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May 5, 2014 11:02 AM

Looking for a "fun" place for six on a Friday night

May 16th my daughter and grand daughter are joining us, so my carefully laid plans for Friday night have to be changed as our restaurant is full and won't add places for two more.

My grand daughter is a freshman in university and would like a fun, upbeat place for her first Paris dinner.

We really like fine dining, but have issues with spending vast sums on food when so many have so little.

We are staying in the 6th, but can walk, cab or Metro anywhere.

Also, I have tried to contact BAT and Spring via their reservation system and have received no reply. (They are probably bursting with requests.) So, another consideration is "where can we seat six at this late date?"

To give you examples of our choices so far on this portion of our trip we have plans to eat on other days at Au Dernier Metro, CAJ, ZKG, Verjus and Moustache,

Any suggestions are welcomed.

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  1. A fun place for all generations is Dans Les Landes.

    6 Replies
    1. re: Laidback

      I agree absolutely.
      The dishes are in smaller portions. Once can eat a lot or little, all at the same time.
      And the food varies from daring to classic.
      And the desserts win everyone over.

        1. re: jock

          Agree but isn't Terroir Parisien Bourse also "fun?"

      1. re: Laidback

        Another thumbs up for Dans Les Landes in the 5th.

        And I also suggest a few alternatives just in case the first choice doesn't pan out. Maybe Bistrot d'Opio on the very lively rue Guisarde in St Germain des Prés... decent provençale cuisine, young-ish clientèle, loads of fun.

        1. re: Laidback


          We are in at Dans Les Landes!

          1. re: Laidback

            Thanks for the tip and those others seconding the idea because my grand daughter and everyone else had a blast tonight at Dans Les Landes. It's all you recommended. Everyone agreed that the food is super and fun.

          2. Note that BAT doesn't take dinner reservations.

            17 Replies
            1. re: mangeur


              Why then do they have a contact page with a fill in your info and comment section? Is this for questions about their olive oil? I'm lost here. The place isn't as big as a hole in the wall, and they don't take reservations? After XY years I must still have a lot to learn about the restaurant business.

              Apologies....we're getting close to lift off for the longest time we've ever spent from our careers, one of us is retiring (not me), and we have children suddenly showing up (and, thank goodness, it's a blessing,... we've done something to attract their attention!) plus too much clothing for the bags we can actually carry in the small cars plus several dear friends changing their busy schedules to enjoy Paris with us and all the rest are getting me a bit short.

              Rant over.

              BAT doesn't take reservations.


              I accept that and will move on.

              We aren't eating at BAT.

              1. re: hychka

                Can't do anything about BAT's reservation policy but I can reaffirm your concern about luggage space in small cars. We recently had 1 24" bag, one normal carry on and my "larger than handbag but not luggage size" shoulder bag. All fit, but left no room for on-the-road shopping. It required our daily attention. (Does this qualify as a rant?)

                1. re: mangeur

                  Naw! You have to lose it like I did....

                2. re: hychka

                  There are lots of people, especially Parisiens like myself who welcome the no-rezzie formula. Sometimes I don't like my evenings to be fixed by restaurant reservations and prefer to play it by ear. Café-hopping, culture-vulturing, just hanging out with friends, weather, whimsy, mood, proximity all make places like BAT, Pierre Sang, Christian Etchebest's Cantines and other no-rezzie eateries much appreciated.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    Especially since most of us Parisians prefer to eat out without reservations, at least for our more casual dinners.

                    A couple of decades ago, reserving in Paris was considered overly formal, if you were not going to a formal address. Walk-in was the usual policy. Now it has become nearly impossible in the better casual places, with the exception of the ones that are still not spoiled by tourists and the jet-set. Hence the welcome (echoed by me) to the no-res places, where all that is required is a little time planning.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      "Now it has become nearly impossible in the better casual places, with the exception of the ones that are still not spoiled by tourists and the jet-set."

                      I have a feeling some of those tourists help some of the better casual places stay in business. Just a guess, though.

                      1. re: mitchleeny

                        Perhaps, but the point is not whether they help them stay in business or not (arguably they do), it's whether walk-ins are still possible there or not.

                      2. re: Ptipois

                        FWIW, the same is true a home. There's lot of exciting concept and cooking going on in NoCal but you have to anticipate wanting to experience it by a month, and for a few even that doesn't work.

                    2. re: hychka

                      "We aren't eating at BAT."
                      That's too bad, it's a fun p;lace.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Quite fun. And not exactly a hole in the wall, either.

                        1. re: John Talbott

                          I've read your reviews and want to try the place...I think my daughter and grand daughter would love it.

                          But, without reservations, I don't want to go that far on a prayer that six of us will get seats in a place that small.

                          When we don't have reservations, we end up compromising to hunger, duck in just anywhere and then I'm ticked that the food wasn't worth the bill.

                          1. re: hychka

                            I don't think it's that small; others may correct me.
                            But we all love Pierre Sang Boyer in....etc., (I think) and are willing to go early to get seated.
                            But I don't want to overhype BAT, it is what it is but not the moon.

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              For future reference: Pierre Sang Boyer takes reservations for six or more.

                      2. re: mangeur

                        Is that correct? It has a phone number and lots of reviews give details of how to reserve even DrT.

                          1. re: PhilD

                            Dr T does lunch but not dinner. BAT takes reservations for lunch but not dinner.

                            1. re: mangeur

                              Which defies logic if you wish to max out profits....again, I must have much to learn about restaurants.

                              Also, again, BAT is off the radar.

                              Maybe BAT is only a lunch spot. That would square things.

                        1. I wish I knew what this fabulous place known here as "BAT" was...

                          "fun" places are just about as subjective as "best" places are. I think you are worrying far too much. You may also find that you can't eat a "big meal" every day. Pretty soon, eating that much food stops being "fun."

                          Just my 2cents.

                          There are a couple of places I think are "fun," but since I know the owners, does not allow me to mention them. :( Funny, other folks can talk about places where they know the owners....

                          2 Replies
                            1. re: ChefJune

                              Totally agree.

                              We're breakfasting at home, picnicking here and there, eating "the fabled street chicken and potatoes" with open air market gems at home, munching sandwiches when on walks...hopefully swirling (swigging) wine with bread and cheese in parks.

                              My restaurant list above is spaced. We are not gluttons.

                              I asked this question because we have to change reservations due to more people joining us than expected. The star of the group is my darling grand daughter, a very hip continent jumper /university gal, I think would like "fun" as opposed to "formal," "solemn," "stogy," or "somber." All the suggestions above look great and I'm actively pursuing them,...but, what with "walk ins only!" time zones, closed days, probably "high season overload" and maybe inattention to emails and ringing phones all working against me, nothing is settled at this time.

                              Wish us well!

                              Love your posts.

                            2. Sparked by "May 16" and "fun", I have a suggestion for tourists who might be in Paris that weekend... has nothing to do with the topic so apologies for the detour.

                              The brocante de la Rue Bretagne on Fri, Sat and Sun/ 16-18 May is a combo of flea market/ street fair/ garage sale on steroids held every year in the 3rd from "dawn to 6pm" (but dawn is not a very popular time in Paris so 9am is a more practical definition of "dawn"). The epicentre is of course the rue de Bretagne but it also stretches to the other side of the Carreau du Temple/ rue Dupetit-Thouars, adjacent streets, and the boulevard des Filles du Calvaire. Loads of fun, lots of people, and, for Chowhounders, lots of fab food stalls. A sample of real life off the tourist trail.

                              5 Replies
                              1. re: Parnassien

                                The "Carreau du Temple" has been nicely refitted as a multi-functional "space". Check it out.

                                1. re: Parnassien

                                  "The brocante de la Rue Bretagne on Fri, Sat and Sun/ 16-18 May"

                                  That is my fave brocante of the year. But I have never seen many food stalls there, really, Parn ? I must have been blinded by the below…

                                  I got silverware, vintage linen linen, and an Armani Armani (meaning: the real Armani line, not the Emporio or blabla lines) jacket, plus tons of clothes and accesories there. The fashion houses with showroom around rue Dupetit Thouars practically throw away their tons of "prototypes" (samples). I recommend it to everybody.

                                  But it is hard for a party of 6 to navigate the ultra-crowded streets. Better split up and rejoin later in a designated place, like Mary's ice cream parlor (but is it moving ? I seem to see moving vibes in the place closed for the entire winter and still not open).
                                  Or at the Enfants Rouges market. In fact I'd start at the latter market, pick out s food stall that you like (my faves: the couscous place) and reserve for, say, 90 minutes later.

                                  Another good option around there is … the one and only Angéla, who makes insane Banh Mi sandwiches (my fave: barbecue pork), which one can take out and eat in nearby Square du temple. In cace you live in Mars and have not noticed the brouhaha re Angéla's move, her new address is 81 rue de Turbigo.

                                  1. re: Parigi

                                    DO split up if you visit one of these enormous fleas. You will do so inadvertantly anyway, so it's better to do it by design.

                                    FWIW, last visit I did most of my shopping at brocantes. Hundreds of dollars worth of designer toddler clothes for a Euro each. (And a "few" treasures for me.)

                                  2. re: Parnassien

                                    Great tip on the brocante. Any brocante or similar events happening on May 31 - June 1?