Restaurants in Paris?

Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 10:58 AM
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Restaurants in Paris?

Hi Everyone-

My Boyfriend and I are travelling to Paris for the first time in February. We will be there 5 days, and were wondering if it was necessary to make reservations for most restaurants, or is it better to just play it by ear? Also, any suggestions that are not overly expensive (maybe under 150 Euro for 2) would be much appreciated.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:01 PM
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If you are planning on dining at "restaurants", then yes, you should make your reservations in advance. Since it's not high season, you may not need to worry about making them more then a day or two in advance depending on the restaurant, but I suggest you make then as far in advance as possible. I take it you're staying at a hotel. If so, then your hotel should be able to make the reservations for you and might even make so suggestions.

With the great variety of cuisine available in Paris, you'll need to decide what kind of cuisine you'd like to indulge in before anyone could offer you a reasonable recommendation. You may want to visit one of the following web site to see a list of restaurants and the cuisine they offer. The only other thing I can offer right now is that lunch, in most cases, is less expensive then dinner.

http://www.pagesrestos.com
http://www.patriciawells.com/
http://www.pyrenees-pireneus.com/bon...e_restau75.htm
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 12:08 PM
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Hi
if you click on the top of this screen on Restaurants, Fodors has lots of suggestions, and most of them have comments from restaurant guests.

Where are you staying?
Some neighborhoods are better/easier than others for casual strolling and dropping into good-value cafes.
At this time of year though, other than the top Michelin-star or trendiest places, most reservations can be made same-day

I have a long file on Paris; if you'd like to see it, email me at
[email protected]
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:31 PM
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Robert2533, I wasn't contradicting you about a day or two in advance, doubtless that is needed for some very popular places

I agree that even small hotels are happy to make reservations for you--mine have
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 05:55 PM
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Some tiny but great places fill quickly. I am thinking of someplace like Baracane. Lots of folks here, me included, like La Fontaine du Mars, where I have been turned down for a table. These are bistrots, and small.

Other good sources for info are chowhound.com's message boards, although they talk more there about high end places and Sandra Gustafson's Great Eats in Paris, which covers places that are less than your top price.

Patricia Wells is a great source. What sort of places do you have in mind? Dressy? The great chefs' "baby bistrots"? I think that is why Robert2533 put quotation marks around the word "restaurants"... to differentiate from bistrots and other types of eating establishments... am I correct, Robert2533?
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:55 PM
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Just use this site to search "restaurants Paris" and I'm sure you'll find loads of recommendations.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 06:57 PM
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hi, amserage, maybe you aren't aware of French lingo, but Robert is referring to that distinction (I assume) in Paris that some places are called restaurants and others just bistros, cafes, brasseries, etc. If you are using the term restaurant just to mean any place where you eat, other than fast-food type places, this is really just a matter of opinion or whether you want to go to really popular places and how important going to some particular place is to you. Your budget is rather high (for me), so maybe you know all this and do mean bonafide "restaurants".

Well, I guess I don't much frequent them (not in that price range, anyway, I usually spend 30-45 euro for dinner), as I rarely make reservations and eat just fine. I like to play it by ear, but I don't have particular places as destinations, as many do. I just don't like making plans that much about what kind of food I want to eat, where I want to be, and what time I feel like eating. It's too constricted for me, but many others like to do that. I usually dine in smaller casual bistros or cafes (or even restaurants) but not the most wellknown places or in the most popular areas.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 07:06 PM
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elaine, no problem. You're correct, but, as you know, most people in Paris for the first time like to visit the more popular restaurants that have been written up in numerous publications. And as tuscanlifeedit pointed out, there is a difference between Paris famous bistros and so of the great, but still inexpensive restaurants we are use to eating at.
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Old Jan 22nd, 2005, 08:47 PM
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I find going to restaurants referred by forums and Rick Steves loaded with Americans.
 
Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 04:34 AM
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We ate at aux lyonnais in the 2nd arr. and it was great (I think the chef is pretty renowned in Paris). We made a reservation 3 days in advance and could only get a 10:00 seating. It costs 240 euros for two couples with two courses and wine.
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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 09:10 AM
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Hi AS,

I have found that the management prefers for you to make reservations, at least in the early afternoon.

Do keep in mind that you might walk into a restaurant that seems nearly empty and be told that there is no room.

That's beause it is booked.

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Old Jan 23rd, 2005, 10:15 AM
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My experience has been that there is no trouble getting a reservation by calling the same day for anyplace in Paris except the multistarred or insanely popular places.
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 12:58 PM
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I have just posted a reply to elaine's message on another board regarding "aux lyonnais". To precise my 1st answer : it is true it is a good / classic "bouchon lyonnais" (Lyon being the 2nd biggest town in France) but not very inventive, it's a rustic type of food, pretty heavy, one must like that before entering. I also thought that it was a bit overpriced, I recommended two different places, both are really nice
1. mon vieil ami, 69 r St Louis en l'Ile 4eme +33 1 40 46 01 35 (near Notre Dame, really good, it's the bistro of a 3 star chef from Strasburg)
2. MISS BETSY 23 r Guillaume Tell 17eme +33 1 42 67 12 67 (Near Champs Elysees/Etoile, very French but with a twist..Modern French..) They use the French cuisine and try and make something different with it.
Depending where you are located, you may alos check Le Lory 56 r Poussin 16eme +331 46 51 47 99. Not central (it's where I live!), not trendy at all, but good, serious French food, not really cheap and the decor is bit old fashioned but it's really typical you will not find many tourists there. Sunday lunch is a favourite for the old people du quartier...

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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 01:04 PM
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We always go back to Le Grand Cafe--well within your pricerange and is delicious and beautiful. You can check it out at legrandcafe.com.

Have a great trip.
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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One of my favorite things is wandering in the evening looking for a place to have dinner, soaking up the atmosphere while doing it. I may start with a list in a certain area, but often get sidetracked when I find someplace that just looks great, has a super menu posted, and appears to be more locals inside. If I then can't get in because it's fully booked, it makes me want to eat there all the more. So I will make a reservation on the spot for the next night. I've done it in person, and they usually remember me the next night and treat me well. I think it impresses many of them that I want to eat there so much that I'm willing to come back even though they're telling me I can't eat there then. I don't think I've ever tried to book for the next night and been told "no, we're already booked for then", but we're not talking about 5 star dining experiences here that book up a month before. More in the price range you're talking about.

And sometimes during our daytime walks, we'll spot a place and make a reservation on the spot for that night. I rarely call to book.
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Old Jan 24th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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gr181
I haven't posted a message anywhere else regarding aux Lyonnais
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 06:35 AM
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YOu didn't mention where you were staying, but, if the 6th, I would suggest two that my wife and I enjoyed:
1) Claude SainLouis 27, rue du Dragon - nice small and friendly. 01-45 48 29 68
2) le Relais de l'Entrecote- 20, rue Saint-Benoit. 01 45 49 16 00- if you like steak which is all they serve!
You can get good tips at your hotel desk?
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Old Jan 25th, 2005, 06:47 AM
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In the Marais District try "Le Pamphlet".. It is tres francaise and within your budget. Nice neighborhood place.
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Old Jan 27th, 2005, 04:40 AM
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Elaine
True, it was Anna 74 - sorry for that, my mistake!
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Old Jan 30th, 2005, 07:55 AM
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Thank you all for your help. We are staying in the 17th, but plan on spening the majority of our time closer to the center of the city. What I meant by restaurants was the more upscale places, (sorry if there was confusion) but we were planning on stopping in whatever we came across when we were hungry for lunches, and planning our dinners more carefully.
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