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8 days near Le Marche D'Aligre

Thanks for that. Stay tuned until next September.

1 day ago
sfcarole in France

8 days near Le Marche D'Aligre

This was very interesting to read since I plan to try Bones again next year after a less-than-ideal experience there last month. And it makes sense to try the bar area as you did, and as suggested by others on this board. It sounds great. And I'm not surprised about the service. That was one thing that was really so friendly and helpful as you said. But I'm curious as to what time of the evening you stopped by...

2 days ago
sfcarole in France

Can I get a recommendation for a restaurant for dinner in Marin?

Thanks Jake Dear. I just happened to be looking for a Marin restaurant for tonight and just made a res at Valenti's. Love Picco but they were full, and we have never tried Valenti's.

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Oh let's plan on it!!! Only 10 months to go!

Nov 15, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I think a week will be 25% better. ;)

Nov 15, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Not sure yet, but will let you know when I do.

Nov 15, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

And it was great to finally meet you at b patisserie this morning!

Nov 11, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

I can't wait to see you all! As it turns out, R will be cycling in Italy for one week of our time in Paris. So I'll be on my own and hope that some of you might join me for lunch or dinner that week.

Nov 11, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Thanks Renovoguy. Well, aside from sharing the damage inflicted on our credit cards, R also prepared a spreadsheet (!!!) of all the restaurants we visited with columns for the date, name, type of resto, arrondissement, price and whether it met, exceeded or was below expectations, as well as his comments. You’ve all heard my opinions above, so let me share with you the places R listed as Exceeded Expectations, with his comments. Btw, according to his spreadsheet our average meal was 95€ for two, with wine for me only, which was usually two glasses. We ate in every arrondissements except the 4th (where we were staying!), the 8th, 15th and 20th. We’ll try to fill those in next year, maybe with Les Nautes (4th), Neva Cuisine (8th), Le Pario (15th) and Le Baratin (20th). Already plotting…

So, here are R’s Faves with his unedited comments: Pierre Sang in Oberkampf (“All interesting - food, venue”); O Divin (“A real neighborhood surprise”); Restaurant Will (“What a little treasure”); Les Enfants Rouges (“Another treasure”); Le BAT (“Fun place and good food”); Le Lulli (“In a hotel? Wow. A quiet place - a must return”); Bistrot du Maquis (“This is my kind of neighborhood gem”); A. Noste (“Unique; fun and interesting food”); Hugo Desnoyer (“Wow - a lot of fun and good food”); La Table d’Eugène (“Another neighborhood gem”); Les Climats (“Elegant, but relaxed and fun”); Le Clown Bar (“Friendly and interesting good food”); L’Assiette (“Wow, wow, wow. The Paris bistro (shhhh)”); Pramil (“Good food; weird service; great value”); Les Deserteurs (“Excellent food, helpful service, modern bistro”). I could quibble with a few on his Exceeded list, as well as a few omissions to same, but how boring if we agreed on everything. And, wow, we did have a good time! And I really don’t know how to thank all of you on CH for making this trip so immensely special. Following your leads opened Paris up to us in a whole new way. And btw, we have already reserved the apartment for next year, same time frame, but for five weeks. :)

Nov 10, 2014
sfcarole in France

5 nights in Paris

You may want to consider Les Deserteurs in the 11th. We had dinner there our last night in Paris and loved it. Also, I think you mean Château Richeux (not Richieux). Sounds like a great trip!

Nov 10, 2014
sfcarole in France

Long report: a Franco-African week in Paris

So very interesting & fun to read! Plus lots of great ideas for next year. Thank you for taking the time to post this.

Nov 10, 2014
sfcarole in France

Alex Croquet's Kouign Amann

So when are you going to invite me over???

Nov 07, 2014
sfcarole in France

Alex Croquet's Kouign Amann

That may have to be the perfect first night back in Paris dinner for next September.

Nov 04, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Alex Croquet's Kouign Amann

"I have never approached the filled ones...anywhere. I don't get the point". Me neither. Never tried them.

Nov 04, 2014
sfcarole in France

Alex Croquet's Kouign Amann

Yes - I've been addicted to them from the day B Patisserie opened. I didn't even know what they were called. I think they told me it was some house speciality. Not too sweet either.

Nov 04, 2014
sfcarole in France

"Tip and Tax not included." A new trick on visitors unfamiliar with Paris restaurants?

Just checked our Pirouette receipt. It's the same as yours John with "Tips not included" printed at the bottom after the total amount. I went through all of our other receipts and this was the only one that had that line (or anything similar).

Oct 28, 2014
sfcarole in France

Budget dining in Paris?

And here's a convenient site that lists all the market openings -http://marche.equipement.paris.fr/tou...

Just be sure to subtract an hour from their closing times, because at the time they list you will just see the back of their trucks driving away.

Oct 27, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Too Many Michelin Restaurants In This Ski Resort.

Yes, for 400,000€ you should at least get a slinky bathrobe from Chantal Thomass ---- to keep!

Oct 26, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Too Many Michelin Restaurants In This Ski Resort.

And with no smoke and noise to complain about.

Oct 26, 2014
sfcarole in France

Too Many Michelin Restaurants In This Ski Resort.

Awww, come on...you get bathrobes and wifi, plus your own private nightclub. ;)

Oct 26, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Budget dining in Paris?

Agree. But I like (and use) a lot of his recipes which are quite good. Especially like his shallot confit with cocoa nibs. Great with grilled lamb or beef.

Oct 25, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Last Wednesday, our last day. After the sad task of packing, we took a bus over towards rue des Petits Champs where we wanted to buy some last minute gifts at Le Comptoir des Abbayes, and walk through the Passage Colbert and Galeries Vivienne, before meeting a fellow CHer at Willi’s Wine Bar. Soon after we arrived while waiting for our lunch companion, Mark Williamson came over to chat and we got filled in on some of the details of the Bar’s 34th anniversary party the night before. Sounded like we missed a fun time! R started with calamari on a purée of grilled sweet peppers, followed by linguine with cèpes. I had two entrées - a tartare of haddock on a chunky guacamole and foie gras with a fig chutney. Everything was quite good. Mark picked out a lovely clean & crisp white wine for me whose name unfortunately I have forgotten. I’m hoping I have it written on a receipt somewhere.

We wandered out into the gray afternoon, trying to get our last bearings on the city, while spotting so many places that would have to remain unexplored on this trip. R went off to an exhibit at the Maison Européenne de la Photographie, while I walked slowly back to the apartment to finish up packing before dinner.

As luck would have it, our last dinner in Paris at Les Deserteurs was absolutely superb. We were warmly greeted and seated at a nice corner table in the back. To my sensitized ears I was happy to hear Amy Winehouse playing in the background. The waiter, who it turned out was the most diligent, intelligent, hardest working waiter we had encountered on this trip, carefully explained the menu, which was composed of many specially sourced ingredients. We really wished we could go for the 6-course 60€ menu, but with an early flight the next morning, we deferred instead to the 4-course 45€ menu, posted above. The first course was sliced beets, black radishes, oxalis and spring onions on a purée of beets and a dusting of dried olives. It seemed similar to a lot of entrées I had chosen over the month, and rather than my palate being jaded by the experience this seemed special. Why? I think it was the lime vinaigrette added to the beet purée that added liveliness to the whole dish and the salty dusting of olives. The brightness of the beet course was followed by a slow cooked egg and some chard sauced with a divine mousseline. The main was a heritage (i.e. sustainably farm-raised) pork loin that was as juicy and succulent as the pork roasts I remember from years ago, accompanied by gray chanterelles and a red wine reduction sauce. Dessert was a slice of highly caramelized puff pastry and apple sprinkled with a few nuts, with salted caramel ice cream on the side. We have had similar renditions in other restos, but this was without a doubt the best one. What a way to end the trip! With a dinner that we would like so much to repeat, and that will be one of the many things that will lure us back to Paris.

Oct 24, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Re smoke: I didn't want the review to look too much like a legal brief, so I cut down on the quotes. But here are a couple more: "On arrive dans une salle très enfumée, les yeux piquent, ce n'est pas très agréable". April 2013. And "the thing that failed the most was lack of any air con or ventilation in the kitchen, our clothes smelled heavily of fried food". Feb. 2014. So I don't think it was a one-off occasion. But it may be dependent on what's on the menu. Their ventilator may not be able to handle everything. And Henry was there all evening.

As to the last point, yes, the rustic/industrial decor is indeed an international design. Where it originated I haven't a clue and would probably require an architectural historian to delve into. But I wasn't talking about the decor alone, I was talking about the "vibe", which to me (even if to me alone) is very Brooklyn or Tribeca. With the American rock music blaring, the open kitchen, open noisy bar a few steps down (like Locanda Verde in NY), if I were taken there blindfolded that is where I would have thought I was. Yes, Paris has similar restaurants (it has Bones!) and so does Sydney, where I lived for three years not long ago, and so does San Francisco for that matter, and Amsterdam, and so many others. The very phrase "casual, bare-bones, hip bistrot" makes me even think back to the Village in the late 50s and early 60s. And I do think there were probably similar places in Paris at that time, too.

Oct 24, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

One way or the other I would have had to check it out for myself.

Oct 24, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Next year, when I'm in the area I plan to stop in for a pre-dinner cocktail & nibble. I've heard consistently good things about the bar food.

Oct 24, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Thank you - I usually don't like to make reviews so long. But when it's negative, and about a popular spot, I think there's a greater need for clarity and explanation.

Oct 24, 2014
sfcarole in France

"Tip and Tax not included." A new trick on visitors unfamiliar with Paris restaurants?

When we get back to San Francisco I'll pull out our Pirouette receipt and take a look (assuming we saved it).

Oct 24, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Being a prisoner of the food wars in Paris doesn't sound like the worst thing in the world to be!

Oct 22, 2014
sfcarole in France
1

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

Hi Guys - thanks for all your comments. We're on our way to Tahoe and later today I promise to respond. I still have one more day to post too, including our last dinner at Les Deserteurs.

Oct 22, 2014
sfcarole in France

Paris from mid-September to mid-October!

We decided to explore the Montparnasse area on Tuesday. First stop, a market of course! This time it was the Mouton Duvernet Open Air Market near the Metro stop of the same name. Open Tuesday and Friday mornings, it’s another market where the Apple Lady, Evelyne Nochet, sells her apples, pears and plums. There was also a splendid array of olives and a very fresh and tidy fish monger stand. The market provides a nice quiet break from the traffic of Avenue du Gen. Leclerc, a block away.

We then took the Metro to Edgar Quinet located at the northeast corner of the Cimetière du Montparnasse, and from there walked up rue Delambre exploring the fromagerie of Pascal Beillevaire (#8), the Boucherie Delambre (#5) and the Poissonnerie du Dôme (#4). A fairly impressive little street!

Soon it was time for lunch, which was close by at Sur le Fil on rue Léopold Robert. We were welcomed by a charming young woman and chose a little table in the small front room. The lunch menu for 22 € had no choices but looked good to us. A lovely chicken bouillion with tatsoy (a baby bokchoy) and squash tempura, followed by a lieu jaune on a celeriac purée and a classic and perfectly executed millefeuille à la vanille. A great deal - and all delicious.

Later in the evening, after stopping by the apt. of a new friend who had kindly asked us up for a drink we headed off to dinner at Bones, which had been recommended by so many. I was really looking forward to James Henry’s adventurous approach to cuisine. Bones of course is very popular with many on this board who seem to like it a great deal. Unfortunately I am not one of them.

We walked into a blue haze of smoke coming from the kitchen. Maybe some problem with the ventilator, but after about 45 minutes the smoke seemed less noticeable. The wait staff were extremely friendly and obliging and we were seated at a great table along the half-wall between the walk-in area and the main floor. I faced the whole room, R faced the bar area below.

But the noise was deaf-en-ing. R actually opened his decibel app and the needle hovered between 97 and 98. A restaurant can’t really control the noise people make, can they? I looked around - stone walls, stone floors, even stone tables. And a busy bar-walk-in area a few steps below. Hmm. And the smoke. Why not at least open the door? Maybe noise complaints from neighbors? I wish I had read the following from Condé Nast Traveller before booking: “Wow, Parisians are loud. It was 10.15pm on a Thursday night at Bones, […], and the din was making it difficult to focus on the menu” and “I had never seen anything this, well, lively”. And this from a French review: “le niveau sonore est proche de l’insupportable". The noise combined with the acrid smoke and my stinging eyes and the dim lights made it very stuffy in there and difficult to focus on the food, let alone the menu. And no one really seemed to be focusing on it very much anyway. So I fled up the spiral staircase, peeled off a few layers, threw some water on my eyes and breathed in a few deep smokeless gulps of air. I’m thinking, if this is the price of being young and hip, I guess I’m happy to be old and square. Anyway, the whole vibe is very Brooklyn, which is fine (I was born in NYC), and has nothing really to do with the food anyway, but a lot to do with the total experience.

The menu that evening was interesting. And that was about the highest level it achieved. We began with a couple of amuses bouches that were fine. I always like a small piece of mackerel sushi and we both love smoked duck aiguillettes. Then the bread & butter. Oh, thank God. This was amazingly good. The first course was a crab and artichoke heart salad, but the crab too fine, watery and tasteless. And we’re both crab fanatics. I ate the artichoke. Next were cuttlefish pieces on asparagus with pickled onions and a sauce from squid ink. It looked fabulous. I mixed it all up in the sauce before tasting. Wow, why so bitter. Squid ink isn’t bitter; it has that lovely deep sea flavor. I put my fork down. It was really way to bitter for me to eat, worse than burnt toast, and there was only one thing that could spoil a dish so totally for me, but I have never found it in any noticeable quantity in a main course. And that is dark, black, concentrated coffee. (I love a bit of coffee added to chocolate desserts for complexity). I nodded to the waiter as he passed by. Putting on my best smile I asked if there was coffee mixed in with the squid ink. “Brava!” he said. “You are the only person who has figured that out tonight”. I tried to smile at my achievement, but was sure the smile looked more like one of those totally idiotic crooked smiles you see in cartoons. R finished the dish and I ate more of the wonderful bread. Our main was a pintade, a piece of breast meat that was watery and bland and a piece of dark meat that was roasted nicely on one end, but underdone on the other. I took a bite of each and started on the cornmeal purée and girolles underneath. But the cornmeal was way too sweet, like Lyle’s Golden Syrup had been added to it, and the girolles were inedibly salty. I really should have returned the plate. Instead I ate more bread. Dessert was a fine quince and spiced apple-rum ice cream on sablé crumbs. The total cost for the four courses was 55€. For me, an expensive basket of bread.

Oct 21, 2014
sfcarole in France
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