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Paris restaurants - Page 3

post #31 of 46
Originally Posted by t3hg0suazn View Post

I'll be in Paris for a week at the end of September. I am going to try to get reservations for lunch at l'Arpege and dinner at Le Chateaubriand. Will check out l'Avant Comptoir.


Other than that, very open to recommendations. How good is lunch at l'Astrance? 

Fine dining is not a necessity, and in fact I'd like to mostly eat at more casual places. Just want to eat good French food that's hard to come by in another country. I'd probably be satisfied just eating perfectly cooked duck at neighborhood-y restaurants everyday! 

L'avant Comptior is great, but it gets a little crowded though. However, who doesn't want delicious 5-8 euro tapas, free bread and butter, and a great wine and champagne selection at affordable prices. The owner and staff are great too. The foie gras and prawns were my favorite there.

post #32 of 46

Has anyone been to Septime? Is it just "good food" or a real eye opener?

Edited by t3hg0suazn - 9/25/15 at 12:13am
post #33 of 46

So at the risk of financial destitution, I ate my way through Paris for a week. Here's my rankings based on overall enjoyment considering food, service, price. Full menu and reviews in my wordpress if you're really bored. 


L'Arpege - Lunch surprise menu - by far the most memorable meal and the most fun I've had dining which is surprisingly since I usually don't find tasting menus fun. If you have time for a 3 hr weekday lunch, highly recommended.

Le 6 Paul Bert - this is quintessential French cooking that's really hard to find elsewhere. Get the chef's menu (2 seafood, 1 meat, 1 dessert). It's really "simple" cooking, but that's because the cooks let the ingredients do all the talking.

Le Servan - exactly what I think a neo-bistro should be: cozy and cheery, charming Levha sisters, market driven ingredients with serious novelty. A la carte daily menu so you still have choices. The neo-bistro to go to, and not so hyped (yet). 

Yam'Tcha - not as unique as I was expecting given it's French-Chinese, but many of the best dishes I had in Paris were here. Saturday lunch only has tasting menu, no lunch menu. Tea pairing not worth it.

L'Avant Comptoir - I actually went twice, once for dinner once for pre-dinner snack. The food is too heavy for me to make a full dinner of, so snack is perfect. I'd actually put this higher on the list as a must visit because it's really unique. Really crowded, so much going on, overwhelming. Let me make it easy: boudin noir macaron, warm foie gras with cherries, monopolize the butter. They also have the largest selection of natural wines I've encountered. Try to go when Eric is there; he has really good recommendations.

Les Chouettes - really well done classic French at reasonable prices. Feels like a high-class hotel but it's actually not pretentious. My go to for traditional French food.

Le Chateaubriand - it's now too hyped and too expensive an experiment. Food was all cooked well but given the wealth of other neo-bistros now around, the food wasn't novel enough to make it a must-visit. Really knowledgable bartender though, and their natural wines are quite good. Had the best Pinot Noir I've ever drunk here. 

Clamato - open Sunday, seafood tapas, go of course. 

Chez Denise - not fair that it's so low on the list. If you want a really classic bistro from the old days, go here. Food is too heavy for me to eat more than once a month or something, but good simple stuff. Open 24 hrs on weekdays so good for late nights.

Juveniles - I thought Les Chouettes did classic French much better. It's good value for sure, and I'd suggest the menu of the day. I went a la carte and the dishes were just not quite seasoned to my liking. 



The quality of the wine is the most impressive thing about dining in Paris/France. And there's definitely more "good food" in Paris than anywhere else, and most of it is in really casual environments which I think is hard to find elsewhere. But in terms of novelty and eye-openers, my opinion from the trip was that the neo-bistro scene is still catching up to places like NY/Copenhagen. 

post #34 of 46
I thought Juveniles was the best bang for the buck place that I found during my last trip. It is technically a wine bar that happens to serve really good food. Ellsworth is another place down the street that I've been meaning to try.

I haven't been back to L'Arpege in a few years. The lunch used to be their vegetarian/straight from the garden menu. Is it now the "surprise" menu?
post #35 of 46
Yea it was by no means a bad meal and it's in a good location. Give Les Chouettes a shot for something similar, price is similar too, newly opened 2014.

L'Arpege lunch is called 'Gardener's lunch menu' and it is still vegetable focused but they describe it as just giving the chef free reign to do whatever he wants. I got squid and Dover sole at the end. And some diners eating at different paces than me were getting some different dishes.
post #36 of 46
I tried to hit Les Chouettes but I fcked up the timing and they were only doing drinks by the time I arrived (mid afternoon). Looked good though.

Then tried to go to Chez Alain Miam Miam in Marche des Enfants Rouges but that line was moving at a snail's pace. Painfully slow. Looked good though. Ate at some garbage doner place instead. Bad choice, whatever I was hungry.

Hit up Bistrot Paul Bert (2nd time there). Very good. Would recommend. Solid French cooking. Good atmosphere. Old school, more casual.

Ate at that famous falafel spot. Was good, but I didn't see what all the fuss was about. Then again, not a huge falafel fan.

Then did Atelier Joel Robuchon. Was pleasantly surprised. Lots of style, but even more substance. Expensive, though. But I would recommend it. They did this bacon, egg, and cheese dish in a martini glass that was incredible.

Le Relais de l'entrecote. Always hits the spot. Always a good time.

Frenchie for dinner. Enjoyed it thoroughly but honestly seemed like their wine bar across the street was probably more my speed.

Chez Denise as suggested above by @t3hg0suazn is good. Old school. Not exceptional. But good. Wouldn't go out of my way for it, but a classic.

Chez l'ami Jean (2nd time there). So good. Just a great spot to eat. The rice pudding doesn't do much for me though. But the appetizers and main courses were all very good both times I ate there.

Breizh Cafe. Great crepes both sweet and savory. Worth a stop if you're in the Marais. Dk if I would go hugely out of my way for it.

Perhaps the surprise of the trip was Caractere de Cochon, a charcuterie shop with excellent Jambon Beurre sandwiches and a huge selection of cured meats. Came recommended by David Lebovitz, whose paid for app is quite good (Paris Pastry).
post #37 of 46
Hey guys,

I have 1 night in Paris, in the 2nd ARR, and want to spend about 150-200 max USD on dinner including a decent bottle of wine. Going in tourist gear, where would you recommend?

Also spending about a week in Lyon, where my budget is 100 USD for each dinner, if you guys know a few places I should check out, I'd appreciate it.

2 nights in Provence as well, for around 100 USD a dinner too.

Recommendations are greatly appreciated!
post #38 of 46
Consider Spring or Le Comptoir du Relais St Germain. Spring is a bit more dressy.
post #39 of 46
Originally Posted by poorsod View Post

Consider Spring or Le Comptoir du Relais St Germain. Spring is a bit more dressy.

2nd Spring. I was there about a year ago and loved it. *Very* fairly priced. I highly suggest the wine pairings as they pour some interesting stuff. 


To add to the thread generally, you can't beat Chez l'Ami Jean for gut-busting fun. Also am a big fan of Au Passage and Aux Deux Amis for the "nouveau" wine bar experience.

post #40 of 46
Originally Posted by brisbane87 View Post

2nd Spring. I was there about a year ago and loved it. *Very* fairly priced. I highly suggest the wine pairings as they pour some interesting stuff. 

To add to the thread generally, you can't beat Chez l'Ami Jean for gut-busting fun. Also am a big fan of Au Passage and Aux Deux Amis for the "nouveau" wine bar experience.

Thanks guys, went to Spring during the fall of last year. It was good, but I felt silly eating at an American chef's restaurant in Paris. Will probably end up at comptoir du relais. Will check out Aux Deux Amis, thank you!
post #41 of 46
Originally Posted by mafoofan View Post

Curious about the food scene in Paris. I understand there is a rising competitive tension between the old guard, Michelin-oriented giants and new, rule-breaking, more casual upstarts. Are the latter truly any good, or just hype?

Lay it on me.


Briefly jumping in on the thread despite not having been in Paris for years because that "rising tension" is just PR. There's basically two types of restaurants in France, super expensive and "popular". Both types offer nouvelle cuisine (Arpege for expensive, many of this thread's recommendations for cheap) and cuisine bourgeoise/classical Escoffier style cooking (such as Le Bristol which I think should be added to this thread - famous for their chicken cooked in a pig's bladder, recently got third star if I recall). If you fail on the Michelin path, or you just can't handle all the other stuff that you need to maintain the stars, you can always "quit" loudly (your financial backer will arrange a few journalists) and "reject" the Michelin world for "simpler roots", bonus if you can include how you will now source only the best organic ingredients for better flavour (because you of course did not, when you were running $200/night menus). Nouvelle cuisine is not new, it has been around for decades; officially, it started after chefs travelled to Asia and brought back ideas particularly from Japan about lighter food with more emphasis on presentation and the non-food aspects of the meal. I'd say it's the default these days rather than the "rule-breaking" upstart.

If anything, cuisine bourgeoise is making a comeback (e.g. l'Ami Jean). Nouvelle cuisine became popular officially for dietary/presentation/new is good reasons but chefs also loved it because it was much easier, and critics because if you're eating out twice a day, you'd rather have a light meal than the rich heavy foods of the past (e.g. the River Cafe is a massive critic favorite in London, or at least was when I was there a decade ago). For chefs, if you're just frying a tuna steak and putting it onto an artful arrangement of flowers, you can screw up your tuna steak and just put another one on the fire. But screwing up the 3 hour preparation for one of the classical sauces (or 2 days for Lievre a la Royale, which you should try by the way) risks your entire night, and the ingredients are not always cheap either. It's hard to find talent that is actually capable of doing cuisine bourgeoise properly, especially due to the drop in demand for it over decades, in the same way as tailors were arguably more skilled in the pre-War days because the large amount of demand drew more people to the field and gave them more experience.

My advice for a night out in Paris would be to find a friend (French or not) who lives there AND who likes the finer things in life and ask him for recommendations. A lot of the good places particularly the "popular" don't really appear on social media or get reviewed, they're crowded enough as it is. This might seem funny but if you can get into a good corporate canteen where your buddy is working, you should also do this.

If I had two places to sample both nouvelle cuisine and the classical, it would be Arpege and Le Bristol respectively. I might be outdated but from memory they stood, philosophically, as the best examples of their respective styles. One day after I win the lottery/sell my company I will probably also visit La Tour d'Argent, not so much for the food per se but the history of the ducks and their cellar which is rumoured to be the "greatest". If I could travel back in time, I would drive to Marc Veyrat's restaurants which were the first and only to achieve a 20/20 in the Gault et Millau, and offer truly unique stuff by virtue of him seeking ingredients in the forest that nobody else is using; unfortunately he had a ski accident or something and had to close both.
post #42 of 46
Originally Posted by crdb View Post

One day after I win the lottery/sell my company I will probably also visit La Tour d'Argent, not so much for the food per se but the history of the ducks and their cellar which is rumoured to be the "greatest".

I believe I just saw that they are auctioning off / auctioned off some of their cellar (although it is still enormous).
post #43 of 46
Viet Thai is quite good.

post #44 of 46

I'm still getting used to this system.......

Edited by Scelerat - 9/14/16 at 1:28am
post #45 of 46
Originally Posted by zalb916 View Post

My wife and I did the whole chef-trained-at-a-fancy-place-running-a-small-reasonably-priced-neighborhood-place thing (Frenchie, Le Comptoir, etc.) when we visited about two years ago. While I didn't have any mind blowing or super memorable meals, I ate very well and thought the restaurants we went to were very good. It was a really enjoyable way for us travel. It was winter. She was very pregnant. The idea of dressing up and sitting for hours at fancy restaurants was not what we wanted. The more casual, comfy vibe just seemed better suited to the kind of trip we wanted.

I will say that Frenchie was weird. Our waitress was American. I think most of the diners were American. That didn't make it bad. I enjoyed my food. It was just weird sitting there and hearing nothing but unaccented English.

Surely, if the majority of the diners were Americans you would have been hearing accented English?

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