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Paris Notes: Recent Restaurant Experiences

Paris Notes: Recent Restaurant Experiences

Old Apr 26th, 2007, 03:01 PM
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Join Date: Mar 2005
Posts: 156
Paris Notes: Recent Restaurant Experiences

I'll have to keep this short but I wanted to thank everyone on the boards for their help. I returned from a five day trip to Paris (my first time!) a few weeks back and I'm finally now able to take stock after spending a few days just getting over the shock of having to go back to work.

Here are a few highlights:
Oh la la Dining: We went to Pierre Gagniere's Restaurant Gaya for my beau's birthday. Expect minimalist decor--I was a little put off at first by the simplicity and greyness of the interior but as it filled up it took on more life. We were seated upstairs right next to a window overlooking the quiet Soho-like street of rue du Bac. We enjoyed several courses, but my favorite was a relatively simple white asparagus appetizer (relatively because the food definitely nudges towards experimental). I don't have my notes with me; let me know if you want particulars. Despite being one of Pierre Gagniere's more afforable spots, this meal was by far our most expensive, but was not our best. We did order two bottles of wine though so that certainly was part of it. Overall, the experience was great. We walked past L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon the next night and were very keen to go in and sit at the bar... maybe next time.

Best and Worst Meal: We planned on surprising friends by meeting them for a lunch reservation at the Restaurant du Palais Royal. Unfortunately, the reservation was made incorrectly (were still pointing fingers) and the party thought that the reservation was for the evening. The two of us decided to just go ahead and eat because we were so hungry. Unfortunately, my Fettucini au Homard (lobster) was terrible. The lobster was nothing special, but good; it was the stock that was terrible. Fortunately, later that night my main course, a tuna steak, was wonderful. It was the best meal of the trip for me. I would recommend this place to others; especially if you're headed in the summer (there will be outdoor seating). It was really romantic walking through the palace post-meal (and post wine).

Best Bistro: We stumbled on a little spot in Montprenasse one afternoon leaving our hotel--- Wadja. We were lured in by a ©15 euro prix fixe lunch, but we both ended up opting for the regular menu. Escargot, sauciscon sec, sardines, steak frites----we really enjoyed ourselves. It was just us, one lone diner on his lunch break, and a French family of 5 for the majority of the meal. We realized about half way through our meal that a dog was sleeping underneath our table. I do plan on getting my pics in order this week; when I do I'll be sure to send you guys to the one of this dog. Wadja is named after a former owner of Polish descent (we gathered that much from our server who was very patient with our basic French); the area used to be much more an artist's quarter but higher rents had pushed many of the artists and studio out. Still, the bistro's many Beajoulais fest paintings and quirky drawings seemed fitting to the neighborhood's former self.

Best souvenir: I rarely buy anything when I travel and this trip was no different. The one and best thing I bought---a drawing pad in an art store near the restaurant above.

I can't believe I'm here moment: A sunny, 80-degree afternoon spent along the Seine sharing a Cote du Rhone, saucison sec, and a small wheel of sheep's milk cheese covered in cherry (or were they tobacco) leaves and a very fresh baguette.

Favorite Museum: Well, we were not early risers and museums were certainly not the focus of the trip...but hands the Rodin Museum was my favorite. I have never been a fan (I thought!) of sculpture and I went here for my partner. It wasn't crowded and I didn't feel overwhelmed.

Unexpected Pleasures: A terrace. We were offered a better room on our arrival at the Hotel Littre in the 6th. We went from a two twin bed room on the 2nd to a top floor suite with a terrace for an additional €50 a night. Happily, we sprung at the offering--we had booked the original room at a low cost for a four-star and a suite at that price plus a little more was a bargain. I have no complaints about this hotel (except I really would have liked a clock in the room) and would recommend it to others. I loved the location; didn't feel suffocated by the buzz of fellow tourists.

Forums Kudos Goes to: Marcy for suggesting Le Biboquet for a little jazz in St. Germain. Drinks were so expensive but considering the star performances I just considered it the a price of a ticket. Drinks were 17 euros across the board--from beer to cocktails. I had a really well-prepared Mojito--the mint was munch worthy. Awesome vibe and the musicians were great.

Fraggle is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2007, 03:49 PM
Join Date: Jun 2004
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€17 for a beer? YIPE!!!! I will not show my wife this post. She loves jazz, but $23.50 for a pop for drinks does not float my budgetary boat.

nukesafe is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2007, 04:46 PM
Join Date: Feb 2004
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Hi Fraggle,
I'm glad you liked Le Bilboquet- I'm eager to go back there myself when we're in Paris next month.

I just figure that the drink cost there is just a different way to collect a cover charge, and my husband and I thought it was well worth it, too.
marcy_ is offline  
Old Apr 26th, 2007, 05:14 PM
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Gretchen is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 05:28 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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Hi Nuke,

Le Bilboquet doesn't have a cover charge, which is why the drinks are so high.

Think of it as a 10E cover charge and a 7E beer.

ira is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 05:40 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 17,549
Fraggle....what was on that little asparagus appetizez that made it so memorable?

Ira: I love it...pay 10 for the opportunity to pay 7 more for a beer...well, that's one way to look at it.
Dukey is offline  
Old Apr 27th, 2007, 05:56 AM
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 140
Just back from Paris myself and loved Wadja. It was a short distance from the hotel so my wife and I ate there on our first night. Total bill came to 84 euros. We had a bottle of wine and each had an appetizer and main course (we would have stayed for dessert but the smoke was starting to bother my wife). I had the Foie Gras and the duck for dinner and my wife had lamb.

In that same area, we also liked Chez Marcel at 7 Rue Stanislas.
clemson91 is offline  
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