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Please help me with Paris restaurants before I lose my mind!

Please help me with Paris restaurants before I lose my mind!

Sep 1st, 2006, 09:59 AM
Join Date: Feb 2006
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Je ne sais pas.

I also do not know whether the choice of restaurant was his or that of his tablemate, Tina Brown. He had a small entourage and she was interviewing him. He was in Paris shooting a movie about May 1968, later released as The Dreamers.
nessundorma is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 10:09 AM
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On your friend's list, we have been to and enjoyed:

Le Coupe Chou
La Fontaine de Mars

sandypaws3 is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 10:32 AM
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Based on my own knowledge, some checking for food and cost scores in the latest Zagat guide to Paris, and the perameters you've laid out, I'd go with the following 4 picks:
Bastide d'Odeon, Petit Troquet, Grand Colbert, and Bofinger.

Bastide d'Odeon and P Troquet are both her picks. Both are small. P Troquet is family run and as cute as it gets. Odeon is just good and pleasant and comfortable and should offer plenty for the less adventuresome eaters in your group.

Grand Colbert and Bofinger are both larger, more famous places on your list. Bofinger is the most highly rated for food of the several brasseries (others--Alsace, Pied de Cochon, Boeuf sur le Toit) and the best of that group. Also the most visually stunning and memorable for your traveling companions who are into atmosphere. Be sure to be seated in the domed room. At least one of your party must order the choucroute.

Grand Colbert and Fermette Marbeuf are pretty similar experiences. They have identical Zagat food ratings but in my experience, I think the food at Colbert has the edge. The atmosphere at Marbeuf is fairly close to Bofinger, so I'd not do both. Colbert, OTOH, is somewhat unique, very theatrical and in the beautiful Galleries Colbert, a treat in itself. You or your husband (the more adventurous eaters) should order the herring in oil with boiled potatoes. It's a wonderful dish and is interesting because it's brought to your table and left there for you to take as much as you like and then it's removed to be passed on to the next person who orders it, a unique manner of serving that one doesn't encounter in the US.

For sure I'd steer clear of Alcazar. It's trendy and quite different from the other more traditional French places on your list. You could easily find something similar in the US.

I'd also drop Fouquet as too expensive and not worth the price.

If you can feel comfortable selecting only one rather than two of the other woman's picks, I'd substitute Troquet for Petit Troquet since the former would provide a Basque touch, another interesting option and Troquet has one of the highest Zagat food scores in your price range.

I sympathize with your problem. I've spent the last 3 months off and on selecting definites, first alternates and second alternates in various areas for our upcoming 10 day stint in Paris. It's not easy. Good luck. Enjoy. And for sure, report back. You might try having each member of your party rate each of the restaurants on a 10 point scale for three or four factors like food, decor, service, price/value ratio.
Record your votes and analyze them at the end of the trip. It's fun to see how different people feel about the same things and if you travel with the other couple again, you'll have a better idea of what they really enjoy--not to mention what you and your husband like.

JulieVikmanis is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 11:48 AM
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Julie wins the prize for following all of my rules. Awesome details, thanks!!!

Maribel, you must have been reading my mind because I was just thinking about Troquet being so far away...it will be tough in our short timeframe but I WILL keep it on the list!

Thank you everyone for all of your great responses (even if you didn't follow my rules, wink, wink). I've sent my spreadsheet off to my friends for their assessment. We are going at the end of September so I will be sure to report back!

hausfrau is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 12:02 PM
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As long as you're going to the Eiffel Tower, I would like to recommend a really great Italian restaurant nearby. It's not on your preferred list, but it's a neighborhood place that won't be in any large publications. The name of the restaurant is IOLANDA'S. It's at the foot of the Bir Hakim Metro station, which is elevated in this location. It's about 1000 feet from the Eiffel Tower, just past the Australian embassy. In my humble opinion, it's one of the best Italian restaurants on earth. The prices are good, as befitting a neighborhood place. There are very few, if any, tourists here. The owner is from Naples. He lived in the same section of Naples in which my wife was raised.
Waldo is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 12:07 PM
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The only one on the list we have eaten at is Le Petit Troquet. It was some time ago but even my kids remember their meals. The husband appreared somewhat lukewardm to the presence of our kids (who were and always are)incredibly well behaved yet seemed oblivious to the dog sitting under the next table. The food was quite wonderful.
milliebz is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 12:42 PM
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As the holiday organiser in our household, can I recommend a bit of delegation. it can be a dreadful strain being responsible for all the decisions, and somehow th thanks and praise for a good choice are never as fulsome as the blame for a bad one!
IMO the idea of letting the concierge do thier job is a good one - alternatively, let your DH do some work!
annhig is offline  
Sep 1st, 2006, 05:40 PM
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Not to hijack the thread, but please tell me a little about the menu at Iolanda's. Thanks.
JeanneB is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 07:12 AM
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The menu at Iolanda's is mainly Neopolitan. They make a great pizza, but it's not a pizzeria. They make the BEST Bolognese I have ever had. This is a disg featuring fettucini, a flat "spaghetti", in a fantastic meat sauce. They use plenty of meat, and that gives it a great flavor. The sea food is also terrific. The chef, Salvatore, does something with shrimp, which are good to begin with, that makes them out of this world. Salvatore is proud of his marinara sauce, in which he uses fresh carrots, which are almost liquified, as a thickening agent. To sum up, the menu is standard Italian, mostly Neopolitan, but the gem is the way that the food is prepared. The desserts are also grand, and they are made right there in the restaurant, not brought in. If you do go there, do not be startled by the big dog right inside the entry door. He is very gentle and is like a son to the owner. The mutt doesn't bother anyone. He just lays there like a lump. As i previously mentioned, don't expect to see many, if any, tourists there. It's mainly a neighborhood place, with definetly non-tourist prices and quality. I'm salivating right now, thinking of it. If you take the Metro, get off at the Bir Hakim stop. You get a FANTASTIC view of the Eiffel Tower before you reach the station when the Metro goes from subway to elevated line. Take your camera and get ready for a quick snapshot of the Tower from the train as soon as you get out of the subway and onto the Metro bridge across the Seine just before the station.
Waldo is offline  
Sep 2nd, 2006, 09:01 AM
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That view IS great and I wasn't ready with my camera!
kwren is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 07:13 AM
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hausfrau: I am an overplanner like you so I understand. Plus I LOVE to eat.

Just keep in mind, for some of the more popular Paris restaurants, do make a reservation because they can fill up. You can have your hotel call.

Just as an example, we tried to do a "walk-in" for 2 highly recommended restaurants -- Le Pamphlet (spelling?) and Auberge Jarente, both in the Marais, and they were packed!

Have a great time.
bettyo70 is offline  
Sep 4th, 2006, 12:37 PM
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Waldo: The Italian place sounds terrific, I just might have a hard time convincing my fellow travelers to eat Italian in Paris.

bettyo70, thanks for understanding, and yes, we will probably make reservations for two of the nights. A lot of places now offer reservations online, which is quite convenient!

Thanks again, everyone, for saving my sanity. We head to Paris on the 27th.
hausfrau is offline  
Sep 7th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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Bonnes vacances, hausfrau! Don't forget to post back here about your trip. I never get tired of hearing about Paris shops, restaurants, new discoveries, strange encounters, etc.

I'll be in The Big Apple on the 27th...

bettyo70 is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 03:09 AM
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Take your camera and get ready for a quick snapshot of the Tower from the train as soon as you get out of the subway and onto the Metro bridge across the Seine just before the station.

I think I'm not reading this correctly. One gets off on the tower side of the Seine, right? I've added Iolanda's for our first night...then up the tower (I'm taking 1st timers). Thanks for the tip.
JeanneB is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 03:12 AM
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Oh! When we descend from the metro, can we see Iolanda's. Do we need an address? Reservations?
JeanneB is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 04:15 PM
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When you emerge from the Metro tunnel, you are on the opposite side of the Seine from the Eiffel Tower. You immediately see the Tower BEFORE you cross the Seine on the Metro bridge which crosses the river. Once you get on the Tower side of the river, it's too late to take the photo. A good photo is composed of the river and a barge which is always docked on the Tower side, and the Tower itself, which rises majestically over the landscape. When you get off at the station, Bir Hakim, which immediately appears, you go down the steps, this is Rue Grennelle, and you will see Iolanda's right there. Bon Appetit!!!
Waldo is offline  
Sep 8th, 2006, 05:47 PM
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Chez Denise. It is near Les Halles, an authentic gem in the midst of tourist traps. Fried lambs brains for the adventurous eaters and a reasonably priced and delicious steak with a beatiful roasted marrow bone for the less adventurous.
Each time I have been there I have met some wonderful French diners who shared their wine and laughter and I go back everytime I am in Paris.
Sep 8th, 2006, 06:28 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
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You are assuming approaching Bir Hakeim from the Passy stop. Correct?

I had planned to approach from La Motte Picquet Grenelle. May have to change my route around!
JeanneB is offline  
Sep 9th, 2006, 12:06 PM
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Yep. You have to approach Bir Hakim from Passy.
Waldo is offline  
Sep 10th, 2006, 12:10 AM
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I love Le Grand Colbert. On no account go to Jules Verne in La Tour Eiffel. It is only for the 'hoi polloi' tourists from New York. Great food and ambience in Le Grand Colbert where they filmed the critical scene of "Something's Gotta Give" starring Jack Nicholson. Please try too 'Le Cinq' (3 Michelin stars) in the Four Seasons George Cinq. It is simply the best and I know because I am Dr. Michael Lim The Travelling Gourmet and I travel the world in search of good things to eat and lovely wines to taste. Bon appetit!
thetravellinggourmet is offline  

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