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Aug 5, 2014 10:26 AM

Late dinner near Eiffel Tower...aargh!

The only skip the line tickets I could get for the Eiffel T. are at 7:30pm. This means, I think, a 9:30 dinner (or am I allowing too much time?) with a ten year old in tow, who is actually quite a night owl. I'm trying to find something in the area so we aren't eating dinner even later. Had thought of, but cannot reach: Le P'tit Troquet, Au Bon Accueil, Philou. Do we bite the bullet and travel, or head straight home to the 7th and go someplace there? Have reserved at Les Deux Magots night before; holding breath that it will be a good experience. PLUS: the night I'm looking to fill is the 15th, which I understand is a bank holiday...and a Saturday...#suicidal

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  1. How about the Café Constant where orders stop at 10.

    1. Thank you, Mr. Talbott - I know you are the Guru..:) I had nixed Cafe Constant because it just seemed kind of "not Parisian"...but perhaps given the constraints, I should cave and go. It has just sounded kind of unappealing from the descriptions I've read. But perhaps wise in this instance. Thank you.

      1. Practicality trumps all. Lots of restaurants will be closed... I think only Chistmas Day is more difficult than 15 Aug. With a kid in tow, I'd head straight to ever-open Carette on the place du Trocadéro on the other side of the river before or after your Eiffel Tour excursion. Ostenibly a salon de thé, it also serves some surprisingly good cooked meals and is open from 8am to 11pm.

        Or hop on the #42 bus on the odd-number side of the avenue de la Bourdonnais @ the quai Branly to the Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau stop for continuous-hours Mini-Palais in the Grand Palais.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Parnassien

          thank you very much! both look lovely, and I'm sure we'll end up at Cafe Constant as well.

        2. Thank you very much! I take it I don't need reservations for those two, or should I try to book? I'm not really sure how long the urchin will require at the Eiffel Tower. (longer than I need, that is for sure).

          2 Replies
          1. re: aliprowl

            "I take it I don't need reservations for those two"
            Which two?
            Café Constant takes no rezzies (a word I learned from Parmassien, no American pesky Yankee type has ever uttered such).
            Rule 44b - always reserve if you can.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Meant Carette and Mini Palais. I take your point - reserve if at all possible. Will follow that rule. Intimidating and scary, but will keep trying. Why is "reserve" so hard to pronounce in French! "Occupy" is so much easier!

          2. Surprised no one has picked up on the Deux Magots. Risky for food, OK but expensive for sipping a glass or two on the terrace. There are some better food options close by, and a lot better slightly further afield. If you want simple/local then Cinq Mars (rue du Verneuil) is good. Around the corner is Semilla which is very solid cooking and a good atmosphere. My advice is to soak up the literary association at Deux Magot with a quick drink and eat elsewhere.

            When say you cannot reach places like Le P'tit Troquet is this because they don't answer the phone, email etc? If so try your concierge if staying at a hotel as they can call at local times (unless they have closed for the summer).

            11 Replies
            1. re: PhilD

              I had assumed no one goes to Deux Magots for food, but for reasons of tourism .

              1. re: PhilD

                We're staying in an apartment in the 7th, so no assistance, sadly. RIght, not answering phone. Vacation? Will keep trying. I'm terrified of Deux Magots, but it is such an icon that I'm also afraid to skip it. Was looking for dinner our first night, early in anticipation of exhaustion, and thought it might work due to atmosphere and continuous service. Equally afraid of La Fontaine de Mars, but should I try it? Le Petit Colbert? Le Grand Colbert? Le Petit Cler? With a child in tow, I can't do fussy or weird food, and am a sucker for zinc bars and all the cinematic trappings of a Parisian cafe. Will look at Cinq Mars and Semilla, thanks. For example, Flottes is very appealing to me, as is Fish, as is Clown Bar, and lots of other places that all seem to be out of our neighborhood in rue St. Dominique.

                1. re: aliprowl

                  You've got a lot of good places and I don't think any of them serve "fussy or weird food."
                  With a 10 year old maybe the Grand Colbert is best but also consider Cigale Recamier with souflees and outside seating in a cul de sac alley.

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    Was worried that Grand C. had been ruined or compromised by the movie, but know it is supposed to be beautiful. Curious to know why you say that would be good for child - broader menu? Merely curious, not challenging your conclusion. Never know if I should go for the parent restaurant, or the offspring, as in the two Colberts, and the choice between La Fontaine de Mars and Le Petit Cler. Am thinking I should cancel Deux Magots; really afraid it will be an expensive regret.

                    1. re: aliprowl

                      I guess it's all in the type of beauty one is looking for. I suggested the Grand over the Petit because the Grand is Grand and looks like movies such as Gigi's Maxim's whereas the latter "could be a movie set replica of the bistros we frequented in the late '60's and early '70's". I was thinking that a ten year old would be more blown away by places like the Grand (at least mine were) but maybe not.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        Yes, he would - totally appreciates ambience & setting - and so, Grand it is! Slotting out Deux Magots (will go for coffee or more likely glass of wine, slurp) and slotting in Grand C., Le Pied de Fouet & maybe will risk La Fontaine. Then all the others that are farther afield, like Fish, the Abbatoir place, places in Canal St. M, should round us off nicely. Not sure how one eats both lunch and dinner with multiple courses, without waddling around and requiring naps, but we'll give it a go. Given the vampiric tendencies, we are more dinner people than lunch, which is a shame given the prices, but it's hard to drink at lunch and keep moving. And drink wine, I shall.

                      2. re: aliprowl

                        I wouldn't recommend either Deux Magots or Grand Colbert for food, although the plateaux de mer at GC are fine. GC does win the prize for "appealingly pretty."

                    2. re: aliprowl

                      If you are fearful (but I am not sure of what), La Fontaine de Mars would be a better choice than Deux Magots. La Fontaine de Mars has good food and good service. Its food is not presidential-good but its prices are. Deux Magots is for tourists to have coffee.
                      But that's just me. I am fearful too. I have Fear Of Bad-eating. :(

                      I am officially confused. So the first-night meal is not the Eiffel Tower meal, right? And you live in the 7th and have a 10-year-old who does not mind dining after 9pm ?
                      A very modest bistro with quite good traditional food in the 7th is the old standby Au Pied de Fouet on rue Babylone. It is the way La Fontaine de Mars should be but is not (red checked tablecloth, solid traditional French food).
                      Jeanne B rue Lepic in (the nice part of) Montmartre and Café des Musées have a large enough menu with good food for more adventurous and non-adventurous eaters.

                      For all of them, reservation is a must.

                      1. re: Parigi

                        Sorry to confuse, and appreciate your ringing in. First night not Eiffel Tower, that is second night. First night I'm looking for a very stereotypical Parisian experience where we can dine much earlier since will have arrived that morning. Staying in 7th for 2 weeks. Fearful of just bad experience and "wasting" an evening - doesn't have to be a gourmet delight, but should be at least very good food and hopefully not be shunted off into a corner. Ten year old is virtually a vampire with the late hours and loves, loves to eat. We often eat at 9 in New York and he's fine, though I don't plan to make a habit of it in Paris as we will need to be bright eyed and bushy tailed in the morning. Will absolutely look into the 2 you suggest, many thanks. And am going to ditch Deux Magots and try to slot in Fontaine de Mars. I hear the Obamas drank water...explains a lot.

                        1. re: aliprowl

                          "Sorry to confuse"

                          It's not you. It's me.

                          "First night not Eiffel Tower, that is second night. First night I'm looking for a very stereotypical Parisian experience"

                          Then, yes, Le Pied de Fouet, the one on rue Babylone, in the 7th.

                          "where we can dine much earlier since will have arrived that morning."

                          Le Pied de Fouet, the one on rue Babylone, which opens for dinner at 7pm.
                          This is exceptionally early.
                          Most restaurants do not serve before 7:30pm.
                          And those that are open at all hours are brasseries, which means they serve brasserie food and brasserie (read: notso-hotso) standard.

                          "Fearful of just bad experience and "wasting" an evening - doesn't have to be a gourmet delight, but should be at least very good food"

                          Then strike Deux Magots definitely.

                          "and hopefully not be shunted off into a corner."

                          The Pied de Fouet is so small there's no place to shunt you even if they tried.

                          "Ten year old is virtually a vampire with the late hours and loves, loves to eat."

                          I want to dine with him !