Recent trip to Paris

On our recent trip to Paris we had more rain than I would have liked, but we saw some great exhibitions (Leonardo, El Greco, Toulouse Lautrec, Alana) and had a lot of great meals. There were also some disappointments.

Our favorite places were Alliance, Montée, Virtus, and Istr. Alliance is within walking distance of the hotel we stay in, but that is not the only reason we like it. The food is terrific and the service is accomodating. They offer a five-course tasting menu and an eight-course menu along with à la carte dishes. We did not want too many dishes but I said I wanted the caviar, the foie gras, and the scallops, so they concocted a four-course menu for the two of us, with a different first course for my wife and myself. There were three or four excellent amuse-bouches. Everything was fantastic. Alliance is now my favorite restaurant in Paris.

Montée was also excellent, if not quite so varied as Alliance. But at Montée there is, I believe, one man in the kitchen while Alliance has a team. In any case, Montée was so careful of my slight lactose intolerance that I even ate the desserts. Just so as not to insult them.

We had lunch at Virtus with friends. We all enjoyed it. Anne-Sophie Pic was sitting at the next table. I had no idea who she was, but our friends recognized her.

We at at Istr with the same friends. And here, @naf, for the very first time in France, I had oysters that were separated from the bottom shell. We also had excellent scallops and fish. They even turned down the music for us.

We were looking for a very simple lunch on a Sunday, so we went into Miramar. They appeared to be full, though I cannot be sure. No one greeted us. No one looked at us. No one said a word to us. After about three minutes we left and went to the nearby Pho 5, where we had a very good simple lunch with extremely pleasant service.

We were also very impressed with Sadarnac. The cooking was very inventive, even though all four of us thought that one dish, foie gras with radishes I think, didn’t really work.

The slight disappointments were Solstice, Cézembre, and L’Arcane. At Solstice my wife and I paid as much for the two of us as four of us paid at Sadarnac. And the food, although good, was not as interesting as it should have been. The two of us split a pasta main as a first course. It was excellent. Then I had scallops, but they came in a sauce that was much too similar to the sauce that was on the pasta. That was also the problem at Cézembre. Everything was good, but too similar.

I was looking forward to L’Arcane above everything else. They have moved across the street to a larger location, and the room is large and somewhat cold. It seemed to take hours between courses. And I also had a scallop dish here. Well, after having really excellent scallops at Istr, Montée, Solstice, these were just mediocre. A disappointment. L’Arcane has opened a wine bar at their original location. We’ll probably try it the next time.

Two more excellent small, modest Chinese meals were at Tricotin and Délices de Shandong. We went to the latter for lunch last year, and it was full to the seams. This year we went in the evening. It was half empty, they were glad to see us, and the food was still excellent.


LOL! We ate with Éric Fréchon at the next table once. He was surrounded by women and was very much in heaven. When the chef of the restaurant talked to him asking him the opinion of a dish, he didn’t feel want to reply. :heart_eyes::crazy_face:

Glad to know that. It’s always amazing to know how the couple team at Montée can manage the restaurant, they must be very organised.

Too bad, I guess they are adapting to the new environment. They have hired a lot of people from what I read on their new website.

How do you like Tricotin? What did you eat? From my vague memory, I didn’t find it special or particularly good. Maybe need to return one day to update myself.

It can be a problem when you eat in a short period of time in many restaurants that based their menu on what the season offers.

Did you came across a lot of mushroom dishes this year?

May I ask if you recall which restaurants did you go on the day of ‘gilets jaunes’?

As far as Tricotin is concerned, I never remember what Métro stop to take when we go to the 13th Chinatown. I guess we took Avenue de Choisy. We were walking down the street, there was Tricotin, so we went in. We had had Chinese roast meats in Boston and in Manhattan in October, and we didn’t want a big meal because we had a restaurant date with friends in the evening, so I ordered roast meats and rice. It was better than what we had in Boston, almost as good as in Manhattan. For a simple meal, utterly satisfiying.

The gilets jaunes were most active on Saturday the 16th and Sunday the 17th. On Saturday we went to the Toulouse Lautrec exhibition in the Grand Palais. Here the ‘gilets’ ‘jauned up’ our day. A lot of Métro stations were closed, so we had to walk and take taxis and walk to finally get to the Grand Palais. Eating wasn’t a problem, since we had lunch at Bar â Iode and dinner at Solstice, both in the 5th, where we stay. Sunday wasn’t a problem either, lunch at Huitrerie Régis and dinner at Le Petit Pontoise, both within walking distance of our hotel.

And yes, we did have mushroom dishes. There was one at Alliance, and also at Solstice. Problem was, at Solistice the mushrooms came in the same butter sauce as the pasta and the scallops.


Yay!!! I have flights booked for Fall 2020!

Thanks for the detailed review. I wish there were more good ways to reinforce this behavior!


Well, I can highly recommend Alliance (very expensive), Montée (expensive), Virtus and Istr.

Hope next year’s weather is better. Rains non stop and freezing this autumn.


I’m sure in 10 year’s time, you will forget what you have eaten this year but not the spiced up Parisian smokey streets.

Thank you!

We didn’t run into any smoke, but lots of streets were blocked off. The police were very friendly, and told us which way to go. Once we got close to the Grand Palais, they asked us why we wanted to go through. We showed them our tickets for Toulouse Lautrec, and they waved us through.

No fire, tear gas, or looted shops? You missed the best part.

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Thank God!

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I was caught smack in the middle of it a couple months ago. My uber driver drove right into the middle of a group Gilets jaunes with tear gas canisters going off left and right … a bit too much excitement for me that time.


we loved Huitrerie Regis. my last trip to Paris in 2016, and I probably won’t get there again until 2021 or 2022! :cry: have other trips planned. but i live vicariously through anyone who goes! thanks for the report.

6 posts were split to a new topic: [French Food] Fish conserves

Did you taste any of the cans yet?

We’ll try one tomorrow.

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Just reserved Virtus for a dinner in a few weeks time. The government might announce the closure of the restaurants in Paris due to COVID starting next Monday. So we will wait and see.

The top choice for the meal was MoSuke, unfortunately it was fully booked until January. Next choice was Qui plume la lune, but one has to chose the menu when reserving the place and they have too many choices, H feels a bit too fuzzy and complicated and rejected the place. LOL.

Good luck!

Are you planning the trip this year?

BTW, which one do you like more, Alliance or Virtus? I completely forget about it until I re-read this thread again.

Your favourite Montée has lost its star this year.