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Foodie + Laid Back type -- one night in Paris

I'm a foodie from Philadelphia and love Michelin-stared restaurants, degustation menus, etc. My wife is more of a bistro fan, and doesn't care for endless courses and explanations of the dishes.

Is there a happy medium where one can get top-of-the line food, but not necessarily very fussy such that a bistro-eater (from Brittany originally) can enjoy it?

We're only in Paris one night for this trip (most of the time will be in Brittany, so tons of casual options there of course), so I want to make it special.

Thank you in advance.

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  1. Have a look at "Benoit" which is a 1 star michelin part of the famed Ducasse empire.

    Maybe more modern is the Brasserie Thoumieux?

    1. Itineraires. 5 Rue Pointoise. 5th

      1. I like Pirouette which has innovative and interesting dishes but in a casual bistro like atmosphere. The dishes feel traditional but gave some twists and turns that give them edge. It also has a great wine list and a cool inner city vibe so contrasts with Brittany.

        When are you in town - many places are closed in August.

        9 Replies
        1. re: PhilD

          This is all great stuff. I'll be in town July 31st.

          1. re: dndicicco

            You are in luck - Pirouette is closed Aug 3rd to 25th.

          2. re: PhilD

            Thanks again. We ended up doing Pirouette, which was great. Very inventive, but not at all over the top. Importantly to my DP, the bread was great. ;)

            I loved the fish (had a sea bream app and a cod entree).

            On another note, we ended up going to Paris a day earlier than expected and had the opportunity for a "bonus" dinner around 9:30 pm that evening. I was a little gassed, but we were able to make a last-minute reservation @ Robuchon Etoille. Looking at some pictures of the bar concept and the admittedly garish website, I was a little turned off and bailed on the idea since I had to wake very early the next morning and wasn't Parisian enough to start dinner late. Did I make a critical error? I'll try to hit up some other spots next time I'm in the city.

            My earlier trip to Brittany was FANTASTIC. I was staying near Vannes along the coast and did a seafood extravaganza.

            Langoustines (so tasty and fun!), baby shrimp (much better than in America, except when you get Amaebi at good sushi restaurants), clams two ways (raw and in a light cream sauce with peppers), oysters (wow, first time shucking them myself, tbh), cod...or cobia...not sure (so fresh), sardines (to me, giant size, cooked such that I took a knife lightly down each side to pull off the render meat), probably something else. ;) I really enjoyed the sense of community and the feeling of being near a viable fishing community.

            1. re: dndicicco

              Oy! OK, for future readers, maybe we can suggest other "Foodie + Laid Back" places:
              the Clown Bar
              BAT
              Le Servan
              Sur le fil
              Bistrot Maquis

              1. re: John Talbott

                Very useful.

                On a somewhat related note, I found Yelp particularly unhelpful for Paris. Almost every restaurant has a 4 - 5-star rating. So high, probably because very few reviews mostly be Americans excited by any French cuisine.

                  1. re: dndicicco

                    There's a lot of ordinary in WOW's clothing.

                    1. re: dndicicco

                      ".....mostly be Americans excited by any French cuisine."

                      This is a very good observation, it's a trait that is also sometimes seen on Chowhound, with first time visitors to France overwhelmed by the Frenchness of the place. Every restaurant is compared favorably to the one average "French cuisine by numbers" place at home, every croissant and pastry is compared to the woolly pastries at home. So always good to get the measure of the poster.