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Recent Paris Trip Thoughts

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Just returned from a nice trip to Paris. I had to cancel a few reservations due to feeling not great for a day or two, and also due to cutting my trip short to visit Amsterdam for a few days (which was great!). Also cancelled a couple of lunches since the weather was so incredible, and I preferred to eat casually outdoors. Here are my brief, Haiku-esque thoughts....

Bon Marche Grand Epicerie
Redesign works Wonderfully
Smoked Salmon Sublime
Staff is Surprisingly Warm

Sola
Brilliant Japanese-French Artistry
Pastry Chef A Genius
No Place I’d Rather Dine

Le Cinq
Still a Nice Experience
Food Nothing Special Today
But Bread and Petits Fours Great

David Toutain
Creative Unique Fantastic
Beautiful and Tasty
Comfortable Unpretentious Focused

Gerard Mulot
Baguette Cereale Mimolette Jambon Addictive
Perfect Picnic Lunch(es)
Jardins du Luxembourg and La Seine

Les 110 des Taillevent
Perfect Sunday Night
Refined Enjoyable Menu
Good Food Nice Wine

Berthillon
Small Scoops Pure Parfums
Too Sweet Overrated
Amorino Better Subjective of Course

La Cuisine de Philippe
Traditional Homey Quaint
Nice duck and soufflé
Drunk Loud Brit Rugby Fans Unpleasant

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  1. HI...I have a light picnic lunch planned for one day at Luxembourg Gardens and had planned to stop at Kayser, then Da Rosa, then Bacchus et Ariane wine and on to the gardens. Can you give me a little more info about Gerard Mulot/picnic lunches?....."one-stop shopping" would be easier (if better)...thx

    10 Replies
    1. re: VegasGourmet

      Gerard Mulot is located just few minutes from the park, near St. Sulpice on Rue Lobineau. It is fairly small, but I find the quality of everything there excellent. Great baked goods (love their mini tarte tatins), excellent sandwiches, salads, smoked salmon, quiche, and chocolate. They make a sandwich that I love: it is on "Cereale" Baguette, ham, the french version of cheddar cheese, lettuce and mayonnaise. Everything is of high quality, and priced as such.

      1. re: fishskis

        Thanks for the tip. We love picnics and will be staying on rue St. Sulpice, just west of rue de Seine.
        Tell me though, do I understand you can openly consume wine in Luxembourg Gardens or, say, le Pont des Arts? My wife and I have done so with discretion, but always with the thought that the police discouraged open consumption...so no swirling of wineglasses.

        1. re: hychka

          Swirling allowed. Whooping is discouraged.

        2. re: fishskis

          http://www.gerard-mulot.com/paris/act...

          Note that the address is 76 rue de Seine
          for wine
          La Dernière Goutte
          6, rue de Bourbon-le-Château, in the 6th. 01 43 29 11 62.

          1. re: fishskis

            We stopped at that Gerard Mulot impromptu on our way home from St. Sulpice on a rainy late afternoon. We entranced by the quiches and savory pies, and bought chunks of two we savored for supper with a lovely Alsatian blend. Next trip that place will be in the plans for sure. :)

            Also not far from the Jardin de Luxembourg is the wonderful Basque charcutier, Oteiza on the Blvd St. Michel. You'd need to make additional stops for bread, cheese and wine, but their hams, sausages, foie gras, etc are so excellent! You can bring much of their stuff home to the states, too.

          2. re: VegasGourmet

            re "one-stop shopping" for picnics,
            For a Van Gogh pilgrimage and picnic in Auvers-sur-Oise last year, a friend got a hamper fully loaded with all sorts of picnic goodies, wine, utensils, etc from Epicerie Générale on the rue de Verneuil in the 7th ... not bad at all... maybe a little pricey and a hefty deposit for the hamper which must be returned. I was a consumer not the customer so I don't know too many details about ordering etc but they do have a website and a shop. So, just another option for Vegas Gourmet and other picnickers. There are other traiteurs/ épiceries that provide the same kind of "sur mesure" picnics but the Ep Gén is the only one I've actually sampled. And, personally, I still prefer to browse the markets and shops for gathering my picnic stuff.

            In addition to Gérard Mulot (not my fave ... but Fishskis and other Chowhounders seem to love it), La Crèmerie on the rue des Quatre Vents, the Marché Couvert de Saint Germain (a cluster of rôtisseries, épiceries, fromageries, etc inside the market) on the rue Lobineau, Da Rosa and other shops on the rue de Seine, and especially the lovely Bread & Roses on the rue Fleurus/ rue Madame are great for gathering the fixings for a picnic if you're in this part of the 6th.

            If the weather is good, the Jardin du Luxembourg aka Le Luco will be very crowded. Some of the grassy bits are off-limits (look for "pelouse interdite" signs) so most picnickers and sunbathers are confined to the lawn on the rue Auguste Comte side. You can have a bench picnic in other parts of Le Luco but it's sometimes difficult to find enough free seats. There are tables around the buvettes/ snack bars but you will probably be chased away by the buvette staff if you are not customers. Weekends are, of course, especially crowded so probably best to have your picnic on a weekday.

            1. re: Parnassien

              I do like Mulot a lot, but it is location driven; I usually stay close to this location. There are so many boulangeries and/ or traiteurs around Paris that I have just walked into randomly and gotten a great Jambon fromage or or demi baguette, and they remain mostly nameless to me. And while I think the Grand Epicerie has some fantastic stuff, sandwiches are not their forte.

              1. re: fishskis

                Fishskis, just to clarify (and to help other Chowhounders using the search function for "picnics") ... my picnic sandwiches and hamper were from the very small but excellent Epicerie Générale near the Orsay (and soon to open a second shop in the 9th), not Le Bon Marché's very large and very famous La Grande Epicerie in Sevrès-Babylone.

                And yes, I quite agree that location and convenience often determine our choices. But the 6th has such a large assortment of quality shops that simple proximity/ familarity is far less of a consideration. There, Mulot has lots of competitors that are as good or better.

                1. re: Parnassien

                  Picnic-shopping:
                  - For the central part of the Seine: the excellent Basque charcuterie Pierre Oteiza on 18 Boulevard Saint-Michel
                  - For the Marais: poulet rôti from the Richard Lenoir market (from the stand with sign "Gatinais"; go about at least an hour before pickup, or the chickens are all booked). Or sandwiches from Boutique Jaune Finkelsztajn on rure des Rosiers, orgasmic Portuguese egg tart from Comme à Lisbonne
                  - for Canal St Martin: takeout from El Nopal.

            2. re: VegasGourmet

              No one stop shop, but for me picnic in Luxembourg equals Christian Constant.

            3. Fishskis, many thanks for your haiku-esque report. Next time you are in Paris, the new modern French restaurant Haï Kaï (an alternative name for haiku) on the quai Jemmapes should maybe be on your to-do list. :)

              As a rugby fan myself I apologize for the drunken Brits at la Cuisine de Philippe. I wouldn't have imagined for a moment that the usually quietly elegant Cuisine de Philippe would have been chosen for a sports-fan binge. Especially when the much more fun rues Guisarde, Mademoiselle and Cassette where rugby and football fans usually congregate to celebrate or drown their sorrows is just a 5-min walk away. Or, if it was the 6-Nations Fra vs Eng match at the beginning of Feb, maybe they were just looking for a place to hide from further humiliation and to impose their pain on others... England lost the match.

              4 Replies
              1. re: Parnassien

                Probably the Irish - les bleues let the English down in that last match.....!

                1. re: PhilD

                  Phil, we don't talk about that France-Ireland match a fortnight ago. So shhhh. :) But we do continue to brag about the France-England one on 1 Feb.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    I know - I still go back to that night in 2003 in Sydney....

                2. re: Parnassien

                  Parnassian, I accept your apology;). They were definitely out of place at this quaint, quiet (not on this night) little husband-and-wife run restaurant. Definitely an odd choice when Rue Clement is right around the corner. They were literally the loudest table I have ever encountered anywhere in my life. Not only were they incredibly loud, they were also periodically singing loud songs. My table was directly adjacent to theirs and It was painful, and ruined the meal. The charming, friendly, owners apologized to me, but they were in an awkward position, which I understood. I think they got my food out to me quickly in consideration of the situation, which I appreciated.