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Opinions on these Paris restaurants

Old Nov 13th, 2004, 06:52 PM
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Opinions on these Paris restaurants

Hi
I've been helping some friends plan a short, first, Paris trip beginning next Friday.
They are staying in the 6th and are on a moderate budget--dinners 40e and under are preferred unless they really splurge one night.

I've suggested the following for dinners, but I'm wondering if they are all too much alike in the style of cooking or presentation. Any comments are welcome.

Chez Maitre Paul
Fontaine de Mars
Le Vieux Bistro
Bistro de Breteuil

Are these all too much alike in the style of cuisine? I was also thinking of L'Epi Dupin, le Piano Muet, or le Florimond, but are those just more of the same? They love classic French food, but one place with a contemporary flair might be a good idea.

and I've added an old favorite of mine near l'Hotel de Ville, Chez Julien, but that's fairly classic cooking as well.



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Old Nov 13th, 2004, 08:23 PM
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I haven't been to those, but know the menus of Bistro de Breteuil as I've been to two of that owner's other restaurants and they have about the same menu -- typical French. I've been by Florimond and know it's style and menu. I think all of these are more of the same in that regard, from what I know, except perhaps Au Piano Muet. That is regional (SW and Savoyard) cuisine, so depends if they want that or not. It's good if they do. They have a website that gives photos and menus, have you seen it? It's not modern.
http://www.paris-lights.com/english/...pianomuet.html

It's right on rue Mouffetard so can be fun for a little shopping in some of those specialty shops, if they get there early.

I think it would be a good choice for a change of pace, unless they dislike all of those dishes.

Are you familiar with Bistro de Breteuil? They have a good web site, also, if not, which should help
http://www.bistro-et-cie.fr/

As I said, I haven't been to that one and I'm sure the individual chef can make a difference. The one of theirs I really like is Bistro Champetre in the 15th, I always go there at least once when in Paris, and the Bistro des Deux Theatres is also good with a slightly different ambience.
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Old Nov 13th, 2004, 09:13 PM
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I only know 2 of these restaurants-Chez Maitre Paul which I found ordinary an l'Epi Dupin which I thought was very good French food.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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Chez Maitre Paul has been on my list to try for a couple of years. This year I have heard often on the boards and from our guide in Paris that it is not very good.
Have heard similar about Vieux Bistro--expensive for quality.
We LOVE LOVE Fontaine de Mars.
Le Florimond continued to please us 2 weeks ago.
And we had such a good, fun, and basically cheap meal at Au Piano Muet (perhaps you recommended it--someone on the board did). And the menu is VERY different--pierrade (meat grilled on a hot stone at the table). The service was so friendly to our party of 8--all family. The chicken liver salad was EXcellent!!
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 04:17 AM
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Oh, and they serve raclette.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 04:36 AM
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At least one, if not more of them, are reviewed on the SlowTrav.com site here:

http://www.slowtrav.com/france/resta...country=france

--Marv
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 08:41 AM
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Chez Maitre Paul serves traditional cuisine. Nothing fancy or exceptional, but both the food and the service good.

Fontaine de Mars is very popular and has an early seating for tourist. The locals generally start arriving after 9:15 (21:15). Their quality has been up and down over the last few years, maybe due to their popularity. They offer a mix of traditional Parisian and southwest cuisine.

We've never dined at Le Vieus Bistro or Bistro de Breteuil, but can recommend Restaurant Le Maupertu, 94 Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg in the 7th just off of the Invalides - Tour Eiffel metro stop. They serve a traditional French cuisine. Lunch is moderately priced.

We can also recommend Au Bon Accueil, 14 rue de Monttesxuy in the 7th which offers Nontraditional French Cuisine. Again, lunch would be the least expensive, but dinner is moderately priced.

For a restaurant with a little more interesting flare they can try Le Repaire de Cartouche, 99, rue Amelot / 8 b des Files de Calvaire in the 11th. They serve a more traditional cuisine, but you will find very few tourist there.

And then for something completely different, they can try Le Troquet, Sarl La Etche, 21 rue Francois Bonvin in the 15th, in a great working class neighborhood. The menu is market driven and based on southwest Pays Basque Cuisine.

Where ever your friends end up, they should remember that lunch is the least expensive meal they can eat in Paris.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 08:59 AM
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Hi elaine,

In the 6th are :

Vesuvius on the Blvd. St.-Germain opposite the church little restaurant with excellent every-day Italian food, as well as standard French menu items. It's very moderately priced.

Le Relais de l'Entrecote. 20 rue Saint-Benoit steak and frites only
they give you seconds. dinner for 2 with dessert and wine cost 65E.

Leon de Bruxelles 131, bd St Germain 01 43 26 45 95 for mussels and a beer. ?They also have one of the best creme brulees I've tasted. North on Rue Bonaparte to Rue du Four Go Right to Bld St Germain on left.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 09:38 AM
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I also LOVED Fontaine de Mars. It's a charming bistro with wonderful food.

For something less traditional, I recommend Fish wine bar on Rue de Seine in the 6th. It's got a great atmosphere and very good reasonably-priced food.

Also, what about L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon in the 7th? I think it is more around 50 euros, but this is a steal for Joel Robuchon!
 
Old Nov 14th, 2004, 09:43 AM
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I'm a fan of La Fontaine de Mars. I ate there just last week and had a fabulous salmon. Our French guest had a wondrous beef special. The 1st floor is quieter and more elegant, while the ground floor has more of that homey bistro feel. Be sure to reserve a day ahead.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 10:59 AM
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You know, I really liked Fontaine de Mars but when I went in April it seemed more expensive than what I remembered. Around the corner from them is a small restaurant called L'Auberge de Champ de Mars, which has an inexpensive (Under 20 euros) fixed price menu and is absolutely delicious.

it is at 18 rue de l'exposition. reservations are recommended since they are so small.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 11:08 AM
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Most of the places you've mentioned are more or less traditional bistros (I'm not familiar with Bistro de Breteuil) but so what. They are all very good--as are many others suggested above. We have dined at Chez Maitre Paul 4 or 5 times and cannot get enough of their chicken. They have two choices--one with yellow Jura wine with optional morel mushrooms, opt if at all possible, the other with cheese and cream sauce. Both are wonderful and very memorable. Le Vieux Bistro is renowned for its beef burgundy. This is the kind of eating Paris and indeed France, is all about so doing several of these is not too much. If you want to do a more modern bistro with current, trendy touches, try L'Atlier Maitre Albert, a Guy Savoy bistro on Rue Maitre Albert just off the Quai de Montebellow across from Notre Dame on the left bank. Ask for seating in the bar and get reservations. Chez Julien is always fun and terribly romantic.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 11:27 AM
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thanks all, might drop Chez M. Paul from the list unless they are absolutely sure they want to have chicken. Au Bon Acceuil sounds like a good add to the mix. Would be glad to hear any current comments on Bistro de Breteuil, l'Epi Dupin, or le Vieux Bistro if anyone has any--I've already reviewed past comments here.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 12:32 PM
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Hi, Elaine.
I had dinner on a Sunday evening last April at Chez Maitre Paul. I had an aperitif, cassolet (sp?) and a glass of wine for just under $40 (American). Very good but not outstanding (but at most places I spent more). It wasn't filled with tourists - one other table speaking English of one dialect or another - and the rest speaking French, most of them seemed to be regulars based upon the greeting recieved.
I enjoyed the dinner. Very good but, as I said, not the best I have had in Paris. But I enjoyed watching the comings and goings or the other patrons.
I hope your friends will love Paris as much as a lot of us this board love her.
Judy
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 12:38 PM
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Well, I really enjoyed watching the comings and goings "OF" the other patrons. Or herhaps "or" works. ??
Judy
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 05:25 PM
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oh, I just thought of a place I'd send someone in that case -- Bouillon Racine in the 6th just off bd St Michel. It's around 30-40 euro per person, and while the menu is traditional French, they have some occasional interesting things I didn't see elsewhere. In any case, the setting is gorgeous and so different than some of these other places in that regard. I remember I ate dinner there one very hot summer evening a couple years ago, and they had a delicious cold avocado soup.

http://www.bouillon-racine.com
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 06:47 PM
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I was disappointed with l'Epi Dupin. It seemed to have been adversely affected by its popularity in American guidebooks. Tables were very close, most of the patrons were speaking American, the service was more than a touch uninterested yet curiously overbearing, and the food was not as good as billed in those guidebooks. The latest Zagat has shown reviews now to be "mixed."
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 07:23 PM
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elaine, Just thought I'd let you know that I've eaten at Chez Maitre Paul three times, twice in Sept of 2002 and once in Sept of 2003, and they do have some good stuff in addition to the chicken (although I did have the chicken in mushroom cream sauce and it was great). We also enjoyed veal dishes, one was a veal in light cream sauce and the other was veal with mushrooms, as well as a fish/ratatouille dish, and they were also delicious. And I have to mention a starter, their salad with ham/cheese/walnuts that is really good.
We also went to Bouillon Racine and enjoyed it very much. Their potato soup was very good, as well as the roast leg of lamb and the crunchy pike with spinach sauce. I should mention that one of the reasons we were interested in this restaurant was their reputation for mussels. We had passed it early in the day and the lunch menu showed several mussel dishes. When we went for dinner, there were NO mussel dishes on the menu. But the dinner was good anyway. This is also very close to the Balcons. Hope your friends enjoy their trip!
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 07:24 PM
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We had a fine dinner at the Bistro de Breteuil in September--very good value for the price of 31 Euros apiece, including an apéritif, three courses (with about a dozen choices for each course), a full bottle of wine for 2, and after-dinner coffee.
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Old Nov 14th, 2004, 07:27 PM
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An excellent bistro for the under 40€ figure is Au Petit Marguery, in the 13th. It's all prix fixe--for 36€ if I remember correctly, although the dish of wondrous mushrooms carries a supplement. Wine would be extra. I'd go for this restaurant as a small splurge--great atmosphere and service.
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