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Paris Revisited - Our Montmartre Adventure

Paris Revisited - Our Montmartre Adventure

Sep 19th, 2007, 09:41 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Oct 2004
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plambers - I know. It's my favourite part too.
I will start working on the food report part but I have to stop eating first!
So far we have visited
"Wepler" for oysters and wine, wine, wine
"Le Pied du Sacre Coeur" for a wonderful, reasonable formula lunch
"La Maison Rose" for Onion Soup
"A.Beauvilliers" for a gustation dinner to remember
"L'As Fallafel" for what else?... Fallafels
Tonight we are going to try to drop in at a place we wondered past on our way home last night.
robjame is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 09:53 AM
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Yes Christina, it definitely looks like a corner cafe but their website shows a number of delicious looking dishes I was denied on many a trip to Paris. I am desperate to get a first hand report from somebody ( anybody!) here on the Fodors Forum as to what the place is like!
Not only the goodlooking food but the prices are not hard on the pocket.
tod is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 09:56 AM
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Robjame, I must admit Montmartre is not a favorite area of mine in Paris but a great dinner recommendation might get me to visit the area again. Are you only dining in that area? Can't wait to hear about Wepler and A Beauvilles!
plambers is offline  
Sep 19th, 2007, 12:09 PM
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The Wepler is considered to be one of the finest establishments for seafood in all of Paris. In fact, there are a number of famous oyster bars all around Place de Clichy. Of course, Place de Clichy is a trisection of the 8th, 17th and 18th arrondissements, so it doesn't qualify as Montmartre really.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 19th, 2007, 11:33 PM
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A couple of additional thoughts on this area.
It is amazing how quickly you can walk out of the ultra-touristy Sacre Coeur area and into the residential community. I must make an effort in future to walk further away from sites and see the real city.
kerouac - I really envy your living here and some of your insider comments.
I can't believe how quiet it is around here at night. We hear no street noise, only the odd creak of floors around us or the occasional muffled voices in the stairwell.
A serendipity thing is the smells of living in an apartment. I hadn't counted on that. Someone around us is a really good cook! Each night when we go out for dinner the smells in the hallway are fabulous - maybe if we were here longer we would get to know them and they would invite us for dinner.
It doesn't take long to get to know your neighbors. The lady at the cafe smiles and Bonjours us each time we pass. Last night at dinner, a gentleman at the next table offered help in reading the menu. He recommended the profiteroles for dessert (not on the menu) and he was right!
I love the way neighboring diners say "Bonsoir" when you leave the restaurant. Sandra keeps remarking how muted the conversations are of the French couples. It is something we have to watch for ourselves.
There seems to be more litter on the streets and sidewalks than I remember. Cut backs?
Plambers - I am sure the area wouldn't suit everyone. Someone was asking about safety at night and we both agree that it is tame compared to the Latin Quarter that we are used to. It is more hilly.
robjame is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:01 AM
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This is something that many of the Saint Germain des Prés fans will never experience. In the tourist center, even though the cafés are friendly and there are regulars who get special treatment, the tourists are just a constant flow who receive standard neutral treatment. In the outlying areas, it is a treat for some of the cafés and restaurants to have tourists, and they will go out of their way to make your visit pleasant -- as will the other merchants of the neighborhood.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:14 AM
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Robjame, I'm really enjoying reading about your experiences. It's good that somebody is posting in detail about the interesting aspects of Montmartre and the 18th. One reads so many negative comments on here about the area (sleazy, unsafe, etc.) that it's a welcome change to read somebody's positive comments!!

I used to live a stone's throw from Place Blanche and Place de Clichy, while my husband lived on Rue des Abbesses, so it's an area I know very well - and love!
hanl is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 02:59 AM
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I'm trying hard to conceal my envy at your access to the BA lounge and those wonderful sleeper chairs.

Interesting you chose to go via London and not a direct flight, why was that?

I can't tell you how much my spirits are lifting reading this. It has been a dark time for me and a little escape is sorely needed.
Sue_xx_yy is offline  
Sep 20th, 2007, 08:40 AM
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Kerouac, last year we rented an apt and went to the same cafe for breakfast. After about 4 days, we received smiles and bonjours. On our last day, the owner offered to move his truck so I could get a picture of my husband sitting outside his cafe w his grand creme. It felt great to be a part of the neighborhood.
plambers is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 01:39 AM
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hanl - I agree with you.
plambers - I love when that happens
Sue - I hope you are feeling better and please stay tuned... food photos to come! BA doesn`t fly direct Toronto to Paris and we had points to use.
kerouac - yes

Thursday we met for lunch with 2 other couples whom we had met on Fodors. None of us knew each other before.
here is the blog and pictures (including the food pictures).


robjame is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 09:26 AM
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Thanks so much for the pictures - I love to see what fodorites look like!

The food looks amazing. Did it taste as good as it looks?
LCBoniti is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 09:35 AM
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ttt - thanks for the restaurant lead - adding it to my list.

regards, ann
annhig is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 09:57 AM
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The restaurant does indeed look delightful, yet I am dismayed by the number of people who alter their plans for food when they see something like this. Then again, I am not at all a foodie.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 21st, 2007, 12:29 PM
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kerouac - LOL - you are indeed the budget traveller - different strokes.
My wife and I were talking at dinner tonight and our meals are our "clock" as to what we did that day.
I am sure if we lived here as lucky you do, our habits would change.
robjame is offline  
Sep 21st, 2007, 12:42 PM
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I think that part of the "problem" is when I go to certain restaurants in Paris and order something that costs, say, 15 euros, and recognize it as something that costs 2-4 euros in Monoprix or Picard. This causes me to frequent mostly restaurants that serve items that I am incapable of making myself at home.

May I suggest that you try a meal at the Turkish restaurant "Derya" - 16 rue du Faubourg Saint Denis, in the 10th? Or perhaps "Shalimar" (Pakistani) in passage Brady, just a few steps away? This is my version of the Parisian restaurant experience.

One should never forget that in a food city like Paris, ethnic food must also put itself up a few notches.
kerouac is online now  
Sep 21st, 2007, 01:45 PM
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Thanks you sharing about the 18e. We always stay in that area and love it. I love renting an apartment an living with the locals and fitting in with the neighborhood (only a little. You have summed up my feelingsand did a graet job sharing with us. Thanks again
Quiz is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 12:31 PM
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Here are the first three Restaurant Reports - all in Montmartre.

Paris – Food Reports
14, place de Clichy
01 45 22 53 24
This Bistro is best known for seafood and oysters in an area that is swimming with such places. It is large and looks just like you would think a Parisian bistro would, with chairs and tables lining the sidewalk in front.
There is a small stall in front where some fruits de la mer are displayed and, at busy times, a man stands shucking and jiving. At the other end is an ice cream machine and window.
It was our first evening in Paris – a Sunday, the weather was warm and we had wandered down to this area and recognized the name. What better way to begin our trip? We ordered a dozen oysters, fines de claires, and a bottle of Pouilly Fume.
The waiter seemed to be the only one on this evening but was bustling around and was in high spirits. He joked and arranged and rearranged the items on the tiny table, finally shrugging and hurrying off. He brought the wine first and the oysters arrived in due time, six to a plate sitting on a bed of seaweed. A half lemon was the only other adornment and, as we hadn’t specified, it was assumed we wanted them “au nature”.
They were plump and delicious and, as always used to describe fresh oysters; they smelled only of the sea.
This place served our purpose but I am not sure I would stop here for a meal.

La Maison Rose

We came across this restaurant on one of our exploratory walks and decided to have lunch here.
We sat outside along the street and ordered onion soup, water and a glass of wine. The soup was good and hot and was served in a little pot however, we both thought it was greasy – I guess the up side of this is they use real chicken stock. It was a coolish day so it really hit the spot.
The service was so-so and the waiter seemed a little miffed that was all we wanted. At E8 a pot, they weren’t suffering. If he had been observant he would have noticed that we should have been comped as shills. Several other tables filled up as they noticed us slurping our lunch.

Au Pied du Sacre Coeur
85, Rue Lamark
01 46 06 15 26
We were following one of the walking tours and, as it was 1 o’clock, we stopped here for lunch. It was not busy and we sat outside to better absorb Montmartre.
The offering was entree and plat and ¼ bottle of wine - or - entree and dessert and ¼ bottle of wine, all for E11.73 (odd price total don’t you think).
We opted for the entree of Oeuf Cocotte which was an egg baked in the oven in a sauce of crème fraiche laced with blue cheese. It was very cheesy and tasty. The French seldom eat eggs for breakfast but use their share at other meals in different concoctions. The yolk was still runny so perfectly cooked for us.
We chose different plats. Sandra had Saute de veau (braised veal) with roast potatoes and a ratatouille like vegetable mixture without the tomatoes, and courgettes. I had filet of lieu (Pollock) au blanc poireaux (white sauce with leeks), rice and courgettes.
Both were delicious. The half bottle of house red wine was very good.
This lunch was an incredible value at E11.73.

Now if you want to see the pictures that go along with this report, you have to check the blog.

robjame is offline  
Sep 23rd, 2007, 11:48 PM
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I noticed the same thing about the use of eggs anytime but breakfast.
Would love that meal at Le Pied du Sacre Coeur...those eggs sound divine.
Next time!
Rhea58 is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 12:51 AM
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I'm guessing that VAT of 17.5% was added on to something a couple of cents short of a magic €10 to make your 11.73 (= "we would be charging you less than €10 if it weren't for the taxman"). Still amazing value.
PatrickLondon is offline  
Sep 24th, 2007, 01:04 AM
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The VAT is 19.80% on restaurant meals. I would say it might be a holdover from an original price in francs. For example a 75 franc meal would have become 11.43€ in 2002. Hard to believe, but they may have only raised the price 30 cents in 5 years.
kerouac is online now  

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