Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Paris -- Bobby Jay's Restaurant List

People are always asking me for special restaurant recommendations in Paris, so I will share my list.

But first, a number of important disclaimers:

-- I have not listed places I don't like.

-- I have not necessarily eaten at the places on the list in the last couple of years, so the food may have declined (or improved).

-- There are many many more restaurants in every category; these are ones that I and my wife have gotten to and liked, and we are just two people. I have not included any restaurant based solely on others' opinions.

-- The restaurants are listed in random order. I don't think that the list is long enough to require categorization.

Still interested? Click more below.


Granterroirs: centrally located in the Eighth on rue de Miromesnil, a wonderful place for lunch. Their open sandwiches and salads are superb. Try the Landais if you like foie gras (the cold, not the hot, variety). If you don’t like foie gras, think again: maybe you haven’t had the good French stuff. The daily specials are excellent if a bit pricey for lunch. Try to leave room for the dessert of the day. 30, rue de Miromesnil (Métro Miromesnil), 75008, Tel 0147 42 18 18.

Rotisserie du Beaujolais: a very pure restaurant, with really great confit de canard and rotisseried (à la broche) duck (canard or caneton), chicken (poulet) and meat (they make a magnificent piece of rotisseried beef (boeuf) for 2). Make sure you get the sauteed potatoes (pommes sarladaises) if they don’t come with your dish. The people are nice and English is OK. One of the great experiences is to take the Métro to Pont-Marie, on the right bank, and walk across the Ile St-Louis to the restaurant (two bridges: note the truly magnificent view of Notre-Dame). 19, quai de la Tournelle (Métro Pont-Marie), 75005, Tel 01 43 54 17 47.

Sardegna à Tavola: out of the way place with really interesting Sardinian food (it is not the same as Italian). Great pasta and fish (they are across the street from one of Paris’ better fish markets). A little expensive for what we think of as Italian food, but constant crowds show that it's worth it. 1, rue de Cotte (Métro Gare de Lyon or Lédru-Rollin), 75012. Tel 01 44 75 03 28.

Timgad: excellent Moroccan in fancy (and expensive) surroundings. Try the bastilla (somewhat sweet pigeon pie with raisins, cinnamon & powdered sugar) as an appetizer. 21, rue Brunel (Métro Argentine), 75017, Tel 01 45 74 23 70).

Etoile Morocaine: Very good North African cuisine in a nice setting. Despite proximity to the Arc de Triomphe, the clientele is not touristy; mostly locals who appear to be regulars. It is not very expensive. 56, rue de Galilée (Métro Georges V), 75008, Tel 01 47 20 44 43.

Mansouria: very nice classic Moroccan in plain surroundings, in a somewhat inconvenient location. The owner is like a Moroccan Madhur Jaffray, and the place is chic. 11, rue Faidherbe (Métro Faidherbe-Chaligny), 75011, Tel 01 43 71 00 16.

Noura: really good Lebanese food. The Pavillon is fancier (and better), the regular place is less formal (no reservations, come as you are) but still good, especially for lunch. The best tabouleh salad I've ever had. For the brasserie, 27, avenue Marceau (Métro Alma-Marceau or Georges V), 75016, Tel 01 47 03 02 20; and for Noura Pavillon, 21, avenue Marceau, Tel 01 47 20 33 33.

Ladurée, rue Royale: famous for its tea (and lunch) room upstairs and for its macarons (almond cookies, but not to be confused with our macaroons of the Passover variety). The rich ladies who lunch go there. Probably English is OK, but menu is easy to follow. Superb breakfast; the best scrambled eggs (oeuf brouillés) I have ever eaten. 16, rue Royale (Métro Madeleine or Concorde), 75008. Tel 01 42 60 21 79. (There are now Ladurées on the Champs-Elysées and rue Bonaparte, too, but we have not been to them.)

Violon d’Ingres: This is the flagship restaurant of Christian Constant, who has a number in the same neighborhood in the 7th. It was a chic and expensive fancy place, but bistro-ized a couple of years ago, with a 60 euro menu that I find a steal. Imaginative food, good but not officious service. NOTE: my wife disagrees and did not like the scaled-down version. 135, rue St-Dominique (Métro Ecole-Militaire or Pont de l'Alma), Tel 01 45 55 15 05.

Diep: good Chinese-Vietnamese, about 10 minutes on foot. The best spring rolls anywhere. Breathtakingly expensive for Americans, who are used to moderate prices at Chinese restaurants. No reason to go unless you really miss Chinese food. 55, rue Pierre Charon (Métro Franklin-D.-Roosevelt), 75008, Tel 01 45 63 52 76.

Le Rubis: the best wine bar anywhere. Especially for wine in the Beaujolais family, including Julienas, Morgon (***), Fleurie, Chiroubles, etc. The food is simple, traditional, excellent, like jarret de porc (pig's knuckle), petit salé (salt pork) aux lentilles, etc. Also excellent cheese, especially the brie. For lunch only, but try to avoid 1-2 pm. Probably English is OK, but menu is easy to follow (except that you won’t know what the stuff is: andouillette is a flavorful tripe sausage that is not for the faint of heart, petit salé is a kind of ham on the bone, jarret is also ham, coq au vin you know). 10, rue du Marché St-Honoré (Métro Tuileries), 75001, Tel 01 42 61 03 34.

Relais d’Auteuil: one of our favorites. Excellent food, at a “neighborhood” place near the Bois de Boulogne. They are just lovely people there, who are out to make you comfortable, not to show off. Lots of ½ bottles of wine from all regions and at all reasonable prices. This is a big splurge but worth it. 31, boulevard Murat (Métro Michel-Ange-Auteuil), 75016, Tel 01 46 51 09 54.

Apicius: one of our favorites. Very sophisticated food (** from Michelin), beautifully presented without a trace of snobbery. The chef and the help couldn’t be nicer. Try the hot foie gras with unsweetened chocolate sauce – really – or whatever is the hot foie gras of the day. This place recently moved a fancy chateau (yes, a chateau in the middle of Paris), increased its prices and become a huge power place; it is great. The best hot foie gras we have ever tasted. 20, rue d'Artois (Métro St-Philippe-du-Roule or Franklin-D.-Roosevelt), Tel 01 43 80 19 66.

Restaurant le Bristol. Just around the corner at the Bristol Hotel. Dinner is an enormous splurge, really expensive but worth it at this three-star restaurant. Several of the best meals we have ever eaten, period. Thet 85-euro lunch is a fantastic bargain. 112 rue du faubourg St.-Honoré (Métro Champs-Elysées-Clemenceau or Miromesnil), 75008, Tel 01 53 43 43 00.

Ze Kitchen: Elegant modern food served in small portions. Pretty informal, Asian-influenced design, but chic. 4, rue des Grands-Augustins (Métro St-Michel), 75006. Tel 01 44 32 00 32.

Mon Vieil Ami: an excellent new (2 years old) bistro on the Ile St-Louis. Really good food in a fashionably modern décor inside an ancient building. Chef is from Alsace, but the food is not particularly. Very popular among Americans, so be prepared to see lots of tourists. 69, rue St-Louis-en-l'Ile (Métro Pont-Marie), 75004, Tel 01 40 46 01 35.

Le Troquet: a really good family-run bistro deep in the 15th arrondissement, said to be Basque but a bit more general. Wonderful 30 Euro menu and warm welcome. Just what you want a bistro to be. 21, rue François Bonvin (Métro Volontaire or Sèvres-Lecourbe), 75015, Tel 01 45 66 89 00.

Astier: another excellent bistro, with very traditional food and a 30 Euro menu that includes an all-you-can-eat cheeseboard of very high quality. Even red checked table cloths. I have to say that my last meal there was not as good as earlier meals. 44, rue J.P. Timbaud (Métro Oberkampf or Parmentier), 75011, Tel 01 43 57 16 35.

Dominique Bouchet: an excellent upscale restaurant with a nice welcome and delightful ambience. M Bouchet is an up-and-coming chef who trained with some of the best. Not inexpensive -- dinner will likely be more than $100 per person -- but worth it. The place has been discovered: last time we were there the restaurant was full of Americans, a worrying trend. 11, rue Treilhard (Métro Miromesnil), 75008, Tel 01 45 61 09 46.

Chapeau Melon: a quirky organic wine shop in the 19th that also serves dinner based on a fixed menu that changes once a month. The food is interesting, well-prepared and a real steal at 30 euros or so for four courses. 92, rue Rébéval (Métro Pyrenées or Belleville), 75019, Tel 01 42 02 68 60.

L'Accolade: a wonderful little bistro in a far-flung part of the 17th arrondissement. The food - fish and meat - is very good, and the value (rapport qualité-prix) is extraordinary: a three-course menu for 32 euros, two courses for 28 euros. 23, rue Guillaume-Tell (Métro Porte-de-Champerret or Pereire), Tel 01 42 67 12 67.

Les Fougères: upscale bistro with excellent food. They have a very good menu for 35 euros, but there are only two appetizers and two mains to choose from. This is often fine, but if not, you can choose from the very nice à la carte selection. 10, rue Villebois-Mareuil(Métro Ternes), Tel 01 40 68 78 66.

Beaujolais d'Auteil: a recent great find. Non-touristy neighborhood bistro near the Bois de Boulogne, serving excellent food at very reasonable prices. 99, boulevard de Montmorency (Métro Porte d'Auteuil or Michel-Ange Auteuil), 75016, Tel 01 47 43 03 56.

Caméléon: traditional bistro dishes prepared with imagination with high quality ingredients and presented with style. A bit expensive for dinner, but a great buy for lunch (30-euro menu, 25-euro formule) 6 rue de Chevreuse, 75006 Paris (Métro Vavin), Tel 01 43 27 43 27.

Kunitoraya: The best udon noodles I have found outside Japan are at Kunitoraya, and I try to get there at least once each time I am in Paris to enjoy the totally authentic kitsune udon. There is nearly always a line, but if you go after 1:45 you probably won't wait more than a couple of minutes. 39 rue Ste-Anne, 75001 Paris.

Le Hide: excellent, somewhat modernized classics at incredibly low prices. Winner of Pudlo's meilleur rapport qualité-prix for 2009. 10, rue du Général Lanrezac, 75017 Paris (Métro Etoile), Tel 01 45 74 15 81.

L'Ecailler du Bistrot: great shellfish, especially oysters, and classic French fish dishes, extremely well-prepared, at this restaurant in the now-burgeoning 11th. Prices are not low, but fair for ingredients of such high quality. 20-22 rue Paul Bert, 75011 Paris, Tel 01 43 72 76 77.

Bobby Jay

1 comment:

Gary Levine said...

Hi Bob, Great list, thanks, next time I am in Paris I will check them out.