mangeur's Profile

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Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

Everyone's mileage is different. We plan and book most of our dinners because they are important to us. Lunch we find in the area where we are at the time; it is always small and simple. We make no plans for daily activities unless there is some special happening that we want to attend, otherwise we are shopping for food items. So you see that we are rather food-centric in our interests.

We usually arrive at our hotel around 1pm, make a run to our nearby Monoprix for Badoit, fruit and wine for the room. Maybe another short errand. Then, maybe 4pm, we crash for a nap until maybe 6pm. Shower, glass of wine while watching the world go past our windows, then off, usually crosstown, to dinner. Home around 11 or midnight and to bed for a good night's sleep, awakening on Paris time.

On our first visit, the internet was a dream. We ate close to our hotel in such landmarks as Cafe des Beaux Arts on Bonaparte and Machon d'Henri, dismal food but very French. I remember a 4 year old boy ordering and devouring a dozen escargots.

In a few years, Patricial Wells gave us some good leads. And finally the internet and 24/7 current food news.

So don't worry about being perfect the first time. You will be so much more perfect than most of your gurus were that it boggles the mind. Just follow your gut (sorry about that) and enjoy it all.

about 14 hours ago
mangeur in France
2

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

" Which leads to an interesting diversion. Why is "weird" the #1 insult in the US while here in Paris (or at least in my circles) the worst insult is to be called the equivalent of ordinary."

Maybe explains why we love France.

about 19 hours ago
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

"I realize we should start making plans/reservations/etc...and I am feeling overwhelmed."

Since you wrote this, you have received such an embarrassment of excellent advice and suggestions that you're/we/re practically back at square one. At this point, you could hardly go wrong tossing a dart to choose your final meals.

It is not that Spring has no ambiance but that is has a modern vibe or ambiance that reflects its modern French cooking. The clientele is not off the street but those who made the effort to reserve well in advance. This also contributes to the feeling in the room of being surrounded by visitors and determined locals.

about 19 hours ago
mangeur in France

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

While the address may be in the 13th, Comptoir Tempero is only a few minute walk from Place d'Italie, the #27 bus and others. Just head for Les Papilles or L'Agrume or L'Ourcine and stay on the bus! :)

2 days ago
mangeur in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

"that may explain their fairly soft shell."

Absolutely! We have several walnut trees. We pick green walnuts in June to make vin de noix vertes, green walnut wine, and liqueur. The shell at that point is apple green, the nut white and soft. You have brought up an interesting point of harvesting them after this point but before the shell hardens. We will try to harvest some at this point, just about now, and before the squirrels do their number!

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

It's less that we are intrepid and more that our friends are bored with hearing about our French adventures. We have no NYT or super-blogger check lists to address and therefore have dining opportunities to hit relatively unknown places. Works for us! :)

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

Exactly!

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

A formula for avoiding sitting next to those pesky fellow Yankees who whoop it up and disturb your meal in Paris and finding good food in “secret places.”.

Excellent references, John. Good post.

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

This sounds like a very fresh and/or not mature nut. They are indeed different from a nut that has matured and dried.

If you bought them yesterday, they could be an early picking of this year's crop. Else, the inside should not be white and soft.

Fresh almonds are a darling of chefs, but I have never noticed fresh walnuts used in the same ways.

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris - further questions

I seldom understand the lists people bring to Chow for vetting. But everyone has his own preconception of and hopes for Paris. And we each somehow go home happy.

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

Indeed. It is very easy to paint a loudmouth as English since so many teachers in foreign countries are or teach English, duh, with an English accent. One of our French friends sounds as if he stepped out of 10 Downing.

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris - further questions

If you think of "what France today is like" as a hand, Will exemplifies only one finger of modern French food.

Others, such as Le Déserteurs, might offer you a more balanced picture.

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Okay You guys win. You can't beat city hall.

Rather than trust taste memory, I will make a conscious effort to buy walnuts from a grower at the Salon Saveurs, enough to taste on the spot and to bring home for a side-by-side. Good project.

Sep 18, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

To be honest, an annoying table adjacent can completely turn me off my dinner. I dine out for the food, but while I can avert my eyes from other tables, I can't tune out an invasive speaker. I would strangle if my audio space were usurped at 400€ a person!

Sep 17, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

How closely do your tastes parallel your friend's? At restaurants at home? Dinner parties?

Sep 16, 2014
mangeur in France

Top ten romantic foodie restaurants in Paris

Second Petrelle.

Actually, most French restaurants are not romantic in the same sense as romantic American restaurants: low lights, soft music, candles. But romance takes place in the brightest of dining rooms: couples holding hands, leaning close to each other across the table, talking softly or even not talking at all, just gazing. Just bring it with you and bring it on! ;)

Sep 16, 2014
mangeur in France
1

What does "fait maison" at a restaurant mean?

"My concern about this law is not that it will be met with confusion and ridicule (which at least draw attention to the issue and allow the law to be improved), but that the nation will do a gigantic shrug, and the law and the ideas behind it will be discreetly swept under the rug and forgotten."

Good point and exactly what I think will happen.

PS, LOVE your new avatar! :)

Sep 16, 2014
mangeur in France

Group dinners in Paris

Daniel Rose could do this downstairs at Spring. It's worth a call.

Sep 15, 2014
mangeur in France

Fait Maison

I actually find it inconceivable that any of the small chef-owned market driven restaurants that we frequent would bother (read: stoop) to add this designation to their plates. As in, what's the point? You see the produce, you see the meat, you see the eggs being broken, what's to be gained by adding this watered down commercially tainted honorific?

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Indeed. :) We usually get them from friends who grow them commercially. We also have trees in the country, but the squirrels get them before we do. Year after year after year...

We don't want to get into a conversation of local versus Agen prunes, do we? No, we don't want to go there. :)

Sep 14, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Call me a Philistine, but I find little difference between the walnuts we source in France and those from California's central valley. Here, we grow "English walnuts" as opposed to the native black walnuts which have a totally different flavor and are nearly impossible to crack. Freshness definitely plays a role in the flavor of any walnut.

As a Californian, I would never haul walnuts home. YMMV..

Sep 14, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

I want y'all to listen up. Tummy packs are in. Chic small purses on belts worn in front. They make sense. Expensive now (Gucci @ 560€) but affordable should hit the market soon.

Sep 14, 2014
mangeur in France

Help finalizing Paris dinners

Pragmatics:

I think that forum consensus would choose Pirouette over Metropolitan. I would call Pirouette tomorrow, Monday. at 19h Paris time. They will definitely understand English. If you don't get into Pirouette, you can then call Metropolitan.

Tuesday, I would call Ober Sale at 19h Paris time. My guess is that you will get a real person on the line and that they will understand English. Then you will know if you have Saturday taken care of; if not, we'll go back to square one.

Just my two cents. (Edited after double checking closing days.)

Sep 14, 2014
mangeur in France

Help finalizing Paris dinners

Ah, but with a finite number of meals to schedule, choices ARE difficult. I would say that choices from refined lists are by definition difficult. It's those subtle differences in choices that we debate here.

Sep 14, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

G. Detou will have both your rice and walnuts at a good price.

Sep 13, 2014
mangeur in France

Vegetable side dish/salad in France??

I think that it does happen in places like Le Severo, Le Voltaire, L'Ami Louis, Chez Denise, others, where one may receive a large portion of protein and maybe potatoes, but then order a green vegetable to go on the side, green beans, spinach, etc. I would guess that many diners just choose to go with the meat and potatoes and not bother to order the vegetable.

Sep 13, 2014
mangeur in France

Help finalizing Paris dinners

Excellent post that points out, once again, that tastes differ. Read, look at pictures of both food and the room and make your choices. And, of course, come back and give us YOUR POV.

Sep 12, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

The danger in the country is finding a place that continues to serve traditional, regional dishes with integrity. Or even modern versions that are created with a discrete hand. We too often find overly fussy and ill-conceived attempts to serve clever food that misses the mark by miles.

Sep 12, 2014
mangeur in France

Paris - further questions

With only three nights set aside for French food, I would not recommend Les Bistronomes. While it isn't "bad", we found it far from memorable, in fact we left without dessert since there seemed no reason to prolong our meal there. I would suggest you check out any of the recent posts that include long lists of very good and current dining rooms. Almost any would be better, IMHO.

Sep 12, 2014
mangeur in France

Our 1st time in Paris!! Want to do it right!!

If food has any importance to you, why would you spend the time and money coming to Paris and then settle on ordinary?
During our earliest visits to Paris, we did indeed just pop into a place that seemed to beckon to us. But gradually we learned that there was better, much better, to be had. And the most enlightening thing was that often we had been paying more at the places serving ordinary food. Some 30 years later, it's still true.

Sep 11, 2014
mangeur in France
1