5 Days in Paris Trip Report

This was a last-minute trip, thanks to a business trip to London. I almost missed my first meal in Paris due to a Eurostar delay, but thankfully arrived at Les Arlots with plenty of time to spare. We tried to make a 1:30 reservation, but they wanted us to come in at 1:45. I only mention this because service felt rushed. I get that it was the tail end of lunch service, but maybe don’t accept reservations that late then. Anyway, the food was good - smoked duck entrée and a merlan plat with radicchio and romanesco. Very light, delicate and plenty of vegetables, which I love. We were in the corner by the kitchen, but the main room was very buzzy.

Oyster happy hour at Istr, 6:00-7:00. We really liked this place and would definitely go back for a full meal. We were the only people at the bar during the entire happy hour. Fine de claire number 5, I believe, and they were delicious. Both our server and maitre d’ were super friendly and personable.

Lunch at Flocon. I loved the space, the casual yet professional service, and the food. Like sfcarole, except at lunchtime, only two other tables were occupied while we were there from 1:00-3:00 or so. My smoked trout appetizer was just OK, but my husband‘s tête de veau was outstanding. The porc mignon plat was flavorful and cooked beautifully - and the veggies (especially the carrots with coffee-wow!) were stars. Despite a so-so entrée, I would go back.

Lunch at l’Entracte in the 20th. We typically don’t eat two restaurant meals in one day but we were meandering in Belleville, it was spritzing, and we were hungry so ended up at this small neighborhood bistrot. Just plats for lunch - chicken roulade with loads of expertly-cooked autumn vegetables for me; and a fish dish with a creamy shrimp and mushroom sauce for my husband. Very enjoyable. Lots of regulars here, and several tables of families of all sizes. The woman who appeared to be running it was all business, which I appreciate - it was very busy - but did chat with us for a bit at the end of service. It’s not a place to cross town for, but if Père Lachaise is on your agenda, pourquoi pas?

Dinner at a.léa. Another hit. Very busy on a Saturday night; lots of laughter; everyone having a good time including the host and servers. Lamb sweetbreads with mushrooms to start, and the vegetarian plat of butternut squash tourte. Very good, great service. Another go-back-to place.

Sunday lunch at Chantoiseau. If I had to rank solely on food, this would be the winner of the trip because both courses (and extras) were spot on for me. Velouté of potiron to start, then a very flavorful venison chop with the perfect amount of gaminess. It’s on the pricey side, but we did get 2 amuse bouches and mignardises. I really liked the staff here, all pictured on the web link - very upbeat, eager to tell you about the ingredients and dishes, and they just seem to genuinely like what they do. Definitely some regulars in here as well. The room is light and airy, with lots of space between tables.

We stayed in the 11th on this trip and got takeout from Epicerie La Lotta one night. Good lasagna and meatball sandwich, and a somewhat surly proprietor thrown in for good measure. I had just arrived that day, and it takes a good 24 hours for my French to come back so I get it.

Everything we got from our local bakery, Aux 2 Anges, was delicious. They make this wonderful corn bread that is nothing like an American-style cornbread. Great toasted the next day, too. Nice people. I think we went there 5 times over 5 days. We also took advantage of basically falling out our door and being at the Bastille market and cooked some mackerel filets and roasted veggies one night.

I am a little rusty writing trip reports (I normally blog - it’s different!) so excuse my lack of creativity. As always, there’s never enough time in Paris, but since we hadn’t had a trip planned this year, it just felt extra special. And boy, did we eat well. Thanks to all who contribute to Hungry Onion!


Hi VaPaula, thanks for this lovely report. Obviously, you did very well! (I remember similarly enjoyable reports by you on CH, and it’s good to see you here.)


Thanks Jake - same to you on my end. I always say I could never be a restaurant critic because I like too many things and am super easy to please. But there really wasn’t a clunker in the bunch.

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The walk up the hill is good too.

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Good to see tastytravails back here, too.

This is a very off topic response. I remember your posts on Chowhound about Cervos on Canal Street. So my wife and I ate there on our trip to Manhattan last September. Well, the food was good, and the prices are not too high, but the seating is excruciatingly uncomfortable and the noise level was the worst I ever encountered in a restaurant. Won’t be going back.

Yes! You can almost feel the tourists dropping off as you head up that hill. Nice to see you here mitchleeny.

Chantoiseau was one of our favorites too, so will be going back this fall. We loved that the menu wasn’t the same dishes we saw everywhere else. My entree of calf brains with jalapeno sauce was outstanding, as was the venison chop. And the staff couldn’t have been nicer or more sincere.

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