[Paris] Late September Trip

Hello all - my wife and I are heading to Paris later this month to celebrate our wedding anniversary. We’ll be there Wed - Sun so looking to set dinner and lunch plans. More info: just the two of us, no dietary restrictions, affordability not really an issue. I know we’re close to the date but hopefully I can lean on the concierge (Ritz) to help us lock certain things down.

In prior trips we visited places like Verjus, L’Avant Comptoir, Robert et Louise, Grand Colbert, Chez Julien, Le Violon, Compagnie des Vins Surnaturels, and others I’m sadly forgetting.

Definitely looking for at least one fine dining / tasting menu experience (Le Clarence?), as well as some classic options (L’Ami Louis?) / bistros, etc that would work for lunch or dinner.

After some (admittedly not enough) searching around on this site…some ideas:
Granite, Frenchie, Paul Bert, Le Clarence, Le Cinq, L’Ami Louis, Brasserie Dubillot, Pouliche, Juveniles

A huge thank you in advance for your feedback and any suggestions!

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Call me old school, but I love the classics. I love going to L’ami Louis, Au Pie de Cochon and Chez Denise in Paris. We had a mind blowing meal at Verjus the last time we were in Paris. I am a journeyman home chef, and I think my participation here and in CH attests to my interests in food. I look at it this way…when I travel, especially outside of the US, I dont go to McDonalds for comfort food, and I dont expect to have epic meals every evening…but I do want good solid local foods of the cuisine of the country I am visiting. The places I mentioned meet that criteria. I dont want to sound dogmatic however…and I have to laugh at myself here as I write…I’ve had GREAT Japanese and Vietnamese cuisine in Paris as well.

Oh…and please let me add, Happy Anniversary and enjoy your drip!

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Thank you very much for your suggestions and for the well wishes on our anniversary! Au Pied de Cochon looks like an excellent addition to our schedule

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I did order the pig trotter at Au Pied de Cochon…much to the consternation of the waiter who thought i was freakin crazy…I loved it and ate the whole thing…

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I must immediately declare a very strong dislike for l’Ami Louis. I haven’t eaten there (and never as my own choice) for years and found it grossly overpriced and unenjoyable. While eating the vaunted chicken and fending off the servers pretending to be archetypical French waiters for the tourists, I frequently thought “why, oh why am I here “…. My grandmother’s roast chicken is sooooo much better—and free, not 100€. Even take-out chicken from Stévenot is better”. The local tom-toms remain negative and give me no indication that it has changed for the better. Difficult to categorize the place other than an exorbitantly priced tourist trap.

For upmarket trad for lunch or dinner, I suggest having a look at Chez Monsieur (lots of suits having business lunches, more mixed and buzzy for dinner) in the 8th near La Madeleine and a 500-metre/ 7- to 10-min walk from the Ritz. Or, for lunch Mon to Fr and dinner Tue only (don’t ask why), the very under-the-radar (at least for tourists) Le Griffonier on rue Saussaies just around the corner from the Palais de l’Elysée (residence of the French president) and a favourite lunch spot for the fleshier sort of politicians, bankers and lobbyists obviously relishing the excellent time-warp cuisine bourgeoise … a very “confidentiel” place and not even a website. Even though I usually try to avoid trad cuisine for lunch, I’ve had quite a few very enjoyable expense-account meals here. But I’m not sure how English-speaking tourists would fare in such a non-touristy and authentically parisian resto.

Not my style but I can imagine that some tourists could be delighted by l’Epi d’Or on rue Jean-Jacques Rousseau or La Poule au Pot in Les Halles… both are venerable institutions re-vamped and re-polished under the aegis of Michelin-starred chef Jean-François Piège. For a better price/ quality ratio, I like, inter alia, Aux Crus de Bourgogne on rue Bachaumont in the 2nd, Auberge Bressane in the 7th, Chez Denise in Les Halles, and La Rotonde Montparnasse.

On the theme of venerability, I’d also consider Le Grand Véfour in the Palais Royal. The chef has given away his Michelin stars and opted for a less rarified (but still very creative) and expensive menu (“just” 58€ for a prix fixe 3-course lunch or dinner, and less than a 100€ for 3 or 4 courses à la carte compared to 300+€ when it was a Michelin 2-star a few years ago… for the history, setting, quality of the modern French cuisine, and spirits of Colette and Cocteau whispering in your ear, a bargain.

Although I only know it at 3am (it’s open daily from 8am to 5am) for post-clubbing noshing, I imagine Au Pied de Cochon is a very good touristic experience. Lovely re-polished historic interior, a large menu and lots of trad choices. The oysters and shellfish are excellent. The other items on the menu are more hit and miss but there are some very good offal dishes (I especially like the platter of breaded pig’s tail, snout, ear, and trotters with sauce béarnaise).

Oops. Running out of time. A few quickie remarks about the others on your list.
Granite, yes yes yes! A perfect example of very creative modern French that will probably come as quite a relief from all the heavy trad that seems to dominate your list. Frenchie, more of a restaurant for tourists than us Parisians and no recent experience. But at least, it’s not trad and will offer some of the much needed variety. Paul Bert , again no recent experience but have never been a big fan. It’s guidebook cred ensures that most of the clientele is non-Parisian. Le Clarence, another yes yes yes! A great resto for an anniversary celebration… a Michelin 2-star that is better than many 3-stars. Le Cinq, no recent experience but if you insist on a 3-star, I suggest Guy Savoy instead. Brasserie Dubillot, Pouliche, Juveniles all get an enthusiastic thumbs up for either the food (Pouliche/ modern French) or the very parisian vibe.


If you go to Guy Savoy, I strongly recommend dinner over the lunch, and would definitely avoid the “bargain” lunch.

I say this as someone who doesn’t go to 3-stars often but has been to Guy Savoy multiple times over the years at dinner (all wonderful) and once at lunch (not wonderful), and who went to Le Cinq for the “bargain” lunch a few years ago (loved it) and is planning to take my wife to Le Clarence (per Parn’s suggestion) at lunch on her birthday next month.