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Paris restaurant ideas- taking our newbie relatives.

Paris restaurant ideas- taking our newbie relatives.

Apr 14th, 2009, 06:49 PM
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Paris restaurant ideas- taking our newbie relatives.

We're going to be in Paris this weekend, unfortunately just for two nights, with my SIL and BIL. They have never spent any time in Paris and are counting on DH and me as Paris "experts" to show them the "real Paris." They are adventurous eaters, but ordinarily don't eat shellfish or pork. They're staying in The Montparnasse area, but it doesn't have to be in that neighborhood.

So of course it's torture to try to narrow it down to two dinners. Trying for a representative sample of Paris's best on not-too-high a budget, I was thinking of choosing a traditional place one night and something a little more contemporary/ inventive the other night.

I was considering Au Petit Marguery and Les Tables de la Fontaine assuming it's not too late to get a reservation.

Another one I've been wanting to try is La Maison Courtine, in the 14th. Anybody have any input about that one?

After reading JulieVikmanis' trip report, I've added Itineraires to the list of possibilities as a more contemporary choice.

I'd appreciate your suggestions! Thanks in advance.
marcy_ is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:06 PM
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I think Judith suggestion is fine.
Are you the same Marcy I once had lunch with?
cigalechanta is online now  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:14 PM
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Hi Mimi!
Yes, that's me!
I haven't been on Fodor's too much lately. Working, traveling, and taking care of the grandkids a lot has kept me busy.
marcy_ is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:22 PM
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This too expensive? Too fancy?

zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:35 PM
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Thanks, zeppole! I love the look of that place, and the history! The price is probably on the high end of the range what we're looking for this time, but doable. Fancy is no problem.

Looking quickly online the reviews that I found for the food were lukewarm, unfortunately. Have you eaten there?
marcy_ is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 07:56 PM
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No, I'm sorry I haven't and ordinarily I wouldn't make a suggestion for that reason, but when I saw that your dining companions ordinarily don't eat pork or shellfish, I thought of this place because I have seen excellent reviews of it from people who eat Kosher in Paris.

All that said, my quick web search indicates to me that the restaurant only very recently re-opened after a year closure. So I don't know how old the reviews you read are, and I don't know if the restaurant is still Kosher even! You might try reading this (my French is not good enough).

zeppole is offline  
Apr 14th, 2009, 09:07 PM
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Apparently the restaurant's new full name is Le Nouveau Telegraphe and the chef is Ming Wang, who was at Le Boeuf sur le Toît, a Flo group resto.

Here's a recent online posting, where someone gave it 17 out of 20 possible points:


and another I can't quite make out what the reaction to the food is:




And there's this recent comment:


I did pick my way through the previously review, and see that the writer seemed to have enjoyed his brunch, and especially appreciated the setting. I don't know if you are also responsible for lunches, but it does look like a nice perch.

And I dug this up from a newsletter called La Belle France:

Le Télégraphe.

It’s good to be hungry around the Musée d’Orsay again. On May 10, the glamorous Art Nouveau landmark Le Télégraphe, famous for its on again/off again calling as a restaurant, re-opened its doors. Built in 1905 as a dormitory for Paris’s burgeoning population of female telephone operators, the upstairs was a warren of 111 bedrooms whose tenants shared three bathrooms. By contrast, the ground floor refectory was palatial: marble mosaic floors, stained glass fanlight windows and 15-foot ceilings. Freshened up with brand-new wenge wood armchairs upholstered in silvery tones (and judicious touches of raspberry and celadon paint), the restaurant looks better than ever. The secluded garden, with teak tables and Japanese-style landscaping, is once again the oasis it was designed to be.

Jean-Paul Berthiot and Arnaud Ballard, the young entrepreneurs who are putting it back on the map. They have hired a competent chef, Cambodian-born Ming Wang, who until now has been running the kitchen at Le Boeuf sur le Toît, one of the Flo Group’s better brasseries.The 29€ three-course lunch – which could be channeling the canteen dinners served to the bygone telecom staff -- sticks to brasserie basics: salads (with slightly heavy-handed vinaigrettes), salmon with mashed potatoes, duck with a pleasant blend of carrot/yam purée. Crème brûlée, flamed at the table, is the most dramatic item on the menu. There’s a 1997 Ausone for 525€ but the 2006 Brouilly, 32€, is more representative of the cellar. Four wines are available by the glass, 5€, or carafe, 22€.

I'm not sure you'll score foodie points, but maybe elegance points.
zeppole is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 12:59 AM
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Marcy, if you're looking for a contemporary choice, I'd sure consider Fables to be in that category. Both the food and the decor are quite so. I don't think you can go wrong with either Fables or Itineraires and both are probably equally accessible from the 14th.

I've noted Telegraphe from time to time in reviews and thought to make a point to at least see it. Thanks to Zeppole for moving it up on the to do list. Looks fantastic. Just the kind of place I love.

You might want to do a bit of reading about Josephine Chez Dumonet. If you want to take your friends to a place that's French in the quintessential old time manner with wonderful food (but admittedly at fairly high prices) this is a very good candidate.
JulieVikmanis is online now  
Apr 15th, 2009, 02:37 AM
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We have eaten at Le Telegraph but it was a few years ago, so my recommendation probably shouldn't hold much weight since it has new owners and chef. The food was goo but not outstanding, especially for the price. I'd like to see the new desin=gn though.

A new place we especially liked on our last 2 trips was Le Pamphlet . You can read a review here.

avalon is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 03:02 AM
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We really enjoyed Itineraires on our recent trip and can highly recommend it. To offset it maybe a brasserie or something else in the very traditional style?
AGM_Cape_Cod is online now  
Apr 15th, 2009, 05:08 AM
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Thanks to all for your replies!

zeppole,The more I read about Le Telegraphe, the more I want to check it out. Thanks for the suggestion. I've definitely added it to my list of places to try.

Julie, Thanks again. I think either Itineraires or Les Fables de la Fontaine would be a good contemporary choice. Decisions, decisions! My husband has been yearning to go back to Les Fables..., but I'm always eager to try something new.

We've been to Josephine Chez Dumonet before and had a wonderful experience there. It is tops in the traditional category, although I agree, it's on the expensive side.

avalon, I love le Pamphlet! It's probably farther afield than I'm wanting to go this time, but we'll definitely go back there.

AGM, Itineraires is now on my short list of places to try. I always like your recommendations. A brasserie would be a good balance.
(Do you remember me from that GTG in Boston a few years ago?)

So, has nobody eaten at La Maison Courtine? I've had it on my list for awhile, when it had a Michelin star, and I think it's still supposed to be good, and very reasonable.

It's killing me to have only two days in Paris this time!

Thanks, everybody, for the help.
marcy_ is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 08:35 AM
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Definitely Au Petit Marguery; it has just the ambience for first-timers, as it feels so Old Paris. Besides that, the food is terrific.
Underhill is offline  
Apr 15th, 2009, 08:40 AM
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Hi Marcy, good to see you. No topless bars in Paris?

In that case, I liked Au Petit Marguery a lot. My husband liked the scallops there so much he stopped ordering them in restaurants at home, didn't want to spoil the memory. And we spend lots of time on Cape Cod. (The memory has faded, and he will have scallops at home now.)
Nikki is online now  
Apr 15th, 2009, 02:02 PM
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Underhill, I agree completely about Au Petit Marguery. It's one of our favorites, and it's about as traditional as it gets. We've never been disappointed there.

Hi Nikki! Good to "see" you, too. Darn- No topless restaurants this time!

Well, I called to make a reservation at Itineraires, and the only time they had open for Saturday was 10:15 PM. That's awfully late, but I took it anyway, so we'll see if the in-laws rebel at that time choice or not.

I think we'll go ahead with Au Petit Marguery for the other night assuming we can get a reservation.

If we're not too stuffed, I'd like to try Le Telegraphe for lunch.

I'll try not to be a slug this time, and write a trip report afterward.
Thanks, everybody!
marcy_ is offline  
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