Paris after 15 years

Feb 24th, 2016, 12:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 138
Here are a few restaurants that I visited when I was in Paris last year and really enjoyed. Both are small, bistro-type restaurants:

L'Ange 20 in the 4th.

L'Ilot Vache, also in the 4th.

Agree with the suggestion to check out the Paris By Mouth website for other ideas.

Enjoy your trip!
Diane is offline  
Feb 24th, 2016, 01:30 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 13,407
Some places I have enjoyed a lot, and where reservations are a good idea:

Neva Cuisine near the Gare Saint-Lazare

Philou near the Canal St. Martin (tiny, reservations required)

Au Cerisae in Montparnasse (also tiny, reservations required)

Au Vieux Chene in the 11th arrondissement

There have been articles about how many restaurants in Paris are serving food prepared elsewhere and just assembling it on site. I think this makes it more important than it used to be to do some research rather than relying on just finding something by looking at the menu outside.

That said, I certainly do go into restaurants I haven't researched when that is the most convenient option. But for something special, I prefer to come armed with ideas in advance.
Nikki is online now  
Feb 25th, 2016, 06:26 AM
Join Date: Oct 2015
Posts: 1,817
Le Casse-Noix in the 15eme
Philou in the 10eme
(small restaurants, modern twists on traditional French bistro food)

Bistro Belhara in the 7eme
Qui Plume la Lune in the 11eme
(same, but a little more upscale)

ParisByMouth, John Talbott, David Lebovitz, Alex Lobrano and magazine and newspaper writers pounce on the new and trendier options - or reminisce about the good old days - and are being compensated for advertising these restaurants, as are all the other food bloggers. You will get the same reports from all these sites, virtually verbatim. Use their advice if you want to, but you won't be surrounded by locals, if that's important to you.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 02:44 PM
Join Date: Sep 2005
Posts: 354
4, rue d'Exposition

Les Cocottes
135, rue Saint-Dominique

Chez Fernand Christine
9, rue Christine

Huitrerie Regis
3, rue de Montfaucon

These are four of our favorite places. All are frequented by locals (when we have been there, at least) except for Les Cocottes, which may have more tourists. All are really good, in our experience.
paris1953 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 05:43 PM
Original Poster
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to all travellers-- the support has been overwhelming. thank you again.
zmzm917 is offline  
Feb 25th, 2016, 10:10 PM
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Fuzzbucket- Do you know for sure that John Talbott and David Lebovitz are being compensated for their reviews? Or is that an assumption?

John Talbott always lists what he paid for the meal, and his reviews are not always complimentary. David Lebovitz does not consider himself a restaurant critic and simply writes about places he enjoys (

That said, there are plenty of food bloggers and magazines who will blog about restaurants in exchange for a free meal (I know, I work in the restaurant business and these people are shameless), I just don't think John Talbott and David Lebovitz are in that group. I can't speak for the other sites you mention, but I feel compelled to defend these two.
Kristina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 01:42 AM
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Kristina - the answer is yes. I'm out and about a lot, and have seen all of these people I mentioned in action - more than a few times. I know several people who work for the blogs I mentioned. This doesn't mean they are evil or are doing anything wrong - it's just the most efficient way for restaurants to advertise.

Dr Talbott is invited to dine at new and/or revamped restaurants, since he is a well-known food writer. He also just walks around and reports on places he wanders into. He always mentions when he is given complimentary drinks or food, but he contributes to a few online publications and doesn't work for free.

Mr Lebovitz also contributes to many online publications, publishes cookbooks and does not work for free, either. If you have been following his blog since the beginning, you have likely noticed a distinct change in his writing. In many cases, he's obligated to follow orders from his publishing houses.

It is incorrect to assume that when a writer criticizes a restaurant that he/she is not being compensated in some manner - either a portion or the whole addition was on the house or was picked up by someone's on-line or print publisher. Of course, this is not always the case, but restaurants have realized that bloggers are worth much more than print advertising, and have no qualms about using their influence.

No matter how these bloggers started out telling their stories about life in Paris, they have had to bend to the economy and in most cases, their publishers. Blogs depend heavily on advertising to stay visible and solvent. This may be disguised in paragraph form or listed as a string of advertisements on the side of the copy. The goal of a blog is self-promotion, but if you have nothing to sell but your personality, your blog will not survive.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 06:18 AM
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Lebovitz and Talbott have employees who work for their blogs? Do they have ghost writers? I had no idea. If you are referring to the other sites, fine, but I wasn't.

I think there's a difference between when they write for other publications and when they write for their own blogs. Not all bloggers do this either (I never take compensation) and many disclose if they were compensated. Maybe I just take issue with the assumption that "all the other food bloggers" take compensation, because they don't.

I'm not suggesting they work for free, I'm only saying, based on what they write about on their own blogs, I don't think all their restaurant reviews (those specific two blogs) are always compensated. If that's the case for DL, he's in trouble, since he doesn't do that many restaurant reviews overall. His site is there to sell his cookbooks. And when he's been invited somewhere for an event, he always discloses.

As for Talbott, I don't follow him that much, but as long as he discloses when he IS compensated I have no problem with it.
Kristina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 07:39 AM
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I like Lebowitz for his recipes and food commentary, but I find his occasional restaurant reviews less useful as there is no system to them. Part of his income comes from his food tours, which are not cheap.

Mr Talbott only eats out for lunch and tends to favor the very trendiest spots, not that there is anything wrong with that, but he spends more than I would want to and there is no indication what dinner is like, which is when we do our nice meals.

As for Chowhound, it has deteriorated very badly since the latest changes and is attracting very few of the best posters any more, a shame.
AJPeabody is online now  
Feb 26th, 2016, 08:38 AM
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AJP, it's a shame Chowhound France has gone so far downhill so fast. I've been looking for a replacement website but so far, nothing.
Coquelicot is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 10:57 AM
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David Lebowitz says on his blog that he takes no cash for reviewing a restaurant. I can't imagine he is lying about that. He does have ads on his blog but I seriously doubt they make that much money for him. His books and tours on the other hand....
rialtogrl is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 11:34 AM
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He wouldn't have ads on his website if they didn't make him enough money that he wants it and is making a conscious decision to have them due to the revenue they bring in. He wouldn't allow ads otherwise if they didn't provide him hardly any income.

He is forthcoming in long background notes on his website as to what he is getting paid for, the ad services he uses, etc., and where the ads may appear. so I give him credit for that. But he clearly admits he accepts ad revenues from some services and he wouldn't be doing it if he didn't want the money. He also gets revenue from Amazon for steering people to Amazon products (not his own books, other stuff). Most of the ads are sidebar things, etc., that appear on many websites through services of Google.

I don't know his readership, but some estimates are you can earn about $1 a year for each reader of your blog, with average ad click rates -- ie, to earn $100K per year, you need about 100K readers. He seems pretty popular, so that wouldn't surprise me, or more, he has over 100K Twitter followers alone. I wouldn't call that nothing, but he does have to pay people to manage his website and host it. It doesn't bother me, though, those sidebar and Google ads don't make him biased, it's just a way for him to earn revenue. I don't like him touting products that he gets revenue from.

But people who just want to earn a living eating have to do something (blogging).
Christina is offline  
Feb 26th, 2016, 12:02 PM
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Nikki, I've gone past Neva dozens of times on the bus and thought it looked interesting. Maybe I'll try it!
Belinda is online now  
Feb 26th, 2016, 01:54 PM
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If you do go to Neva Cuisine, I highly recommend the chocolate sphere for dessert. They come out and pour hot chocolate over it so it melts and reveals the ice cream inside.
Nikki is online now  
Feb 26th, 2016, 11:19 PM
Join Date: Oct 2015
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Kristina - I didn't mention anything about "employees or ghostwriters". I said that DL and JT write for other online publications.

"Compensation" takes many forms: free meals, drinks, discounts (possibly not during the meal being discussed, but often offered on subsequent visits) and sometimes cash.
fuzzbucket is offline  
Feb 29th, 2016, 10:30 AM
Join Date: Apr 2013
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Last time we were in Paris, we stayed in the Latin Quarter. We walked up the street, and found a bar on the corner that was very lively and fun, so we stopped in for a cocktail before dinner. We did not have any dinner reservations, so we left there and walked down the street where two nice-looking little restaurants were across the street from each other: Le Coupe-Chou, and Le Petit Prince de Paris.

DH liked the looks of Le Coupe-Chou, and I'd heard of it, so we tried it first.
We were not thrilled.

Another night, I convinced DH to try Le Petit Prince, which had appealed to me. It was a much better experience for service and food.
Tabernash2 is offline  

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