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May 8, 2014 03:16 PM

Parisian Bistro recommendations?

So, we're sneaking off to Paris for one night. We are headed to L'Astrance for lunch and I would love to have a late dinner at a traditional Bistro that is just going to remind me of why I love Paris so much.

The concierge at the hotel suggested Le Petit Tonneau, L’Oscar, or Philippe et Jean Pierre. I have eaten at L'Ami Jean, Le Bistrot Paul Bert, and L'Ami Louis. I would love to try some place I haven't eaten at before. Any bistros that make you swoon? Thank you for your sage advice.

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  1. What day of the week ? If Mon to Fri, Chez Denise is my pick... and open till 5am so you can really have a "late" dinner.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parnassien

      It will be a Thursday night. I haven't tried Chez Denise. Sounds promising especially since we will likely need to have a late dinner after our long lunch.

        1. re: Parnassien

          Went to Chez Denise for a 1 AM dinner after returning from a less than stellar experience of lunch at Loiseau.
          It was a Friday night and the joint was jumping, one of my best experiences there.

          1. re: jeremyholmes

            Sucking in through my teeth, I have to add that we have always found Astier the epitome of the tourist bistro. The food has been ordinary, the famous cheese plateau broad but not distinguished, the service patronizing for want of a better word.

            I seldom make negative comments since we all have different tastes and expectations, but in my experience, Astier is best suited for the newbie visitor, not someone who has already visited the level of bistro as the OP.

            I would, instead, add a vote for gritty Chez Denise.

            1. re: mangeur

              " I have to add that we have always found Astier the epitome of the tourist bistro."
              "The food has been ordinary,"
              "the famous cheese plateau broad but not distinguished"

              1. re: mangeur

                The last time Astier was any good was, say, twenty years ago.
                Now that it has fallen into the Ducasse empire, I am not ready to bet one frite on it.
                I only noticed (from photos posted here and there) that Ducasse has stolen the pâté en croûte served at Le Boudoir, but the best place to enjoy it is certainly Le Boudoir.

                1. re: Ptipois

                  Don't you mean Allard....? I didn't think Astier was part of the Ducasse empire.

                  The other question on Astier is why, when Jeanne A & B are so well thought of, is the mothership thought to be so bad?

                  1. re: PhilD

                    Sorry, Allard :) I got confused between two As. Astier is hit and miss but does not share the same destiny.

                    1. re: PhilD

                      Possiibly, Phil, because there is a different cadre at each? I have really been turned off by the servers at Astier while finding the young men at Jeanne A excellent advisors and servers. I haven't tried JB yet so can't answer that. we've never had better than mediocre food at Astier, but maybe it's just our taste and demands. The fresh and simple offerings at the deli-rotis-like Jeanne A were quite good on our single visit.

                      1. re: mangeur

                        Interesting but often so true that the staff make a place.

                        1. re: PhilD

                          Good staff can't make up for poor product and cooking, but a bad staff can suck the pleasure right off the plate.

                      2. re: PhilD

                        I thought of the same question too, and was doubtful when I first wen to Jeanne B. The spawns lucked out on their chefs, I guess.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          It is a difference of food quality, not just staff.
                          And this phenomenon is not unique to restaurants. Quite a few boulangeries that are so successful that they opened branches do show quite a range of standards among the branches, the best examples being Kayser and Landemaine and Grenier à pain. Depending on the branch, their bread range from unremarkable to excellent.

                2. Bistrot Belhara in the 7 th. Just read JT's blog about it -there's no need to reinvent the wheel. We loved it and plan to return on our next visit,which will be soon.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: pammi

                    "Bistrot Belhara in the 7 th. Just read JT's blog"
                    Just to be sure credit goes to those to whom it is due - Laidback should be given credit for writing it up in English October 2nd.