Yes - LOL! Needless to say - we were completely lost when coming out of the metro. After dinner, walking back, we realized how off the mark we were in. Including the fact that Le Galopin was a few doors from La Tete dans Les Olives.
We just arrived from Paris this past weekend and dined at Le Galopin (stayed in the Marais). We actually got lost for approximately 20 minutes wandering the streets (9pmish), and we were completely fine. It's definitely "grittier" than the center of Paris, but that's part of the charm. I believe the neighborhood is "Chinatown". If you're familiar with NYC - it reminded me of the Lower East Side.
I reserved approximately a week prior and had no problems for a dinner reservation at 9pm.
We too rented an apartment in the Marais (near the Bastille and St. Paul metro stations). It took us approximately 30 minutes via metro (with transfers) and another 20 minutes on foot (we lost our bearing and got lost) to finally arrive at Le Galopin, so you may want to consider somewhere closer (unless you of course take the early seating rez to get you home earlier.
I had a reservation at Au Passage for the same night, but opted to try Le Galopin. They serve tapas style and the decor is bare, and we decided that were looking for something else. It was easy to get this reservation as well (we had a reservation for 9:30pm).
Au Vieux Comptoir may be your best bet if you're looking for something closer - it's right outside the Chatelet metro and easy walking distance from the Marais as well. (I secured these rez via email).
I can't speak for the other restaurants, but I think it all depends on what you're in the mood for. If you're concerned about getting home at a decent hour, just pick the restaurant you really want to go to, and take a reservation for the first seating.
Thank you to everyone that responded to my original post requesting feedback on my proposed itinerary. We just returned yesterday from Paris, and as promised I'm reporting back....
FRIDAY LUNCH - Breizh Cafe (3 arr)
FRIDAY DINNER - Les Papilles (5 arr)
SATURDAY LUNCH - Au Vieux Comptoir (1 arr)
SATURDAY DINNER - Le Galopin (10arr)
SUNDAY DINNER - Les Cocottes (7arr)
Overall, we had an amazing dining experience during our visit. I think I over researched and over-read the boards about the french dining etiquette and dress code, and this made me extremely nervous which was completely unnecessary. My husband wore jeans and a button down shirt and sweater to dinner every night, while I wore some combination of black and we were completely fine. I attempted to speak french at every restaurant and all the servers were very accomodating.
Lastly, What I loved about most of the places we went to (Breizh Cafe, Les Papilles, Au Vieux Comptoir and Le Galopin) was that they were all run by the owners. You could see the attention to detail in the food and that they truly enjoyed what they were doing. My husband and I are looking forward to our next visit to Paris next year.
Ok - that's exactly what happened to me. I asked for a 9pm reservation and he came back with 7:30pm!
Thank you Parigi for your feedback and suggestions. I've decided to change our itinerary.
1) Friday Lunch - Breizh Cafe or pick something up at the markets
2) Friday Dinner - Les Papilles. Should I move to the reservation to the second seating?
3) Saturday Lunch/Dinner - In your opinion - Chez l'Ami Jean, Chez Casimir or Dumonet? Or should we opt to go here for lunch instead of dinner (if it's open). We will probably walk around the covered passages like you suggested.
4) I plan on cancelling Aux Passages. Is it possible to dine at one of the 3 lunch options above AND have dinner at Le Galopin or is that too much food?
5) Sunday Lunch - TBD
6) Sunday Dinner - Les Cocottes
Thank you Delucacheesemonger and mangeur for the tip on the flea markets. I'll adjust our itinerary accordingly. We'll be going to Porte de Vanves on Saturday instead of Sunday.
I am now reconsidering Dumonet.
My husband and I are going to Paris next week for 3 nights/4days. I have been many times but it will be my husband's first visit, so I'm quite anxious and hoping that he will have a good time. Although our visit is short, we plan on eating well, sightseeing, and spending Sunday at Les Puces de Saint-Ouen.
We are both from the NYC area and enjoy eating out. Ambience and service is just as important to us as good food. His favorite restaurant in NYC is Aqua Grill. He prefers quiet intimate places. I often feel like I have to twist his arm to try new things, but when he does he enjoys himself (i.e. Aldea - he loved it). Me on the other hand, I am much more adventurous overall. Since this is his first time (and a surprise birthday trip for him), I'm going to to restrain myself and all the places I want to try and keep him in mind.
So with all that being said, my goal is to gradually introduce him to the Paris that I love. I would like him to experience the traditional places and not necessarily the "hip" new places (maybe that's for our next trip). rI've ented an apartment near Place des Vosges and plan on having a light breakfast every morning. My husband LOVES sweets and chocolates, so I'm sure that part of Paris will win him over.
I've done extensive research on Chowhound reading the boards going back 2 years, as well as parisbymouth.com, fooding, David Lebovitz' blog; and I've printed out Patricia Wells dictionary in preparation for the trip. And this is my proposed itiinerary. I apologize for the very long introduction but wanted to make sure you have enough information to comment. Thanks so much in advance!
FRIDAY (early afternoon flight arrival)
I'm hesitating going to Chez L'Ami Jean, Josephine Chez Dumonet because I feel that will be too overwhelming for my husband - i.e. tight tables, atmosphere, etc.
Again, I thank everyone in advance for any comments and insights, and I promise when I return to provide an update.