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Paris restaurants in September and a redo in April

A little background: I am a lurker at CH, contribute rarely, read all the food blogs, love good food, live in SF where we have great food so it has to be at least equal to the level we have here when I dine out.

Was in Paris for my 60th in September, with 4 other family members and friends, was just with my DH in April. Our September choices had to please more palettes as in picky eaters.

I am always interested in the discussions here about the "top" restaurants, the most popular ones that I refuse to make a reservation months in advance, the newest ones, the old favorites...so this is a good mix of all the above.

September:
Bistro Vivienne: In our jet lag stupor needing to eat early and staying in an apartment in the Palais Royale, we didn't go too far. My family loved the passage, which they had never seen before so it made for a nice setting to sit inside the walkway and have an early first dinner. I wasn't expecting much, but the food was decent . We had a smoked salmon platter, steak tartar, a cooked chicken leg and a caesar salad, wine and soda 95 E for 4 of us.

Marais: there is a little place opposite a very small park and they always have HUGE quiches in the side window and for the life of me I can't think of the name. We have walked by often when staying in this neighborhood but never ate there till now...delish!!
The quiches are so tall, I don't know how they get them that big.
I had the goat cheese and spinish, others had just a spinish, mine was so rich and savory, the other one not so much...a gizzard salad and a salad compose, which were all good, definitely will eat here again and I hope someone knows the name. 90Euros, with wine and soda

L'Office: Really a great meal and great service, love the area the restaurant is in too. They waiter explained all the dishes in english to my family, which was very kind of him.
We started with the most unusual heirloom salad, sliced tomatoes of all colors on top of a basil cream that we all used bread to scrape up the last drop, a salmon tartar was nice and light. Two of us chose the cod fish over a brocallini puree with roasted veggies, duck on a celery risotto and a pork dish with homemade lightly toasted grouchy, everyone loved their food. For desert we had the most unusual but delicious , FLAT ricotta soufflé, a cheese cake with mint and abut 7 glasses of wine...don't ask me why we didn't order a bottle, maybe we thought we were only going to have one glass :) 160Euro, great price for 4.

Cafe Daguerre: Great people watching terrace, we had lunch here after the Catacombs and before the Montparnasse Tower. I've eaten here before and I like the place, friendly service and pretty straight up food.
The steak tartar was wonderful, the goat cheese salad had burnt toast, not good, two other salads were great, a serrano ham with rougfort and cantrell cheese and we finished with everyones favorite apple tart and ice cream...again 90Euros for 4

Terroir Parisian in the 5th: Great birthday dinner , 6 of us went and everyone was very happy with their choices. The picky eaters had a butter leaf lettuce salad that they said had the best dressing on it, I had the two poached eggs, cold, with peas and a green been jelly, odd but relish,a green been and mushroom salad was out of this world, and yet another fabulous pate. Our mains were a coquette with monk fish and mussels in a saffron broth, white fish over spinich, shoulder of lamb over a beet pasts and a glazed veal with veggies .Deserts were a french toast with vanilla ice cream and bavarian cream with strawberries over port ice cream. Everything was wonderful, service was fine, they warmed up to us about mid way through dinner...with 3 glasses champagne and a bottle of wine it was 300Euros for 6

That was the first week, I'll be back with the second week and the April visit soon

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    1. Please continue. I'll be in Paris in June & love reading about everyone's experiences. Ate at L'Office last year & it was really good. Also ate at his other restaurant, Richer (I think) & it was just as good.

      1. Thank you for this detailed report. Good update of known and less known places.
        And anyone who would actually eat with picky eaters in Paris - and even more than once - are saints in my eyes.

        1. Sorry for all they typos above and the kind thoughts from Parigi!
          Coquette = cocottes
          The second week I had pickier eaters, although as I review my notes I see that I ate pretty well. But, it was usually an argument at the restaurant over the menu, which got old for me. The picky eater loved foie gross believe it or not, but every time it said paté and I told him that it was not hot, seared foie gross, he wouldn't believe me and would then argue with the waiter as to whether it was cooked or not....well of course it's cooked....

          The first day we went to Giverney and ate down the street at the hotel which had a creperie, everything was really nice, they are use to tourists with lots of questions.

          Juveniles: great wine bar which was all we wanted after the big lunch. Very nice wine selection and recs and great small plates. I did see others having a full on meal and I would definitely return for that too. We had the charcrutier plate, a fabulous eggplant tapenade with good bread, and the clear winner was a crostini with jambon, tomato and parmesan pesto cheese sauce served warm...it was almost like the spanish bread and cheese that they just rub on the bread, with 4 wines it was only 50euros.
          A side note...we walked by Willies Wine bar almost everyday and it was always empty or half full and the menu looked uninteresting, which I was surprised by since so many here love this place. We were happy we chose Juveniles.

          Half of our group went to Caen for the war museum and ate the most awful meal upon return up the street from our apartment at Pizza Sicilian...avoid at all costs, but our picky eater declared it "just fine"!!!

          Baam Kanya: a fabulous thai restaurant right behind the Palais Royal. There are only about 8 tables and we were glad that we called around 6 to get one of them as they turned away many guests. It had a price fix at 26E that was tons of wonderful food. The three of us each chose one of the three choices so we could rase everything. Nice wine and nuts and crackers to start. The entree was the best IMO, a beef salad in a martini glass, 2 egg rolls and two meat balls, or something that resembled meatballs, this was so much that we were full by the time the mains arrived. My favorite was a shrimp i coconut milk, a chicken, nut and veggie concoction, and third and just fine but not the best choice of the three, was a sliced pork roast with jus. Desert was just plain odd, very gluttonous something that none of us could eat. It was a great dinner, nice change of pace , 98euros for 3.

          I'll be back with the rest.

          11 Replies
          1. re: ciaosusanna

            Good to hear about Juvenilles, I heard the owner Tim Johnston had retired and it had been taken over by his daughter and her husband and they had revamped the food.

            Interesting comment about Willi's I don't believe you can see the dining room from the street. The bar area is long and narrow and it opens to a larger room at the back. They tend to use the bar area as a holding area for the restaurant so the bar rarely seems busy. They sometimes serve food at the bar, but only if all the restaurant tables are taken.

            1. re: ciaosusanna

              La Rotisserie (du Beaujolais) apparently they are leaving off the latter part of the name
              Good comfort food, picked for that reason, open Sundays, friendly wait staff.
              Starters were a mushroom salad that was very good, foie gross with toasts :) , steak and fries, fries were really good, meat a bit tough but I always find the meat a little tough in Paris,andouille sausage ( he didn't know what it was and I wasn't going to tell him) and chicken and mashed potatoes. They gave a whole half chicken per person. With a bottle of wine and a few beers 240E for 6. It was good for a sunday and with the companions I had but not a place I would return to on my own.

              Le Hangar: I really like this place, I've been many times, the menu doesn't change much but what they do they do well.I 've had a wonderful cooked foie gross over garlic and oil mashed potatoes in the past so I brought my friend here for that. Even though he questioned it and wasn't sure whether to order it (?) he did and declared it the best meal of the trip!!! I do love this dish too and it is a very generous serving. We started with a green been salad that was a bit limp and their little raviolis in an eggplant cream sauce, yummy!! The Parmetier with duck confit was also relish as were the 2 chocolate soufflé's. We had 1/2 carafe of wine, 2 glasses of wine and soda 17Euro for 5

              APRIL IN PARIS:

              This is the redo part of my trip, it was spectacular with no rain for 9 days, we had a great meal everyday. Only one though, I don't know how some people get two in day. I also get in my best meals at the beginning of the trip because I get tired of eating all this great food by the end!

              Le Bon Georges: read a lot about this place, just what I like with local sourced ingredients, really friendly staff, made a reservation on Facebook!!
              Easy metro ride, easy to find, cute small place.
              Starters were a poached egg, can't remember much else about it, I had the steak with salad and fries. The steak was cooked perfect to a very rare , it was sourced locally and sounded better that it actually was but the rest of the plate was good. DH had a slow cooked pork with potatoes dauphin which was excellent, with 3 glasses of wine it was 100E. I'd eat here again if I were in the area but I would not cross town to get here, just my opinion.

              KGB: thank you JT!!!! Fabulous food which I can hardly explain, one of the top ten dinners of all time.
              I started with a glass of champagne that was so good I stuck with it all night. I had the 5 surprise appetizers which were amazing, really, I could just go there every day for the 5 tiny dishes and a glass of champagne!! DH had the decouverte which came with 4 appetizers, same as mine. A woman came and explained each bowl and after I had eaten them and forgotten what she said, she was kind enough to tell me again, they were amazing.
              Mushroom soup with ginger and wild spring onions
              A tiny little chicken wingette with sweet carrot sauce
              Raw sliced fish with lime.
              Tiny chunks of salmon in a beet broth
              Something sweetish with radishes.
              DH got two main courses, a plate of fish with green pees and asparagus and a veal with confit of I don't know what with olives and potatoes. I had squid, sliced paper thin and looked like pasta over an green aioli sauce, two tempura crab parts, crispy and not at all greasy. DH also had a cheese course and then a white chocolate soup with mango citron sorbet and a sweet crunchy cookie/cake....all fab
              140E for 2.
              We felt it was a steel for the quality and amount of food, would go everyday if possible!! We planned to return later in the week but it really was special and once was enough.

              I'll be back

              1. re: ciaosusanna

                Another very interesting update, especially on places like Le Hangar. It is a place I really want to like - for tiself and its location - but did not have an outstanding experience last time. As you say about "Le Bon Georges", I would not cross town for Le Hangar. But now you give me hope again.

                1. re: Parigi

                  As someone who rarely crosses town for any restaurant unless it easily slides into my schedule or has good before and after possibilities, I think Le Hangar is actually quite good and probably the best choice in the quartier Beaubourg.

                  1. re: Parigi

                    Parigi: I must say that the foie gross and the raviolis are always winners so try those. I don't think it is an outstanding place, it is a go to place that isn't terribly expensive with good food.
                    Phil: you're right, it was the long bar that was never crowded, didn't know they had a room in the back. Another place we walked by often that gets good press here is Maceo, another one that was always empty and the menu wasn't too inspiring.

                    Dans les Lands: love this place, we ate there in September and April, everything is always good, open Sundays, serves food all day so it's a good place to go for good food when other places are closed...some of the highlights were:
                    Duck and foie gross spring rolls...to die for and not a bit greasy. Prawns in a Thai cream sauce that you will sop up with the good bread, love their salads served in a wooden shoe, they are always different and are always good, the best potato torta and quite generous. very lightly breaded fried squid, fried camembert cheese with green apple, pretty good fish and chips..the one desert we had were cream puffs with a vanilla cream and carmel sauce....delish!!! I also really like the house basque white wine.
                    For 6 it was 144Euros and for 2 it was about 40E.

                    Hai Kai: this was a nice lunch spot on the Canal St Martin, we met friends there who work in Paris and live in Chartes, we took them to lunch here and they took us to dinner at the next place and they were polar opposites!!
                    The place is small and the kitchen is even smaller, don't know how they turn out all the food.
                    Starters were a fregola salad with tiny veggies and a dollop of aioli on the bottom (?) , it was wonderful , the other was a marinated raw fish. 3 of us had a beautiful piece of fish but can't remember it very well and the other had the beef with carrots, kind of like a stew, very very good, portions were a bit small but sufficient, we did have desert but can't remember for the life of me what it was, a carafe of wine, 144E for 4. I'd definitely come back.

                    Montparnasse 1900: An old fashion Beau Arts restaurant with a huge menu, a price fix at 35 E for entree, plat, cheese, desert, half a bottle of wine and an aperitif!! Great value if that's what you like!!I I also think it is a beautiful if over lighted room, service was efficient by old male waiters. On to the food..what can I say, it was a tired menu for me, the others seemed to enjoy it more. I would recommend it if you were staying close by or needed a restaurant close to the train station and wanted an old fashion evening. My picky eaters would have like it :(
                    I started with a kir, good, a half bottle of white wine, good, foie gross with caramelized onions, good,onion soup, ok, 3 had the Callabou with ratatouille, good.. DH had duck confit which he really liked, the cheese course was really boring brie and the floating island desert was pretty standard and not to my liking. I think it was 130E for 4.

                    At this point I get kind of tired of eating so we tend to go to more local or casual places.

                    En attendant l'or: in the 11 arrondismont. My friend has her office there and we passed by this place when we went to see her, crowded and the food looked good so we returned that night for dinner which was surprisingly good. This is the kind of place that I like to hang out at, good vibe, friendly service, good terrace for people watching , they have a big communal table inside as well as smaller personal tables.
                    I must say I was in a drinking mood and had 3 kirs and a plate of charcrutier while my DH had a wonderful salad compose, great bread and all the other food served looked good too, I would definitely return. It reminds me of Le bistro du peintre with good food and a good terrace that serves food all day. I like these kind of places when I tire of eating out in restaurants.

                    1. re: ciaosusanna

                      Same is true with Maceo. The front room, you see from the street, is just the bar. The dining rooms are at the rear and upstairs so difficult to impossible to see from the street.

                      1. re: ciaosusanna

                        The last three!!

                        We wanted to go to Dans les Lands Sunday night but it was full , we called late so our friends picked a Moroccan place in the 13th that was terrific
                        Au P'tit Cahoua:
                        I had one of the best tangine ever....lamb with almonds and pears, omg it was so tasty, I finished it off, DH had a duck and date tangine equally delish! The others had couscous with grilled meats and veggies. They start you off with bowls of marinated and grilled peppers, the bread was freshly baked, warm and sweet. I commented how fabulous the bread was and they brought over a half loaf wrapped up for my breakfast!! The mixed desert plate had a little of everything. I'd definitely go back.

                        La Mascotte: in the 8th. My husband has a meeting in this area and we have lunched her before with good results so we returned for another good lunch. This is an area that I find has either bad food or good food at astronomical prices that match the hotel prices!!
                        This place is always packed at lunch with business folks but we always seem to get a table in the enclosed area outside. Nice food, nothing to cross town for again, but if in the area its fine
                        Scallops in a provencal sauce were good but the accompanying rice with veggies was something out of Picards! DH had a sautéed duck breast with salad and fries, good fries but the duck breast seems a bit tough to me. I have also had good plates of pasta here but not this time.

                        Our last dinner, we are really sick of food now.

                        Le bar a huitres: our apartment is in striking range and I walk by it everyday. It is monday night and Huitrerie Regis is closed so we go here. Pretty place inside, we ask for a little window table and order a dozen oysters, a little of each kind. They start us out with an amuse gruel of a fabulous soup with mushrooms and ginger, I want a whole bowl!! The oysters are fresh and taste like the ocean if a bit expensive!!
                        The bread was good and they give you two different butters, one spicy one salty. Not sure if I was to put the butter on the oysters but it was terrific on the bread!! I like the vinegar and shallots for the oysters...with two glasses of wine and a soda 58E

                        My only atrocious meal of both trips:
                        Cafe de la Comedie:
                        we needed something to eat late late one night and I had read mixed reviews, it was close to our apartment....that was all it had going for it.
                        Terrible waiter who besides being slow and absent minded, failed to deliver my DH ice cream in the hour!! He left to the waiters surprise! My niece and I split a croque monsieur which was luke warm with soggy fries, my other niece had a club sandwich which was fine. I would NEVER come here again and I would advise against others coming here too!!

                        I think this is it!!!

                        1. re: ciaosusanna

                          oops typos
                          Hai Kai: 114E for 4
                          Le Hangar; 170E for 5

                        2. re: ciaosusanna

                          Please, my friend, it's foie gras - not foie gross. Urk.
                          I am glad you liked Le Petit Cahoua. A good place for tajines indeed. Desserts are good too.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            Yes. I was thinking what a nice report this is, and how it's a shame no one will find it if they search for "foie gras."

                            Thanks for the report, ciaosusanna. I had to laugh as I had the exact same foie gras dish (which I enjoyed) at Le Hangar in about 1998. So you're right, the menu doesn't change much! Considering you were getting sick of food towards the end, I think you did well!