Thoughts on my Paris dining schedule?

I’ll be visiting Paris for what is now an annual trip. Last time we were in town, we had dinners at Grand Coeur (not impressed), Pierre Sang in Oberkampf (very good but will not return), Gare au Gorille (loved it) and A Noste (completely forgettable). We had lunch at Les Climats which was excellent and we will be returning this trip to start a tradition.

This time, I have dinners at Tomy and Co (ex Pirouette chef), Aspic, and Fulgurances (though we’ll be here after the current chef leaves and I’m wondering if that’ll be worth a gamble). Lunches are reserved at Mazenay, Le Bon Saint Pourcain (for bistro food) and Les Climats.

I felt like this allows us to eat in various areas.

Some places that have interested me are Clown Bar but the small menu, the tourists and the pics of the brains in ponzu do not appeal to me. Montee looks excellent as does Alliance. Abri looks good but is it impossible to get a reservation there? Is Le Servan still good or has their moment passed? Is the new Le 6 Paul Bert a must or more hype?

We’re from NYC and are in our mid 30s…we like a lively crowd at dinner and prefer to avoid the places that pop up in the NY Times that every American visits.

Thanks for your help.

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I know what you mean about the NYT. For what it’s worth, I heard not a word of English at Montée and Alliance, except for what we tried when we didn’t have the French vocabulary. Reports on Tomy’s replacement at Pirouette are also good. I decided to pass on the new Le 6, in part because they don’t serve lunch any longer. I considered Le Servan (we had been in 2014) but couldn’t really fit it in (same for Tomy & Co); I couldn’t find anything recently negative about it.

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Of the restaurants you mention that I have been to:

Pierre Sang on Oberkampf: I’ve always liked a lot, although I think Gambey is better.

Gare au Gorille: excellent; haven’t been since spring 2015.

Les Climats: very good; haven’t been since last spring.

Aspic: I had some problems a few weeks ago (rubbery poulpe, lieu jaune that was too dry), although others with me apparently did not and loved it.

Le Mazenay: Go!

Montée: Go!

l’Alliance: One of my very faves in the whole city, and going again for lunch on Valentine’s Day.

Le Servan: Haven’t been in about a year (so many choices!), but has always been excellent. I expect to be back in the next several weeks.

In short, lots of excellent possibilities – very good selection on your part.


I love my meals at Pirouette, many good reviews of Tomy et Co. @Plragde is right about the new chef at Pirouette, good criticism in the French press.

While I like Aspic: the price value is incredible, I think at times the plates lacked of focus, I got the feeling a lot of ingredients were tossed together and got a bit lost. And there was a bit too much repetition of the same ingredients in each plate. I think this is more a problem of a young chef.

Montée, will be eating this week-end, will post back. I tried to google it up online, not much French press yet.

Looking at your choices, I recommended Quinsou - opened in Sep or October 2016, we had an excellent meal there, you can see the review here. If you like Clown Bar, I would recommend you try Saturne, much more refined, I had an excellent birthday meal last year. Or maybe AT, a bit different from most of your choices and more experimental (review here).

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Just curious, are you living in the onzième ?

Half the year.

[quote=“naf, post:4, topic:8271”]
If you like Clown Bar, I would recommend you try Saturne, much more refined, I had an excellent birthday meal last year.
[/quote]I guess I overlooked Clown Bar; for me it’s good, but not truly exciting the last couple of times I’ve been. As for Saturne, I had a marvelous meal there three years ago, then a mediocre at best one 2-1/2 years ago, and then a disastrous one last year with a friend who is an internationally-famous chef and wanted to go (he now agrees that it’s a permanent no-go).

I also overlooked l’Abri. I had no problem getting in for lunch by phoning a few days in advance last spring. And by 1.15, people could have walked in from the street and gotten a table. Definitely worth the effort to go – it was very impressive.

Yes, avoid Clown Bar, it’s terrible, touristy and those brains eugh !

(actually I really like it but it certainly doesn’t seem to need more business :slight_smile:

Céline Pham will be the next chef that starts on 8 march. More here:

If you are around in early March, maybe the event Omnivore Paris will interest you.

i saw that…it turns out we’ll be there on her first night. good idea?

since all the other chefs have been received well, i think ill go.

I think Fulgurances chooses chefs with a strong personal style, you won’t be left indifferent. If you like Vietnamese cooking, you won’t be disappointed.

well, looks like montee is closed for a month for renovations…shame ill have to miss it.

looks like ill have to squeeze in alliance for lunch.

I talked to the chef today, unfortunately this is the case. Montée will be closing for a month starting from end of Feb. Chef said he needs to enlarge the kitchen.

well, with a lot of maneuvering, looks like my dining schedule is set and im very excited. thanks to everyone for their input.

mon dinner - le grand bains (small plates-ish, new-ish, hip-ish)
tue lunch - le mazenay
tue dinner - abri or aspic (depends on if i get into abri…japanese-ish)
wed lunch - alliance
wed dinner - tomy and co
thur lunch - fulgurances (with new chef)

i think i cover a lot of bases here…

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Yup a range of different choices, I heard a lot of interesting stuff about Abri, especially from Le Fooding.

Always get mixed up Le grand bains and Les Bains, which is also a newish place, very stylish in the 3e. All these “Bains”, they should stop taking bath now and get to cook, getting confused!

Let us know your feedback of all those places. :smiley:

We usually stay in the 2e, here is a list of some places that we have tried.

They are mostly bistro/brasseries with good food, have reasonably quick service if you need to get somewhere, and won’t break the bank.

Some are really good, I really recommend Le Chenin & Frenchie:

  1. Le Chenin, 33 Rue le Peletier

  2. Frenchie, 5 Rue du Nil

  1. Le Mesturet, 77 avenue Richlieu
  1. Le Petit Colbert, 8 Rue Monsigny (little brother of Grand Colbert)

  1. Habemus, 13 Rue Monsigny (bistro)

  1. Cafe Dalayrac, 2 Rue Dalayrac (simple brasserie, but good basic food, they have a decent confit)

  1. La Bourse et la Vie, 12 Rue Vivienne (decent steak frites)

  1. Guibine, 44 Rue Sainte-Anne (good Korean bbq)

  2. Kintaro, 24 Rue Saint-Augustin (ramen shop, very busy at lunch)

  1. Aki , 11bis Rue Sainte-Anne

For some reason there is a fair amount of acceptable, if not very good, Japanese food in the 2e. The last three places were all very good, we actually found Kintaro because there was a huge line at lunch.

Most of these places are also convenient to the Louvre, the theatres (Opera Bouffes, Comedie Francaise, Olympia, Garnier, Edouard VII), and shopping (Galleries Lafayette, rue de Rivoli, Vendome) if you are visiting any of these.

In the 2e I also like Cafe de le Paix for a coffee and dessert or drink and snack (interior is worth it alone, but food is only average and expensive). We also like la Fontaine Gaillon, a Paris institution with another great interior, and a good 55 euro fixed price lunch.

I’m also pretty sure that none of these places, with the possible exception of Frenchie, are on the NY Times/Bourdain map of Paris.

From your list, you must like hearty good bistrot food.

I have been to Aki, lines queuing from their basement till the street level at meal times for their very good Okonomiyaki - Japanese omelette.

As for Guibine, I think I had a meal with my brother when he was visiting me in Paris when he was working in London. I don’t recall much of the meal it was like 14 years ago.

I don’t know Kintaro, I will give it a try next time when I’m craving for Japanese food. Thanks.

thx gangrene.

your list of japanese places made me want to post eater’s list from a few months ago…

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