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If I say Chez L'Ami Jean, you say....

I will be in Paris for 4 days and will want to find places similar to Chez Ami which I love, partly because of its flavor combinations, excess pair with restrain and jovial informality.....
If I would want to find other similar places to it what would you recommend. I am also thinking of either Le Chateaubriand and Frenchie. Please let me see the light. Thanks in advance.

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  1. Having eaten once at CAJ and also followed closely the regulars comment on http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/920106 my guess would be that there really aren't places like CAJ. Frenchie is very good, but is definitely NOT like CAJ.
    Hope my comment is helpful and stirs up some interest in your question.

    1. CAJ is sui generis.

      10 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        Oh come on there has to be something similar, doesn't Le Chateaubriand also have basque inspired constructions.
        Please do not make me go to Chez L'Ami for both lunch and dinner because of lack of options. Do not submit me to that,,,noo!

        The biggest disappointment in a recent trip for work was to find Chez L'Ami's door close due to Easter week.I had made my way to Rue Malar on a beautiful April afternoon full of expectations and afterwards all that was left was sorrow.

        1. re: javi777

          l'Ami Jean = Chateaubriand ??!! If I say Maria Callas, you say Lady Gaga.

          If you want Basque-esque, try one of Christian Etchebest's restaurants... la Cantine du Troquet in the 14th, la Cantine du Troquet Dupleix in the 15th or La Cantine de la Cigale in the 18th. But no Jégo sound-track in the background.

          1. re: Parnassien

            "'Ami Jean = Chateaubriand ??!! If I say Maria Callas, you say Lady Gaga. "
            More like if I say Maurice Chevalier you say George Clooney.
            And I agree Etchebest's are more fun places than any other mentioned. La Cigale most fun.

          2. re: javi777

            So, are you just talking Basque or CL'AJ's ambiance or jammed tables and pesky fellow Yankees yammering at you?
            Pottoka (some folks here hate it, I don't)
            Oyez…! P’Axoa, not quite the same but you can talk
            Dernier Metro sadly without Deneuve and Depardieu when he was semi-slim.

            1. re: John Talbott

              I am more interested in the preparations and the flavor pack combos of land and sea.
              Doesn't have to be the same cause he is difficult to match, just somewhere great....please narrow my options with your knowledge.

              So far i got Chez Ami which is booked.
              Le Chateubriand and Frenchie are leads.


              1. re: javi777

                You're still not talking about Frenchie and he's booked through June 25th, if not further out...I gave up looking at 6/25.

              2. re: John Talbott

                Thanks John haven't heard of these before.
                Pottoka looks great...any cons with it.

                1. re: javi777

                  Yes, check out the comments here, not everyone agrees with me.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    I am with you john I liked it a lot - although a year or two back.

              3. re: javi777

                Le Chateaubriand has Basque-inspired constructions because the chef is Basque (Northern).
                Aside from the everlasting Axoa on the menu and the setting, there hardly anything Basque anymore at Chez l'Ami Jean, where the chef is Breton.
                If Basque is what you're after, try Auberge Etchegorry in the 13th.

            2. Sorry everyone i didn't mean that i was looking for basque recommendations. Just some great places to go. Some new ones like ones John mentioned i will definitely research, Basque or not, Chevalier or Clooney.

              Any more solid options.

              14 Replies
              1. re: javi777

                You got us confused with your references to L'Ami Jean and jovial informality. But if looking for innovative tasting menus, try David Toutain in the 7th, l'Akrame in the 16th, or Franck Enée in the 1st. If these don't appeal, there are a few dozen other restos that might.

                Chateaubriand is hit-or-miss. And far from jovial ... unless you count the bickering between waiters and clients at surrounding tables as fun... its selection as one of the world's 50 best restaurants has attracted a check-list clientèle who don't quite understand the experimental nature of the cooking.

                Frenchie is good but not better than a 100 other restos in Paris. Have a look at Caius in the 17th for a similar formula.

                1. re: Parnassien

                  That's what i was looking for!!!!
                  My compliments and apologies for the confusion.

                  1. re: javi777

                    Oops, I forgot to suggest Dans les Landes in the 5th... Basque/ sud-ouest style tapas in a very convivial and informal setting ... and great value.

                    1. re: Parnassien

                      There last night and still unchanged and a delight.

                2. re: javi777

                  So you want good food in a pretty casual place with a bit of a buzz.....?

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Exactly...but wouldn't mind something a bit classic either in terms of food.
                    What do you think of Bistrot Paul Bert?

                    1. re: javi777

                      The enjoyably trad Chez Denise in Les Halles makes my toes curl. Bistro Paul Bert just makes me feel cosy and ready for bed.

                      1. re: Parnassien

                        Parnassien, I just got the Le Fooding app (recommended on another CH thread) and noticed they do recommend Chez Denise, but Chez Georges is featured. Are they similar spots?

                        1. re: macdog

                          Which Chez Georges? Rue du Mail, in the 2e, or boulevard Pereire, in the 17th?

                          1. re: macdog

                            Maybe just me but assuming Chez Georges on Rue Mail, Chez Denise is far better food and far more fun. YMMV. Georges was my first meal in Paris @ 30 years ago, Chez Denise my second. Was at Chez Denise for the zillionth time on Monday, To Georges l have never returned.

                            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                              Thanks for the response. I was asking about the Chez Georges in the 2e and also left out the word "not" as in Le Fooding did not recommend Chez Denise, but featured Chez George.

                              1. re: macdog

                                Not putting Chez Denise down but I do like Georges on the rue du Mail. I like its sass.

                                1. re: John Talbott

                                  Interesting, what kind of sass are we speaking of? Sassy food, sassy service or sassy decor?

                                  1. re: macdog

                                    Sassy attitude, not in a negative way at all.

                  2. hello, Can you tell us a little of your experience at CAJ? Long wanted to eat there bc I keep rereading it is different but what does this actually mean? Not sure if it is what I am after for a special meal? How exe is it in reality? Did you find it hard to book? would you say it is casual or more formal?
                    Is the food experimental or traditional. Could read reviews but keen to get a 'real' take.
                    Any other thoughts for a special night but cost consideration as well,
                    Thanks so much

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: midgee

                      It's simple to book but you do need to book although you can usually book a few days in advance, obviously weekends are busier.

                      It's very casual, bare word tables, crowded, and very little space between tables. It's noisy in a good way.

                      There are well priced set menus, there are more expensive menus and ALC. You can eat simply and relatively cheaply, or you can spend a lot and eat a lot. I think it's good value if you stay at the lower end of the menu, but I feel it is less good value as you go up the menus - I think. there is better cooking in Paris at the higher price points.

                      The food ranges from very solid traditional to traditional with a bit of a twist. It's not really experimental compared to many other places but equally it's not stuck in the past either. On my last visit I did think it was spanning too many bases and would be better to be more focused i.e. either push the boundaries or stay traditional.

                      It does attract lots of tourists, and is probably "more local" at lunchtime - which I prefer. I tend to think of it as solid rather than special, it's reliable and I used to think of it as a good place for a regular Friday night rather than a celebration or for an iconic meal.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        I've done a lot of reading on CLAJ, and most of it has described (I think) the 55E-or-more carte blanche format. I too would be there at lunch, and wonder if you could elaborate on "simply and relatively cheaply... If you stay at the lower end of the menu." The website doesn't detail an entire menu, but I understood the a la carte to be poor value compared to the PF menus.

                        1. re: non sequitur

                          The last few times we had the 55 euro menu, we counted actually 9 dishes instead of 5. -- I don't want you to expect 9, but even 5 would have been copious. (9 was overdose.)
                          And that's just the quantity. The quality is the reason why I keep going back and preferring it to all others, although John Talbott does not want me to say this any more.
                          So unless the low end of the carte is less than 6 euro per dish (55 divided by 9), or, - let's be crazy conservative - , even 11 euro per dish (55 divided by 5), I don't see how the prix-fixe value can be beat.

                          1. re: non sequitur

                            They do a €35 business's lunch (it's on Facebook) or a €42 set three course menu in the evenings and at lunch. These are the ones are at the cheaper end. They then do a €55 and €80 menu plus ALC and they have a specials board.

                            Certainly there are examples of regulars getting getting multiple dishes and being charged reasonable amounts and if that happens to you then it will be good value. But equally you may get the menu as written at the price stated. The 9 courses for €55 sounds like a bargain - it almost sounds like the €80 carte blanche menu.

                      2. Ok so i reserved for L'Ami Jean. Tried Frenchie but it was booked and so was Septime. Waiting to hear from Spring which is closed until the 5th.
                        What else around those lines would you recommend, something with an interesting fix menu.
                        Thinking of Le 6 Bert and David Tourtain

                        1. Pirouette-aJohn Talbott discovery .Need I say more?

                          7 Replies
                          1. re: pammi

                            Thanks this seems great. i will call them tomorrow. Hopefully they will have some room

                            1. re: javi777

                              You might also like Bistrot Belhara. We were there a few weeks ago . The food was solid, nothing outré , but it had a warm welcoming extremely neighborhood vibe. We loved it..

                            2. re: pammi

                              "Pirouette-aJohn Talbott discovery .Need I say more?"
                              Well, thanks, as Parnassien would say "blush" but I'm sure there were lots before me - but everyone who's gone has raved except one Yankee who got seated upstairs and sid the noise was deafening (at night).

                              1. re: John Talbott

                                Already made a reservation. It look just like what i was searching for.
                                Thanks Pamni and John.

                                I am also thinking of going to some wine bars for lunch, especially the L'Avant Comptoir.
                                Any other thoughts?
                                Also would appreciate a good lunch or snack place around Musee Rodin.
                                Thanks in advance.

                                1. re: javi777

                                  I can't say enough about my favorite place for lunch -le Comptoir de la Gastronomie on the rue Montmartre . It's quite small with 1/2 dozen tables max and is attached to a small shop that sells foie gras products. They have ravioli stuffed with foie gras as well as many other foie based products ( other goodies too). Reservations are a must..
                                  I believe the Musee Rodin is in the 7 th- so is theBistrot Belhara !

                                  1. re: pammi

                                    Thanks Pammi, i got that from before....fresh of its Bib Gourmand designation...great choice

                                2. re: John Talbott

                                  Two. (Maine Yankee by blood, NoCal by birth)

                              2. We had lunch there yesterday and had the chef's choices for four. Some loved it all. Some loved some. Some had first experiences. No one felt it was poor. Speaking for myself, I loved the soup and duck. The calamari was very good. Raw tuna has never been a favorite of mine, but I enjoyed this portion. Desserts were very good. We stayed for coffee because it was raining hard. I must admit that I didn't swoon, but would return with great expectations.