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Apr 2, 2014 12:37 PM

Hack my Paris Trip!

So after doing my due diligence, here's my plan for an upcoming Paris trip in April. The background is I'm going with my wife, and my mom, who will be celebrating her 80th birthday Easter Sunday. None of us have been to Paris recently, so we will be on the tourist trail (so I’d like to get off it for meals at least). I wanted to get a diverse range of styles and neighborhoods, and I’m not sure I have achieved that, so please let me know your suggestions. Any interesting neighborhoods that I am neglecting that I should not miss? Any places that would be totally uncomfortable for a fairly young 80-year old?

Friday diner: Terroir Parisian Bourse, which is around the corner from our apartment.

Sat. lunch: Semilla, (6th)

Sat diner at our apartment.

Sunday marche enfant rouge lunch (3rd)

Sunday night birthday dinner at 110 taillevent (8th) any Recs for an apertif with a view of the Arc or on the champs before dinner?

Monday Katsandwich to go from Abri. (10th)

Monday dinner Pirouette (1st)

Tuesday picnic at Versailles

Tues. Dinner Galopin (11th) is this a fun part of the 11th at night, or should I look elsewhere? Haven't heard many reviews in the past couple of years.

Wednesday lunch at someplace traditional, either Paul Bert, or L'ami Jean?

Wednesday night, we are going to the Louvre, suggestions for something small without reservations around there? maybe just eat left overs from lunch.

Thursday a day trip to Reims or Epernay. Any suggestions as which day trip you prefer, or casual restaurants you recommend in either place.

Thursday night a final dinner at Chez Denise (or Chez Georges?? [or Christophe??].)

Thanks! And I promise to right a trip report!

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  1. Tues. Dinner Galopin (11th) is this a fun part of the 11th at night, or should I look elsewhere? Haven't heard many reviews in the past couple of years.
    Nor me either, but loved it in the past.
    Wednesday lunch at someplace traditional, either Paul Bert, or L'ami Jean? Parigi will weigh in here, but I love all the restos on the Rue Paul Bert.
    Wednesday night, we are going to the Louvre, suggestions for something small without reservations around there? maybe just eat left overs from lunch.
    Actually Le Lulli is not small but is terrific and as Le Marais says, why not reserve altho it's never been fully booked when I've gone. Or cross the River to Les Climats or the Maison de l'Amerique Latin, esp if it's warm as it has been for a year.

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott

      "either Paul Bert, or L'ami Jean? Parigi will weigh in here"
      I would love to but can't.

    2. Will you be my travel consultant ?
      All your picks are good. And the pace is good. And you "do" Louvre Wednesday night. All the smart moves.

      Two things:
      1. Don't worry about the area of Le Galopin at night. At 99 lb and 5'4", I walk home from there. Then again I am a scary individual, admittedly.
      2. "Chez Denise (or Chez Georges?? [or Christophe??].)"
      Chez Denise.
      Have a great time.

      11 Replies
      1. re: Parigi

        Le Galopin is actually in the 10th (not the 11th) in an increasingly hip quartier. Not a polished neighbourhood but full of charm and very much on the trendy circuit. The place Sainte Marthe next to Galopin is where the cool kids hang out on Sunday. I usually combine with a walk to or from the Canal Saint-Martin. But if you're coming from near the Bourse, taxi is probably best way to get there and then take an after-dinner stroll to the Canal. And a BTW to others, Le Galopin remains a fab-food place.

        For an apéro on the horrible Champs Elysées, Publicis Drugstore. Or (oh god, don't tell anyone I suggested it) the mega-bucks-tourist-delight café Le Fouquet... be careful to pronounce it correctly... nice terrace ... and you will appear in the photos of 5000 other tourists as they pass by. And, although it probably won't be open on Sunday, the rooftop bar of the Hotel Raphael on the avenue Kléber... one of my favourite places in Paris ... views of both of the Arc de Triomphe and Eiffel Tower... but I can never figure out when it's open... the times posted on the Hotel Raphael's website are often unreliable.

        For Versailles, the excellent Marché Notre Dame off the avenue Saint-Cloud is perfect for picking up picnic food and more convenient than lugging the stuff from Paris. And if you time it right, there's a special once-an-hour bus that goes from the rue du Maréchal Foch just next to the Notre Dame market to Les Trianons inside the grounds of the château. And, lots of frequent buses from the Rive-Gauche RER station as well as Versailles other train stations to the Marché Notre Dame (I'm fretting about all that walking for your mom).

        1. re: Parnassien

          Wow the Raphael terrace bar looks exactly what I was looking for. Alas, they are open for easter brunch, but doesn't look like it really opens till May. Any chance that Fouquet makes a good Negroni?

          Thanks for the tips about Versailles. very helpful.

          I picked Galopin because I wanted to check out a trendy/hipster neighborhood, so it sounds like it will fit the bill nicely. Thanks again.

          1. re: Thanksformutton

            I don't think Fouquet's is good for anything save people watching... maybe hot chocolate.

            1. re: ChefJune

              "save people watching"

              I heart you, chère June, but are you out of your mind? Watching the Champs people? The Champs !!!?

              1. re: Parigi

                The OP wants an apéro on the Champs and/or a view of the Arc de T before a birthday dinner at Les 110 de Taillevent. Given the Champs Elysées emblematic status, not an entirely unreasonable request for a tourist. And geez, it's just for drinks... a half hour of Champs Elysées-itis is not going to ruin anybody's life. It certainly wouldn't be my choice of where to go for an apéro with a view... but I'm not a tourist.

                If Chef June and Parigi have suggestions for a roof terrace bar with a view of the Arc de Triomphe and open on Sunday in April, that would be great and probably much appreciated by the OP.

                1. re: Parnassien

                  I was responding to the "people-watching" reference. I was not talking about watching monuments.
                  In addition, you yourself wrote upthread: "For an apéro on the horrible Champs Elysées, Publicis Drugstore. Or (oh god, don't tell anyone I suggested it)"
                  But it is mildly entertaining to see you so enjoy your contradicting mood that you contradict yourself. Rock out.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    I'm not contradicting myself... just trying to respond to the OP's request. Like I've said over and over and over in this thread and others, I personally dislike (even loathe) the Champs. But I'm not the OP. And I can at least try to be helpful.

                    1. re: Parnassien

                      Mangeur, her husband and l will be at Au Bon Coin on the 13th of April . If you would like to join, please let me know.
                      Address on my info page.
                      Sorry, no other way to try to contact you.

                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        Just a quickie before Friday night fever carries me off... I can't access the address on your profile... but 13 Apr pas possible ... other dates ?

                        1. re: Parnassien

                          Blog is my eeeemmmmaaaiilll address.
                          Only dates for me/her

                        2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                          Of course at night, right? Or we'd think of it.

        2. My wife and I ate @ Le Galopin last Spring. Seven course dinner [two dessert courses]; reasonably priced; We had to have the kobe steak taken back to the kitchen, but that was because of the huge cultural gap between what Americans and French consider "medium." Once the steak came back, it was delicious. Staff was very friendly. We walked from our apartment to the restaurant via Canal St. Martin, and thought the neighborhood was a little sketchy walking back after dark. A cab seems like a great suggestion. If you care about such things, we were the only English speakers in the restaurant that evening. I thought the value/price ratio was excellent, and would love to go back again for our upcoming trip, but there are just too many other places to try! My wife thought the food was very delicious without being overly fussy. We both thought the squid was incredible. Beware: only one menu for the evening, and the bathroom was downstairs via a steep set of stairs.

          6 Replies
          1. re: bauskern

            An aside, on our last visit, we were a little early so we walked down a side street to kill time. Suddenly, DH grabbed my arm and whirled me around. "Run! There's a guy at the end of the block brandishing a butcher knife and yelling." So I did. No problem. No personal danger. Could well have been at home near any of the places we like to dine. But certainly a surprise.

            1. re: mangeur

              A few years ago, I read in one of the French newspapers that French tourists are 10 times more likely to be the victims of crime in the USA than American tourists in France. If true, it's kinda ironic that Americans worry about "sketchy" neighbourhoods in Paris. And incidentally, violent crime rates in Paris (population 2.5 million) compare favourably with San Francisco (pop 825,000).

              1. re: Parnassien

                I think that the numbers might be similar but the rate (ratio crime/pop) would indicate far more violent crime in SF than in Paris. In Paris, we have never felt vulnerable to street crime against the person. The guy in my incident was someone temporarily off his rocker with a personal grudge against someone he knew. That could happen anywhere. To reiterate, we were never in danger, but it was a surprise.

                1. re: mangeur

                  Indeed. I've lived most of my 36 years in Paris and no direct experience of crime (at least intra-muros... forays into the suburbs are a different story). My sister did have her plate of food snatched off an outside table on the rue des Abbesses... but I'm not counting that. But in just one year of living in SF, I was mugged (by a guy with a gun!) on Potrero Hill (foodie context for mods: on my way to meet someone at Chez Papa) and threatened with a knife by a would-be thief at an ATM on Fell.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    At home, I've been held at gunpoint in a Safeway (ironic) grocery, and our young adult son robbed at gunpoint in the doorway of his girlfriend's apartment.

                2. re: Parnassien

                  The nature of the crime is very different
                  In US cities, there is much more violent crime.
                  In French cities like Paris, Nice, etc., the criminal issue is mainly petty crime, like pick-pocket and minor scam.

            2. Not to take the conversation away from gun violence(!), but

              I am starting to have second thoughts about Semilla. The original plan was to tourist it up in the 7th in the morning, snap some pictures at the Eiffel tower, etc., then go to Chez L'ami Jean for lunch and walk it off in Orsay in the afternoon. However, CLJ is closed that week, so I plugged in Semilla. but looking on the map, its sort of out of the way, and while it looks good, doesn't necessarily seem worth getting in a taxi if there are comparable places around that are more convenient.

              Would like to keep it casual and under say 35 E a person (not including wine), so no Climats or La Maison de l'Amerique Latine. Any ideas?

              4 Replies
              1. re: Thanksformutton

                Semilla is only a few minutes further on than Climats or La Maison de l'Amerique Latine. Simply get a bus from the Eiffel Tower #69 and get off at rue du bad then stroll through the back streets to Semilla, its a short stroll back to the Musee D'Orsay.

                €35 per head in this area does seem a little light another option could be Cinq-Mars on rue de Verneuil.

                1. re: PhilD

                  Rue du Bad should be Rue du Bac.

                  Its not one of the mean streets of the 7eme - the only danger* is getting run over by a tartan shopping trolly piloted by one of the grand dames of the quarter.

                  * Apart from the CRS protecting the Hotel Matignon during the annual riot season.

                2. re: Thanksformutton

                  No problem. Semilla, like 99.9% restaurants in Paris, is easily replaceable by another of the same or better quality. In fact too many choices. Let's start with Le 122 on the rue de Grenelle... lunch "formule" for under 20 € ... great food... less than 10 min walk from the Orsay.... half hour stroll from the Eiffel Tower (but much more clever to take the #69 from the Champ de Mars). Or Chez Graffe on the rue Bellechasse @ rue Dominique ...25 € lunch menu ... again, less than 10 min-walk to Orsay and, from the Eiffel Tower, 30 mins by foot or 8 mins by #69 bus + 5-min walk. Or Garance on the rue Saint-Dominique ... lunch for 35 € (food only) so probably a budget buster but the food is soooo good... 5 mins to Orsay... and the stop for #69 bus from Champ de Mars just steps away. Or for a not-bad tourist experience, the very trad La Frégate on the rue du Bac/ quai Voltaire .... lunch "formules" for 20 € or €30 depending on appetite... not life-changing food but decent enough... and a view of the river, Tuileries and Louvre... and once again, the good ole #69 bus drops you off less than 50 metres from the resto. Or Bistro Belhara (basque cuisine). Or La Laiterie Sainte Clothilde. Or Cinq Mars. Or ...etc etc.

                  And apologies for the crime diversion. The litter from off-topic detours is certainly messy but is a fun part of the vibrant landscape of the Paris board.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    Thanks for all the options, and no problem about going off topic, I was just being selfish. I imagine for the regulars on the board, distractions from validating tourists' itineraries are welcome! Cheers.

                3. As this part of your question was not answered, the Champagne part l will address this. Was in Reims today and had lunch at Les Crayeres, weekly lunch special at 69 euros.
                  Was it great , no. Was it worth it, yes, just to see the fabulous grounds and relax it was wonderful. We made the res at the last minute so could not get admission to Assiete Champenoise which l would have preferred. They also have a 60-70 euro inch on weekdays.
                  Go to Assiete but reserve early.
                  These are a ** and a *** at not too terrible a tariff, give one a try.

                  7 Replies
                  1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                    I don't know, the food was pretty great at Crayeres. That duck like a lievre a la royale business was pretty briiliant, though it would have been a reasonable dish with double the quantity. The asparagus risotto was impeccable, slightly original with its local cheese. And the peer soufflé dessert was masterful.

                    1. re: souphie

                      That duck like a lievre a la royale business was pretty briiliant, though it would have been a reasonable dish with double the quantity.


                      The asparagus risotto was impeccable, slightly original with its local cheese.

                      YES IT WAS, ALL THREE TABLESPOONS OF IT.

                      And the peer soufflé dessert was masterful.


                      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                        Sounds like someone didn't enjoy it quite as much as you did.

                      2. re: souphie

                        The food at Assiette is more inventive than at Les Crayeres. Both good. Reserve early for lunch at Assiette. You won't be sorry.

                        1. re: ChefJune

                          Delucacheesemonger's CAPSLOCK takedown on LC sold me on Assiette, so we have booked there, and are really looking forward to it.

                          Rec's on a cave tour/tasting? I have heard Ruinart and Tattinger are good. Any others?

                          1. re: Thanksformutton

                            Pommery may not have the best Champagne, but they surely have a spectacular tour. and if you've read the book, "Champagne," by Don & Petie Kladstrup beforehand, it will take on new meaning, historically.

                            1. re: ChefJune

                              And what a property !
                              There might be money in selling Champagne !