Paris: any red flags?

Hello, we will be visiting Paris (fingers crossed and all), and while there we will be catching up with a few friends who have not been to France before and are neither very foodie adventurous nor very high end budget, though they do appreciate good food and are willing to pay some money for it.
I have promised to take them to a few nice places where they can sample some real French food. I am well aware that for every choice like this there are 10 equally good or maybe better, so really just want to check if there is any red flags in my list because the half life of information in this area is not long and I may have missed something obvious. Thanks in advance.

Auberge Bressane
L’Os a Moelle (it is five minutes from our place)
La Bourse et La Vie
Le Clarence (Lunch set menu as the splurge)
Caractere de Cochon
Septime La Cave (or La Cave des Climats)
Bidoche (or Les Provinces)


Absolutely no stinkers. Well done.

Septime La Cave and La Cave des Climats are more rarefied sorts of wine-bar and, for me, not much fun.

Of the boucheries à manger, it just comes down to the ambiance and location most suited for you. Les Provinces is one-size-fits-all, in the very vibrant Aligre quartier (which includes a market street, a morning outdoor street market, an all-day covered market), and best for lunch. Bidoche is in the very hip Oberkampf quartier, a bit subdued during the day, but very active at night and so better for dinner.


thank you very much for this!

I hear you also re the wine bars. Truth is I want to try some high end red burgundies, and the choices reflect that (specially les climats). My companions may suffer for it…I am very open to (and would be thankful for a reco on) anywhere less stuffy where I could still have good options in that range.

If you want to try high end Burgundies (or just Burgundies), definitely La Cave des Climats. Septime La Cave is going to be all natural and very little Burgundy.


Thank you, you are right of course about Septime’s cave’s natural bent, I don’t know what I was thinking!

Just seeing your response about burgundies and natural wines, I’ll say that Les Provinces has a wider selection of wines. The trendier Bidoche’s wine list is much more limited and mostly, if not all, natural wines (if I remember correctly).

I’m not a wine geek and usually just drink what the waiter recommends. But onz is in the wine trade and his knowledge of burgundies is superb. I hope he will give more recommendations for exploring the world of burgundies in Paris. Onzieme, your cue !

Been to l’Os à moelle several times under Thierry Faucher and once under Stéphane Schmidt, personally, very glad of Faucher’s return, he was my one of my favourite bistronomy chef in 2005-2010. Schmidt’s cooking was good but more classic. I haven’t visited the place since a long time. Please let me know your opinion.

You can get some pastries from Panade, not far from where you live

Both my visits:

Yes please!

Thank you, will do, and I was not really aware of Panade

Burgundy is in a funny place right now. It used to be that only those really passionate wanted it, and so Paris was a Bordeaux-based city in the restaurants except for the luxury restaurants, which carried the most prestigious bottles. Now there is unprecedented worldwide demand for Burgundy and there have been some very small (quantity-wise) harvests, and so prices are going through the roof. But at least you’ll find Burgundy on almost all restaurant lists, and at prices that are amazingly good compared to, say London or NYC, FWIW.

In addition to Les Climats, I would suggest favorites of Parn and mine, Aux Crus de Bourgogne, Auberge Bressanne, Aux Bons Crus, and Les Marches. They’re all under the same ownership and have similar concepts and quite a bit of overlap in their excellently-chosen wine lists. Aux Crus de Bourgogne will give you the widest choice of Burgundy followed by Auberge de Bressanne, then the other two. I’ve never been to Les 110 de Taillevent, but I imagine you can get a good selection there – at a price.

Given the current state of Burgundy, a little advice: global warming is having a strong effect in Burgundy as it is in vineyards everywhere. As a result, vineyards that traditionally are less-favored because of their cold climates are now coming into their own. This is particularly true in the very hot 2018-2019-2020 vintages, which are mostly what are on restaurant wine lists these days. It’s worth your while to find Bourgogne, and particularly Bourgogne Hautes Côtes de Nuits and Hautes Côtes de Beaune and wines from the Côte Chalonnaise from good producers – both colors. I’ve been enjoying a lot of them. Also, some amazingly fine wines are coming from the Mâconnais these days.

If you want to see what classic red and white Burgundy is like, 2017 is what you have to seek out. The wines have not shut down (Burgundy often “goes to sleep” after three years and may not wake up until 15, even 20, years after the vintage) and are drinking beautifully right now with all the freshness and precision that one often loses in 2018-19-20 at the expense of the voluptuous fruit. Alas, though, 2017s are rapidly disappearing from the wine lists. But above all, remember the most important rule of Burgundy: producer, producer, producer. A modest wine from a good producer (and just because you haven’t heard of a producer doesn’t mean that s/he isn’t good) is almost assuredly better than a grand appellation from a mediocre producer.

Also, before you accept a wine, check the stated alcohol – I do not like 14% and would refuse any Burgundy with a stated alcohol in excess of 14% (and there are many in 2018-19-20).

Finally, make sure that you drink the wines at cellar temperature 13-15ºC, 55-60ºF – often the reds, especially, are served too warm. If you get a wine that is too warm, don’t hesitate to ask for a bucket (“un sceau” in French, pronounced pretty much like the English word “so”) to cool the bottle off (doesn’t do you much good if it’s a wine by the glass).


This is excellent and illuminating advice. Regarding the last: asking for a bucket might sometimes raise the server’s eyebrow. Even if so, persist. Red that is too warm is an unpleasant experience, and a waste of wine euros.

This should be pinned. Thanks, O.

More than I hoped for when starting the thread. Happy we took the turn towards Burgundy. Thank you!

Wow ! Well done. As expected.

@Shekamoo. For your splurge lunch at Le Clarence, the somm is almost as knowledgeable about French wines as onz is about burgundies While the impressive wine list makes good and sometimes jaw-dropping reading, put yourselves in the hands of the somm. Hint: by the glass but specify a budget ceiling. One of their own label wines (Chateau Haut Brion) goes for 380€ a glass. Gulp.

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Yes we will do exactly that!

Hi, I was checking out the menu for La Bourse et La Vie and saw that for the next couple months they are serving a special Ukrainian menu, if that interests anyone. Portions of the proceeds will go to support Ukrainian war victims.