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Feb 9, 2014 10:24 AM

Party of twelve wants birthday party dinner outside in June in the 6th

We have a large group (12) gathering for a birthday party in June. Half the people will be on their first day in Paris ever. I plan to give them a good walk about and end up in the 6th close to our apartments for an early dinner as they should be exhausted. We want outdoor dining "to see the action," decent food about 50 Eur each. (They want a splurge later in the trip.) Which restaurant fills the bill for the birthday girl?

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  1. M. Hychka my friend;
    I think we have been down this road in the past year.
    Have you dug up past threads?

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott

      Yes, and found no one talking about dining outdoors, the young lady's key request. I know you really like KGB, (you literally can't say enough good about the place! :}), and, I'd take them there, but no outdoor seating.

    2. The 6th is a tough nut given your request. If you would stretch to the 7th, the Bistro de Breteuil has a large terrasse that could absorb your party and food within your budget. Not foodie heaven, but usually with a cast of 12, one is including some ordinary people.

      In the 6th, Cafe de l'Odeon, same caveats.

      2 Replies
      1. re: mangeur

        Actually, this place was my first thought. My wife and I are quite fond of the restaurant because we have always made at least one friend while eating there...the seating is so tight that after some wine you just naturally begin talking to total strangers. For this occasion the mother thinks Bistro de Breteuil is too far for the first night.

        1. re: hychka

          Not in the same league pricewise, you have Les Climats and, of course, Ralph Lauren.

          And I don't know if they could arrange a table that large on their rather small sidewalk seating, but there is Au Saint Benoit on street of the same name.

      2. Totally agree with Mme Mangeur. Tough nut ! Saint Germain des Prés has some great cafés with great people-watching terraces large enough to accommodate a party of 12. But none have food that remotely qualifies as good for a full dinner. I'd suggest an apéro at Le Flore, Les Deux Magots, Café de l'Odéon (mostly uncovered terrace so off the list if rainy) or La Palette and then dinner at a nearby restaurant without a terrace. La Palette does have some decent light meal options but to get a party of 12 served on the terrace you might to have do some advance negotiating with the management.

        Maybe a walk through the Luxembourg park to Le Rostand on the place Edmond Rostand/ rue de Médicis on the borders of the 6th and 5th. Decent brasserie fare and a great twelve-able terrace.

        The boulevard du Montparnasse (which divides the 6th from the 14th) also has some possibilities... La Rotonde (best food), La Coupole, and La Closerie des Lilas and, for an apéro, le Select. All landmark brasseries or cafés with great history and Paris-ness. All in people-watching territory.

        Although not in the 6th (but close enough) and pretty average food, Le Caveau du Palais on the ultra-charming place Dauphine on the Ile de la Cité (near the Pont Neuf)... sidewalk terrace that could be configured for 12 in 2 tables, a charm-your-pants-off setting but limited people-watching. And if it rains, not much protection for the outer tables.

        Also not in the 6th but perfect for celebratory groups and a very flexible menu/meal options, Mini-Palais in the Grand Palais in the 8th. A sample of the monumental Paris. There's also a brasserie with very trad (but not exactly foodie quality) and a large terrace just across the street from the the Grand Palais on the corner of the rue Jean Goujon/ ave Franklin Roosevelt... imaginatively called the La Brasserie du Grand Palais.

        I'm not sure I'd appreciate being obliged to take a forced march by the drill sergeant on my first day in Paris. If everyone has been consulted, knows the risks of fatigue and sensory overload, and agrees, fine. But if the group includes just one Bolshevik like me, I would expect there might be a great deal of resentment and even a revolution. I can quite happily spend a whole day of café- and marché-hopping and strategically savouring the spirit of Paris but buses, taxis or Vélib (please notice that métro is not included in the modes of transport) would certainly be involved so that the moments of savouring are not wasted on pounding the pavements through the boring bits to get from picturesque A to charming B to monumental C.

        And another random thought, In June, sunset is between 9:30 and 10pm so maybe you can start your expedition later after your group has had a chance to rest and settle in. These long summer evenings in Paris can be memorably pleasant... if it doesn't rain and June is quite a rainy month.

        And what do you mean by an "early dinner" ? In Paris, 7pm is very early. Even continuous-hours brasseries tend not be geared up for full meals until 7 or 7:30pm and you run the risk of getting not freshly made food prepared by a skeleton staff or the less experienced cooks.

        5 Replies
        1. re: Parnassien

          I was thinking 7 pm. And, we'll lighten up on the forced march.

          1. re: hychka

            Or some of the wussier ones, like me, could arrange to meet up after the march. At a minimum, I'd opt for a several hour crash before continuing with the celebratory dinner. As P says, it's daylight forever in June.

          2. re: Parnassien

            I thought of La Palette also. Very nice café, fabulous terrasse, but it really is café food although not horrible.

            1. re: Parigi

              But rather introverted people watching setting.

              1. re: mangeur

                While La Palette's terrace is on the dull rue Jacques Callot, the rue de Seine is active enough for good people watching if you get tables as close as possible to the corner and can shrug off the stares of the people waiting for a table. The bigger problem with La Palette is its popularity. When the weather is good in the summer, the happy hour crowd (from 6 to 9pm) makes it almost impossible to get a table without standing in the queue for a long time. Maybe a party of 12 could make a special arrangement in advance but I'm just not sure if they have the wait staff to extend the dining area to the terrace. It takes long enough to just get a drink at the time when hyncha wants to eat. Inside, easier but then he would have to ditch his outdoor eating idea.

          3. OK; On the same square/place as the Odeon Theatre is La Mediterrannee which has an awesome artichoke and not bad fish at all and has a huge outdoor space. Last year (2013) there were also umbrellas/tables/chairs on the arse-side of the Theatre itself (never ate there tho').
            I agree with others on the garden at Les Climats (best food of all) and the Maison de l'Amerique Latine, albeit in the 7th but not far away at all.
            I also agree with Mangeur, the Bistro de Breteuil, really ignored here, is not bad.
            But breaking rules here, why not cab out to the Bois?

            2 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              JT, I wouldn't call La Méditerranée's outdoor space huge by any means. Or maybe you mean the permanently enclosed terrace/ conservatory whose windows can be opened in warm weather ? ... which is indeed a good option but the people-watching at night is only good when the crowd arrives for or leaves a performance at the Théàtre de l'Odéon

              1. re: Parnassien

                Yes I didn't mean the 2 or 3 tables facing West on the sidewalk but the semi-permanent area facing South.

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