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Paris: traditional, ideally family-run/market-driven bistros? (like La Grille used to be)


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Paris: traditional, ideally family-run/market-driven bistros? (like La Grille used to be)

skywalkerswartz | May 31, 2013 10:30 AM


I am headed to Paris in a few weeks and looking for a few delicious meals.

My ideal place would be something like "This out-of-the-way bistro is run by a husband-and-wife team who pour love into local, fresh ingredients to make a hand-written, daily-changing menu that often includes the best version of French classics in Paris"

- Traditional French/ understanding is that there is no such food as "Parisian" (at least not in the sense that Rome has cacio e pepe, amatriciana, coda alla vaccinara, etc.) but that typical Parisian food includes classics from the French culinary pantheon
- Fresh/local/market-driven (if possible)
- Possibly great regional cuisine (Auvergnat, etc.)
- Family-run (if possible...the food is more important than this, but I think family-run places often show a certain pride/ownership and love of cooking sometimes lacking in more "commercialized" ventures)
- *Not* looking for haute cuisine (e.g. L'Arpège, Alain Ducasse au Plaza-Athéné, Le Cinq)...not that I have anything against it, but since it is my girlfriend's first time in France I'd like to show her more traditional (as opposed to "fancy"/"innovative") French dishes
- *Not* looking for fusion (for same reason, which probably rules out Ze Kitchen Galerie and possibly Le Comptoir du Relais)
- Location doesn't matter (willing to schlep to outer arrondissements for good food, although much beyond the Périphérique might be pushing it)
- Price doesn't matter (although I'd probably balk at >€100/person, only haute cuisine places are at that price and I'm not considering them this trip)
- Service/ambiance doesn't matter; we're there for the food (although homey/nice/romantic are all a plus)

I was very excited about La Grille, Chez René, Robert et Louise, and La Régalade, which at one time apparently met my "ideal" description, and apparently still have pretty good food, but La Grille's owners retired, Chez René was apparently ruined by Bordain, Robert passed away, and Yves Camdeborde no longer runs La Ré they appear to have lost their magic.

Places that are high in consideration include:
- Les Fines Guelles
- Pirouette
- Frenchie
- Les Papilles
- L'Epigramme
- La Marlotte
- Epi Dupin
- Au Pied du Fouet
- Le Crom'exquis
- Le Petrelle
- Le Casse Noix
- Jadis
- Pere Claude
- L'Entredgeu
- Hier et Aujourd'hui
- La Biche au Bois (although it's not game season so maybe bad timing)
- Au Trou Gascon (for Gascony regional cooking)
- Breizh Cafe (for Brittany regional cooking)
- L'Ambassade d'Auverge (although maybe Le Florimond or La Ferrandise or L'Avant Goût have better Auvergne regional cooking?)
- Mon Vieil Ami (for updated Alsace region cooking)
- Astier (mostly for the cheese course)
- Paul Bert (or similar carnivorous places like Severo)
- Cafe Les Rosiers (a friend recommended this old-school place, but I haven't found any substantive reviews anywhere...anyone been?)

We've already got reservations at Terroir Parisien (to try the "locavore" scene), L'ami Jean (for southwest/basque cooking and because of rave reviews on this forum), and Pavillon Henri IV (an old traditional restaurant in Saint Germain-en-Laye, where we're doing a day trip)...and tentatively are also headed to Joséphine Chez Dumonet (for its famous foie gras/confit de canard/bœuf bourguinon, and yes I'm aware of the controversy about whether or not their service is authentic bistro or unusually rude, and whether or not their food is authentic traditional or unusually plain)

(My detailed notes, which might be of interest to others, are here: )

Any tips?

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