La Coupole; Au Pied de Cochon?

Feb 21st, 2011, 07:50 AM
  #1  
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La Coupole; Au Pied de Cochon?

Any thoughts on these 2 restaurants? Both were recommended to me, but in looking at them on line I have seen very mixed reviews. I know they are supposed to be sort of touristy, but also Paris institutions? Any thoughts would be appreciated. Thanks!
mdmom is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 08:02 AM
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You've listed two very well known tourist traps - I guess that makes them "institutions". I've ate at La Coupole on my very first trip to Paris only because I was staying very nearby - It was OK but I wouldn't go back and certainly wouldn't make a special trip to eat there. You can do a LOT better for the money.

As for "any thoughts", give us some more background and you'll get very good recommendations here, certainly better recommendations than you were given before. What do you like to eat> how much do you want to spend? what neighborhood will be staying in?
bardo1 is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 08:02 AM
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Depends upon where you want to be. One is in Montparnasse area, the other in Les Halles area. I've been by but not dined in La Coupole. Chose not to since I think it's all about decor and I didn't even find the decor that interesting. OTOH we've dined several times at Pied de Cochon and found it fun. It's in a nice area--park across the street/walkway, some outdoor tables, and great decor. The whole pig thing can be at least interesting to kids who shudder at it, then have something that they can/will eat and still tell friends they went to a restaurant where they served pig feet, tails, snout, etc. I'd vote for Cochon.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 10:46 AM
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We have gone many times to Pied de Cochon - yes its touristy but always find lots of french people in their as well. Their french ionion soup is delicious and cheesy!
jamikins is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 11:33 AM
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I loved Pied de Cochon. Their onion soup is the best I have tasted!
cigalechanta is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 12:22 PM
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I ate at La Coupole the year before last. We had the famous curry they have been making for 100 years!! Well, to be honest, I think they need to change the recipe it was very ordinary. The resto was full of both locals eating pig's trotters and tourists (eating the famous curry like us no doubt) I like the decor, but I wouldn't go back again. Everyone else is right, you can do better. There are a million suggestions available if you search here. Depends on your requirements as to what fits.

Schnauzer
schnauzer is offline  
Feb 21st, 2011, 06:30 PM
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Here's a peek into Au Pied..


http://tinyurl.com/6b4ter9
cigalechanta is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:33 AM
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Cigale, nice way to let folks see what they're getting into if they book somewhere. Brings back memories for me too. Haven't been there in a while. Maybe I'll drop by this next visit in April.
JulieVikmanis is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:48 AM
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BEST onion soup at Au Pied--any time of day. We had lunch at La Coupole and enjoyed it for its historicity, but it isn't special.
Gretchen is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 04:19 AM
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I can't think of anything appealing about La Coupole. The French onion soup is very good at Au Pied de Cochon, but not much else. I wouldn't go out of my way to get to either of them.
StCirq is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 05:57 AM
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Another endorsement for the french onion soup at Au Pied du Cochon, as well as whatever the spread is that they give for the bread...delicious!
amyb is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 07:46 AM
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DH and I ate at Au Pied du Cochon in 2008 with his parents. We enjoyed the people watching as much as the onion soup (which IMHO is not as good as when DH makes Julia Child's recipe), and the creme brulee was the BEST I have ever had. There were French tourists next to us taking pictures of their pigs' feet and frites. Several tables around us had amazing seafood platters. I think it's a fun experience.
K2DangerGirl is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:26 AM
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I eat at La Coupole once in a while just because I usually stay in MOntparnasse, and it's one restaurant that is always open and usually you can find something on the menu you like. It does have interesting decor, actually, historic Art Deco, as well as a part of Parisian history. I don't really like the new setup and it's very large (new since it renovated which has probably been maybe 20 years by now), I don't usually care for places that large (which makes it noisy).

I don't know why one would refer to it as "tourist trap", it's a regular brasserie that's been there probably about a century and it has a typical brasserie menu. It is true a lot of tourists go there because they read about it in guidebooks or something, but it is not a tourist trap any more than any of the other bistros with that owner are (FLO group).

Having said that, the food is acceptable but I would never in a million years consider it destination dining or a place I'd make a point of going to. I just go there because it's in my neighborhood.
Christina is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:53 AM
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Go for the history and decor. Imagine the ghosts of Hemingway (go to Closerie des Lilas), Alice B. Toklas (and many more I can't remember) and enjoy it!
TDudette is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 09:58 AM
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Don't forget Deux Magots and Cafe Flores (sp.?) either. Just get a demi of wine, sit and enjoy. Remember, you must ask for the bill when you are finished.
TDudette is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:13 PM
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I liked Au Pied du Cochon, and loved the onion soup. I saw mostly French people in there when I went, not tourists. Thought it was a lovely place to rest my tired feet, and refuel!
Sue4 is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 01:22 PM
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Cafe de Flore also fits in to this category. Maybe you go to one of the above for lunch, as you are transiting to your afternoon destination


Onion Soup/Gratine...now you've got me wanting to visit.
Michel_Paris is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 02:25 PM
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I had a bad experience at La Coupole a few years back. The food was acceptable, but the waiter tried to pull a fast one with the wine - he didn't tell me my selection wasn't available until he brought out a substitute of his own choosing. He said it was very similar. When I asked for another look at the wine list, his "very similar" suggestion was 3 times the price of the one I'd asked for originally. Probably one of the oldest tricks in the book.

I selected another bottle in my price range, and he treated us like we had a communicable disease for the rest of the evening. Would not go back.
phillyboy is offline  
Feb 22nd, 2011, 03:24 PM
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The food selection at Au Pied du Cochon isn't necessarily what I would search out. However, my husband really enjoyed the food. For me, I loved the decor and I the service we received was very attentive and friendly.
MNsnowflake is offline  
Feb 23rd, 2011, 12:37 PM
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I ate in Au Pied du Cochon in January. just to say I had. It wasn't QUITE what I expected, but on the whole very interesting. I had a really interesting conversation with the Corsican sommelier.
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