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Restaurants & Bars France Trip Report

Paris trip report

ktbw123 | | Jun 25, 2012 09:58 PM

Here is a brief summary of the places I ate at in Paris. I pretty much enjoyed every place I went to, except for one. I found pretty much all of the places by reviewing the posts on this board. In terms of where we went, I tried to cover a broad spectrum of the dining scene in Paris.

I'll just preface this post by letting everyone know that I don't speak any french yet I was able to dine well and comfortably at each venue. There were some places where the staff weren't as proficient in english and weren't able to describe the courses as well as I would hope, but I didn't mind, I just need to learn more french. Also, I know some people seek places with no tourists, but pretty much every place I went to I found that there was at least one other tourist - either english speaking or japanese speaking.

Le Comptoir - weekday, set menu dinner - It's my understanding that this restaurant offers the fixed price dinner menu only on the weekdays. The night we went, they were offered a lobster bisque for a supplemental charge. I chose the bisque. The lobster bisque was the best I've ever had, but increased the price of the menu from 55 euros to 85 euros. The appetizer, bisque, and the main were excellent. After the main, we were served a platter of at least seven different cheeses. I thought this was just too much. The desert course ended the meal on a high note. I also thought we didn't get the best service because although we were the very first table seated (2 diners), we started getting our food after 5 other tables that were seated after us. We didn't complain at anytime during the meal, although I very much wanted to say something. In the end, the food made up for it.

Huitrerie Regis - went for a dozen oysters. Just a very nice way to have lunch.

Cuisine de Bar - had a sardine open faced sandwich. The bread on the sandwiches is very tasty and this place is a reasonably priced place for lunch.

Sola - went for lunch. They offer a smaller set lunch menu and a bigger set lunch menu. The only difference between the two is that the bigger menu gets you an extra appetizer and entree, and I also think you get an extra desert. We went for the bigger menu and everything was stellar. From the food to the service.

Le Chateaubriand - There have been many posts and reviews about this restaurant. I'll just say it was a good deal for the price, and the food ranged from average to good. Was it worth going to? I can definitely say it wasn't the best restaurant of the places we went, or even among the better ones we went to, but for me, I'm glad I went because if I didn't go, I would always be questioning myself about it. One thing I didn't appreciate was that all the cigarette smoke from the outside of the restaurant basically drifted into the dining area.

Chez l'ami jean - I went for lunch based on some of the posts here suggesting lunch instead of dinner. We went with the big tasting menu (grand voyageur) and were rewarded with one of the best meals we had during our vacation. We started with a soup course, a terrine of foie gras and other meats, clams, baby scallops, langoustines, sweetbreads (the waiter told me this was a house specialty), a cheese course, followed by three deserts, one of which was the rice pudding. Just one thing to add is that the restaurant serves different courses to tables that order the same menu. The table next to us also ordered the same menu, but their sweetbread course was paired with pork belly, ours was paired with some vegetable. Not a complaint by any stretch since our meal was so great.

Agape Substance - This was, for me, the least satisfying meal in Paris. The seating isn't very comfortable and I just didn't like the dining space. Prices have also increased - there is only a 99 euro and 129 euro menu, excluding wine. While nothing was bad, nothing was really memorable, other than the seaweed butter served with the bread.

Richard Lenoir market - Lots of food stalls here and we had some roasted chicken and a merguez sandwich with onions. The merguez came on a baguette and had a very strong lamb flavor. I had another merguez sandwich in one of the outer areas in Paris and the sandwich was better, as it was served with fries and on bread that was more like pita bread.

L'as Du Fallafel - got a fallafel.

Pierre Gagnaire - Had a wonderful dinner here, from the food to the service. In terms of the food, everything was so good, no misses on any of the courses. The chef was also there that night, and he came by to all the tables to say hello.

Chez Dumonet - Another place well reviewed on this board, we got the foie gras terrine, duck confit, cote de boeuf, and the souffle. Everything was so well prepared and it really is a charming restaurant. This was also the only a la carte place we went to, as all the other places we got a set menu.

Saturne - Went for lunch and got the 5 course menu. They also offer a 3 course menu, where you can pick an appetizer from 3 choices, a main from 3 choices, and a desert from3 choices; and also offer a 7 course menu. For the 5 course menu, it looked like the chef picked 2 appetizers from the 3 choices, 2 mains from the 3, and one desert. Excellent food, on the same level with Chez l'ami jean and Sola.

Le petit Vendome - got a ham and butter sandwich. Just ok.

I also wanted to make a note about dress code, as I've seen a few posts about what to wear. I pretty much wore slacks (or nice jeans at just a couple places), a nice shirt, and dress shoes for every sit-down meal. But, to my surprise, I found out basically that there really is no dress code at any of the places I went to, and that as long as you wear pants and a decent shirt, you're basically ok at any restaurant. For example, when we went to Pierre Gagnaire, I had a suit and tie one, but saw another diner with jeans and tennis shoes. I found this same type of dress at other places as well. I'm not advocating that people just wear jeans and tennis shoes when eating out in Paris, but just wanted to note that the dress code is not as strict as I thought it was.

Thanks to the board for helping me plan the trip.

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