Eating and Drinking in Paris

Used to stay there often, but stopped when it was announced it was being sold and reflagged. Reflagging didn’t happen for years, but looks like it finally will as a Jumeriah.

Had fabulous upgrades there, but they slowly got less fabulous. Per the thread in Flyertalk, quite rundown and understaffed.

But pretty much my favorite location . I switched to the Park Hyatt but priced out now so am looking for an alternative .

A friend of mine who used to stay at the Park Hyatt switched to Sofitel le Faubourg and has good things to say about it.

Anyone know why I can only seem to make lunch reservations online for Chez L’Ami Jean and not dinner reservations?

Likely because they are fully booked. You can make dinner reservations for May 14-16.

Try calling.

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Wonder if they showed up on someone’s list or something recently? Even a month ago some times filled up but there was generally decent availability a week or two out.

Spring in Paris? Aren’t there songs about that?

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My British friend tells a 10 minute long joke about Springtime in Paris.

Is the punchline The Aristocrats?


The online reservation system maxes out for large parties. As Barry suggests, call them, +33147058689 from the US. The usually arrive around 10am Paris time.

They will require a credit card for a larger party.

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Booked! Thanks so much.

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Now I just need three more dinners…

It’s me, my wife and daughter and my parents. No Michelin three stars. L’Ami Jean would be more the vibe.

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I really liked Fish La Boissonerie, in the 6th, a few years ago.

Fantastic few days eating and drinking in Paris with my wife this past weekend. The “manifestations” made for an interesting Thursday evening (the day Macron announced he was going to set the new retirement policy unilaterally), but more along the lines of a great story than legitimate fear. Other than that night, they contributed to bad traffic but nothing more (at least where we were).
We arrived Thurs morning and had a rom for one night at the Sofitel le Faubourg. This is about 1/2 block off the Place de la Concorde, which was the epicenter for the main protest. During the early evening, before dark, the protest was more of a peaceful rally - there was music, ballons and flags, and speakers, but generally very well-behaved. However, the gendarmes were clearly taking it very seriously - shutting down all traffic in the Plaza and the main streets in and out, including the Rue Rivoli and Champs-Elyssees; and decked out in full riot gear.
After dark, we headed out to dinner at les Juveniles - about a 15 min walk. As we were going, we saw quite a lot of commotion, and other pedestrians told us that the protestors were lighting fireworks and engaging the police. We detoured a few blocks and saw that, though the streets were quiet, protestors had clearly been there - piles of garbage and large municipal trash cans were turned into make-shift barricades across the street and in some cases, small garbage fires were smoldering.
We were early for our reservation and so stopped around the corner at Willi’s Wine Bar, where we had a nice chat with the proprietor (who apparently had a close relationship with the family that runs les Juveniles), and drank a couple glasses of wine (I had a chignin, my wife has a chablis - don’t know the producers). As we were talking a surreal scene - dozens of black clad young adults running through the street past the plate glass window, chased about 50 yards behind by a platoon of gendarmes. We lingered a few minutes more to ensure the coast was clear before heading to dinner…
At Juveniles, the diniing room was full - almost all Americans (if not all), but very much not a touristic crowd. We were the last seating of the evening. We ordered a bottle of wine from the list (2019 Tissot Pinot Noir Le Barberon from Arbois - delicious fruity and mineral).
That got the waiter talking about Jura wines (clearly a passion) and we were off to a great start…For food, we shared the house pork terrine to start - amazing, so livery-funky and peppery, with a great texture. My wife had duck breast, perfectly cooked with incredibly crispy skin, and I had a slow-cooked pork dish that was also excellent. As the crowd dwindled, we were talking to the front of house team; the chef, Romain, came out from the back, and was talking and hanging out as well with us and the other last stragglers - who happened to be Dori Greenspan (who writes about food from Paris for the NY Times) and her husband. They had been coming to the restaurant for decades, and knew the family well. It was interesting to hear that the clientele most nights are largely American - the French can’t afford the menu, they said.
Things outside in the street were still a little dicey - with more trash fires, and sirens - so the staff were actually in no hurry to rush out. We shared a bit of cheese and had a lovely poached pear financier for dessert and they graciously poured us each a glass of Sauternes before our walk back to the hotel. By that time, the streets were very quiet, and though it took some concentration to walk around the garbage piles and puddles, I’d say the city did not feel dangerous. It really was a memorable evening.

On Friday - until our departure on Sunday, we moved hotels to the Ritz - burning a bunch of Amex points that I’ve been holding onto for no good reason. The Ritz is amazing in a totally over the top way - impossible to justify the expense if we were actually paying, but a very cool experience to be absolutely pampered for a few days.

On Fri evening, dinner was at Amarante. I don’t think I’ve seen much about this restaurant on the board… It’s a tiny place - from what I could tell, the chef + 1 waiter. The menu celebrates off cuts - for starters we had a frais de cochon - basically stewed pork intesitines, and a terrine; and a cooking style that is ultimate simplicity -every entree is slow cooked sous vide and then finished on the plancha. No spices other than salt and pepper. on the entire menu. We had the ris de veau (biggest and most perfectly cooked sweetbread I’ve ever encountered) and a roast lamb. The meat was served alongside simple pommes puree and carrots respectively. We had to respect the perfection and austerity of the cooking and presentation, but ultimately, it did feel a bit academic rather than delicious. Dinner was paired with a 2017 Magnon Corbieres (Carignan from Languedoc), which held up to the richness of the meal very nicely.
On Saturday, we were very excited for dinner at Maison (Sota). We had eaten at Clown Bar a few years ago, which was a memorable meal with our (at the time) young kids… This was by far the most formal meal of our trip. Advertised as 7 courses, but we were there for over 4 hours with lots of “snacks” and other goodies that extended the meal. It’s a beautiful and unique looking space - with most seats on a long communal table in front of the second floor open kitchen. Highlights included a beef tartare, brussels sprouts with oyster sabayon, white asparagus with langoustines, eel and morel ravioli, and Aveyron lamb. We did the wine pairing, given the diversity of the menu, and lack of familiarity with a lot of the natural wine menu. Pours were generous, and pairings were thoughtful and not obvious.
On Sunday before our flight out, we went to the Marche des Enfants Rouge, to have lunch at Les Enfants du Marche. We got there about 30 minutes before their noon opening, to ensure we could get seats - which turned out not to be a problem. For a market stall, I thought the food was extraordinarly well done, though after all our eating over the weekend, we wanted only a few bites… We had a remarkable bowl of deeply fragrant and soul-warming onion soup, and a beautifully prepared and strikingly presented gar fish ceviche with kumquats, radicchio, and creme fraiche (sounds very odd - but it was fantastic!). The all natural wine list was poured without pretense or ceremony - we had a rose and a grenache, but no idea what or from where… Glasses were topped off over the service counter.
After lunch we stopped at the neighboring fromager, and picked up a few choise cheeses and butter to pack for home.
All in all, a fantastic weekend! Thanks to folks on this Board for recommendations gleaned over the past few months!!!


I love Amarantes website. Definitely a place I want to check out but not with my family…they all like their meat a bit less offal-ly and fatty!

I loved it this visit, and can’t wait to take Jonathan there as it is exactly the kind of old school French updated just enough and cooked perfectly that he loves. I would not used the word academic, personally. Classic is closer, though not perfect as there is definitely the chef’s personality coming through. The dishes are heavy. I had simply gorgeous calves brains to start and pigeon as a main, with a fantastic black pudding of its innards. I brought half back with me for lunch on the plane the next day, and I rarely can’t finish my food.

Juveniles for sure. I go each visit there and L’Ami Jean.

If you like fish, I’m a fan of L’ecalier du Bistro; super fresh fish and oysters (prefer it to Fish la Boisonniere although the latter is more centrally located).

Note “l’ecalier” not “ l’escalier”

Amarante is the restaurant where we met chefs from Parcelles and Le Clarence, who invited us to their restaurants. Several years ago, we met the owner of La Cave de Belleville there. We always seem to meet interesting people there (and at L’Ami Jean, too). I love their sweetbreads, but it is a heroic portion.

Got back from a week long trip to Paris a few days ago. We were staying near Bastille in the 11th and most of our dinners were in the area:

Amarante was one of the highlights of our trip. The food is very simple, but extremely tasty in classical way. The waiter was a little suspicious of us initially, but once I ordered sweetbreads he totally warmed up to us. Their wine list is quite nice as well. My wife was raving about the monkfish.

Clamato was the best meal of the trip. It’s the seafood/wine bar from people behind Septime located next door. In addition to raw and cooked seafood, their vegetable dishes have seafood-based sauces that are great too. Grilled leeks were amazing. Lots of natural wines, we had a very pleasant orange Gewürztraminer that paired nicely with the oysters. The service was amazing, very warm and they didn’t mind at all that we didn’t speak French.

Comptoir de la Gastronomie was our only dinner outside of the 11th. The duck breast was great, beef stew was just ok, but very satisfying on a cold night. My wife had monkfish (again) with vanilla cream sauce and loved it. Service was a bit brash, don’t be afraid to push back.

Automne is a tiny Michelin starred restaurant with a Japanese chef cooking french dishes. This seems to be very fashionable right now for some reason. We had the 7 course tasting menu with wine pairings. I think it was hit-or-miss with some good dishes, but most were just ok. I may have expected too much given the Michellin star.

We ate Bistrot Paul Bert on the night before leaving. Not sure what the fuss is all about. The food was good, but way over-priced for basic bistrot fare. Wine list is extensive, you may want to prepare ahead of time. The waiter was a bit impatient and my dining companions were no help in navigating the list.

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Yeah - in retrospect academic is the wrong word. I didn’t mean it in the sense of being devoid of personality, just that it is SO rule-bound that it feels like he is making a point at the expense of flavor and interest. Everything was cooked to perfection and delicious. But with all that richness, and large portions, by midway through the entrees we were looking for a bit of “zing” to wake up our tastebuds again.