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f2dat06's Profile

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Best value 3* or 2* lunch in Paris

Relais Louis XIII is an old style escoffier-esque kind of place, but rarely discussed on this board

Mar 15, 2015
f2dat06 in France

Looking for a place for easter brunch in Paris

brunch is mostly an american concept, not so common in paris, although it is seen sometimes

Mar 15, 2015
f2dat06 in France

Are thin, tough, gristly steaks the norm in France?

First of all there are no 4 or 5 star restaurants in France, only 1, 2, and 3 per the Michelin guide, which has been around far longer than any other restaurant rating system. If you actually ate at a 3 star in Alsace you would know it and i suspect you really did not, there are only 2, l'Arnsbourg and Auberge de l'Ill (i have been to both, more than once). 4 and 5 star ratings are some American bastardization of the Michelin standard.
Anyway, to answer your question, no, thin gristly steaks are not the standard in France, you just need to know where to go. For instance, you obviously skipped over the fabulous 1 star Auberge du Cheval Blanc in Lembach while you were in Alsace, where i had perhaps the best filet of beef ever in the summer of 2004 an still think of it often.

Aug 28, 2014
f2dat06 in France

Guy Savoy Lunch Menu

i had the lunch menu, booked by internet, 4 years ago or so and still get every January a nice happy new year card from them

Aug 28, 2014
f2dat06 in France

Alsace and Auberge de L'Ill

Been to Auberge de l'Ill 2 times, once in September once in December, great both times.
Never been to Schwarzwaldstube but in that general area is a very good competitor, Restaurant at the Hotel Bareiss, 3 stars, been there 2 times (first time when they had 2 stars, then again after the 3rd) also, excellent but would take Auberge de l'Ill over it.
In Alsace, in Lembach, is an EXCELLENT 1 star, Auberge du Cheval Blanc, almost as good a l'Ill but about half the price, been there 6 times or more, love it.

Oct 28, 2013
f2dat06 in France

Foie Gras-OK ?

perhaps I am just lucky but I have lugged back all kinds of foods and have never had a problem, just pack them in luggage and don't mention, never had a problem and have brought back cheeses, foie gras in the glass jars, butter, hunks of Spanish ham, dried sausages, whatever. Plan to act dumb if ever caught. Usually returning through either Atlanta or Cincinnati.

Sep 26, 2013
f2dat06 in France

sarreguemines - frog legs

Bernard Loiseau being a notable exception i guess.

Aug 16, 2013
f2dat06 in France

sarreguemines - frog legs

spent about 15 days in Lembach in December 2011, in a gite we rented, easy walking distance to Cheval Blanc (had visited 3 times previously too) and it is truly exceptional, they often have frog legs on the menu. Cheval Blanc had a change in ownership in 2007 i believe but nothing suffered even though Michelin inexplicably took a star when that happened. But, Lembach is a good bit more than a 30 minute drive to Sarregumines, even though the distance is not that great, lots of country roads. I drove from Lembach to Sarregumines to visit Franck Kestener's chocolate store.

Aug 01, 2013
f2dat06 in France

Florentine cookies in Paris

yes, in the 7th, on St Dominique, patisserie Jean Millet, makes excellent miniature florentines, about the size of a US silver dollar coin, they are great.

May 11, 2013
f2dat06 in France

Lasserre Restaurant 17 Ave, F.D. Roosevelt Paris

"and they do not "encourage" tourists"
My experience is counter to this. Had a reservation there about 3 years ago. Air France lost our luggage, about 5 days into the trip still had no decent clothes. I called to cancel and told them the reason. They said absolutely no problem, come on anyway. Went on, felt a bit out of place in a sweatshirt and nylon pants. They gave me a jacket to wear and treated us like kings.

Jan 12, 2013
f2dat06 in France

Tipping High End Restaurants in Paris

merchants like to complain about card fees but believe me there are many benefits to accepting plastic that more than offsets the merchant fee, for example, customers are likely to spend more when paying by card, less cash laying around for employees or others to steal, less need to keep change around - guess what banks charge for providing rolls of coins, also those armored cars you see driving around delivering cash are not free, cards provide a way to secure a reservation in case of no shows, could probably think of a few more.

Oct 18, 2012
f2dat06 in France


Yes, Relais Louis XIII, 2 stars, hardly ever mentioned on this board, 80e dinner menu. Much higher prices if you stray from the fixed menu.

Sep 21, 2012
f2dat06 in France

Birthday Dinner near the Eiffel Tower

yes have been to both, Violon a bunch of times, Il Vino once. For something such as a birthday dinner, especially if you like interresting wines would pick Vino.

An excellent traditional restaurant in that area, on La Motte Picquet, is Auberge Bressane. They serve more rustic but very nicely done foods typical of Bourgogne (Burgundy), a good choice too but not as polished as the other two i have noted, much more casual, like eating at a country inn (which is the definition of an auberge).

Jul 11, 2012
f2dat06 in France

Birthday Dinner near the Eiffel Tower

Two that come to mind that are walking distance to the Eiffel Tower are Il Vino d'Enrico Bernardo, one star, on La Tour Maubourg. At this one you pick your wine and they bring food that the chef judges to be a good match (but they so ask if there are any foods you want excluded from what might come out of the kitchen). Enrico Bernardo was sommelier of the world a few years back so that explains the focus on wine. You mention you want wine and something special, this qualifies for sure.

Another is Violon d'Ingres, one star, on St Dominique. This one has been around for a while now, is very professionally run, consistently produces quite good food, nice room, not overly formal. If you are familiar with New York, Daniel Boulud's DB Bistro Moderne would be a good comparison.

At either of these plan on maybe 100 - 120e per person all in, depending on how much you want to spend on wines, am guessing this is what you consider mid range. Three courses at Violon will run about 60e, wines start around 40e a bottle, plus coffee and water. At Vino they have a fixed dinner menu for about 100e that consists of wines plus matching foods. As i recall they have two or three such menus at different price points differentiated by the quality of the wines you get, with about 100e being the intro level.

Not sure if you have been to Paris before but keep in mind you will not likely get a reservation before 1930 or so, then at one of these places plan on a 2 hour or more dinner, so check the boat schedules and allow for travel time to get to the place where you catch the boat. You may well find it a push to work both in on the same night.

Jul 10, 2012
f2dat06 in France

Lunch at Michelin starred restaurant

Rostang used to have a thing called the Club Menu at lunch, 94.5 euros, all in, 3 courses, water, wine, coffee, aperitif. Was the best deal in Paris. Only thing you might want to pay extra for was cheese. Would be well worth emailing to ask if they still have it.

Jul 09, 2012
f2dat06 in France


I highly recommend Auberge du Cheval Blanc in Lembach, 1 star in the Reg Guide. It is great, located in an old post house in a charming village. They serve foods that certainly trace their roots to Alsace but modernized and made elegant. You will not be disappointed and you can have dinner there at a substantial discount to what you might spend at l'Arnsbourg or Auberge de l'Ill. I have been to both of those too and do prefer ADL against Arnsbourg but these two do completely different styles of cooking so are not easy to compare. Here is a link. And, le Cerf in Marlenheim is a good choice too

Apr 15, 2012
f2dat06 in France

Trip Report

Glad i am not the only one that says emperor has no clothes with regards to Papilles. It is OK, just not anything outstanding. You get a decent soup, always a braised meat of some kind, and a pathetic dessert, always some yogurt with fruit on it or maybe fruit with some sabayon on it, all of this is easily done by a semi skilled home cook. The wine choices are the best part, if they have locked that down so just a portion of the wine shop inventory can be had with dinner then move on, no reason to ever go back, just me though.

Tan Dinh used to have a michelin star lost it probably 10 years ago, maybe longer.

Apr 09, 2012
f2dat06 in France

Paris - in search of wine bars with great cheese/small plates at lunchtime/early afternoon

Feb 27, 2012
f2dat06 in France

the best cheap & a few not so cheap eats in paris?

day trip around central paris - you mean a 15 minute metro ride?
Table de Joel Robuchon closed about 2 years ago. Get a Michelin Red Guide, it is completely reliable.

Jan 18, 2012
f2dat06 in France

List of Restaurants in Paris

For pig feet here are a two recommendations:

Auberge Bressane, fits in quite well with your theme of traditional French, they have an item on the menu called pied crouistallant au foie gras, crispy pig foot stuffed with foie gras, and

Cocottes de Constant - they have a very good dish of potato halves hollowed out and stuffed with the meat of a pig foot.

Pictures of both attached, both quite good.

And yes, last time i looked at their posted menu Phamplet had completely departed from traditional French.

Jan 03, 2012
f2dat06 in France

Star lunch in Paris

Getting a reservation at multi star restaurants is not nearly as difficult a people often assume. With the exception of Astrance, a week is usually plenty. I would difinitely, though, not drop in without a reservation and expect to be seated.

If Rostang (2stars) still has their Club Menu (lunch only i think) available it is your best choice no question. Used to be about 95e all in, 3 courses, aperitif, wine, water, coffee, a truly excepional value, and the quenelle d'homard was always one of the choices for main course.

Nov 13, 2011
f2dat06 in France

Opinions on upcoming Paris dining itinerary

Dans la landes is great, you can order as much or as little as you like since it is a tapas style place. The fried polenta with smoked duck is so very good. If you control yourself, which is difficult to do since they have so many interesting things on the menu, then you will be fine with eating at violon d.ingres that night, but would ask for a later seating.

Auberge Bressane has very hearty but very good stuff, for sure a good choice for eating when it is cold outside. I have not been to Caius Zinc, but again would go late to Auberge Bressane if having a full lunch earlier in the day.

Oct 30, 2011
f2dat06 in France

Seafood Standard?

never had a problem getting a reservation, just call a week or two before

Sep 08, 2011
f2dat06 in Manhattan

Paris - Nice lunch under 20 euros (with a few other criteria making the search difficult)

Easy - right near where you will be, on Rue Mont Thabor, le Souffle, 25E lunch menu, very nice for lunch, intimate dining room, good price. Mont Thabor is one street over, parallell to Rue Rivoli.

Sep 08, 2011
f2dat06 in France


My only observation is that the truffle menus at Savoy, Ducasse, etc. are likely to cost more than 325e, making the food only cost for such an outing near the $500 level, per person.

So, iock, if cash is no problem, spend away. I was at Rostang last January and they had a picnic basket full of fresh truffles they brought around to show off, really intoxicating smell throughout the dining room. Some guy came in and was seated at the table next to us and ordered nothing but the truffle sandwich and a glass of wine, so that is an option for sure if you do not want to drop the cash for a full menu.

For me, the truffle menus were a good deal about 11-12 years ago when 1e = 0.90$, but for now they are off limits which is why is say try Maison de la Truffe, still expensive, but not like the starred places.

Aug 29, 2011
f2dat06 in France


There is a place caled Maison de la Truffe, two locations in Paris, one on the Place de Madeleine, the other in the 8th I think, maybe on Rue Marbeuf, for sure that one is across the street from the l'Entrecote in the 8th. They sell truffles to go but both locations also have restaurants that sell dishes that feature truffles, this should be your go to place, but is high priced, as you might expect.

Aug 28, 2011
f2dat06 in France

Best Pain Aux Raisin in Paris?

At Laduree they have an item called Pain aux Raisin Canelle, pretty much a cinamon roll with raisins, THIS THING IS THE BEST. Not fancy just exceptionally well made, go and try one. No resemblence to those leaden piles of dough that pass as cinamon rolls in the US.

75 Champs-Élysées, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR

Aug 25, 2011
f2dat06 in France

Les Fables de la Fontaine

Ate there in June, good restaurant, very small, for instance, you have to walk through the kitchen to get to the toilettes. I would certainly return, have had this one on my list for a long time, just got around to it. The photo is a dish of rouget over a puree of aubergine I had there, very tasty.

Aug 18, 2011
f2dat06 in France

Lunch in one and a half hours at Violon D'Ingres - is it doable

yes you can eat there in 1.5 hours. Tell them you need a taxi at 1500 and they will call one for you and have it waiting.

Violon is not overly fomal anymore. They reformatted about 5 years ago. There is no pressure to order three courses, just 2 is fine, no problem. If you want 3 i think the deal is 3 courses for 49e, but supplements apply to some items. Otherwise should be something like 40e for entree + plat or 36e for plat + dessert, again supplements will apply for some things.

It is a good restaurant, very well run, not spectacular stuff coming out of the kitchen but always very enjoyable, to me anyway.

Aug 10, 2011
f2dat06 in France

Iso sandwich steak hache frites a la marseille in Paris

If you find a place in Paris with these please report. I have looked but never found them in Paris. Like you, i recall these being everywhere as street food in the south of France, had them often in Toulon back in my navy days.

Aug 08, 2011
f2dat06 in France