodie way) Melun if you promise not to notice the industrial zones on the outskirts, and Château Vaux-le-Vicomte (whose Italian-born châtelaine is a joy) in case you feel compelled to sight-see rather than just savour the more common delights of Barbizon and strolls/ cycling through the adjacent Fôret de Fontainebleau.

          148 Replies
          1. re: Parnassien

            Le Ptit Angelus in Barbizon looks lovely. How far outside of the town is it? Would it be difficult to get in and out of the town without a car?

            1. re: ccferg

              Le P'tit Angelus is a 5-6 minute walk from la Grande Rue (the main drag). I usually use a bike in Barbizon ... the Château de Fontainebleau is a very easy 15-min ride through the quite lovely forest. For getting to, say, Vaux-le-Vicomte, I drive. But Fontainebleau, Barbizon and Melun are all linked by a bus... not terribly frequent but with a little planning and research, I'm sure it wouldn't be too tiresome to make forays by bus. And taxis are not ruinously expensive.

              Maybe Fontainebleau town would be a more convenient base. Direct train from Paris. But can be very touristy... although March might be ok but I've never been there at that time of the year. If so, I'd try to coordinate the stay with one of the market days (Tue, Fri & Sun mornings)... excellent marché.

              1. re: Parnassien

                I began thinking Fontainebleau town might be a more convenient base too. Do you think it's that touristy in March? I thought after we get rid of our luggage at our hotel we'd spend an afternoon in Barbizon, and see the Palace the following morning before going back to Paris. For dinner I'm reading good things about La Petite Ardoise in Fontainebleau. Do you know anything about that?

                1. re: ccferg

                  Fontainebleau seems a very pleasant town but the several times I've eaten there no restaurant has really stood out. I think I know La Petite Ardoise but must admit that it's all a blur because the restos are pretty interchangeable and similar in style. My sense of Fontainebleau and its restos is perhaps a little warped because my visits there have been limited to the summer months when it's crawling with tourists. It will, I'm sure, have quite a different and more appealing complexion in March. But I do like the Château a lot... for me, much more interesting than Versailles... and the town of Fontainebleau has the feel of the provinces while Versailles ville is more sophisticated.

                  One thing to make clear, the cutesy and historic bits of Fontainebleau are quite a hike from the train station so you will need to take a taxi or bus to your hotel in, hopefully, the very picturesque and very touristy Château quartier. If you do stay in the historic heart, all the restos (as well as the bus to Barbizon) will be in easy walking distance. BTW, you can ask your hotel in Paris or Fontainebleau to book a taxi to meet you at the station or take you to Barbizon.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    I personally do not think Fontainebleau, pleasant as it is, warrants a one-nighter. It is pleasant and not that exciting, with the average charm of an ok Paris suburb. I remember the food scene being standard bourgeois cuisine. Not bad, not memorable. much like the town itself.
                    The whole place can be visited in half an hour at an excruciatingly leisurely pace. I am saying this as a notorious fundamentalist slowtraveler.

                    1. re: Parigi

                      I sorta agree with Parigi despite her amusing exaggerations ... but with the convenience (40 mins from Paris !), the château, the forest, and a side trip to delightful Barbizon, not all that bad a choice for a quick getaway.

                      1. re: Parnassien

                        I do like the surrounding area of Fontainebleau,. And even more than Barbizon, a little too mannered and manicured for my taste, I heart Courances (a garden to end all gardens, but open only in warm months), Milly La Forêt, Moret sur Loing, with very good eats ranging from fancy food to ferme-auberge. But one really needs a car.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          I bet I know what you're saying. It's what I always say about Nantucket.

                      2. re: Parigi

                        At last a sensible response - Fontainbleu is a decent half day trip, definitely not worth staying overnight. if it were me i would be looking at TGV timetables to see how long it takes to get to more interesting places - Dijon for example is only 1 hour 40 mins away or Lyon 1 hour 30 mins away.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          O Phil, Phil... first Parigi and now you.... two regulars that I enjoy immensely but now I'm getting protective of the OP.

                          I wonder how well you know Fontainebleau and the area ? Although I was only there one summer for a 3-week summer programme at INSEAD and based myself at a friend's vacant residence secondaire in nearby Barbizon, I didn't find it disagreeable by any means and, off-season, I imagine it's an even a more pleasant counterpoint to Paris. It's certainly not a gastronomique centre like Lyon or Dijon that foodies prefer, but it does match the OP's (i.e. not yours, not Parigi's) desire to have a short, convenient, no-hassle, non-urban overnight excursion. Nor is the food scene devoid of interest. She's already decided on a very good hotel, has a list of some good restaurants there and nearby, and will explore the Château and, I hope, the forest and picturesque Barbizon. The very fact that good restaurant/ food options are limited (but not absent) will ensure that her overnighter is relaxed and not like the foodie frenzies that I often read about in these threads.

                          To be more effective I think all us regular Chowhounders have to be sensitive to the context and, Phil, to the "en filigrane" preferences of each poster.

                          1. re: Parnassien

                            I don't know Fontainebleau that well. I am sure you know it much better than I do.
                            For quite a few years I had to, I mean had to, spend nearly every weekend there. I did not hate it, but would not choose it as a base or as a visit. As I said above, I much prefer neary Courances, Milly La Forêt.
                            " I'm getting protective of the OP."
                            Why does the OP need protection ? He asked for advice. I would guess it means he wants advice, in which case he risks getting advice.
                            If he needs us to say yes to what he wants to do, he would have specified that he did not need our advice, or probably would not have written at all.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              Parigi, your critical eye and sharp tongue are a major delight on this site. All I'm saying is that advice has to have a context meaningful to the OP and an intuitive understanding of what she/ he wants. And I like this ccferg lady... so let me protect. :)

                              I do admit that I'm much more familiar with and a more frequent visitor to the area rather than the town of Fontainebleau. But strolling through Barbizon, cycling and horseback riding through the forest, noshing in Barbizon and Melun, and sponging off spiffy friends while doing it has given me a lot of enjoyment and a great appreciation of time, place and history over the years. Such appreciation is the purpose of travel, no ?

                              1. re: Parnassien

                                Agree to all. In fact we agree so much that we are both praising the surroundings of Fontainebleau, and specifically not Fontainebleau itself. Courbettes.

                              2. re: Parigi

                                Yes, definitely I want your advice. I know how wrong tourists can go when they plan trips to areas I know well. If it were more than an overnight, I'd certainly be doing some of the other suggestions in this thread, but for an overnight this looked appealing. I've actually spent quite a bit of time in the French provinces (albeit some years ago), and have been to many of the towns you've recommended. But my daughter has never been beyond Paris and I just wanted to give her a little taste of the countryside. The afternoon we arrive in Fontainebleau we'll explore Barbizon and the forest, and the next morning we'll go to the palace. I'd like to be back in Paris by mid-afternoon because that will be our last day there and I'm sure I'll have stuff I'll want to do before leaving. I'm sure Fontainebleau in the summer is dreadful, but would think it's relatively quiet in March. But, yes, please don't worry about saying what you really think. (BTW, I'm a "she," not a "he.")

                          2. re: Parigi

                            "I personally do not think Fontainebleau, pleasant as it is, warrants a one-nighter. It is pleasant and not that exciting, with the average charm of an ok Paris suburb. I remember the food scene being standard bourgeois cuisine."
                            I must agree that it's not an overnight destination, but playing the geezer card, as a student I was awed by it and its role as Supreme Headquarters Allied Powers Europe (SHAPE)/NATO and on topic - the food served was memorable for military chow. The Germans may have had the Lutecia, but the Allies had the Palais de Chaillot and Fontainebleau.

                      3. re: Parnassien

                        I went to Fontainebleu Palace when I was 15 and I remember liking it so much more than Versailles. I booked a room at Aigle Noir Hotel, and I'm sure we'll be happy enough with the dinner that night in town. The menus certainly look more interesting than what I usually see in Providence, RI. And we still have four nights to eat in Paris. Trust me, I'm looking at every thread to plan those. I just wanted an easy way to get out of the city for a night, and I think this fits the bill.

                        1. re: ccferg

                          Well done.

                          And like I said before, try to get the hotel to book a taxi to meet you at the train station... the one time when I took the train to Fontainebleau-Avon for a stay in Barbizon, I waited an hour for a taxi. But there are buses from the "gare routière" behind the train station so not entirely dire if no taxis... and "only" a 3-km stroll from the station to the château.

                          And a friend who is regularly in Fontainebleau for the races raves about l'Aigle Noir and says its restaurant is "pas mal". But cautions about the poor quality of the boulangeries/ sandwicheries in the immediate vicinity. If it's a market day, instead head for the Marché Saint-Louis in the château parking lot (temporary site while the old Les Halles next to the Eglise St Louis is demolished and re-built)

                          1. re: Parnassien

                            I strongly urge that ,if you do go to Fontainebleu, you pop into a patisseur on the main street called Frederic Cassel. Top rated and very delicious. I believe that he is a MOF ..

                            1. re: pammi

                              I had to google MOF, but now I'll definitely check that patisseur out. Do you need to make reservations for short train trips like this or can we just go to the station in Paris (I think it's Gare de Lyon) and get a ticket? Glad to hear that your friend likes the hotel. Reviewers rave about the breakfast for some reason. I don't think they serve dinner; we'll probably go into town for that. And thanks for the tip about the taxi. Worst case, my daughter and I can walk the 2 miles to the hotel.

                              1. re: ccferg

                                No train rezzies necessary. Just get a ticket aller-retour from the Billets Ile-de-France ticket machine (use cash because not all machines accept American credit cards) or window. And make sure your ticket machine or window is marked "Ile de France" because you can't get them from a Grandes-Lignes or inter-city ticket machines/ windows. The Ile de France platforms are clustered together and you want Transilien Ligne R/ destination Montereau or Montargis ... but not all Montereau trains go to Fontainebleau so doublecheck. Of course, all this is info inappropriate for Chowhound so let me hurriedly appease the moderators by suggesting a lovely mother-daughter breakfast at the now very trendy love-it-or-hate-it Café Français on the place Bastille @ rue St Antoine on your way to the Gare de Lyon.

                                1. re: ccferg

                                  It's "pâtissier" (pronounced [pah-tee-see-ay]), not patisseur.

                                  And yes, I did just chime in to say this. :)

                                  1. re: Rio Yeti

                                    I thought that was the case, Rio, but I figured "patisseur" was a term I wasn't familiar with.

                                    1. re: ccferg

                                      Hehe, no problem, I wouldn't have mentioned it if you hadn't used the term as well... and then my mind saw more and more "patisseurs" on Chowhound, and soon the word would grow and spread through the internet, and finally someone would go order a nice éclair au chocolat and tell the man behind the counter "Vous êtes un très bon patisseur". Incomprehension, laughter, ridicule... I just couldn't live without doing something about it to prevent that from happening.

                                      Sometimes I'm heroic that way.

                                      1. re: Rio Yeti

                                        There is a whole body of mysterious Houndspeak:
                                        - patisseur
                                        - amuse (for amuse-gueule)
                                        - foie (does not mean liver, as any dictionary could tell you, but foie gras)
                                        My fave:
                                        - Instead of Bouillabaisse (Marseille fish soup), Bouillabaise (boiled f#@k).
                                        There's actually a whole page of the mention of this unknown sexual position:
                                        http://www.chow.com/search?q=bouillab...

                                        1. re: Parigi

                                          "There is a whole body of mysterious Houndspeak:
                                          - patisseur
                                          - amuse (for amuse-gueule)
                                          - foie (does not mean liver, as any dictionary could tell you, but foie gras)"

                                          Aaaaaaaaamen.
                                          Foie means liver. When you say "foie", you say liver (any animal's liver). Not foie gras.

                                          1. re: Parigi

                                            I do understand "amuse", it's like a cool way of saying "amuse-bouche", soon the hip way will be "am"... but sshhh... I'm still working on spreading it subtly...

                                            "Foie" does make me cringe a bit.

                                            1. re: Rio Yeti

                                              And bouillabaise - boiled fuck - does not make any of you cringe ?

                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                heh heh heh...

                                                No this is actually the kind of mistake I specifically do not point out, while laughing discreetly in my beard... but maybe I've watched too much Beavis & Butthead...

                                                1. re: Parigi

                                                  No, actually I think it's fun.
                                                  It does not exactly mean "boiled fuck" for there should be a suitable verbal form of "bouillir" (like a past or present participe) that would give it some meaning as a locution. But the idea is there and the mere presence of "baise" makes it entertaining.

                                                  Amuse does make me cringe for it only means "fun".

                                                  1. re: Ptipois

                                                    But lots of foreigners pronounce it as bouilli-baise so, at least in the hearing of it, the boiled bit works.

                                                    My fave is an overheard English woman saying what sounded like "j'adore les pines noires!" when buying pignons/ pine-nuts. I guess she meant to say noix and pins... still a mistake but not so hilarious.

                                                    1. re: Parnassien

                                                      An American lady friend calls the fabled Arles hotel Nord Pinus North Penis.

                                                      1. re: Parigi

                                                        Your American friend with her North Penis tendencies and my Anglaise looking for pines noires should meet for a fab ladies night out. But finding a club where both Swedish and African guys hang out will be difficult. Any recs ?

                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                          Good Lord, children. Behave.

                                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                                            It's all that Parigi woman's fault. She so easily leads us astray... thank god !

                                                            1. re: Parnassien

                                                              I aim to please.

                                                          2. re: Parnassien

                                                            I overheard a German woman ask about la foi grasse, which sounds like a tasty/naughty culte. Laughed, corrected herself, then did it again.

                                                            1. re: tmso

                                                              It simply means "fat faith".

                                                              1. re: Ptipois

                                                                Right, which is what I found funny

                                                2. re: Parigi

                                                  Worse for me than foie is fois gras. Nails on a chalkboard. I don't see it much here, but it appears often on some other forums whose names I won't mention.

                                                  Sorry - I have nothing useful to add to this thread other than the fact that I'm enjoying it and hope to make use of it some day.

                                                  1. re: VaPaula

                                                    huh? why would the proper term for a specific food be like nails on chalkboard?

                                                    Foie is the French word for liver.

                                                    Foie gras (used regularly on the French forum, as it's a primary food group for French foodies) is literally translated as "fat liver" -- the fattened liver of a duck or goose. Delicious, highly prized, and not ever to be confused with that puddle of red tissue wrapped in cryovac at the supermarket.

                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                      Yes, sigh, but people have been writing "foie" to mean "foie gras". It's like saying Latte.
                                                      Hey, how about a foie latte ?

                                                      1. re: sunshine842

                                                        I said it's foiS gras that bothers me, not foiE gras. Big difference!!

                                                        And yes, I know what both foie and foie gras are - thank you.

                                                      2. re: VaPaula

                                                        Re the foie thing, I often don't know if posters are talking about liver/ offal, gamey duck liver/ foie gras de canard or more delicate goose liver/ foie gras d'oie. So a few extra strokes on the keyboard does help.

                                                        And while we're talking about irritations, I got lots:
                                                        Restaurants that are referred to by their initials;
                                                        Referring to chefs by their first names... chef is such an honoured profession in France that a first-name basis seems very disrespectful unless you happen to be married to him/ her and or can claim BFF status;
                                                        Wildly misspelled names of restaurants... makes the search function useless... and c'mon guys, it's not Charades and "sounds like" doesn't work here... just takes 5 seconds to google and verify the spelling;
                                                        Mis-naming markets... ask any average Parisien(ne) on the street for directions to "Marché Richard Lenoir" and you will either get a shoulder-shrug and a look of confusion or end up at the Marché Popincourt or Marché Bastille;
                                                        The auto-fill edit thing on Apple devices... especially maddening when writing in French... we really don't have a class system in France (although some say we do) but education/ language are all important... when iPad mysteriously changes my "de" to a "du" or my subjunctive to the indicative, all my years of education and assumed superiority are lost... but oops, I digress. :)

                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                          Wow, if I had known I would open Pandora's box with this little "patisseur" ...!

                                                          Since we're on the "cringe-worthy" list... I have to say, I hate reading "St. Germaine"... I shouldn't, it's an honest mistake, but I really really cringe every time I read it.

                                                          1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                            Yes Rio... your name has already been added to the "who to blame" list. (Note to moderators: Parnassien i.e. moi is blameless for all these off-topic posts).

                                                            But the Chowhound tendency to feminize our obviously butch (i.e. French) saints is annoying. And, Rio, let's not be so goodie-goodie... a mistake is a mistake whether honest or not... and we're French, right ? Any excuse to complain is precious.

                                                            And speaking of complaints, posters who omit the rue, boulevard, etc in a street address should be slapped..."the café on St Jacques" kinda of thing.

                                                            1. re: Parnassien

                                                              I am staying in the hotel Machintruc-Arc-de-Triomphe overnight. Where is the best croissant near me, Parn ?

                                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                                Stop! I'm gonna die from the giggles.

                                                                Just so happens that there's a fab croissant vendeuse (well, maybe vendeur) just down the street in the Bois de Boulogne ... just follow the old geezer in the raincoat.

                                                                On second thought, sending annoying Chowhounders to he/she pute-land is maybe a wee bit too cruel and un-foodie. Maybe a recommendation for Indiana Café would be a more appropriate punishment.

                                                              2. re: Parnassien

                                                                "But the Chowhound tendency to feminize our obviously butch (i.e. French) saints is annoying."

                                                                I sense a feminist conspiracy...

                                                                1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                  I'm still digesting the saintly butchness.

                                                              3. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                I hate reading all mispellings.
                                                                Now I don't need to list them anymore! yay!

                                                                1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                  I repeat-just go to that delicious pastry shop of Frederic Cassel's In Fountainebleu!! It 's just super yummy..( I'm never going to say anything in any language other than English,ever again. And I went to school in Vevey for two years)

                                                                2. re: Parnassien

                                                                  So, while we're at it, let's ban "so" which has become punctuation (whoops I just offended.)

                                                                  1. re: John Talbott

                                                                    Are you, like, going to ban "like" too ?

                                                                    1. re: Parigi

                                                                      Ummmm, ummmmm, like, no problem.

                                                                      1. re: John Talbott

                                                                        OMG, I mean, like, whatever...

                                                                        So true.

                                                                        1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                          So to get back on topic, which is French food I recall, what words annoy us? - Parnassien has begun with the fact that we Yankees use lots abbreviations and acronyms (he should only read a DOD doc); is this a worthwhile topic for another thread? But are words like luscious, creamy, buttery, yummy universal, among and between the pesky ones?
                                                                          We've collectively highjacked a thread on a serious question on where to go outside Paris into a graduate seminar on annoying verbiage. It's not fair to ccferg or to Shakspere (look it up) or Moliere.

                                                                          1. re: John Talbott

                                                                            Quaint
                                                                            Best
                                                                            Vegetarian

                                                                            1. re: Parigi

                                                                              "Adventurous eaters"

                                                                              (follows a description which clearly states that they're not)

                                                                              "Anglo-Saxons"

                                                                              (used by French speakers - hrm hrm - every time I read that, I visualize warriors in pointy helmets and mail armours ready to besiege Chez Dumonet)

                                                                              1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                Foodie. Ugliest word in English language after "pus".

                                                                                1. re: Parigi

                                                                                  Tasty

                                                                                2. re: Ptipois

                                                                                  Sorry, Pti... unless you use "les Anglo-Saxons", your French passport will be confiscated. But ok, I'll try writing "Americans, British, Irish, Canadians, Australians, and New Zealanders" instead of "Les Anglo-Saxons" the next time. Just to save you from your Dark Ages images.

                                                                                  1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                    The Scots would be most unhappy about their omission. Haggis forever.

                                                                                    1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                      JT, the Scots aren't British like the Welsh and English ?

                                                                                      And haggis forever ?!!! well, maybe... if "forever" means just one day a year when you are very drunk (or a temporary bulimic).

                                                                                      1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                        Haggis gets a bad rap. It can be good. I like it, especially when it's made with lots of "foie." Am I using that word correcctly?

                                                                                        1. re: ccferg

                                                                                          (French lesson cont'd)
                                                                                          Yes, foie it is... along with other "abats de mouton"/ sheep offal (i.e. poumon/ lung, coeur/heart, etc)... but then they ruin it with all that avoine/ oats. Best use is for hurling rather than eating. :)

                                                                                          1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                            BTW, Parnassien, I really love organs like liver, kidneys, sweetbreads, or other "disgusting" stuff like tripe. Friends tell me I eat like a witch. This is off topic for this post, but are there restaurants in Paris you'd recommend for that kind of stuff?

                                                                                            1. re: ccferg

                                                                                              Offal is everywhere... very common.

                                                                                              For foie de veau, Au Bon Coin on the rue Collégiale in the 5th.
                                                                                              For tripe and other offal, Ribouldingue on rue Saint Julien le Pauvre in the 5th... an oasis of quality in the St Michel tourist trap territory.

                                                                                              1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                I'm starting to get really excited now. And I'm going to force myself to get back on my Rosetta Stone routine this afternoon.

                                                                                                1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                  "offal, Ribouldingue"
                                                                                                  I'm an awful offal fan (I've been waiting to use that all year) but disappointed by my last 2 meals there. I'm satisfied picking up the odd ears here and there. You still think it's as good as when it opened?

                                                                                                  1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                    Have you written up your 2 recent meals? Or can you give a timeframe for them? I've heard several good reports in the past year. But we all have different offal expectations.

                                                                                                    1. re: mangeur

                                                                                                      Oh Lord Mangeur, I wish I had time and archival access that would yield that up - Try John Talbott Ribouldingue in Google. Otherwise let's see what Parnassien says. Or ignore my memories; I do.

                                                                                                  2. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                    For foie de veau, Au Bon Coin comes to mind immediately. It is an extremely generous thick slab, unfortunately undercooked (rosé does not mean cold at the core). If you do order it there, please mention that it should be at least warmed through.

                                                                                                    But the landmark foie de veau, the one for which once in my life I will type the words "best in Paris", is the one served at Le Caméléon (for a price, too). This one is for foie de veau fanatics.

                                                                                                    Other very nice foies de veau can be had at Joséphine-Chez Dumonet, Le Mâchon d'Henri/Le Bistrot d'Henri, and at some brasseries when it appears.

                                                                                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                      The description of the foie de veau on Caméléon's menu qualifies as food porn.

                                                                                                      "Châteaubriand de foie de veau Français cuit épais déglacé de vinaigre de vin, gratin ce macaronis au parmesan"

                                                                                                      adding gratuitously, "43€ (spécialité)"

                                                                                                      1. re: mangeur

                                                                                                        It's very good and was nowhere near 43 E.

                                                                                                        1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                          Which "it"? Which restaurant are we talking about? I ask because 43€ was from Caméléon's menu.

                                                                                                      2. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                        Re Au Bon Coin liver
                                                                                                        While judgements based on direct experience are valid for each individual, I have never been served or have never known anyone else at the same table to be served "undercooked" foie de veau at Au Bon Coin (now 4 or 5 meals there).

                                                                                                        So one less than excellent liver for Pti. "Une hirondelle" and "le printemps" and all that.

                                                                                                        Which leads to a cross-cultural observation... the seasons are different in the French and English versions of one swallow does not make a summer/ une hirondelle ne fait pas le printemps. Are American swallows such late starters because they have to wait for directions from the NYT or Anthony Bourdain of where to go ? Just wondering. :)

                                                                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                          I am only saying, after a few experiences, that the foie de veau at Au Bon Coin tends to be definitely underdone (which is a risk given the thickness of the piece) and that one should be careful about that since not everybody likes liver that is cold in the middle. No need to summon swallows for that.
                                                                                                          I've never noticed any absent-mindedness in the cooking of the liver at Le Caméléon. It is always perfect. It is also the big landmark dish of the place.

                                                                                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                            and given the North American propensity to cook liver until it could serve well as a shoe sole, I would imagine that a lot of places in Paris get complaints from that group that the liver is underdone.

                                                                                                            (I'm somewhere in the middle...can't bear it grey and tough, but still red and bleeding is not really my taste, either. My mother has always left it slightly pink, but moist and tender)

                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                              "red and bleeding"
                                                                                                              I'm not sure how poor ccferg's thread on going overnight from Paris came to this but if we're all weighing in - I order my liver thick and raw on the inside, burned on the outside (which now that I think of it I do for lamb, steak and fish as well). That's where the taste is E. coli be damned.

                                                                                                              1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                I'll see you on lamb, steak, salmon, and tuna. (and nicely crusted, not burned)

                                                                                                                Other fish, not so much -- but none of it ever, ever dried-out and grey.

                                                                                                                1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                  "not burned"
                                                                                                                  Well because my French language and sense of humor skills are so refined that's what I say although in truth it comes crusty not black.

                                                                                                                2. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                  I'm enjoying the direction this thread has taken because I do love liver. I like it pink inside. As for steak, however, I like it "bleu" -- red and bleeding. (That's what "bleu" is, right?) The E.coli is on the surface of a steak, as I understand it, so as long as you've burned the outside you should be fine.

                                                                                                                  1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                    heh. Red and bleeding means rare.

                                                                                                                    Bleu means a talented vet might still have a chance.

                                                                                                                    :)

                                                                                                                    1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                      Thanks, sunshine, for that warning. I should go with "saignant" when ordering? I do like my steak rare (red and bleeding), but I also like it warm.

                                                                                                                      1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                        Yes, saignant is much closer to our "rare" than "bleu".

                                                                                                                    2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                      Just to make things clear, I didn't say "pink inside". I like calf's liver pink inside. It shouldn't be raw and cold, that's all. That's not even bleu, that's wrong. Very unpleasant sensation.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                                        Oh, yes, Ptipois, I understood that, and I do agree. I wouldn't like that at all.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                                          "raw and cold,"
                                                                                                                          Humm - you my be onto something, I think you're better.

                                                                                                                        2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                          As a physician/scientist who has read much too much about food pathogens - unless you have a meat thermometer that tells you that you that you are safe, you're exploring dicey space.
                                                                                                                          But do I personally want grey, over-cooked, doubly-killed meat or against my wonderful internist's advice, stuff that tastes good?
                                                                                                                          And BTW, as for "I'll see you on lamb, steak, salmon, and tuna" I will not do chicken undercooked, except from Asafumi Yamashita, who does beak to toes raw; really cool.

                                                                                                                          1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                            nothing at all to do with pathogens -- I'm just not going to eat cold, red, bleeding liver. I'm pretty adventurous when it comes to food, but that's beyond my limits -- if raw liver feels that nasty in my hands, I'm really not thinking that eating it that way would end well.

                                                                                                                            didn't figure you were in the habit of raw chicken...much as I trust the French food supply (including its far less uptight procedures than those found in the US) -- even the French don't eat raw chicken (with rare exceptions, as you noted)

                                                                                                                            1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                              We had almost rare chicken breast served to us as the final main course at Septime. It was a very, very rosy pink. It was delicious and we did trust the kitchen, and enjoyed the dish, but I thought how they would have been totally busted by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency for not serving it at the recommended 165 F/74C here in Canada. Agree that French has much more liberal food safety allowances than North America.

                                                                                                                              1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                They don't. Raw chicken is vile.
                                                                                                                                Now I'm certain Bertrand knew what he was doing and chicken breast (which is a dense cut) actually benefits from not being cooked quite through.

                                                                                                                              2. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                                Let's put science aside since it is not the point here, and reaffirm that between "grey, overcooked" and totally raw, fridge-cold and not cooked at all, a few other options exist.

                                                                                                                                1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                                  I ate "toriwasa", or raw chicken just blanched for a few seconds, at Fuku in Tokyo, Japan.

                                                                                                                                  I did it because I want to taste everything I can, and that I trusted the place (for right or wrong reasons, who knows ?).

                                                                                                                                  It wasn't disgusting, but it was frankly bland, and the texture wasn't very pleasing.
                                                                                                                                  At least I can now wear my "I ate raw chicken" t-shirt and freak out my grandmother.

                                                                                                                                  P.S.: I also ate raw pork during the same trip...

                                                                                                                                  1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                                    This I think is taking us away from our topic but we've already been straying for some time. But...
                                                                                                                                    Pork and chicken are supposed to be the most "umami-rich" meats. But they're very bland in their raw, uncured states, because their umami does not develop until they're cooked. It has to be extracted to be revealed (from bones, collagen, skin, etc.). And if there's a little Maillard reaction on top of that, that's even better.

                                                                                                                                    I know there are traditional dishes of raw chicken in Japan and that rare pork is trendy in France right now, but that does not make them tastier. Plus their texture in the raw is not very interesting if it is not backed by taste.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                                                      Yep I agree. But you know... I had to get that t-shirt... ;)

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                                                        "This I think is taking us away from our topic"
                                                                                                                                        Moderators - can you split off all the discussion on raw/cooked food from ccferg's totally different subject.
                                                                                                                                        Thanks.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                                          To be fair, it should be split in three discussions :)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                                                            We took a look, but our split tools are pretty limited -- we can only pick a single post and turn it and all of the replies to it into a new thread, and we're not able to identify a single post here that would take out the side conversations cleanly. And since they're ... mostly ... about food, we'd rather not damage them by making a hash of it.

                                                                                                                                            If someone wants to start a broader discussion on one of these topics and drop a link here so that the conversation can jump over, that might be the best solution at this point.

                                                                                                                                            1. re: The Chowhound Team

                                                                                                                                              Wow, we created a wormhole in the Matrix !

                                                                                                                                              1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                                                And I started it! I'm so proud. (Correction: Someone on this post hated the current use of "so." I'm proud.) But I really have learned a lot from all of the digressions. Still looking for a rec for dinner in Fontainebleau, but Parn promised to get back to me on that after talking with a friend.

                                                                                                                                                1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                                  I did... but it's in another part of this very tangled thread... see below

                                                                                                                                      2. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                                        Mett is a particularly tasty raw pork preparation, popular with our neighbors directly to the East. Generally tastier than the trendy preparations you find here.

                                                                                                                                        1. re: tmso

                                                                                                                                          Thanks for that, I had never heard of Mett, I googled it and am intrigued !

                                                                                                                                        2. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                                          I wondered about that-- I'd heard of raw-chicken sushi, too, but I was thinking that since chicken breast doesn't have a huge amount of flavor cooked, it can't possibly have much raw.

                                                                                                                                          I think I'll let you wear that t-shirt -- I'll keep the ones for unusual species (emu, rattlesnake, etc)

                                                                                                                                          1. re: sunshine842

                                                                                                                                            Hehe no problem, took that one for the team !

                                                                                                                              3. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                                Bridgekeeper: What... is the air-speed velocity of an unladen swallow?
                                                                                                                                King Arthur: What do you mean? An African or a European swallow?

                                                                                                                    3. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                      No I actually like haggis on more than Robbie's day and as for the Scots (of which I must have 1/64th in me) they are as equally proud of not being Brit as the Welsh and Irish, but we lump them into the "Anglo's" bin don't we?

                                                                                                                      1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                        <we lump them into the "Anglo's" bin don't we?> Not I (said the little red hen) who is 1/4 Scottish. :)

                                                                                                                      2. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                        in name only. Maybe.

                                                                                                                    4. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                      Thanks. Actually it doesn't bother me, I think it's fun, but see I'm an impolite French person, and all our Anglo-Saxon friends around here are much too well educated to tell you that they find it hilarious too. So, self-sacrifice, and all.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Ptipois

                                                                                                                        Is there any good alternative to replace les Anglo-Saxons? Le Nouveau Continent (bye-bye Brits, Aussies and Kiwis) ?... les Pays Anglophones (hello Singapore and Jamaica) ?

                                                                                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                          English-speaking people? Longer but more accurate.
                                                                                                                          Besides, trying to put all those people under one single term does not hold much truth. They're all different.

                                                                                                                  2. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                    Oh, another word "flexitarian". I hate that word, it symbolizes to the absurd how everything needs to be labeled. Did we really need that word ?

                                                                                                                  3. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                    Ok, so I'm usually critic, cynic... but here I have a reverse question.
                                                                                                                    Recently there's been a few websites listing "forbidden" words for food critics and blogs (with foodie, yummy, etc... as strong contenders). And I've seen a few times the word "unctuous" appear on these "why on earth would anybody use this" lists. And I have to say, although I speak english fluently, and I can relate to most of the words that shouldn't be used, I can't understand why "unctuous", which for me, translates to french to "onctueux" (and I don't see a problem with the french word) is an offender.
                                                                                                                    Can anyone explain to me what's wrong with unctuous ?

                                                                                                                    1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                      Nothing, unless it's used three times in a sentence, like any other adjective.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                        Rio, I don't think onctueux and unctuous are perfect matches. To me, unctuous almost always has negative implications in both the literal (oily, greasy) and figurative (obsequiously servile, smarmy, Uriah Heep-ish) senses. Onctueux can be easily positive in its literal (crémeux, moelleux, velouté) and figurative (i.e. le service onctueux) meanings.

                                                                                                                        In describing food, I think using unctuous instead of oily or greasy is very pretentious as well as confusing. The pejorative figurative sense (obsequiously servile, smarmy) has become the prime use of the word.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                          Thanks Parnassien, I didn't understand it that way, that clarifies things.

                                                                                                                          However, I fail to see what's wrong with Uriah Heep... ;)

                                                                                                                          1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                            Au secours ! SOS ! The Rio beard is shortcircuiting the Yeti brain again... now, where's my razor ? and then we gotta transform him from Uriah Heep to David Copperfield... quick!

                                                                                                                            1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                              That's the problem with beards, the tend to short-circuit the brain... they also make you look damn sexy, so it's all worth it.

                                                                                                                            2. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                              That would be the Abominog album cover.

                                                                                                          2. re: Parigi

                                                                                                            Look Parigi
                                                                                                            I'm a prime offender
                                                                                                            I use amuse (in print, not in mood), have used bouillabaise (not in practice, just in print) and when as a moderator on another site I innocently asked a poster what sort of "foie" did she/he mean was told foie=foie gras Mr. Mod.

                                                                                                            1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                              I bet you book long stays at North Penis too.

                                                                                                              1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                Whoops, I've been booking at Nope.

                                                                                                          3. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                            I do think you're doing a service. Thank you.

                                                                                                            1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                              Actually,in the case of Frederic Cassel's shop, I should have referred to it as a patisserie since the shop is an 'it' -You guys are rough! :). But the pastry there is great..

                                                                                                            2. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                              Pâtisseur sounds like some kind of kitchen robot. Although it dead mean pâtissier, 800 years ago.

                                                                                                  3. re: ccferg

                                                                                                    If you're there on market day, Fontainebleau has a lovely covered market.

                                                                                                    (oops-- didn't read Parnassien's post -- but wonderful offerings, even if the lovely hall is currently being rebuilt)

                                                                                                  4. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                    In Barbizon a few years ago we enjoyed dining at L'Angelus. La Clé d'Or also looked very good, when return we will go there. And it's lovely to stroll around nearby Moret sur Loing. -- Jake

                                                                                                2. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                  mmmm Barbizon! My only experience was passing through on a bus on the way to Fontainebleau (which I love). I recall passing a building that had a placque that said Robert Louis Stevenson had stayed there while writing Treasure Island.

                                                                                                  Would like to "explore" there. :)

                                                                                                  1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                    ChefJ, Barbizon is so easy to get to... just a 10-min taxi ride from Melun or Fontainebleau.... so go, explore the spirits of Corot, Rousseau, Millet, and RLS... and have tea in the garden of RLS' old haunt the Hôtellerie du Bas-Bréaux.

                                                                                                    1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                      Tea in RLS' old haunt sounds cool. Thanks. I do hope we get some nice spring weather when we're there. That always makes such a difference on a jaunt like this.

                                                                                                    2. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                      That's interesting. I always get a kick out of seeing those placques and picturing the writer coming in and out of the door. (As you see, I'm pretty easily entertained, so I'm sure a few hours exploring that town won't bore me. My daughter is an art school grad, and I think there's a little museum there featuring the Barbizon School of artists.)

                                                                                                      1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                        Then you are so in luck. You may also get a thrill reading all the Ripley books by Patricia Highsmith that use Barbizon as background.
                                                                                                        Your plan will work. Using Fontainebleau as a base really is no ordeal. Please don't be put off by what Parn calls my sharp tongue.
                                                                                                        As for preparing yourself for the Fontainebleau mood, how about Beethoven's Eroica ? Both the town and the symphony are tattooed with the spirit of Napoleon.

                                                                                                        1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                          Oh, jesus, I misspelled plaque. You guys are making me nervous.

                                                                                                          1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                            But you spelled misspelled correctly so all is ok. Redemption is such a joy, no ? :).

                                                                                                            And are you all set for Fontainebleau (which, unlike some others I could name, you always spell correctly)/ Barbizon ?

                                                                                                            1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                              Parmassien, I'm still searching for restaurants for lunch in Barbizon and dinner in Fontainebleau. I'm determined to find some really good food there and prove everyone wrong about this being a gastronomic wasteland. I'm sure my meals won't be cutting-edge, but that's OK. In fact, I tend to stay clear of restaurants that appear overly ambitious in towns like Fontainebleau. I'd be very happy with some solid, well-prepared French country cooking.

                                                                                                              1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                (you misspelled "Parnassien"...) ! :)

                                                                                                                1. re: Rio Yeti

                                                                                                                  Oh, man, I'm so sorry!

                                                                                                                  1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                    But your correction prompted me to google it and see if it's a word, which it is. I'll have to find a way to weave it into my conversation with the patissier.

                                                                                                                    1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                      Haha, don't worry I'm just teasing now...

                                                                                                                  2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                    Thank god for spell-check aka Rio Yeti ! :)

                                                                                                                    But ccferg, even though I'm sulking for being misspelled, I'll try to get more recs for Fontainebleau... one of my friends has recently become entangled with a "mines-et-ponts"/ civil engineer type guy who lives there and the approvals committee (i.e. moi) is meeting tomorrow to vet him.

                                                                                                                    1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                      Thanks so much. I'm thinking your Paris recs for offal got removed from this board, but fortunately I wrote them down. And I think I will be in heaven at Ribouldingue. Fortunately I raised my daughter well -- last year she ordered veal heart tartare when we were in Montreal, which gave even me pause.

                                                                                                                      1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                        (Warning: On-topic post for ccferg and re recs from a Fontaineleau resident)
                                                                                                                        Ok, straight from the horse's mouth (bit of a plodder but he does live in Fontainebleau): L'Axel on the rue de France... he raves about it but quite gastronomique so maybe does not suit your preference for country-style cooking. He also reluctantly suggested Le Patton for a more trad cuisine/ ambiance but it's a sorta long and not terribly scenic walk to/ from your hotel (and what a pity that the Musée National des Prisons is temporarily closed or you could have made a brief stopover on your way). Ominously he couldn't come up with any more suggestions for Fontainebleau and prefers driving to cutesy Barbizon, regional hub Melun and ultra-picturesque Moret-sur-Loing (because the restos in these places are "more special" i.e. less touristy). So if Le Patton and l'Axel don't appeal, it's Tripadvisor, Yelp, Gault-Millau, or Michelin for you to winkle out other possibilities.

                                                                                                                        1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                          I'm all for Moret sur Loing, but have already recommended upthread.
                                                                                                                          When I go to the magnum opus manouche jazz guitar festival in nearby Samois, my go-to restaurant is Chez Fernand in Samois. Really cuisine bourgeois up the wazoo, but what do you expect from that area.

                                                                                                                          1. re: Parnassien

                                                                                                                            L'Axel looks wonderful. I know my daughter would vote for that. But it looks pricey and we're going to be having four pretty special dinners in Paris. I thought the night in the country might give my wallet a little break. It's on the list though. Thanks so much for the research.

                                                                                                                            1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                              L'Axel does have a three-course prix fixe for 33E. But if I'm reading this correctly, it doesn't apply to Friday nights.
                                                                                                                              Menu découverte à 33 €
                                                                                                                              (servi
                                                                                                                              uniquement le midi en semaine, hors jour de fêt

                                                                                                                              1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                Yes, only for LUNCH on weekdays excluding national holidays . "En semaine" includes Friday. Next cheapest "formule" is 48 € (4 courses anytime, any meal) and then there's a dégustation menu for 90 € and an optional wine pairing (5 glasses) for 55 € more.

                                                                                                            2. My pick for a town that is (1) easy to get to by train from Paris, (2) is lovely and (3) has good food would be:
                                                                                                              Dijon
                                                                                                              Rouen (old town)
                                                                                                              Avignon (2.5 hour by TGV train).

                                                                                                              1. There is also Chartres

                                                                                                                1. Thank you so much. You've given me some great suggestions.

                                                                                                                  1. Nancy 1.30 hours by train, no need to rent a car, wonderful public transportation, beautiful architecture, glass and food. A really nice place for a day.

                                                                                                                    3 Replies
                                                                                                                    1. re: John Talbott

                                                                                                                      And an idea of where to sleep and breakfast...
                                                                                                                      http://www.maisondemyon.com/index.php

                                                                                                                      1. re: mangeur

                                                                                                                        Oh, that looks wonderful.

                                                                                                                        1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                          We stayed there (maison de moyen) two nights in 2011. Wonderful, it was. Table d'hote offered sometimes as well. -- Jake

                                                                                                                    2. As usual, posting on this board has made me wish I had three times as much time in France. But I'm sure the stalkers -- I'm often one of those -- will appreciate your suggestions as well.

                                                                                                                      1. I promise I'll report back honestly on my overnight in Fontainebleau. I'll be the first to admit it if this was a mistake. (I just can't believe that an afternoon and lunch in Barbizon, a peek at the forest, dinner in Fontainebleau -- OK, that might be iffy -- a night in a nice hotel and a morning at the palace can turn out that bad.) And, btw, you guys do "amuse" me.

                                                                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                                                                        1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                          And, Pammi, thanks for letting me know about Frederic Cassel's _____. I don't think my conversation with him will involve his profession. The folks on this board really are rough, but I do love them, and it's the best board on Chowhound.

                                                                                                                          1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                            You are welcome. I don't' know if I am allowed to mention other websites here but if I am I suggest you look at a French language website called- raids patisseries- you will see the best finds in Paris for every category of pastry in every Arrondisement . Jaw dropping!

                                                                                                                          2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                            You'll have a great time. Looking forward to your report.

                                                                                                                          3. Funnily enough, there was just a posting about FC on parisbreakfasts website-dated 1/2014. Check out the pictures!

                                                                                                                            11 Replies
                                                                                                                            1. re: pammi

                                                                                                                              Found it. Somehow I've got to squeeze this in. http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                              1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                Oh dear!!!

                                                                                                                                1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                  Is that a good "Oh dear" or a bad one, ChefJune? It does look over the top, but I've heard it's good.

                                                                                                                                  1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                    Others may find those bright fluo psychedelic colors appetizing.

                                                                                                                                    1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                      Those colors put me off too.

                                                                                                                                      1. re: Parigi

                                                                                                                                        I though there was an awful lot of fluorescent green too. And, visibly, masses of gelatin.

                                                                                                                                      2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                        Looks like a lot of calories..... some of it looks good, some........

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ChefJune

                                                                                                                                          Looks as though Timothy Leary were the pastry consultant.

                                                                                                                                    2. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                      Did you also click on the small icon underneath that posting called Frederic Cassel et le vrai Fontainebleau? No neon in sight and also food suggestions for Fontainebleau. Some good suggestions...

                                                                                                                                      1. re: pammi

                                                                                                                                        Thanks, Pammi, I hadn't seen that. I'm going to prove you guys wrong about this being a total food desert. I'll find some good stuff there -- at least enough to keep me happy for an overnight. http://parisbreakfasts.blogspot.com/2...

                                                                                                                                        1. re: ccferg

                                                                                                                                          There's also a very good artisanal and more trad boulangerie, La Galerie des Pains on the Grande Rue in Barbizon for your side-trip there... but closes for an hour or so at 1pm (?) for lunch.

                                                                                                                                  2. You could take a train to Fontainebleau, We do rental apartment in Paris.

                                                                                                                                    1. I guess this should be a separate post, but here's what I've decided for where we'll eat in Paris. (The first part of the week we'll be staying Montmartre, and then after the overnight to Fontainebleau, we'll be in the Marais.) La Cantine de la Cigale, la Mascotte, au Bon Coin (5th), and finally a sentimental favorite of ours -- le Tastevin. I've always wanted to go to Chez Denise, but I don't know how to squeeze that in (maybe for lunch on the day we do the huge seafood tower at la Mascotte?) I'm still hoping I can report a good meal in Fontainebleau, or at least a good lunch in Barbizon.