My family is coming to Paris for a week in June. I've been researching CH posts for about the past month as well as a few other recommended blogs.
I've got a list of top contenders based on this research, and I don't want to do one of those posts looking for you all to vet my choices. I suppose you guys are bored of those requests!
But where I could really use help, and I'm hoping others will find this thread helpful too, is with understanding how the restaurants that keep showing up in post after post differ from each other such that one can have a wonderful (easy!) and varied (hard?) dining experience in Paris. It is really hard to get a sense for if I am going to end up in a loud causal place of a stuffy formal place or a tiny neighborhood place etc. I am hoping to steer my family to not just wonderful food but a variety of styles and moods: maybe one extravagent meal, a few chowhound fav bistronomique bistros, maybe a less expensive modern more inventive type place or two, maybe a traditional brasserie, and also traditional bistros (e.g., serving coq au vin, cassoulet - yes, we're coming in June but I can't resist trying to find a great traditional cassoulet -, grand marnier souffle etc.).
It has been extremely hard reading the posts (as well as looking up the restaurant sites themselves) trying to get a handle on what's what in this sense.
So with that in mind, if any of you would care to correct my impressions as to what's what, I would greatly appreciate it. I could be way way off on how I've categorized them - please correct me!
And I absolutely promise to give a report on my trip afterwards, to make it worth your time to help me out.
Extravagent but worth every penny for an unforgettable experience:
Wonderful bistronomique type with an amazing chef and a great value:
Chez L'Ami Jean (already reserved)
Regalade St. Honore
More traditional expensive bistro:
• Josephine Chez Dumonet:: Lots of heated debate about JCD, issues of being too touristy, overly hyped, Alain Ducasse's industrial gourmet, but others say it is wonderful
• Violon D’Ingres: Formal, somewhat traditional, here's where I can get my cassoulet, as well as a great souffle
Fun bistros with a twist:
• L’eccallier du bistrot: Seafood focused
• Le Petit Canard: Duck focused
Inexpensive modern bistros focused on a younger more adventurous crowd:
• Neva Cuisine
• Chez Casimir
• Agape Substance
Traditional Brasseries (go for the experience, not the food):
• Pied de Cochon
• Relais de l'Entrecote