Paris Unique Places to Eat

Old Jul 29th, 2008, 10:15 AM
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Paris Unique Places to Eat

There are two places to eat in the Musee du Orsay. One is the cafe upstairs that has the marvelous clock windows you can see Sacre Coeur, the Louvre, and the Seine through. There is a terrace there that is one of the best seats for lunch or coffee in Paris, if it is open.

But there is another restaurant not so obvious or easy to find but it is above the entrance. This is a grand gallery with a mirrored wall on one side, a painted ceiling to rival any in the Louvre, plants as dividers, it also has a terrace that in good weather looks over the Seine. This is a sit down place and the food is good and reasonably priced. It is nearly like eating in the hall of Mirrors in Versailles, or in a Gallery in the Louvre. The desserts are great as well. Take your time to savor the setting as well as the food.

Which brings me to hot chocolate. Right across from the Tuileries just down from the Louvre is a Paris landmark Tea/Patisserie called 'Angelina's'. The place itself is a fine old (1903) belle epoch cafe with gilded mirrors adorning the walls, lovely tablecloths and a take out counter of confections. It has a wonderful elegance associated with affluent matrons and famous people. Audrey Hepburn and Coco Chanel were frequent guests. It is world renowned for it's hot chocolate and justly so. But here is the secret, after about 1pm they also make a White Hot Chocolate, that I have never had anywhere else in the world.
Be sure to ask for it since it is not always on the menu. Sometimes they will tell you to come back later because it is not made yet. It is worth a return trip.

Try it even if you don't favor white chocolate it is an indescribable taste of pure pleasure. Unique in the world. And I am not a food guy.
The pastries can disappoint if you are used to great French pastries. But it is worth a visit for either kind of hot chocolate.

If you like pastries then be sure to visit one of the many 'Masion du Chocolate' stores around Paris. They are of course known for their chocolate and put your choices in the box wearing white gloves. Some of the best chocolate anywhere. But look around and you will see the single best Chocolate Eclair I have had in my life. I like to take them to a park and eat them.


Feel free to add to my list.
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Old Jul 29th, 2008, 10:39 AM
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The last time I was in Paris, I had a small Time Out guide to eateries, and I had choses one near Luxembourg for lunch. When I emerged from the Metro, in a hurry, I had to walk around a vendor making crepes -- and in particular fashioning one with scrambled eggs and perhaps other things for a woman who was waiting for eat. It smelled fantastic! And looked fantastic!

This would be a great story if I now told you I chucked the guidebook and ordered a crepe for myself on the spot. But nooooooo! I dutifully marched on, like a fool, to the recommended restaurant, which indeed have "authentic gallic charm" but in fact had the same plat du jour of indifferent coq au vin I've eaten a dozen times before in Paris.

Later that afternoon I tried to make up for my folly by getting a crepe in Montparnasse -- but, it just wasn't the same.

There are hot chocolates I like much better than Angelina's -- or maybe it was because I didn't discover Angelina's, but had it recommended to me.

Which brings me to my point:

The best, unique places to eat in Paris are the ones you find yourself, on your own.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:04 AM
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Dear Zeppole;

OK I am game. Where are your 'better' hot chocolate places. I don't live in Paris and am always happy to try a new place. I agree with you. Some of the best places I have ever eaten I 'fell into'. My wife and I always look for the crepe stands because we have very happy memories of getting our 'dinners' in our hands and eating them under our umbrella while standing around in Paris. On the other hand we went to one of the 'best' restaurants in Paris with some friends that was nearly 500 euros for dinner and were quite disappointed. Not that I ever really have bad food in France.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:43 AM
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I would think "unique" places to eat would be restaurants like:

Eating in the Dark
www.danslenoir.com
(not entirely unique since there are more like it in a few cities)

Donate your bra
Les Fêtes Galantes
http://www.parlerparis.com/issues/pparis22-10-03.html

Only if you like clowns
http://www.clown-bar.fr/
http://www.frenchedonist.com/uk/pleasure/clownbar.htm
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:46 AM
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Angelina may have been unique 20 years ago, but it's been talked about so extensively on the internet for at least the past decade it has long since lost its unique status.

It used to be a grand old Rumpelmayer Viennese-style tea house, frequented by the likes of Coco Chanel. It has devolved to a jam-packed tourist mecca where surly waitresses herd you through as quickly as they can manage.

Yes, the hot chocolate and Mont Blanc are still mouth-watering, but it's no longer a terribly pleasant place to visit.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 07:20 AM
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Unique....you want unique?
Try Beirut Down Town, 30 rue des Fosses St Bernard, 75005.
Clean, neat and ready to please!

I also liked Kerouac's suggestion of Ziryab on top of the IMA (Mosquee Arabe)with a great view of the Seine and Notre Dame.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 07:44 AM
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No that's wrong......not on top of the Mosque. On the IMA which I think stands for Institute Monde Arab.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 07:56 AM
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I would go to the top of the Institut du Monde arabe only for the view. We ate there this June. It is terribly expensive (about $100 for a shared entrée and two main dishes). The food was very good. The service was terrible; it was like in a pushy tourist restaurant where service stopped when you decided that you did not need drinks or mineral water.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 08:26 AM
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Thanks for the IMA review, I was thinking of going there.

The regular Orsay restaurant isn't particularly hard to find or unknown, in my opinion, it's a regular restaurant right next to the elevators/stairs in the middle level, and if you look at the museum directory, it's listed. In fact, it should be easier to find than the cafe on the upper level, because you get to it first. I think it is a nice place to have lunch, and not that expensive.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 08:33 AM
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jamescarroll,

I prefer the hot chocolate at Le Flore en Ile to Angelina's. I also enjoy the relaxed atmosphere at Le Flore, and the view.

42, Quai des Orleans (Ile St Louis)
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 08:36 AM
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Thanks Michael - I suppose there is no alcohol either? No Vin Ordinaire! I can't eat without a few good glasses of the fruit of the vine!
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 08:43 AM
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They tried to push wines on us, and they are expensive.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:14 AM
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That's jogged my memory! - Kerouac did say the wine was special - not French but unfortunately I can't remember where it was from - Lebanon?
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 11:34 AM
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It could be from Algeria, Tunisia or Morocco too.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 02:20 PM
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ttt

We are going to make our trip a Provence sandwich with Paris as the bread so am looking for special eateries in both places!
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:05 PM
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I'm half bookmarking, half offering up my two favorites:

Hot Chocolate - Jean Paul Hevin's tea room http://www.jphevin.com/content.php?lang=en&id_article=9 According to the Walk Paris chocolate tour, which I highly recommend to any chocolate lovers, JP Hevin's shop serves a recipe that is close to the first kind of hot chocolate served in Paris. All I know it was rich and dee-licious.

Food and tea - Cafe at the Mosquee in Paris (5th)http://www.fodors.com/world/europe/f...ew-136744.html (The Mosquee is quite interesting to tour, as well)
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:14 PM
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Sorry - that should've been the "Paris Walks" chocolate tour. http://www.paris-walks.com/
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 04:54 PM
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Top floor of the Montparnasse Tower: cieldeparis.com

The vistas - even in daylight - are breathtaking. The cuisine is well above-average.

I got the sense that they didn't have many tourists come through, much less any that speak much French.
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 07:03 PM
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I don't understand all the hype over Angelina's hot chocolate. Laduree's is much better. (Or anywhere in Madrid).
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Old Jul 30th, 2008, 09:41 PM
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Thanks everyone for the good suggestions. I may not even be able to get to my white hot chocolate there are so many choices.


Zeppole Thanks. Le Flore looks like a great spot to try next time we are there.

Slangevar we will also try Jean Paul Hervin's, thanks.

Mamdemsoiselle Fifi or I suppose Senorita Rosita when you are in Spain. I had seen Laduree's mentioned and look forward to trying them as well. I hope you have a poodle, for some reason my Golden Retriever adores poodles. Course he is very fluffy and curly himself.

Robespierre any idea how hard it is to get into Cieldeparis? Does the internet booking actually work that well or better to call? Looks fantastic. Have you tried Les Ombres nearly under the Eiffel?

Travelnut those sound like fun offbeat places to try thanks.

StCirq I have to agree with your review of Angelina's but it is still a great place for the white hot chocolate as you say. Especially for first timers in Paris as the location makes it easy to find on the Rue de Rivoli.

Thanks everyone will try to get to as many as possible.
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