Where we ended up eating in Paris, March23

Since I am awake very, very early due to time differences back home, figured I would I
start this while the memories are still so fresh. First off, yes, yes, yes to all of you who warned about food fatigue and overdoing. I think in my exuberance about returning to Paris, I wanted to pack it all in. As the trip got closer, I kept reshuffling and after being in Paris, I continued modifying and axing places I did not expect to cancel. My attitude shifted to realizing, but of course I’ll be returning and there are always going to be wonderful choices.

What I loved about where we ended up dining was the huge range of experiences, not just in the food but also in neighborhoods, vibe, tone of the restaurants. Each felt different and I’d planned it that way.

We had hoped/planned to go to Nellu on our first night since it was very convenient to the apartment but the airlines and Heathrow had other plans for us with a canceled LHR to CDG flight. Weather, strikes, etc put us into Paris around 8pm and we were exhausted. Lesson learned for sure is that travel these days can be chaotic, frustrating and disappointing and plans are best viewed as tentative and hopeful not as definite or controllable.

Although BA booked us on flights to Paris (and different ones!!) on the next morning, a great BA counter agent worked hard on our behalf to get us out in the evening. That mattered since we had a lunch reservation at Montee the next day that we didn’t want to miss!

Lunch at Montee was delightful. Very small place in the 14th, husband chef and wife, charming and engaging, is front of house. We sat by the window, a single French man, young French couple and another middle aged French couple made it not full, but not too quiet either. It was a great walk over from our apartment, passing an outdoor gym type thing, Luxembourg Gardens, and very little English being spoken in the neighborhood.

Back to the food—-and will post pictures another time. It was the 6 course lunch menu and the highlights for me were the red mullet/mint/potato and the duck with lentil sprouts with the chef coming out to pour the sauce over the duck and explain the dish. Each course was a visual treat (as you will soon see) and the portions just the right size. We really liked Montee and the 60€ lunch was a real value. I would definitely go back.

Dinner at Istr was oysters, shrimp, and a seafood pasta dish for my daughter. Very different from Montee with a small bar in front, vibrant colors and feel. The white tablecloths and China replaced by English speaking friendly and relaxed waiters in jeans. Prices were fairly high and what can I say, I really like my Wellfleet, MA oysters better than the saltier French ones (no attacks please, just a personal preference!). Enjoyed it as well, and was such a contrast from Montee.

Lunch at Petrelle was the next day and a total winner. Again, different environment, a few English speaking couples, some French and some Asian. Lovely old fashioned feeling room, warm service, very nice menu where you could choose from 3 entrees, plats, desserts. I started with the oysters gratinees, then the Chou de Pontoise farci (stuffed cabbage) and the rhubarb Pavlova while my daughter had the white asparagus and the gnocchi with mussels and artichoke. All the dishes were beautifully presented and delicious and kind of a joke at 34€. Excellent quality and value.

In my quest for different neighborhoods and contrast, dinner that night was at a jam packed Dubillot, filled with families, groups, you name it. Unlike walking along the food streets of Rue Montorgueil or Rue des Martyrs, this was past the sex shops of Saint Dennis. Dubillot was fun, loud, and cheap. Enjoyed the remoulade, steak frites (either hanger or onglet but very good), daughter had onion soup and a salad. We Didn’t have the Paris Brest there as we had been sampling pastries earlier along the streets I mentioned! Two very different places for lunch and dinner and both great for what they were.

Alliance was lunch the next day. Loved it immediately. The staff makes you feel welcome the minute you step through the door (in spite of the mounds of trash/rubbish in front the place). Again, will post pictures since any description will not do justice to the presentations, especially the scallops and lamb. The room is not too large but every table was taken. A group of 4 French couples were next to us and seemed to be celebrating getting together—-sort of set the tone of the room. Happy, bright, a mix of French and English being spoken, the French drinking wine and the English drinking water (I had wine, my daughter water so we were a split). Again, a place I’d like to go back to on next visit to Paris.

In the spirit of, can any place be more difference from Alliance, we went to Jones for some a la carte dinner choices splitting pasta and salad. Store front kind of setting with tables, bar stools, open kitchen in back, young, casual. Reminded me of places in the Village years ago in NYC or early Brooklyn.

At this point in the trip, I did some hacking and much to my surprise, Granite was one of the hacked. Wanted to also do Qui de la Plume and did not. We had decided that due to the general strike on the 28th, we would not venture out for dinner (not necessary in hindsight but was what we felt comfortable with at the time). So, booked kgb for lunch, a place that I kept moving around reservation-wise and had considered on previous trips.

Lunch at kgb was a super winner for me, less so for my daughter although we both liked the restaurant a lot. We both enjoyed the Zor d’euvres and then you have a choice between plats, entrees, desserts for 39€. My daughter had the cod which she found bland but I had a sensational quail dish with chestnut mash and spinach. My Apple, buckwheat ice cream, tamarind dessert was also excellent. Everyone there was French, some men in business suits, business group of 10 in separate area, open bright, cheerful feeling. Enjoyed even more than anticipated so took the sting out of some of the places I cut out this trip. Dinner was back at apartment—-cheese, banquette, etc, that we had picked up earlier in our wandering.

Final day was walking around and grabbing sandwich for lunch since we were having tasting menu at Perception for dinner (see, I listen!!). We got there at 7:30 along with 2 young French guys but within 30 minutes place was full and we were only two of four patrons speaking English. Open kitchen in the back, high energy and, with a large table near us, things became borderline frenetic with waitstaff.
Started with very good and interesting amuse bouche that included radish dipped in black olive powder., then raw langoustine, slivers of white asparagus with smoked eel, a cabbage Mille feuille with fish, filet with roasted black garlic and two desserts. The entire meal was delicious.

So, except for food photos, that was it restaurant wise which was much of what this visit was built around, along with wandering, shopping and Degas/Manet at D’Orsay. So many places remain unsampled so I am left with no choice but to return. Figuring on December………


Thanks for the report back!

Thanks for the wonderful descriptive report. Going to google Jones and Alliance and put Istr back on my radar.

Istr not a do again for me nor is Jones but Alliance definitely is. No regrets about going to those places, enjoyed but simply loved Alliance.


Excellent to read this and waiting for the pictures :slight_smile: I have one more slot opened for a Saturday lunch, and i would have selected Alliance but it is closed, so Montee seems like fitting the bill at a very reasonable price of 60 before, wonder how you found both places and in comparison etc… Actually our lone “official plan” for that day is to do the Opera Garnier self tour, so maybe even Petrelle for an after lunch in the area is a great candidate… Too many options but i think giving that Alliance closed, Montee is the “next interesting” (or sourire in 13th)… If so quite starting to fall a bit towards the “too much tasting menus” zone, but i think we will survive it :slight_smile: Thanks again…

Oferi, you asked about the differences between Alliance and Montee. Montee is very small, very quiet, not somber exactly but rather hushed. Alliance has Shawn FOH and a lively, engaging staff. Both were real winners for us.

But, with where you are going to be with Garnier, why not Petrelle? You can do 2 vs 3 courses if you wish and not a longer tasting menu. We liked it very much. Not bright and modern decor like Montee or Alliance, more old fashioned.

Honestly, am returning in December now (6 days definitely was not enough!!) and would happily return to all three of these places. Hoping to get photos up today.

Hope you don’t mind me making this post a twofer…

I happened to be in Paris during the same week as @Kjtravels, and as it happened, my menu of restaurants was completely different. Still, I would have to say, that for me, the combination of restaurants (and one at home meal with friends) was just overall the most delicious and satisfying week of eating (and being in Paris) to me I think I have ever had. So, here’s my report:

Unlike my fellow traveler, my flight into Paris left on time and was uneventful (my nightmare flight into Europe was at Christmastime). I arrived early morning at Orly (I do love arriving at this airport), and was having my first coffee and catching up with news with my landlord/friend at Le Peloton by 10 a.m. The place was seriously jammed with assorted 20-somethings in a way that I hadn’t seen it in a long, long time. I said something about the crowd to Paul, one of the owners, and he shrugged to me and said, “It’s spring.” Yeah, I thought, spring coming after the first winter in a while, where we weren’t holding our collective breaths, hoping to avoid sickness and death. Yes, the city was still rocking with protest and strikes, but I began to understand the whole picture, garbage and all, as signs of life writ large.

My friend and I took the first of several walks around the neighborhood, and stores were still not open so “early” in this Friday Marais morning. I was reminded anew that Paris is a very different city than my native New York, and that mornings are quiet; streets clear of traffic during my 9 a.m. cab ride into town, and shops still closed mid-morning. I spent my days in Paris, walking, seeing some art, doing a little shopping, napping, and reading. I cannot eat more than one real meal a day, so sometimes the days included a croissant or a sandwich, but not more. I ate my big meals this trip at night (not always the case for me, but it worked out that way for this week).

Friday night, I ate at my favorite local, Le MaZenay. Recent H.O. reports have not been very positive, but this place remains for me a homey and delicious stop, and this trip no different. The place filled up soon after I arrived for my 8 pm reservation, with mostly locals it seemed to me, though there was a table of two young German women next to me when I arrived who were just finishing. Couples out for a Friday night, some two’s, some four’s, and a big table in the corner celebrating what looked like Grandma’s birthday. I can’t comment about the criticism of similar vegetables on every plate, since I was eating alone, but vegetables and all, my food was delicious and a welcome meal after a long night and day for me. I ate a tart of white asparagus, 'tis the season (lucky me), a sole meuniére (with bright and varied veggies), and a kind of fritter for dessert with tropical fruits and a banana sauce (sounds sweet, but the bites were tart and then sweet in my mouth with a pleasure that made me smile). Pictures below (sorry in advance I don’t have pics of every meal). Lan, the co-owner and FOH, poured me glasses of two excellent wines (sorry, I am lame when it comes to knowing what I am drinking), and by the time I finished my coffee, I was ready to sleep.

Actually, found this picture of the wine that Chef poured me to go with my fish:

Saturday night was the only clunker meal of my trip. I had been wanting to try Pierre Sang Oberkampf for a long time, as it is open Sunday nights and has been strongly recommended on this board by people whose opinions I respect. I can only think it has been a while since they ate here. I ate at the counter in the front room (I know there are other spaces here, but I never went to look, sorry) and was sitting with two groups of French people (not sure if they were local) on my right who immediately introduced themselves to each other, and seemed to by having a nice time, and two women (English speakers as it turned out, one from London, the other from Australia) who had been in school in Paris together twenty years ago and have stayed connected ever since. They were memorably called, Julia and Julia!

So, although the food was seriously underwhelming, the company made it a very pleasant evening. I only remember five of the dishes (I didn’t take pictures of all of them, alas, as this would have helped). There was soup first, a couple of spoonfuls of a white soup, could have been potato/leek (but was in reality cauliflower) with a strong accent of wasabi. (An aside here: the “gimmick” of the place is that they ask you to guess the ingredients after you have the dish. In this first case, I got the wasabi, but not to cauliflower, e.g.) The next dish, looked like maybe it was pasta flavored with beet, as they were plating it in front of us at the counter, but turned out to be just ribbons of raw beet, with a little sauce (don’t remember what was in it, tasteless as I recall) and a little caviar and lemon peel:

The main courses were two tiny pieces of first fish (mackerel, I didn’t guess, but I knew it was oily and vaguely fishy) with mashed potatoes flavored with wasabi again (this I did guess) and a similarly small piece of pressed together beef pieces that was overcooked and dry that the Julia to my far left ate one bite of and left the rest along with carrots. The dessert was a carrot ice cream with gingerbread (again dry) with a sour cream sauce in between. I only have a picture of the fish when I had already eaten a small bite (but you can still get the idea, I think):

I have looked at pictures of the food from before, and it seems like there have been menus that looked very appetizing indeed, with actual food on the plate, but not this one. I will not be back, even on a Sunday night.

I had a spectacular dinner at my friends’ house on Sunday night, where I again got to sample white asparagus, this time with a “mousseline” sauce. I didn’t have a clue what this sauce was, but I saw the preparation, and although it tasted lighter than air, the main ingredients of egg yolk, butter, and whipped heavy cream made this taste something of a magic trick I am still pondering, and glad this isn’t an every day occurrence. Dinner ended with my friend’s grandmother’s chocolate mousse and a wonderful Banyuls that I had somehow sweet-talked a local caviste to part with from his private collection.

Monday’s dinner was another winner. I had booked Dilia for dinner with a French friend who lives in Paris but, like me, had not been. I think we would both thank fellow H.O.er @sfcarole for her turning our attention to this restaurant (as well, for me of my later-in-the-week meal at Omar Dhiab). I arrived before my friend, to a largely full restaurant, filled with a young, chic crowd that was full by the time she joined me. It is a noisy space when full, but again, to me, this felt like the sudden joy of life and season. The waiter was fun and friendly, and I think very much took a shine to my dinner companion, whose choice of wine (made by a female winemaker, sorry don’t remember her name, but if my friend wants to chime in, it was a wonderful bottle with meal) seemed to really impress him. And she had also clearly made a pal of the chef by the time we were done.

It’s a set menu, laid out in the carte, with options for 5, 7, or 8 courses. And unlike a lot of set menus, they were happy to exchange one of the other courses listed for one of the 5, if there was some allergy or dislike issue. I thought long and hard about doing this, as I knew the meat main course of duck was coming with beets, not my favorite. But I went with the 5 courses including the duck because I happen to love duck and wasn’t willing to trade. Good move, since the beets were a revelation, roasted in the meaty duck gravy, they tasted like a meat themselves, unlike any beets I’d ever had…there were a few slices of raw beets on top of the dish, a pale echo of the beet dish at Pierre Sang. Unlike that one, the raw beets were the garnish, not the main part of the dish.

For some reason, my pictures came out dark. But in addition to the five courses (and we added the cheese plate to this to share), there were three amuse-bouches and an additional dessert that were all extraordinary little bites that, in the first cases, made us first open our eyes wide and then settle in for the treat that was to come; and in the last, a delicious zabaglione that we heard Chef whipping for us in the kitchen made with grappa and served with a canéle, a perfect illustration of the marriage of Italian and French cooking that we had experienced throughout. Here are the pictures, but let me just highlight for you, the perfectly cooked fish and duck, as well as the tortoloni that were stuffed with “cacio e pepe”

First two of the amuse-bouches:

Then what I have of the rest:

Two pictures of the duck:

The two desserts from the menu were very different, though both used fresh citrus fruits. The second one (picture didn’t come out) was grapefruit with a pistachio encrusted pain perdu also with an ice cream (can remember the flavor, sorry, but the empty bowls are in the final picture):

We enjoyed everything about this restaurant and look very much forward to coming back.

The next night, @Carmenere arranged for a couple of friends of mine and I to come and taste organic wines and eat at YARD. It was definitely an education (at rapid speed French a lot of the time, a little above my total comprehension) that delved seriously into the kinds of soil and shale involved in these new iterations of “organic” wine making. We tasted several glasses and then settled on a bottle of white (Lulu) and a red (sorry can’t remember but I liked it and the white very much) to go with our very good meal that we all shared that started with some excellent croquettes of pig’s (something) and paté en croute followed by delicious quail and a pasta with a curry sauce and clams, enjoyed by all with some excellent bread! (Sorry, no pictures, as I was working hard to keep up with the conversation!)

Wednesday night was Omar Dhiab, again a big merci to @sfcarole and also to @ParnParis for guiding me to this restaurant. It won a Michelin star just after I had booked it, and I hoped it remained as good as they had said, even so. I had one disastrous experience last year with a meal at another young chef’s newly-minted Michelin restaurant, and remained somewhat wary. I had nothing to fear here. The welcome was warm and sincere. One walks by the open kitchen, where the Chef himself as well as his team stop to greet their guests, on the way to the comfortable dining room, with various off-shoots for more, semi-private dining.

As it happened, I was dining with the same friend I had been with for that meal-that-shall-not-be-mentioned from last year, so when our wine (a splendid Mersault that enhanced our meal) failed to arrive for quite a while after our amuse-bouches were served, I began to worry a bit. And when it finally arrived, it was still fairly warm, I have to admit to some serious déjà vus. But the service could not have been more accommodating to this error, and offered us a glass of cold white from the Loire (the other region we had been contemplating when we chose our bottle) to begin our meal while they chilled the Mersault. It went very well with the amuses as well as the first dish of the meal.

Here I have to apologize, as I have no pictures, and am going to be hard-pressed to describe with any accuracy this incredible meal. We were offered a choice of 5, 7, or 9 courses (we added cheese, and I could have done without this) and went with 7 for 138 euros. From melt-in-your mouth beef tongue on a stick, to vine leaf tempura (two of the amuse) to that first dish, a sea bream (maybe some variety of cured raw) in a vaguely Middle Eastern tasting sauce that had different tastes and textures (crunchy bits) in every bite to a single, perfect stalk of green asparagus to a sweetbread sandwich described as the Chef’s signature dish, to the final savory lamb from nose to tail, literally on the plate (a sausage at the bottom, and a perfectly rare slice of lamb at the top) to the final orgasmic chocolate dessert on three plates, all I can say is, Wow! I would say, if you haven’t tried this place and enjoy creative, modern French cooking, Run! (Here, I am trying in my small way to echo the kind of enthusiastic appreciation of a new discovery, though hardly “new” in this case with its ètoile, that I miss so from John Talbot’s absent “typepad.”)

Thursday night I ate solo at Jeanne-Aimée. This was a fourth time eating there, and I had four courses that for me eclipsed anything I had eaten there before. There were the oft-mentioned gougères and some other amuse-bouches, and then came my courses (no dessert) with pictures, and the menu from my night:

The man who runs the front of house greeted me warmly, gave me a nice table, and after a first glass of white wine, arranged for smaller glasses of different wines (one sake) to go with courses. This is the second time I have eaten solo here, and I just think they are so welcoming in this, as well as other kinds of parties. They clearly get joy out of diners’ enjoyment of their excellent food and experiences.

I had the cèleri brulé (best part of this was the intense mushroom sauce, yum!), gyoza, lotte, and côte d’agneau (sorry the pictures are weirdly sideways, something I did wrong?):

Finally, Friday night I had an early supper at Grande Brasserie, as I had an early flight on Saturday morning. I had booked a table for two at Parcelles for that night, but when my friend I was thinking of having dinner with couldn’t join me for the 9 p.m. table, I cancelled for two reasons: lateness of hour before my flight and that booking a table for 1 there is not possible online, and I didn’t want to get into a hassle in case this was because the restaurant didn’t want to welcome a solo traveler (haven’t been to the restaurant, so don’t about this, but welcome any thoughts about the future, if anyone knows, and I happen to be alone again, as it looks appealing and is in my neighborhood. In reflection, this is also the reason I have not eaten at Bistrot des Tournelles, as one cannot book online for one person. I am comfortable calling, but would like to know if anyone has any information about whether these two restaurants, in particular, would welcome a solo diner?

Anyway, a nice, homey meal at Grande Brasserie of a final plate of white asparagus, a little rabbit stew with mushrooms and potatoes gratin, and half the plate of wonderful profiteroles. N.B. @Trish, they were serving a special dessert that night of ile flottante (maybe at least in the same space as Norwegian Omelette in terms of a classic dessert, and plenty of happy, chatty people, all French the night I was there, around me).

I took another uneventful, early flight home yesterday and am wakening to a windy day and my morning coffee solo. Still the precious memories of burgeoning friendships over mostly incredible meals will keep returning for me. There is something in the people there about a passionate desire to live every day to the limit, and then stretch it some more, that is stronger than ever despite having been sorely tested in the last few years. They call it “joie de vivre,” and I think that is a pretty good description of how I felt during this week.


Great report! And welcome home. The Paris board on HO really does continue the CH tradition of being the most diverse board ever, with solid reports/recommendations/critiques written by folks ranging from residents to frequent visitors to first timers. And yours are right up there with the best of them! Thanks.


Merci for the praise, and I agree with you; I so enjoyed the back-and-forth planning alongside @Kjtravels and his/her? daughter and the ensuing trip report. I was so tickled that though we clearly were considering many of the same restaurants that we ended up in the same week at totally different addresses, both of us having had very wonderful (full of wonder) experiences. Why I keep coming back here…and there!

I enjoyed reading your report, ninkat! I had wondered if we would run into each other (am a her, by the way).

I was sorry I had to hack off Jeanne-Aimee since you have enjoyed it so much but will make sure to get there on my return trip in December. Like you, I really enjoyed the range of styles in food and vibe of the places we visited. So many choices!!


Thanks for the report, Ninkat.

Jeanne-Aimée is indeed an excellent place to go for solo diners. Wonderful views, interesting crowd. Oh, and great food and good wine!

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Thank you both so much for sharing your experiences at all those great restaurants. So much fun to read through and love all the pictures.

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Wow! What a report. Several years ago my wife and I and a Parisian friend ate at Pierre Sang Gambey. None of us liked it, even though Pierre Sang himself was very friendly. Our Parisian friend said that she saw no reason to return with her companion, who couldn’t come that evening.


About Dilia: I liked this place more than any I’ve discovered this year. The chef’s culinary touch is extremely delicate but not without strength. Very balanced and mastered.
The wine was a white wine from Domaine Hauvette, AOP Alpilles, made from the Roussanne grape. One can never go wrong with wines from this estate.

About YARD: belated apologies for the fast-paced French conversation, I think we were all a bit excited while exchanging views and info. The wines are actually nature or vins naturels, which are a minima organic (bio or biodynamie). Roughly that means no additives at the vineyard or in winemaking, including added sulphites.
I have to point out that, although the chef was absent that night, the food didn’t disappoint. The croquettes were made from pig’s feet. The quail was also good but I think the pasta was a winner. The bread is from the Ten Belles bakery.

Among the glasses we drank, there was Hüpnos by Sous le Végétal, a “house wine” since it’s exclusively distributed by the company that owns YARD. Entirely natural dry white from Petit-grain Muscat grown on the island of Samos, in Greece, the grapes being harvested at night (hence the name).
Also a beautiful orange wine from the Alsatian Domaine Einhart, L’Intrépide.
I think the bottle of white wine that we ordered was the same Hüpnos I referred to above, and the red was actually Lulu by Auvergne winemaker Patrick Bouju, from Gamay d’Auvergne. I usually love this wine, which never fails to impress even people who say they don’t like natural wines, but it has to age for a few years and this 2021 we drank was a bit too young to express the depth and density of volcanic-soil Gamay d’Auvergne.


Merci! I knew you could answer all, and no apologies for the conversation! Although I don’t have the vocabulary myself, I followed along just fine, and we all had a fantastic time. The food at YARD was much more than good and totally went with the setting and wines!

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Thanks for a great report, @Kjtravels! I loved hearing about how you sought out variety in your culinary adventures and how it all seemed to work. The “no choice but to return” option is one of the best reasons to relax and enjoy the city knowing you have left many things ‘on the table.’

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Thank you, ninkat, for another great report! I’m truly thrilled that you liked Dilia and Omar Dhiab as much as my husband and I did. Both are on my list for this autumn, as well as Jeanne Aimée where I have only been for lunch. And really the photos of your meal at La Grande Brasserie has tempted me to give it a try. It’s so close to the apartment we rent.

Along with Kjtravels descriptions of Petrelle and Perception, which Parn has previously mentioned, this post has highlighted some of the best new places, as well as some that have been around for awhile, like Alliance, Montée and Dilia.

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Thanks, Carole! I look forward to following your Paris in Autumn posts in preparing for my December return to Paris. Really appreciated all the help and guidance provided on this site.

Now I’m off to Amsterdam, Istanbul and Bologna and will post any special places from those adventures.


Wow, have to say this report made my mouth water! Thanks so much.

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Excellent report. Thanks!