CH has been a big help for me on this trip. Especially with “little questions” like May Day and where to eat near the apt (Marais). I only know a little French, mainly from Rosetta Stone. We got around just fine with basic words. I.e. I have a reservation at 800 or sorry I am late or hello!
Day 1: Chez Dumonet. This one came on and off the list, mainly because of reports on other sites about “bad” service. But, in the end, I decided I wanted a great dinner on our first night in Paris. We were not disappointed! We were seated in the back, as usual. There was a nice couple from Toronto we chatted with a bit. Plus a French couple and a single diner. The wine list was shockingly pricey. I asked the waiter and he suggested the cheapest….Started off with the Foie Gras. I had never really had foie gras before… and I am ruined forever. Seriously, any foie gras we had in Paris after this paled in comparison (and I tried to order it whenever I could.) Then duck confit and the beef bourgogne. If just comparing entrees, this was by far our best meal in Paris. I have had duck many places, never this good. So crispy and juicy. The Bourgogne was not mine, but I stole a few bites; and was reported to me bite by bite. Even the buttered noodles were delicious. We had the soufflé for dessert. I wasn’t wowed by it. But, maybe because I like chocolate more? As for service…It kind of sucked. But I think it sucked for everyone. I have okay French, enough to say I have a reservations, ask for a menu, more wine and the check etc. There were only 2 waiters and 1 sub-waiter. They seemed harried and rushed. They didn’t have time to translate the menu etc. This was the worst service we had during our time in Paris, but I don’t think it was because we were American.
Would I come back here, knowing the service was questionable? Heck ya! The food is that good.
Day 2: May Day, so a little limited. Eggs & Co for lunch. I LOVED this place. It was a little expensive, but my friend claimed the eggs were “the best she has ever had.” We had fresh OJ, café americain, eggs benedict, the BEST potatoes, pancake, fruit and salad. It’s a little funky and small, so get reservations. They are helpful with English but it may be best to know a little French here.
Le Reminet for dinner. What I loved about this place was the atmosphere. The area is great and we loved the walk home. We sat in the “cave” and had the nicest server. She was learning English and we both enjoyed practicing English/French. The menu also had French/English. Yet, I found the menu a little confounding; I could never quite identify what exactly we ordered. For instance, Bavarois d’avocat et de chèvre frais “soft avocado and goatcheese cake” ended up being almost like a terrine of avocado and a separate little tower of goat cheese. Then there was various scattered sauces on the plate. Maybe something was lost in the translation? Entrees were okay, not bad but not outstanding. The potato mille-feuille was burnt on my chicken, almost inedible…We had cheese for dessert, outstanding selection and the waiter was knowledgeable about each. I would not make a special trip, but it was nice because of the area.
Day 3: Breizh Café. We had a very long day, so not sure this is an objective view.
We got the French menu at first (which I am always proud of), and the English menu for dessert :-( The crepes are outstanding. Very flavorful. I was still hungry after one crepe. But another crepe was too…much. I was still hungry but “riched” out by the cheese, egg etc. The dessert crepe was a highlight. I would suggest here for a “light” dinner/lunch or dessert. But not after a full day of sightseeing when you are starving. My friend still talks about the cider…
Day 4: La Regalade St. Honoree: What I liked about this place (among many things) was the ability to make a reservation via e-mail. Plus, what great service (see below). When you are seated you immediately get a Terrine/pate and pickles. This is my friend’s favorite part of the whole trip. Seriously, she still talks about that terrine. We received a menu in English ☹ ? and the server was not bothered by explaining the specials. Everything was market based—white asparagus or avocado/asparagus soup. Rice pudding is well known. Mmmmm, caramel.
The service here is the best we had in Paris. There were 3 servers on the floor, they seemed to work together. They smiled a lot. We never went without a glass of wine or a coffee. Our plates didn’t sit forever.
Day 5: Cafes des Musees. My FAVORITE meal of the whole trip. The service was not great, but I never felt ignored. We sat in the front area, right in front of the kitchen! I think others dislike this area, but I viewed it like the chef’s seat. All night I got to watch how the kitchen worked. Best seat in the house…Best Entrecoute of Boef I have ever had….I asked for the Daphinoise potatoes instead of the frites. YUM! I did not find the beef fatty or gristlely. It was cooked to a medium (as the waiter suggested). It’s hard to explain why this place is so great, but I cannot wait to return.
We obviously ate other places, but these were the highlights.
We also took a food tour: http://parisbymouth.com/paris-food-ta...
I post on CH a bit, so hope I don’t look biased. We took the Marais food tour and it was well worth the money. We went places I never would’ve gone and I learned a lot about the markets (i.e. AOC of chickens)
Thanks for all the great suggestions. I already miss Paris.