Best Area in Paris for Bistros

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David Cooper
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Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#1 Post by David Cooper » May 1st, 2019, 4:09 pm

My wife and I are going to Paris in the fall. We will probably stay in the 9th at the hotel de Nell. Is this an area where decent bistros will be within walking distance?

We really would like to stick to proper French food while in Paris. All suggestions will be appreciated.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#2 Post by Alan Rath » May 1st, 2019, 4:28 pm

David, check out this thread, there are a ton of restaurants mentioned and described. You'll have to figure out which are close enough to your hotel to walk, but I have yet to be in any area of Paris where there weren't good options within a few blocks.

viewtopic.php?f=6&t=116608
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#3 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » May 1st, 2019, 6:32 pm

Lots of recent recommendations in that thread. Not sure why you would restrict yourself to bistros. Le Bon George’s is in the 9th.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#4 Post by Tom G l a s g o w » May 1st, 2019, 6:38 pm


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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#5 Post by Matt Fleming » May 2nd, 2019, 5:00 am

Method: find excellent accommodations near the entrance to a metro stop with excellent correspondences. Voila.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#6 Post by geoffpm » May 2nd, 2019, 6:14 am

A closer look would guide you to the 11th arr. Many critics call it the Brooklyn of Paris. After all, Paul Bert is there .
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#7 Post by Rich Salsano » May 2nd, 2019, 6:35 am

6th arrondisement for me.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#8 Post by M.Kaplan » May 2nd, 2019, 7:15 am

3ème, 10ème, and 11ème on the right bank and 5ème, 6ème, and 7ème on the left bank. A single arrondissement is too restrictive; each of these three groupings is contiguous and walkable.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#9 Post by Matthew Brown » May 2nd, 2019, 7:32 am

Loved what we found around the 6th last year. The neighborhood right below Luxembourg Gardens is more University crowd, a bit more affordable and pub-ish, but lots of choices up and down every street. Even found an excellent draft list of craft beers if that floats you at all. Up by the Pantheon is a bit more residential so the quality is a bit more upscale and quiet, but perhaps a bit less to see. Did find our favorite place with a deep org/Bio wine list and simple but delicious courses. Be ready for later meal starting times at most places, and some places may close the kitchen down on Fridays and just do apps. Also a very good wine store near Panteon as well.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#10 Post by Ramon C » May 2nd, 2019, 8:22 am

All over Paris.

But. lately, we're especially fond of the ones in the 11th.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#11 Post by ryancurry » May 2nd, 2019, 5:02 pm

10th/11th for me. good wine bar area too.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#12 Post by Jeremy Holmes » May 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm

Le Bon Georges is fantastic.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#13 Post by David Cooper » May 3rd, 2019, 7:19 am

Thanks everyone for the help. We ended up booking the Westin Vendomme which I believe is in the 9th. It's our plan to walk as much as we can while in Paris.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#14 Post by Michel Abood » May 3rd, 2019, 12:11 pm

David Cooper wrote:
May 3rd, 2019, 7:19 am
Thanks everyone for the help. We ended up booking the Westin Vendomme which I believe is in the 9th. It's our plan to walk as much as we can while in Paris.
That's in the 1st, right by the Tuileries and the Louvre, but still a lovely place. Paris, overall, is a very walkable city. You aren't far from the Opera or (what's left of) Notre Dame, and can easily cross the river or take a Metro to anywhere in town. As many here have mentioned, there's lots of interesting activity in the 11th, though the 9th is certainly starting to wake up (I rent a place in the 9th near Metro Cadet).

For new wave bistrots (but likely with more natural wines), 10th/11th is the go-to scene, though some new things have popped up in the 9th lately. The 6th is good for more classic places, as is the 5th. Personally, I like the avant-garde nature of some of the places in the 11th and even 20th, but YMMV.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#15 Post by Howard Cooper » May 4th, 2019, 5:00 am

David Cooper wrote:
May 3rd, 2019, 7:19 am
Thanks everyone for the help. We ended up booking the Westin Vendomme which I believe is in the 9th. It's our plan to walk as much as we can while in Paris.
I would think that would be in the 1st, isn't it? We stayed at the Renaissance Vendomme last year and this is a great area for walking around.

In any case, you should be within walking distance of a lot of well known wine bars including Juveniles, Willi's Wine Bar and Frenchie's Wine Bar (although that one is a longer walk).
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#16 Post by KenL. » May 4th, 2019, 4:42 pm

No need to limit yourself to any one part of the city. Get out and explore. I like to walk as much as possible in Paris to explore the different neighborhoods and when I get tired or pressed for time, hop on the metro. One place you should definitely check out next to your hotel is Pierre Herme for macarons
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#17 Post by Matt Fleming » May 7th, 2019, 12:46 pm

Jeremy Holmes wrote:
May 2nd, 2019, 11:13 pm
Le Bon Georges is fantastic.
After a meal tonight, and considering the price, I give le Bon Georges a very hard pass. Sometimes indifferent service, sometimes ignorant, sometimes flat out rude. Entree and plat principal were OK, dessert and cheese course good, maybe better. Wine selection, eh. The wine list itself is OK, but no half-bottles and this pushes the solo diner to pot Lyonnais, and this was meh, for me. 20-somthing waitstaff, most of whom obviously wanted to be someplace else.

None of this would bother me in a standard bistro setting. 150E a person is not bistro. Go someplace else.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#18 Post by Jeremy Holmes » May 7th, 2019, 9:09 pm

Been there 6 or 7 times Matt, never had a bad experience. Food is carefully sourced and cooked well. Wine-list is excellent and I have always received warm and efficient service. Your mileage did vary.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#19 Post by Matt Fleming » May 8th, 2019, 11:44 am

Jeremy Holmes wrote:
May 7th, 2019, 9:09 pm
Been there 6 or 7 times Matt, never had a bad experience. Food is carefully sourced and cooked well. Wine-list is excellent and I have always received warm and efficient service. Your mileage did vary.
Jeremy,

Indeed! Europcar seemed to assign you a VW Polo and me a '74 Pontiac Grand Ville.

the only reason I posted on the subject was because the reviews are very positive, and I thought my experience so out of the ordinary that readers should know about it, too. This was my first time and I was surprised at how disappointed I was. I am actually fairly easy going when it comes to being satisfied with restaurants. First time at le Terroir in Santenay was so good I went back a fews day later. I rarely revisit a restaurant on a trip but did this time. Had a great lunch at le Chambolle, etc etc. In fact, judging by your posts, you and I were on similar paths for a while, but with you a week or two ahead of me.

I also owe it to the bistro to be specific, so here goes:

I made a reservation for the earliest dinner table, as I do when eating alone, as perhaps the restaurant can turn the table. It also allows be to sort out the question of English / French.

I order a coupe de champagne, the Bollinger is not pettilant a minute after the pour. Either poorly stored from lunch, or from the night before. I should have sent it back. In any case it should have never made it to the table.

I order a pot lyonnais of Rully. I am informed that Rully is in Burgundy and that means it is Pinot Noir (I wanted to reply. "well, probably" but couldn't get a word in) and that means the wine is lighter. Is that OK? Here we have the problem of language in a nutshell. I had 5 members of the waitstaff service the table, had any of them bothered to understand my ability to speak the language or understand my level of interest / knowledge, it wouldn't have mattered as I would have had to explain it again. and again. I understand bistros do use this "team" approach, sometimes. It doesn't help le Bon Georges, if you ask me. The restaurant was about 1/3 full at this time, so that isn't an excuse to ignore what customers might want.

I ask about the "plat d'exception" and I am informed that a "plat" is a plate, I get a visual aid of two hands forming a circle. I give up the the veal.

I order an entree of croustillant de pieds et oreilles de cochon. The runner (a new member of the something better to do crowd) dumps the plate without a single word. The croustillant is lacking flavor and a bit too thin to accomplish a good "croustillant". the salad is dressed perfectly and the best thing about the dish is the generous scoop of creme fraiche (sorry too lazy to do the accent marks right now).

as for the Rully -- it is poured off a freshly opened magnum. One point about drinking from pots or pichets is it usually means the wine has had a chance to take some oxygen. There are only 4 reds by the glass at le Bon Georges so there isn't much excuse not to have them open. The Rully finally becomes expressive with the cheese course.

the main is a magret de canard--average, nothing more, the reduction is good, but its hard to know just what the duck is like underneath. the leeks as a side are something of a disaster. overly oily, lacking flavor, goopy and lukewarm. Again the runner dumps the plate without a word, as if I wasn't sitting there. I am half tempted at this point to push the table away from the banquette and walk.

The cheese course is very good. Excellent Brillat Savarin and the Comte is too. The latter has crystals which indicate an age of 24 months or so, but it is hard to know for sure as the waiters dump and run. The cheese is of the quality of Barthelemy -- and that is high praise from me.

Dessert is an excellent strawberry millefeuille. I remember that there is a glass of coteaux du Layon by the glass and order one -- it is darker than I expected and a tad alcoholic, so I ask quelle annee? quel millesime? The waiter looks at the waitress, no answer. I would happily trade this crew for AA Gill's experience with the staff of l'Ami Louis; that had a quality of entertainment.

I ask for tea with the dessert, it comes after.

I fork over 150E and am happy to be done with the place.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#20 Post by Jeremy Holmes » May 8th, 2019, 4:26 pm

Sounds like your experience was as flat as the glass of Bollinger you had, Matt. Did they give you the larger wine list?

Glad you enjoyed Le Terroir. A fabulous restaurant run by a beautiful host.
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#21 Post by Matt Fleming » May 9th, 2019, 3:03 am

Yes, Madame Corinne at le Terroir is exemplary as a proprietor. Warm lobster salad with a saffron dressing, 1/2 bottle of Lamy's Princee (new cuvee to me). Perfect. I had a huge lunch, so just resolved to come back in a few days, despite staying in Dijon. Next dinner might have been better -- veal, game bird, 1/2 of Santenay Clos Rousseau. A pretty little square out front.

I did get the full list at le Bon Georges, and it was interesting, and not too expensive. But I wasn't in the mood for a full bottle.

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#22 Post by Cole Kendall » December 2nd, 2019, 6:13 pm

Just a quick note that we had a lovely lunch at le Bon Georges. The place was packed (on a Tuesday lunch) and service was fine. No one questioned my French and my quasi de veau could have fed a few others along with me. It was one of our better meals in France (along with bouchon chez Georges and Les Loges in Lyon as well as the Japanese restaurant Zen in Paris).

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#23 Post by Francois Olivier » December 5th, 2019, 10:43 am

The Bon georges, rue saint georges paris 9th ?

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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#24 Post by Jay Miller » December 5th, 2019, 12:37 pm

Matt Fleming wrote:
May 8th, 2019, 11:44 am

I ask about the "plat d'exception" and I am informed that a "plat" is a plate, I get a visual aid of two hands forming a circle. I give up the the veal.
Lol, reminds me of a coffee truck near my office which I tried once. I asked what the single origin coffee was and she laboriously explained that their regular coffee was a blend from different locations but the single origin was all from one place.

I heroically refrained from rolling my eyes and asked what the one place was. She looked a bit panicky and said, "Um, I think it might be Kenya?"
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Re: Best Area in Paris for Bistros

#25 Post by Cole Kendall » December 6th, 2019, 4:07 pm

Francois Olivier wrote:
December 5th, 2019, 10:43 am
The Bon georges, rue saint georges paris 9th ?
That's where I had lunch.

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