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On 10/22/2016 at 8:31 AM, Rieux said:

Any suggestions on where I should spend New Year's eve in Paris?  Headed for about a week over New Year's.  Happy for other recent suggestions too.  Is lunch at Jules Verne worth it???

I've had lunch at Jules Verne a few times - most recently about 5 years ago, so take this with a grain of salt...the views are obviously incredible and food and wine list are very good. That said, if you want a michelin starred lunch and not just the view, I'd try one of the other classic one/ two stars - like Tour d'Argent (which also has its detractors) or Taillevent.

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Anyone with recommendations for what to do on New Year's eve and New Year's Day?  Open to anything from restaurants to cabaret to a classical concert, etc. on NYE.  I assume many places will be closed on the 1st so we may just walk around, or go to the few museums open, or even day trip to Chartres.

I've traveled a lot, but have very very very little experience in France, so really hoping some France experts come through here!  Also, still looking for gems in Normandy.  

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Any thoughts on the following places?

Benoit (Worth it?  Lunch or splurge for dinner?)

La Coupole (I have heard it has gone way, way downhill from the glory days)

La Cordonnerie

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie?

Paul Bert

Pierrot

Le Richer

52

 

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3 hours ago, Rieux said:

Any thoughts on the following places?

Benoit (Worth it?  Lunch or splurge for dinner?)

La Coupole (I have heard it has gone way, way downhill from the glory days)

La Cordonnerie

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie?

Paul Bert

Pierrot

Le Richer

52

 

La Coupole has been awful for quite a while. I had a terrible dinner there 10 or so years ago. Surly, inattentive service. Blah food. Lovely, historic setting. The weirdest part was them blinking the dining room lights while a gang of waiters went to a table to sing happy birthday to a customer. Also hilarious, when you walk in, the maitre d' doesn't ask your name for the waiting list, he gives you a card with a composer's name on it. All night he was yelling "Scarlatti, BEE-thoven, Mozart". It was silly and expensive.

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On 11/2/2016 at 11:51 AM, Rieux said:

Any thoughts on the following places?

Benoit (Worth it?  Lunch or splurge for dinner?)

La Coupole (I have heard it has gone way, way downhill from the glory days)

La Cordonnerie

Le Comptoir de la Gastronomie?

Paul Bert

Pierrot

Le Richer

52

 

We went to Benoit for dinner a year ago. Good, but slightly brusque service. Really great food all around. I'd splurge. But honestly, have you considered Pirouette? If not, you should.

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I never wrote up our Paris trip in January.  I got around to writing about Normandy in the France thread, but left out Paris!

It's been a while, but here are my reflections:

La Bourse et la Vie:  Daniel Rose's casual bistro.  Small, excellent service.  I recall loving a scallop appetizer, having better than average steak frite, and really knowledgeable wine/beverage service.  Fun, would go if nearby, but not a "must eat".

We had reservations at Daniel Rose's Spring for New Year's Eve, but, unfortunately, a week before they had a water leak and had to close the restaurant.  They happily transferred us to his other restaurant Chez La Vieille, nearby, giving us table and time preference.  This very small, very old, very storied restaurant has a first floor bar and counter out of a painting. We were greeted with excellent champagne, and eventually made our way up the apartment staircase (you go through the apartment staircase and hall to get upstairs, the kitchen is a small cubby off the hallway) to the jewel box of the second floor, with 5 tables, purple walls, and a retro 60's mod French feel.  Dinner was several courses.  I remember excellent foie, briny oysters, a delightful blaquette du veau, good desserts, great pairings.  The star of the show was the cheese course with truffles, which I am still dreaming about.  It was a good meal, not very expensive ($130 total including wines pp), and fun.  Afterward we walked over to Notre Dame to hear the bells toll midnight.

Another highlight was dinner at Rimal, a large, bright Lebanese restaurant.  It is sophisticated inside, we went on New Year's day so it was full of local Lebanese and Syrian families.  The huge assortment of mezze we ordered were fantastic, as was the bread, and the wine.  I really enjoyed this restaurant.

The best meal of our trip, and one of the best of my life, was at Frenchie.  We were lucky enough 1) to get a reservation, and 2) to get there first, so we had our pick of tables.  We chose to sit at the two stools next to the kitchen, the only seats with a view of the cooking.  I can't recall all the courses or wines, but, seriously, everything was amazing, the service spectacular, informal, and fun, and the wine pairings superb.  I thought it a bargain for $150 pp including wine pairings.  The hype is true.  If you can get a reservation, go.  

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On 6/4/2016 at 5:36 PM, Pool Boy said:

I cannot believe I have not written up our trip to Paris from this past October, I will have to fix that soon. Pirouette was one of our favorite meals of a trip FULL OF great meals. It set the bar really, really high because we dined there our first night. So.Damn.Good.

I still haven't posted about our trip, but the NYC Buvette thread had me looking at our photos and here's a tease for one of the best things we had in Paris. OK, here's two.

 

 

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On 6/4/2016 at 5:36 PM, Pool Boy said:

I cannot believe I have not written up our trip to Paris from this past October, I will have to fix that soon. Pirouette was one of our favorite meals of a trip FULL OF great meals. It set the bar really, really high because we dined there our first night. So.Damn.Good.

Pirouette was the place we had dinner our first night in paris now almost two years ago. It did indeed set the bar very, very high. They brought us the chalkboard menu (in English) and we had a great meal here - pretty casual place and glad we got in - it helped that it was our first night because we dined somewhat early (maybe 6:30 or 7pm - i know, horrors!) as we were getting close to crashing and burning. Pictures included over two posts because of the 2MB limit and I can't figure out how to make them even smaller - sorry DR!

The salumi sampler was kicked up with the addition of extra pepper and spice. Nice.
The beef tongue tartlet was magnificent, but the autumn truffle over black rice and smoked duck beat it and everything else we had here that evening. So good!

The trout was excellent and beautiful and delicious. The partridge with the foie gras was rich and exceptional, if not visually amazing. If you like this sort of thing as much as I do, you'd love this.

The figs (next post) with white chocolate and ice cream was wonderful, but the ossau iraty cheese, cut to look like a cheesecake, top shellacked with black cherry jam and a small termite pile of spice to experiment with was stunning. I dream of it.

If you are in Paris and you want an excellent meal for a not too shabby price I might add, go here - you will not be disappointed.

 

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We had a late lunch the next day at a local joint (Le Rubis) that was not really prepared for a proper lunch for us anymore, but they dropped down this wonderful board of goodness. He asked if we were American and after confirming he says 'Now you are French!'. Fun!

 

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We also went to Benoit. Great meal. Service appropriately brusque but professional and exceptional food. Tiny tables!

Beef tongue 'terrine'

Foie gras with fig and roasted lettuce

Sole over barely creamed spinach and an amazing sauce

Sweetbreads, kidneys, cockscombs, tiny mushrooms, lardons, and a bit of pasta. And the sauce! (Me in a dish.)

Iced citrus soufflee. With grand marnier drizzled in it. (I mean this had a tiny core of soufflee and surrounded by citrus ice cream and the soufflee topped with zest. A triumph.)

A classic vanilla millefeuille

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After visiting Pere Lachaise cemetery, we walked over to have lunch at Le Square Gardette (fairly close to Le Carillon, one of the Paris terror attacks that happened a few weeks after we were in Paris). Delicious lunch on a cool day after nerding out at such a wonderful cemetery.

Pate with salad

Curried Squash soup

Steak with polenta and braised celery

Swordfish with spinach and fennel

Chocolate mousse with raspberry sorbet

Pear tart

A nice, comfortable place with lots of books all about the place (including the bathroom). It was a satisfying, relaxing reward after several hours at the cemetery. If you visit the cemetery, you would not go wrong visiting this mostly locals place for lunch or I would imaging dinner.

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I was in France (Paris, Rouen, Amboise) back in April, and so it's all basically a blur at this point. So, here are some quick hits:

  • Our concierge scored us a lunch seating at Septime, and it was a really remarkable meal. As we were seated they were doing some last minute prep, and i was watching how carefully everything was done, as we were seated right in front of the kitchen. In particular, there was one guy looking through and shelling something (beans, or bean-like). I was thinking this guy must be low on the totem pole to have this shitty task. Of course, when service starts, he's standing at the pass finalizing and checking everything, which i guess makes him head chef (not Grebaut). Shows you how stupid diners (in this case, me!) can be. Anyway, that's a well-oiled machine putting out incredible food. The wine pairings were thoughtful, as you'd expect, and I had some dishes served with an orange wine, which I'd never heard of. It worked, of course!
  • The night of our Septime lunch we had dinner at Tomy & Co, and it was also great, but as we were sitting there, we remarked to ourselves that not many people in this restaurant that are no doubt loving their meal can say it was only the second best meal of their day. We spoiled ourselves for sure.
  • The concierge recommended AG Les Halles, and it was a sleek, modern interior right by Pirouette. We had the tasting menu, which was fantastic, huge portions, i couldn't even finish the meal. Unfortunately we were one of 2 tables seated out of the entire restaurant, which was a shame given the tasting menu price and quality of food coming out of the kitchen. The chef came out to greet everyone and chat, which was nice.
  • Pirouette was as delicious as ever. I ate sea urchin. it was creamy and delicious.

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  • Relais de Entrecote, as I noted in my previous post, serves amazing all you can eat steak and fries in this delicious sauce.
  • Cafe Des Abattoirs was great. open on Sunday! 

Perhaps most importantly, we discovered Sancerre wines!

And there's so much more!

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I've been to Paris a bunch of times, but I haven't done any high end dining or even much dining in well known places (even if they aren't high end), so I can't speak to most of the article, but I do think the "say bonjour" piece of advice is accurate. I can understand a little French and can read a lot from years of Spanish, but I can't speak much French. I've found that saying bonjour when I walk into an establishment really helps with my interactions even if I have to fumble through my horrible French or ask if the proprietor or attendant speaks English (which most people do and in my experience they're very nice about it).

Oh, and I've rarely made reservations anywhere, but maybe that's bad form or not necessary in the kinds of places I've dined (mostly unknown cafes and bistros).

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Seems pretty true to our experience from 3 years ago.  We say bonjour/bonsoir to everyone that we interacted with, and I cannot recall a rude interaction from the trip.  It seems like civilized way to behave.  

We reserved at most places when we can.   Most restaurants we went to are quite small compared to American establishments.  We did get a table at Frenchie (reservation was impossible even planning 2 months out and constant monitoring) while trying to get a seat at the ridiculously crowded, loud, and hot Frenchie bar a vins.  I don't think we were even given any non pre fixe options at any restaurants we went to, other than at wine bars.

Parisbymouth has a list of restaurants that are open in late December.  High travel costs and musuem closings would make a Christmas trip challenging, the potential of a heat wave with no AC is sufficient incentive for me to stay away from Europe between June and September, and avoidance of ravenous tourist hordes is a bonus. 

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My wife and I are headed there for four nights in January. I haven't been since my freshman year of high school, so excited to explore the city from a food perspective, since I just went wherever my parents took us. I remember good meals, but they were on the simpler end since my younger sisters were also with us.

We haven't settled on a hotel yet and are just starting to think about which sites we want to hit. But I don't even know where to begin when it comes to restaurants. I think we might want to do one big lunch (do we have a 3-star budget? maybe if on the lower end of the price scale). I know many of the names of the top dog restaurants, but couldn't distinguish which ones to focus on. And then maybe hit up a 1-star for a dinner or two. I love oysters, she doesn't, and this seems like a good time of year for that. Since it's winter, I guess many of the heavier dishes like cassoulet will be on the menu, which would be nice to try there since I generally favor the dish.

I don't even know where to begin when it comes to figuring out food as there are a million and one websites (other than, of course, this one ;) ) . Looking for any and all recommendations for patisseries, markets, cheese shops, bistros, brasseries, nicer places and more. Thanks!

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2 hours ago, Deac said:

My wife and I are headed there for four nights in January. I haven't been since my freshman year of high school, so excited to explore the city from a food perspective, since I just went wherever my parents took us. I remember good meals, but they were on the simpler end since my younger sisters were also with us.

We haven't settled on a hotel yet and are just starting to think about which sites we want to hit. But I don't even know where to begin when it comes to restaurants. I think we might want to do one big lunch (do we have a 3-star budget? maybe if on the lower end of the price scale). I know many of the names of the top dog restaurants, but couldn't distinguish which ones to focus on. And then maybe hit up a 1-star for a dinner or two. I love oysters, she doesn't, and this seems like a good time of year for that. Since it's winter, I guess many of the heavier dishes like cassoulet will be on the menu, which would be nice to try there since I generally favor the dish.

I don't even know where to begin when it comes to figuring out food as there are a million and one websites (other than, of course, this one ;) ) . Looking for any and all recommendations for patisseries, markets, cheese shops, bistros, brasseries, nicer places and more. Thanks!

Scott, ask Andy.

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See Parisbymouth.  Not sure how the restrictions are affecting Airbnb options but when we were there 3 years ago, it was 1/4 of the cost of remotely comparable hotels.

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