Ninkat, Thanks so much for the Barcelona recs. We will in Barcelona (El Born neighborhood) for two weeks, beginning of October before heading up to Paris for a month. I bookmarked three of your places, and will definitely try them. We’ve been to a couple you mentioned (Bar del Pal and Bar Canete) during previous stays, and can likewise recommend these.
Oops. Late to the party thanks to my summer hols.
Very well-balanced. Bravo.
I’ll make sacrifices to the gods to make sure you have cool weather for your old geezer’s meal at Joséphine Chez Dumonet. And I’ll add a gratuitous observation for others: Joséphine’s street, rue Cherche Midi, is the best restaurant street in the 6th and perfect for visitors who want to play usually very risky restaurant roulette, wandering around and looking for a restaurant that looks good. Wine-centric Sauvage and veggie-centric Anicia (and, surprisingly, one of the best bouillabaisses in Paris) for modern French; Cantine du Troquet Cherche-Midi, Joséphine Chez Dumonet, and Le Petit Verdot for trad; Mamie Gâteaux salon de thé for a light lunch or afternoon tea; Crying Tiger for way above average Thai; Garçon ! for an eclectic and mostly modern menu (that includes one of the best versions of a croque monsieur that I’ve ever had) and a trendy clientele.
More useless observations. I used to loathe the once rather joyless Huîtrerie Régis but a change of ownership a few years ago has massively enlivened it and widened the menu. But still a quandary because I also like the similar Seulement Sea just a few minutes away on rue Lobineau… the choice usually depends on whether I am in the mood for lots of tourists at Régis or running into people I know at Seulement Sea. But not a quandary for you because Seulement Sea is closed on Monday.
Chez Alain Miam Miam. The lunchtime queues at both the stand in the Marché des Enfants Rouges and the sandwich shop around the corner on rue Charlot can be enormous. An hour or more wait is not uncommon but less common on Tue or Wed. Even so, best to arrive early (i.e. 11:30am) or late (2pm). But it’s easy to improvise on the rue Bretagne (which the food writers at Le Figaro once described as the “le nouveau Pays de Cocagne”/ the new land of plenty) and surrounding area. Not only the other deli counters (like Mmmozza for paninis and antipasta plates) and mini-restos in the Marche des Enfants Rouges but also Caractère de Cochon on rue Charlot @ r. Bretagne for very superior ham sandwiches, Maison Verot for a slice of award-winning pâté en croûte or lots of other takeout items for a little bench picnic in the nearby Square du Temple (great little park), or sit-down crêpes at Crêperie Gigi on rue Corderie (and an opportunity to explore the world of crepes beyond Breizh Café). And, for me, an obligatory afternoon “pause” in Bontemps pâtisserie/ salon de thé is a joy.
Since I’m a before-and-after kind of guy, I’d change dinner for lunch at Chez Michel or its sibling, the equally good Chez Casimir. The immediate neighbourhood is not exactly sparkling at night when the cast of louche characters that congregate around the Gare du Nord spread out.
Indra Cabrillo at Le Condesa is one of my more passionate chef crushes. Many Michelin-starred restaurants can be joyless and reverential but Cabrillo’s talent, charm, and personality makes Le Condessa a joy. And speaking of crushes, a strong recommendation for adding Amandine Chaignot’s Pouliche (which means filly in polite French and “babe” in slang). Very talented and a master of improvisation. Indeed the menu at Pouliche changes daily depending on what’s best at the market that day. Not a conventional menu but a sort of mini-tasting menu for the starters and then a limited choice of mains but she will take into account your wife’s no-no’s if you specify them when booking.
For your week in the 11th, also consider Le Collier de la Reine on rue Charlot in the Haut Marais/ upper 3rd. Excellent oysters and fruits de mer (as well as other items on the menu for your wife), buzzy vibe, trendy décor. But they can be a bit pushy in turning over tables so better to dine no earlier than 8:30pm—and the later, the better-- if you want a leisurely meal. Lots of possibilities for a before or an after in the neighbourhood. It’s challenging my allegiance to Istr.
Unless you are intimidated by hipness, you should also consider Le Grand Bain on street-art paradise rue Denoyez in Belleville just a short walk from Parmentier has a stunningly good price/ quality ratio. Other suggestions for less “significant” but enjoyable noshing to add more variety to your eating experience in or near the 11th, Marchon on rue Saint-Maur, neighbourhood hangout Café du Coin on rue Camille Desmoulins, the very new Brasserie Martin (a sibling of the also very good Brasserie Duvivier in the 2nd and Brasserie Bellanger in the 9th) on rue Saint-Ambroise for honest, well-priced, and “fait maison”/ made-from-scratch trad brasserie fare and a very enjoyable buzz.
Sorry for long-winded post. I’m bored waiting for a flight at Pisa airport.
It’s Indra Carrillo Perea, not Cabrillo.
Thanks so much! Very helpful, as always. Plenty to look into. And speaking only for myself, from you, the longer the better.
FWIW I’ve only been to Huitrerie Regis at lunchtime when it was sunny. I don’t think I’d enjoy that room at dinner time. Glad to hear there’s more variety now.
Will try to swap out 2nd Breizh stop for Gigi, and something for Pouliche.
Q: If we do make it to one of the “new” qualité-prix brasseries, sounds like you recommend Brasserie Martin over Bouillon Republique, yes?
Bouillon République… I haven’t been since last winter (it’s definitely not a summer restaurant). It used to be a no-rezzie place and always a queue at peak hours but I see that it now offers reservations for a first and second seating for dinner. The very trad cuisine is good and amazingly cheap for the quality but a lot depends on what’s on the autumn menu (not yet published). The choucroute garni (not on the menu in summer) is the main draw.
Because it’s new, Brasserie Martin is trying hard to put its best foot forward and mostly succeeds. Like its siblings, there is a certain sparkle and “joie” that is hard to find these days. Foodwise, nothing life-changing. But this type of brasserie fare is not meant to be. Again, it will depend on the autumn menu.
Both are well located for a before or after. The Haut Marais in the case of Bouillon République and the Square Gardette area in the case of Brasserie Martin.
Final conclusion: flip a coin.
Well, that settles it then. Part of why I don’t seek out more trad French cuisine is that I usually visit France in late spring, summer (trying to avoid now) or early fall.
So unless it’s unseasonably cold in early October, I’ll likely pass on them both.
Of course since we’re in the midst of a heat wave here in NorCal, and I just moved to a rental without AC (which is not really that much of a problem here 9-10 months a year, or ~11 months if you’re in a single story house), I’m probably even more sensitive to this point at the moment…
We’re still in Paris on the first week of our trip. I will write up the entire trip (in pieces) - and have been taking notes - but was so smitten with Les Parisiens that I wrote it up separately:
Report on our lunch at Montée, with pictures, in the comment section of the Montée thread here:
We’ll, we did in fact have cool weather with a bit of rain for our dinner in late September at JCD, so thank you for your sacrifices - they worked!
The room was fine, and it was of course mostly/entirely tourists. The average age in the room was down a bit, and we brought it down a bit, even though we are now closer to that average than previously . I recognized two of the waitstaff, but most did not seem familiar.
Chez Dumonet has finally come into the 21st century - we were able to book online this time (maybe a consequence of the pandemic?), and they serve wine by the glass, but the half bottle of house red that went well with the beef bourguignon, was no longer on the menu.
The foie gras starter was fairly bland; I will not order it again. The beef bourguignon and the Grand Mariner soufflé were both very good, though perhaps not quite as good as at previous visits.
I’d still go, and still recommend it to someone, if craving beef bourguignon, but i was less a fan this time - despite the appreciated cool weather.
Back from our trip. Final food itinerary (with thanks to several HO-ers and especially to Parn):
Mon 9/19 Lunch: – Dinner: Jeanne-Aimée
Tues 9/20 Lunch: Montée Dinner: Huguette
Wed 9/21 Lunch: Breizh Café Dinner: Virtus
Thur 9/22 Lunch: Mordu Dinner: Pouliche
Fri 9/23 Lunch: Les Parisiens Dinner: Seulement Sea
Sat 9/24 Lunch: KGB Dinner: Liquide
Sun 9/25 Lunch: Toscanino (Italian sandwiches) Dinner: Le Relais de L’Entrecote
Mon 9/26 Lunch: Huitrerie Regis Dinner: Josephine Chez Dumonet
9/27 - 10/1 In Barcelona
Sat 9/27 Lunch: - Dinner: Enigma
Sat 9/28 Lunch: Gresca Bar Dinner: Dos Pebrots
Sat 9/29 Lunch: Quimet & Quimet Dinner: Compartir Barcelona
Sat 9/30 Lunch: El Quim de la Boqueria Dinner: L’Antic Bocoi del Gòtic
Sat 10/1 Lunch: Bar Cañete Dinner: Besta
10/2 back to Paris
Sun 10/2 Lunch: – Dinner: Pierre-Sang Oberkampf
Mon 10/3 Lunch: none Dinner: Granite
Tues 10/4 Lunch: Chez Alain Miam Miam Dinner: Origines
Wed 10/5 Lunch: none Dinner: Le Grand Bain
Thurs 10/6 Lunch: Le Clarence Dinner: Istr
Fri 10/7 Lunch: La Condesa Dinner: Canard & Champagne
Sat 10/8 Lunch: none Dinner: Les Parisiens
Sun 10/9 Lunch: Le Collier de la Reine Dinner: Automne
First part of the trip report here:
Part 5 (oysters):
Thank you for taking the time to report on this amazing itinerary!
First part of the Barcelona report:
Dear Pep who had retired a few years ago died last December.
For Barcelona restaurants, I would just be a stalker of Estufarian.
Dos Pebros. Very good food from one of the El Bulli spawns. And it is in a very charming corner of funky Raval. Perfectt for walking off a fantastic meal.
How great to hear from you! It’s been a while. I think that it was from your posts on Chowhound that we learned about Cal Pep in the first place.
I hope that both of you are well, and I hope to hear from you again.
Hi Parigi, how very lovely to see you here! I and those who know you look forward to your voice and enlightening contributions! And for those who don’t know you, they are in for a treat! Jake
Part 2 of the Barcelona report: