I just got back from Paris and wanted to share my blessings as well as some general info on eating in Paris. I know that there have been some posts about eating solo in Paris. well, never fear! I just had 3 dinners and 4 lunches all solo and did not have 1 problem. Reservations: a must for dinner! For lunch, it depends on the place and the locale. In fancier 'hoods and places on the track it helps. I did not eat at any 2 or 3 star places so that is another thing. Dress options, as long as you dress clean, neat and presentable no problem. In fact, I have at other times eaten at 2/3 star places without a suit or tie. I know people who have been to taillivent wearing a sweater not a 3 piece.
Wine, some places offer a set menu that includes wine (usually @ lunch) or just ask for a recomendation. The French are a lot nicer than the out dated rep.
Let's cut to the chow:
My first night I ate @ Le petit Marguery in the 13th @ Metro Les Gobelins. This place is known for their game specials. I had a pintaud Picrady style. This seems to be another phrase for great Coq au Vin! The Coq was formed into a little hockey puck type mound and made of cuts of the Coq. The sauce was deep brown and sinfully rich. To start I had a terrine of wild duck and pate. This was an all inclusive menu @ 215 francs, including a glass of wine and dessert. This came out to about $35.00. I shall return! PS, I didn't see any other gringos here. Maybe it's because this isn't on the beaten track, though it's not as if it is in Siberia....
The next night I ate @ La fontaine de Mars 129 Rue St Dominique in the 7th, Metro stop Ecole militaire. I heard that this place had a specialty of Sole Mueneire. When I got there it turned out to be a SW/gascony place. Whoops change of direction here. They did have sole but I will try that next time. I started w/an assorted plate of Sw sausages, pates and ham "Cochonnaille" (80FF). then I had the Magret du Canard avec honey from the Pyrennes. The 1st plate was really nice and came with great hearty bread. I love Magret, the duck here was cooked just right but I think a good Magret needs no honey. Just serve it like steak, au natural. Anyway it was still a worthwhile place. Here, I had the special house Cahors wine @ 50FF for a small unmarked bottle. It went perfectly with the meal. Most of the help at this place was pretty warm.
Lunch the next day was @ la Boulangerie @ 15 rue des panoyaux in the Oberkampf neighborhood.This is supposed to be a hot upcoming hood but except for a strip of bars and restaurants it is unlike say, the lower east side in NYC. No big deal here, no fancy little stores selling overpriced bathroom junk or 100$ t shirts. Not yet! Anyway, lunch was a formule(menu 67ff=$11.00!!) which included a salde vert, a green lentil stew with nice chunks of sausage,ham and brisket(?). MMMM good, especially on a wet, raw day. Oh, this also included a glass of wine. Oh, no problem getting in to lunch here. I don't think there are too many offices in the area yet, so I just strolled on in. This area is right next to Belleville, a fave hood of mine. Originally when I first came here 20 years ago it seemed to be mainly sephardic (arab/eastern) jews but now it has a little bit of la tout monde but mainly chinese, viet, and Arab (moslem).
One other lunch stop was L'Affriole @ 17 rue Malar, Metro stop La Tour Maubourg in the 7th. This one was a little tougher getting in w/out a reservation but I think it was just the hostess. She pulled the same schtick on some French men who came in without a reservation. The menu here was 2 courses and a glass of wine for 125FF=$19.00. First- they put on each table a plate of red radishes and sea salt as a little nosh.
I started w/a sea trout smoked and grilled. I thought that this would be trout but actually was nice piece of salmon. Then I had another piece of Pintaud, this time w/ a "pain d' espices'. This turns out to be a thick coating of some wonderful mysterious paste. The chicken breast was perfectly cooked, moist and yummy.
This place is right around the corner from Rue Cler which is a great food street. Food streets a cool French thang.I know they exist in Asia, but I really haven't seen too many of them in Europe.
I looked but didn't eat 2 Auberge Bressane in the 7th. It looked warm and homey. I hear they specialize in Coq au vin and other rib sticking food.
Any way back to work for now.