this new year's eve, i will be visiting paris with two very good friends (yes, the titular animals. i find it hard to keep track of so many threads by their titles alone!). we're just starting to get serious about planning our trip, and regarding our meals i volunteered to start a thread here. thankfully the paris board is still quite active. i've been lazily researching for a few months, and some of you regular posters are quite prolific and helpful, and i hope i'm reasonably prepared to start asking my own questions, and thanks in advance!
we will be coming from san francisco and will be staying in the marais for a little longer than one week. i think that the idea is to think of as many interesting POSSIBILITIES for this length of time, deciding on a few things that are must-dos, and playing it by ear, by neighborhood, by the weather, and largely by chance. i think that approach will be true for our meals as well, but here i'm going to try to divide my food queries along three lines:
1 ) Yes, we are tourists, and we must experience some very traditional french food. some of you may think we're looking for stereotypical french food. that's okay. i like learning! 2) we also like the 21st century! we want to eat what people in paris are excited about eating today, too. 3) we want to eat more than just "french" food, whether traditional or current. between the three of us we grew up in or around a lot of immigrant neighborhoods, ethnicities, etc. it's only natural for us to be drawn to them wherever we find ourselves.
So first, for more or less traditional or classic restaurants i've had my eye on the following:
- Bistro Paul Bert
- Au pied de cochon- a large part of the draw might be a turn off to some, the 24/7, a piece of history...
- L'Assiette- my understanding this is a solid place for cassoulet? we tackled paula wolfert's recipe once. it was wonderful. i want someone ELSE to cook cassoulet for me and do the cleaning up!
- Josephine Chez Dumonet
- Chez Fred- is this where i might find quenelles de brochet? last quenelles i had were at le coucou in NY, and i rarely see them on menus here in san francisco. speaking of le coucou also
- La Bourse at la Vie
- Chez la Vielle -the daniel rose restaurants?
i would like to add that are certain iconic, classic dishes or ingredients that we might be interested in without specific restaurants in mind. mostly speaking for myself now that would be blanquette de veau, pot au feu, sweetbreads, and local oysters and other seafood we don't really see here, like langoustines.
Then for more contemporary places i've been looking at to start with (there are so many!):
- Le Rigmarole- french yakitori and pasta and it works? sounds good.
- Les Enfants du Marche
- Le Grand Bain
- Fulgurances- this one is definitely on the list, despite not yet knowing who the chef will be. we're meeting other friends from SF and dinner here is the plan.
Lastly, an inconvenient category that i'll just call Not French for now and could probably be broken down into North African, Other African, and Southeast Asian.
- La Mansouria
- Chez Hamadi
- Le 404 - so i guess i'm hovering around the theme of couscous here. and for me, i want to know more about mechoui
- Urfa durum - these kurdish sandwiches sound delicious.
- Le Petit Dakar
We have a lot of vietnamese in san francisco but not so much cambodian, and some pretty decent lao and thai, so i'm not tripping myself up over specific places in paris. is it a pretty safe bet that if we go for a wander and follow our noses in the 13th we might find some good southeast asian, especially in noodle and broth form on a cold january day?
Ok and maybe while i'm thinking about asian noodles in broth, how about japanese udon and soba?
I know i'm casting a wide net here, and any and all recommendations are much appreciated! i also know that geographically the places i've mentioned are rather spread out, but i think we want options throughout the city, depending on where our feet take us on a given day.