planetjanet's Profile

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November in Paris

Chez Georges is a favorite. I visit every time I'm in Paris so I thought I'd break out a bit! But, yes, Laidback, that is a vibe I enjoy. Also enjoy the ambiance and energy at Balthazar in NYC. Haven't visited a place like it in Paris and would enjoy that. Any recommendations?

I've changed up the plan for the trip a bit. Couldn't resist tinkering. Instead of Breizh Cafe I thought I'd try to get into Frenchie Bar a Vins and, failing that, Thoumieux. I want something light as it is post Guy Savoy. Thought small plates at Frenchie Bar would do the trick.

As for dinner on the last night, thought I'd try to get into Pierre Sang Boyer and nightcaps at Candelaria.

Thank you, Paris Chowhounds, for your help and interest!

Oct 28, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Thank you John and your fellow Paris 'hounds. I feel reasonably comfortable with the list. As Parnassian suggested I can't really go wrong. I appreciate the insights you all have shared and have re-shaped slightly, as follows:

Tues L: Cigale Recamier for the soufflés

Tues D: Les Papilles

Wed L: RSH

Wed D: L'Assiette for cassoulet.

Th L: Guy Savoy

Th D: Dans les Landes

F L: Astier

F D: Volnay

Oct 08, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Thanks ChefJune--yes, it seems like a MUST for me. But there's a story: I reserved some years ago and showed up on time (and speaking French) for my 8:00 reservation. I was shown the table in between the kitchen and the WC. When I inquired politely whether there might be another table available I was told they were all reserved. As demonstrated above, ambiance matters to me. So I decided that rather than sit in the back corner, I would return another time. I haven't returned, not wishing a repeat of the same scenario. Lest you scoff, I must add that two sets of American friends who dined there since were offered the same table! So, with limited time, I won't be back.

Oct 08, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Many thanks for the suggestions.

Oct 08, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Well said.

Any recommendations for substantial Parisian experiences?

Are there selections on my list that you would recommend over others as best in their particular class?

And if I am looking for lunch at a cozy, unpretentious, traditional bistro (as I would describe Astier) what would you recommend?

Thanks.

Oct 07, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Let me clarify. I am looking to dine in an ambiance that is less modern, corporate, or "neutral" than many restaurants in both NY and LA. I am, of course, a visitor to France, and as such would like to experience what is uniquely Parisian. If I have put it inelegantly, I apologize.

Oct 07, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Thought process ever evolving ... and a bit more research too.

Adding to the Friday night mix of Volnay, Goust, Violon, what about Les Tablettes?

Should we consider Garance for a more low key meal? Lunch maybe?

Oct 07, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Thank you all for your input. Eeny meeny or darts, it appears that there is no one size answer.

Helas .... do you believe that as between Volnay, Thoumieux, Violon, Cornichon, Le Galopin, Philou, Goust or Saotico it is just a matter of personal taste? What about Le Pantruche? Is one objectively a stand-out for its type?

A bit of subjective background: I dine out quite a lot and like to feel as if I'm "in" the city that I'm visiting when I'm dining--so I don't favor a cosmopolitan venue that, though serving French food, could be in NY or LA. Septime, Chez Georges, Astier, RSH, Les Papilles, Cafe Constant--all gave me a sense of place. And though Violon could have been in NY's upper east side, there was something ineffably proper and Parisian about it to me. I ate at Spring when it was in the old space and Daniel Rose came to each table and sat for conversation--this was also something new and different. And Taillevent, well the service and welcome were so spectacularly warm that I felt as if I were an honored guest. So dining for me isn't only about the quality of the food, it's about the ambiance and the experience something out of my ordinary.

Astier, I am gathering, is at best a sentimental choice. Do you have another of its type (homey, old fashioned) to suggest in its place?

Thank you for your generous suggestions. Your indulgence is much appreciated.

Oct 07, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Thank you John and DCM for the advice! Both look like great options. It seems as if Goust would be a good replacement for Volnay and Violon. Do you agree? John, I believe you are one of the strongest voices in favor of Volnay. How would you stack that up against Goust or Saotico?

Should I throw L'Assiete off the boat in favor of Saotico? But then I am lacking the old-fashioned cassoulet experience. Thoughts?

As for Astier, there is something about the cozy, unpretentious old-fashioned aspect of it (and, let's be frank, the cheese platter) that my husband really likes. Any replacements that hold these same qualities (including cheese course)?

Yes, I may be throwing darts at this point but I do enjoy the journey. Thanks for your advice.

PJ

Oct 07, 2013
planetjanet in France

November in Paris

Heading back to Paris next month. On past visits we have very much enjoyed Taillevent, Violon, Septime, Spring, Fables, RSH, Astier, Cafe Constant, CLJ, Les Papilles and Chez Georges.

The highlight of this trip will be lunch at Guy Savoy. Will revisit RSH, Astier, and Les Papilles . Would be grateful for your help filling in the rest. We are looking for a balance of traditional, classic cooking and creative modern flair.

(Day of Arrival)Tues L: Cigale Recamier. Though it has often been recommended to us, we have never made it. Would you recommend it for the soufflés?

Tues D: Les Papilles (and an early night)

Wed L: RSH

Wed D: L'Assiette? Like the idea of a great cassoulet but am concerned about mixed reviews. Also would enjoy a warm, old fashioned feel--as at Chez Georges.

Th L: Guy Savoy

Th D: Breizh Cafe

F L: Astier

F D: Volnay? Thoumieux? Violon? Cornichon? Philou? Le Galopin? I understand that they are very different from one and other. I'd be grateful to know which, if any, is among the best in its class. I could use a recommendation for Friday night (our last night in Paris) and for Wednesday night to balance out my other choices.

Many thanks!

Oct 06, 2013
planetjanet in France

Seeking authentic Roman cuisine and Ambiance: Please advise

Enjoyed gelato at San Crispino, Ciampini, Corona, and Giolitti. Of these the granita di limone at Giolitti and the fruit flavors at San Crispino are my favorites. Del Teatro and Fata Morgana were on my list but we couldn't make it last time.

Thanks for the link!

Nov 07, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

Paris report October 8-20, 2010

Fan,

Interesting about being given the table in by the WC/Kitchen at Chez Dumonet. I reserved a month in advance and was given that table too--but then again by the time I arrived at dinner--9:00--the restaurant was full. Another (American) friend reported that she had been seated at that table as well. Now you. I must admit that I found it distracting and unpleasant. I wonder if any Americans are ever seated anywhere but that back room? Chowhounds, does anyone have a different experience?

Nov 03, 2010
planetjanet in France

Paris Restaurants for Beginners

Just back from a spectacular trip in Paris! We dined at Chez l'Ami Jean, La Regalade St. Honore, Chez Georges, Cafe Constant, Le Meurice, and Astier.

Of these my two favorites were La Regalade St. Honore (lunch) and Chez Georges (dinner). I heartily recommend both and I feel certain that you will enjoy the food and the ambiance at both.

In brief:

Chez L'Ami Jean: Very rustic, small bistro serving excellent food in a convivial ambiance. Many Americans. We enjoyed an appetizer of roasted mushrooms--piping hot and flavorful. Our mains were the Wild Boar stew (average, not particularly memorable) and the dorade (moist and beautifully presented). Funnily enough my favorite part of the main course were the pureed potatoes--I asked for, and received, seconds. The rice pudding capped off the meal. And it was superb--creamy pudding offset by salted caramel and house made granola. I'd go back in a flash for the rice pudding alone. The only puzzling aspect of Chez L'Ami Jean was the cost. While most of the other places mentioned above hovered around 90E for two, the bill at Chez l'Ami Jean was 160E. It was our first night and I didn't know what to expect, but in retrospect and comparison it seems high.

Astier: We had lunch here on a cold, windy Sunday and it was perfect. The food was likely the weakest of the above named group but something about the cozy atmosphere and friendly service made it special. The room was entirely French when we dined there and the offerings were solid and well prepared. I loved the cheese tray and, like L'Ami Jean's rice pudding, would go back for that alone. As an American I never have had the opportunity to dig into a wide variety of cheeses on my own in a restaurant--I am used to the formal presentation of the cheese cart and the careful slivers proffered therefrom. In sum, for a cozy lunch or dinner on a cold day, Astier does the trick.

Cafe Constant: This feels like a "go to" spot. We wandered in late on Sunday night and, after a short wait at the bar, were lucky enough to get a table at this friendly, casual canteen that takes no reservations. The foie gras was flavorful, the langoustines fried in wonton wrappers and served over basmati were finger-licking good, and the flan was the best I had tasted in a while. All this in a buzzy, convivial atmosphere. I would definitely recommend it for a tasty meal in a casual, comfortable environment.

La Regalade St. Honore: My favorite! My husband and I enjoyed the Prix Fixe lunch menu at 33E each. The house pate de campagne (offered in a communal loaf dish to every table) was some of the best I've ever tasted. My husband's tuna tart was fresh and flavorful as was his veal and my fish. The restaurant was filled with Parisians--work lunches, ladies lunches, couples--and the vibe was convivial, chatty, upbeat. The desserts were superb--and neither of us ordered the acclaimed Grand Marnier souffle! He had the rice pudding--excellent but a shade less revelatory that L'Ami Jean's--and I had the chocolate praline cake. I also had the wonderful pot de creme, thanks to our lovely, generous, and full neighbors! I would go back here in a flash and I heartily recommend it.

Chez Georges: From the warm welcome, to the handwritten menu, to the last drop of dark chocolate on the profiteroles, Chez Georges is a winner. Offering the classics (steak frites, sole, hareng, baba, profiteroles . ..) with style and old fashioned panache, Chez Georges offers an idyllic bistro experience. Reserve and go!

We had a celebratory lunch at Le Meurice. A gorgeous room, flawless service, an extraordinarily knowledgeable and friendly sommelier, and inventive cuisine made lunch at the Meurice a highly memorable experience. For this type of haute cuisine, however, my heart, and taste buds, belong to Taillevent.

Enjoy! And ride the Velibs! We did all over town--truly putting meaning into the phrase, "It's not about the destination but about the journey."

Oct 29, 2010
planetjanet in France

Trip Report Rome

Just back from Rome. Thank you all for your advice. My report:

Il Goccetto was our first stop in Rome. This old wine store (vino e olio) offered over 40 varieties of wine by the glass, small snacks (bocconcini, involtini), and a local crowd. We arrived at 8 and had no trouble getting a table. We enjoyed two glasses of red wine and a few small snacks in this comfortable, relaxed environment before heading off to . . .

Roma Sparita for our first dinner in Rome. We started with carciofi alla giudia followed by bucatini all'amatriciana and taglionini cacio e pepe served in parmigiano tuille. The pastas were superb—al dente and perfectly sauced. Roma Sparita provided exactly what we were hoping for in cucina romana. The clientele appeared to be mostly Italian (on a Wednesday night) and the service was warm and efficient. The rooms are plain but the food is memorable. I would say that the amatriciana was the best I had in Rome.

On the way home we stopped for a tartufo at Tre Scalini. I must confess that it is no longer as good as I remembered and I would no longer recommend it. Navonna yes, tartuffo at Tre Scalini no. For New Yorkers looking for a dense, chocolaty tartufo I'd recommend Lattanzi on West 46th St (good Roman cooking as well).

For lunch on Thursday we chose Matricianella. Thursday, I understand, is gnocchi day in Rome and Matricianella did not disappoint. Their gnocchi pomodoro e basilico were light, fluffy, and perfectly sauced. In fact, I’ve never had better gnocchi. We enjoyed a tender, flavorful saltimbocca alla romana and delicately fried zucchini flowers. Another example of excellent cucina romana in simple surroundings.

Early Thursday evening we enjoyed two great glasses of wine at Cul de Sac. Though my husband really wanted to stay for dinner (and I did too), I argued against it as we had a reservation at Antico Arco. The meals being served at Cul de Sac were particularly appealing: large fresh salads, plates of cured meats and cheeses, lentil soup, lasagna. The ambiance was casual and friendly and the service warm. Our fellow diners thoroughly enjoyed their meals—I asked. I will definitely return for a meal.

It was with some reluctance that we left for Antico Arco. Though we prefer simple pasta dishes to innovative Italian cuisine, I wanted to try Antico Arco as it had been so highly recommended here and on other sites. We were shown to a table upstairs—the English speaking ghetto, I surmised. Downstairs the atmosphere was buzzy and vibrant. Upstairs more sedate. I assume that they put the English speakers upstairs so that they can devote a single English-speaking waiter to the room. I was not insulted by the move but felt that I could be dining in New York or LA. My husband started with the crispy buffalo mozzarella, salted tuna roe and confit tomatoes. The tomatoes overwhelmed the cheese. Good but unremarkable. I started with the onion pie in a parmigiano cheese fondue. Definitely not memorable. I followed with the risotto with castelmagno cheese. Too much white food. My error in ordering (though when I voiced this concern to our waiter when placing my order he assured me that I was choosing the house specialties). Thank goodness for the nebbiolo wine reduction to add some color and to cut the strength of the cheese. My husband had the cacio e pepe and enjoyed it. The service was friendly and efficient and the room comfortable. Not in any way a memorable experience, though. Too many choices and too little time in Rome to repeat this one.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch on Friday at Enoteca Provinciana. I must say that I did not expect the sleek, contemporary décor that characterized this enoteca at the edge of Trajan’s forum. Nor did I expect to need a reservation! Though the restaurant was full, we were lucky enough, after a short wait, to secure two seats at the bar. We had an achingly fresh insalata caprese and, as porcinis were in season, an insalata porcini. We paired this with glasses of excellent local red wine. After the salads we enjoyed lasagna porcini and tiramisu. Lovely spot with fresh, locally grown and inventively prepared food. The crowd appeared to be entirely local. Many people came in for paninis to go—which also looked great. Definitely go, but make sure to reserve.

Later that afternoon we stopped by Al Forno in Campo de Fiori and Roscioli, where we sampled excellent pizza al taglio and pignoli cookies (Roscioli).

After a visit to the refreshingly empty Vatican Museums on Friday night, we ate a late dinner at Trattoria Lilli. When we arrived at 10 the place was packed with locals and two parties were waiting outside. Again without reservations, we were lucky to be seated within ten minutes. The room filled with large groups and the mood was convivial, boisterous even. The friendly energy was infectious. And the food delicious! We had the house wine, anitpasto del casa, bucatini all’amatriciana (gives Roma Sparita a run for its money), tonnarelli alla gricia, and rocket salads. All perfectly prepared. Lively ambiance, neighborhood vibe, delicious food, friendly service, and good value. A winner for sure.

Having polled my dining partners at the bar at Enoteca Provinciana about their favorite spots I decided to forego dining at Trattoria Monti in favor of Da Gino on vicolo Rosini near the Parliament. I haven’t dined at Monti so I don’t know if I made the right choice but I know I made a good one. We had Saturday lunch reservation at Gino for 2:30. When we got there the place was full and a line of waiting Italians snaked out the door. After a short wait we were seated. I started with the tonnarelli all ciociara (house made pasta with guanciale, pecorino, mushrooms, and peas) and my husband had the spaghetti all gricia. Perfectly sauced, perfectly al dente. We then had a large platter of oven roasted porcini mushrooms and a mixed salad capped with glasses of grappa offered by Gino himself. I would happily return and gladly recommend Gino. Great food, lively local atmosphere, rustic room with hand painted murals, and good value.

Saturday night, our last night in Rome, we had planned to eat at Le Mani in Pasta. However, by 8:00, after drinks at Bar Della Pace, we were just too tired to consider a walk to Trastevere. So, at the recommendation of our hotel concierge we dined at Hostaria da Pietro, on via Gesu e Maria. We were greeted warmly and shown to a nice table in the back room, which was mostly filled with Italians. The service was great and the ambiance both friendly and clubby. The food, while very good, was in my opinion not up to the standards of Matricianella, Roma Sparita, or Gino. My rigatoni was over sauced and the saltimbocca ever so slightly tough. The millefoglia was delicious though. For cucina romana near Piazza del Popolo it’s worth a try but you can get better food if you venture just further afield.

Next time I will try Monti, La Campana, Le Mani in Pasta, and Cul de Sac. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.

I will also lunch at Palatium—an enoteca on via Frattina with a vibe similar to that of Enoteca Provinciana.

I will go back to Gino, Matricianella, Lilli, Enoteca Provinciana, and Roma Sparita.

I’m curious about Edy and Enoteca Cavour. Any thoughts on these? Also checked out Bar del Fico but my gut on that one is that it is for a very young crowd who values atmosphere above all. Thoughts?

Special thanks to Katie Parla and Vinoroma who made such generous suggestions!

Oct 27, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

Seeking authentic Roman cuisine and Ambiance: Please advise

Just back from Rome. Thank you all for your advice. My report:

Il Goccetto was our first stop in Rome. This old wine store (vino e olio) offered over 40 varieties of wine by the glass, small snacks (bocconcini, involtini), and a local crowd. We arrived at 8 and had no trouble getting a table. We enjoyed two glasses of red wine and a few small snacks in this comfortable, relaxed environment before heading off to . . .

Roma Sparita for our first dinner in Rome. We started with carciofi alla giudia followed by bucatini all'amatriciana and taglionini cacio e pepe served in parmigiano tuille. The pastas were superb—al dente and perfectly sauced. Roma Sparita provided exactly what we were hoping for in cucina romana. The clientele appeared to be mostly Italian (on a Wednesday night) and the service was warm and efficient. The rooms are plain but the food is memorable. I would say that the amatriciana was the best I had in Rome.

On the way home we stopped for a tartufo at Tre Scalini. I must confess that it is no longer as good as I remembered and I would no longer recommend it. Navonna yes, tartuffo at Tre Scalini no. For New Yorkers looking for a dense, chocolaty tartufo I'd recommend Lattanzi on West 46th St (good Roman cooking as well).

For lunch on Thursday we chose Matricianella. Thursday, I understand, is gnocchi day in Rome and Matricianella did not disappoint. Their gnocchi pomodoro e basilico were light, fluffy, and perfectly sauced. In fact, I’ve never had better gnocchi. We enjoyed a tender, flavorful saltimbocca alla romana and delicately fried zucchini flowers. Another example of excellent cucina romana in simple surroundings.

Early Thursday evening we enjoyed two great glasses of wine at Cul de Sac. Though my husband really wanted to stay for dinner (and I did too), I argued against it as we had a reservation at Antico Arco. The meals being served at Cul de Sac were particularly appealing: large fresh salads, plates of cured meats and cheeses, lentil soup, lasagna. The ambiance was casual and friendly and the service warm. Our fellow diners thoroughly enjoyed their meals—I asked. I will definitely return for a meal.

It was with some reluctance that we left for Antico Arco. Though we prefer simple pasta dishes to innovative Italian cuisine, I wanted to try Antico Arco as it had been so highly recommended here and on other sites. We were shown to a table upstairs—the English speaking ghetto, I surmised. Downstairs the atmosphere was buzzy and vibrant. Upstairs more sedate. I assume that they put the English speakers upstairs so that they can devote a single English-speaking waiter to the room. I was not insulted by the move but felt that I could be dining in New York or LA. My husband started with the crispy buffalo mozzarella, salted tuna roe and confit tomatoes. The tomatoes overwhelmed the cheese. Good but unremarkable. I started with the onion pie in a parmigiano cheese fondue. Definitely not memorable. I followed with the risotto with castelmagno cheese. Too much white food. My error in ordering (though when I voiced this concern to our waiter when placing my order he assured me that I was choosing the house specialties). Thank goodness for the nebbiolo wine reduction to add some color and to cut the strength of the cheese. My husband had the cacio e pepe and enjoyed it. The service was friendly and efficient and the room comfortable. Not in any way a memorable experience, though. Too many choices and too little time in Rome to repeat this one.

We enjoyed a delicious lunch on Friday at Enoteca Provinciana. I must say that I did not expect the sleek, contemporary décor that characterized this enoteca at the edge of Trajan’s forum. Nor did I expect to need a reservation! Though the restaurant was full, we were lucky enough, after a short wait, to secure two seats at the bar. We had an achingly fresh insalata caprese and, as porcinis were in season, an insalata porcini. We paired this with glasses of excellent local red wine. After the salads we enjoyed lasagna porcini and tiramisu. Lovely spot with fresh, locally grown and inventively prepared food. The crowd appeared to be entirely local. Many people came in for paninis to go—which also looked great. Definitely go, but make sure to reserve.

Later that afternoon we stopped by Al Forno in Campo de Fiori and Roscioli, where we sampled excellent pizza al taglio and pignoli cookies (Roscioli).

After a visit to the refreshingly empty Vatican Museums on Friday night, we ate a late dinner at Trattoria Lilli. When we arrived at 10 the place was packed with locals and two parties were waiting outside. Again without reservations, we were lucky to be seated within ten minutes. The room filled with large groups and the mood was convivial, boisterous even. The friendly energy was infectious. And the food delicious! We had the house wine, anitpasto del casa, bucatini all’amatriciana (gives Roma Sparita a run for its money), tonnarelli alla gricia, and rocket salads. All perfectly prepared. Lively ambiance, neighborhood vibe, delicious food, friendly service, and good value. A winner for sure.

Having polled my dining partners at the bar at Enoteca Provinciana about their favorite spots I decided to forego dining at Trattoria Monti in favor of Da Gino on vicolo Rosini near the Parliament. I haven’t dined at Monti so I don’t know if I made the right choice but I know I made a good one. We had Saturday lunch reservation at Gino for 2:30. When we got there the place was full and a line of waiting Italians snaked out the door. After a short wait we were seated. I started with the tonnarelli all ciociara (house made pasta with guanciale, pecorino, mushrooms, and peas) and my husband had the spaghetti all gricia. Perfectly sauced, perfectly al dente. We then had a large platter of oven roasted porcini mushrooms and a mixed salad capped with glasses of grappa offered by Gino himself. I would happily return and gladly recommend Gino. Great food, lively local atmosphere, rustic room with hand painted murals, and good value.

Saturday night, our last night in Rome, we had planned to eat at Le Mani in Pasta. However, by 8:00, after drinks at Bar Della Pace, we were just too tired to consider a walk to Trastevere. So, at the recommendation of our hotel concierge we dined at Hostaria da Pietro, on via Gesu e Maria. We were greeted warmly and shown to a nice table in the back room, which was mostly filled with Italians. The service was great and the ambiance both friendly and clubby. The food, while very good, was in my opinion not up to the standards of Matricianella, Roma Sparita, or Gino. My rigatoni was over sauced and the saltimbocca ever so slightly tough. The millefoglia was delicious though. For cucina romana near Piazza del Popolo it’s worth a try but you can get better food if you venture just further afield.

Next time I will try Monti, La Campana, Le Mani in Pasta, and Cul de Sac. I’d love to hear your thoughts on these.

I will also lunch at Palatium—an enoteca on via Frattina with a vibe similar to that of Enoteca Provinciana.

I will go back to Gino, Matricianella, Lilli, and Roma Sparita.

I’m curious about Edy and Enoteca Cavour. Any thoughts on these? Also checked out Bar del Fico but my gut on that one is that it is for a very young crowd who values atmosphere above all. Thoughts?

Special thanks to Katie and Vinoroma who made such generous suggestions!

Oct 27, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

Seeking authentic Roman cuisine and Ambiance: Please advise

Going next week. Wanted to send a shout out to Katie Parla. NYT Sunday Travel Section, 36 Hours in Rome, 10/10/10 recommends Enoteca Provincia Romana for "great food, friendly service, and low prices." Katie got there first. Go hounds!

Oct 09, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

Seeking authentic Roman cuisine and Ambiance: Please advise

Vinoroma and Katie, mille grazie for your input!

I'll report back when we return.

All best,

Planetjanet

Sep 28, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

Seeking authentic Roman cuisine and Ambiance: Please advise

Thanks Katie! So many choices, so little time.

Here's my take on it. What do you think?

Wednesday (arrival in Rome at 7):

Drinks at Il Goccetto
Dinner at Roma Sparita (cacio e pepe, of course)

Thursday:

Lunch at Matricianella (Gnocchi day, no?)
Dinner at Antico Arco (around 8:30 per the recs of the posters on this board)

Friday:
Lunch at Casa Bleve or Da Gino or Da Ugo or La Campana (advice?? Seems very few have recommended Da Ugo or Da Gino).
Pre-Vatican museum snack: Pizzarium
Late dinner: Trattoria Lilli (thoughts?)

Saturday:
Will be near S. Giovanni in Laterno and Santa Maria Maggiore so:
Lunch: Enoteca Provincia (or Trattoria Monti or Taverna dei Foro Imperiali--advice?)
Dinner: Le Mani in Pasta or Armando al Pantheon?
Drinks: La Vineria, Della Pace

Roscioli (v. de Chiavari), Al Forno de CF for snacks
Gelato at Fatamorgana, del Teatro, and Ciampini.
Drinks at: La Vineria, Il Goccetto, Della Pace, Palatium

I'd be grateful for any and all advice!

PJ

Sep 26, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

Seeking authentic Roman cuisine and Ambiance: Please advise

Thanks to your great posts, and with the help of Katie Parla's blog, I've been able to put together a short(ish) list of places I'd like to try. Please help me to narrow them down!

My husband and I will be in Rome for 3.5 days (7 meals). We are looking for straightforward food--excellent fresh pastas--cacio e pepe, alla gricia, all' amatriciana, carbonara--fish and meats. We steer away from offal. We'd like to try a wine bar, one "night out" spot, a few trattorias, and pizza. We are staying near P. del Popolo but will travel for food.

Here's the list:

Antico Arco
Dal Bolognese

Da Gino (vicolo Rosini 4)
Grano
La Campana
Roma Sparita
La Mani in Pasta
Taverna dei Fora Imperiali
Matricianella
Monti
Lilli (via Tor di Nona)
Da Ugo (via dei Prefetti)
Al Moro
Armando al Pantheon
Il FIco

Roscioli
Casa Bleve

We'll be in Monti for lunch one day and would appreciate your suggestions. Will also go the Vatican Museums late Friday night and would like to know where we should go for Pizza afterwards (say around 10:30).

Many thanks for your help in paring down the list!

Sep 25, 2010
planetjanet in Italy

5 meals in Athens

I will be in Athens with my family over a three day period in July. We are looking for good, authentic Greek food in a nice ambiance. Not looking for a gourmet experience necessarily. Kids are teenagers and are good eaters.

I'm thinking:

Athinaikon for lunch
Platanos for lunch

Kafenio (Kolonaki) for dinner
Strofi (on the terrace for the view) for dinner

Maybe:

Pasaji for dinner

Snacks at Ariston, Thanasis (souvlaki) and Aigaion (loukamades).

I am just beginning to plan so any guidance would be most welcome! Thank you.

Apr 02, 2009
planetjanet in Europe

Thank you for Paris restaurant recommendations!

Thank you for the excellent feedback.

Until next time . . .

Feb 18, 2008
planetjanet in France

Paris eats - brief reviews from June, 2007 trip

Thank you!

It does help on our trip. We are going in two weeks and plan to dine at Fables de la Fontaine. At which Laduree branch did you have a long wait? And were you there for lunch?

All best,

PJ

Nov 06, 2007
planetjanet in France

Classic Brasserie for Fruits de Mer and Steak Frites

I'm looking for a lively, classic brasserie for Fruits de Mer and Steak Frites.

We'll be in Paris for five days and plan to dine in several bistros recommended on this site. I'm looking for someplace bustling and quintessentially Paris. I'm hoping you can help. The closest example I can give is Balthazar in New York--loud, bustling, cavernous, great people watching, good food, fun, lively.

We've eaten at La Coupole, and, while I love the ambiance, I don't love the food. Same for Pied de Cochon.

Thoughts? Le Dome Montparnasse (seems more formal than I'm looking for)?

Thank you!

Nov 02, 2007
planetjanet in France

Don't want to overdo it: Paris Restaurants

Thank you, all, for your advice. You defintely confirmed what I suspected but did not want to admit! I will change Thursday. No lunch that day so as to be fresh and ready for Taillevent--a birthday celebration to boot!

Will do Epi Dupin on Wednesday and Le Comptoir for lunch on Saturday. Am likely to do "only" one meal Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.

P.S. Chef June, thanks for your input--I always look forward to what you have to say.

Oct 22, 2007
planetjanet in France

Don't want to overdo it: Paris Restaurants

I've read your warnings about trying to cover too many restaurants in one trip and I don't want to ruin the experience by overdoing it. There are two "hounds" in the family; the others are lighter eaters. I would appreciate your edits to my list. To pick up on conversations in other threads on this board re: eating style (nose to tail v. conservative), I sit nearer to the conservative end--no offal.

We are looking for a range of experiences and will have two young teenagers with us. Please tell me if this is too much. My main concern is with Thursday--I'd really like to go to Epi Dupin and this seems to be the only time I can fit it in--can we get a light lunch there so as not to spoil us for dinner?

Wed.: L: Le Comptoir
D: Le Relais d'Entrecote (6th)

Th: L: L'Epi Dupin
D: Taillevent

F: L: L'Ardoise
D: Spring

S: Luch on the go: picnic, etc.
D: Ze Kitchen Galerie or Le Bastide Odeon or Chez Denise or Fish or Astier:
Advice?

Sun: L: Georges at Pompidou
D: Fables de la Fontaine or les Cocottes

Mon: L: Au Bon Accueil

Many thanks!

Oct 16, 2007
planetjanet in France

Le Chateaubriand, Paris

I've read a few negative comments about Le Chateaubriand on the board lately. Wondering what the current view of the restaurant is? I'm planning to go for lunch next month. Am dining at Spring that evening so I would prefer to keep lunch simple. If not Le Chateaubriand, I was considering L'Ardoise or Angelina for lunch. (I'll be in the 1er). Advice?

Oct 03, 2007
planetjanet in France

Tipping in Paris

Thanks all for your input and thank YOU PhilD for the guide. I have printed it and will keep with my passport!

PJ

Sep 06, 2007
planetjanet in France

Tipping in Paris

I am consistently confounded by the topic of tipping in France and would be grateful for the bottom line.

We will be dining in a range of restaurants and would like to tip appropriately and well (assuming that service warrants it).

Can you advise as to what percentage of the bill to leave? Or, if there is another way to think about it, please advise.

In case there is a different answer depending on the restaurant, we will be dining at Taillevent, Salone d'Helene, Le Chateaubriand, Spring, Le Comptoir du Relais, Au Bon Accueil, l'Epi Dupin, Fables de la Fontaine, and Ze Kitchen Gallerie.

Many thanks.

Sep 02, 2007
planetjanet in France

Paris restaurants

Thanks all for the VERY helpful responses!

I've refined the list but am still over! So many good choices, too little time.

I'd be grateful for any further direction you might have, including advice as to whether it's best to go for L or D. I've tried to come up with a variety of styles--not all fancy, not all bistros.

My list now looks like:

Definite:

Taillevent
Salone d'Helene
Gaya Rive Gauche
Au Bon Accueil
Clos des Gourmets
L'Epi Dupin
Le Chateaubriand
Le Comptoir du Relais
Ze Kitchen Galerie

Definite b/c Kids' Choice:

Le Relais d'Entrecote (6th)
Georges (Pompidou)

Maybe (I need two places for Sunday):

La Cagouille
Les Cocottes/Les Fables de la Fontaine
L'Ardoise (for lunch after Louvre)
Bastide Odeon
Spring
La Cigale Recamier

Off list because not enough time:

Goumard
Le Dome (14th)
Pinxo
Wadja
Cafe Constant

Your opinions/edits are actively sought. Many thanks.

PJ

Aug 26, 2007
planetjanet in France

Paris restaurants

Souphie,

Thanks for your input.

Yes, once at Chateaubriand.

I am interested in one or two good fish restaurants. I had read poor reviews of Goumard on this site. So I was considering (two of) Fables de la Fontaine, Gaya, and Le Dome, instead. We'll have young teenagers with us, who, while fairly adventurous, are still conservative in their tastes.

Will do one Constant: do you recommend Fables, Cafe Constant or les Cocottes?

Georges--upstairs at Pompidou--my daughter's favorite.

Any thoughts on Bastide, Wadja, L'Ardoise, Salone d'Helene, Au Bon Accueil, or Clos de Gourmets?

Thank you!

PJ

Aug 23, 2007
planetjanet in France