La Scene par Stephanie Le Quellec, Paris, 12/7/19

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La Scene par Stephanie Le Quellec opened on October 9.  You enter on the street level and there is a stunning bar counter and a few tables.  To go to dinner you head down the stairs to the totally stylish dining room.  Banquette seating is along both of the long walls in the rectangular room.  One end of the room is the open kitchen  and opposite that are a couple free standing tables.  The tables are marble topped  and appointed with lovely linen napkins.  The walls of the room have curved wood pieces and lighted opaque glass between them. It is truly striking but very difficult to describe, so look at the pictures below.  The tables are on the small side and fairly closely set but each had lovely flowers in an unusual vase on them.  Music is in the background and the room is softly lit.  There are a couple seats at the kitchen counter and carpet is on the floor, so noise was not an issue.  Chef Le Quellec was in the kitchen and did come out to the room to visit with all the guests.  They offer several tasting menus (3, 4 or 7 courses and a truffle menu) and a la carte selections.  Since we were there they have been awarded 2 Michelin stars. Continue reading

Le Vent d’Armor (update), Paris, 12/7/19

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We had dinner at Le Vent d’Armor just over a year ago and so this time went for lunch.  The food was as good as last time and this time we had the wife of the chef working the front room and she was super friendly too.  It is a lovely place and a good value.  Seriously, everything we ate was terrific, with great clean tastes – you need to put this place on your list to go to soon.  The atmosphere is relaxed and welcoming.  The room is brighter in the daytime, obviously because the windows let in the sunshine but otherwise the physical layout had not changed.  The nicely spaced tables are set with white cloths and napkins and no music is in the background.  They do offer two lunch menus of 2 to 3 courses, however we wanted to eat off the a la carte menu, that is like what they have at dinner. Continue reading

Le Bon Georges (update), Paris, 12/6/19

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Frankie shared the restaurant information

It’s only been a year since we were at Le Bon Georges but this time we went for dinner and sat in a different room, but it was still the most fun place with absolutely fantastically friendly staff.  I can’t stress how welcoming and gracious the staff are.  Helpful, fun and efficient,  they really make you want to come back and eat again.  This visit we sat in the lower room, that doesn’t have the bar.  It has a higher ceiling, a tile floor but like the other room has windows to the street, small bare wood tables closely spaced and set with large paper napkins and a chalkboard menu to order from.  After a fancy vegetable heavy lunch we wanted simple meat and potatoes. They sell Polmard beef by the gram and this night they had strip steaks ranging from 700 to 1000 grams.  This special beef is aged, which is rare in France, with a cold air system.  We added some of their fabulous fries to go with it.   Continue reading

Arpège (update), Paris, 12/6/19

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It’s been 3 years since we visited Alain Passard’s Arpège and while the interior hasn’t changed the prices have continued to creep up and the surprise tasting lunch now contains no major meat course, that is to be ordered separately off the a la carte menu.  It’s still cheaper than dinner but it’s definitely more expensive.  They also have more expensive tastings and the a la carte menu if you so chose.  We took the surprise tasting and added the roast guinea fowl (lunch took about 4 hours).   I was surprised to find so many dishes that were similar to our past visits.  Another change was when we arrived they tried to seat us downstairs.  Mind you it’s a nice room downstairs and it is on the same level as the bathroom but it feels a little like you’ve been banished to the non-French room.  We asked to sit upstairs and they had to deliberate a bit which considering that no one was seated there seemed off-putting.  Chef Passard was in the house and worked the room and was most gracious when he visited with us, but I felt for those others who meekly took the table they were guided to.   Another change was that vegetables no longer adorn the tables as decorations and instead new plates add color to the table. Continue reading

Le Pré Catelan, Paris, 12/5/19

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Le Pré Catelan is in a rental conference building that dates back to 1935.  It was a casino in the days before it became a restaurant that now holds a 3 Michelin star rating.  The elegant room is set with large tables covered first with a floor length beige satin cloth and then covered with a white linen one.  Music is in the background, heavy drapes are beside the windows that look out on the lighted landscaped grounds.  The green carpet makes a nice contrast with the white marble parts of the wall.  Lots of sculpted plaster adorns the walls with lowered lighting in the room and an huge chandelier hangs in the center of the room over the small service table.  Candlelight is from the long stemmed candles on each table.  A couple of the tables near the windows are set with rounded couches opposite the chairs but otherwise the tables are appointed with comfortable arm chairs.  The room exudes class and only holds 10 tables, but the service is nicely friendly and welcoming, not stiff or too formal.  Perhaps they detected my preference?  The menu is a la carte with one tasting menu option. Both pacing and portion control were good. Continue reading

Restaurant Chez Allard, Paris, 12/5/19

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Chez Allard opened in 1932 and is a large place spread over several rooms. The tiny tables are closely placed and set with white clothes and napkins.  French music is in the background of this old style restaurant.  The lower half of the walls is dark wood and the top half is covered in fabric where there aren’t windows.  Red velvet bench seating lines the walls that serve that tables that have wooden chairs opposite.  Art is on the walls, the floor is tile and service is friendly and efficient.  They offered a special 3 course lunch menu or an a la carte menu.  The lunch menu is a good value at 34 euros but we wanted to try some of the items on their regular menu so chose to order a la carte.   Continue reading

Pierre Gagnaire (update), Paris 12/4/19

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It’s been 5 years since we ate at Pierre Gagnaire, a long standing Paris restaurant with 3 Michelin stars.  While Chef Gagnaire moved his talents to Paris in 1996, he now has many restaurants but this one in the Hôtel Balzac is his flagship, where it has been there 15 years.  It has a separate entrance from the hotel and a small bar area where you enter.  It is a medium sized place spread over several rooms.  The main dining room was redone by Carolyn Quatermaine who used pages of books to cover the walls with recipes some of which were handwritten by Pierre Gagnaire’s father who was a cook.  The well spaced large tables are draped with double long white clothes and set with fine linen napkins.  The lighting is lowered and there is no music in the background.  Along with the carpet, many wood surfaces and padded chairs the noise level is low and because of the spacing conversations remained private.  The menu offers a la carte options, a tasting menu and the night we were there a truffle tasting menu.   Wine pairings are available for the tasting menu.  We opted to start with a cocktail, order our own wine and have the tasting menu.  Service and pacing were excellent and portion control generous.  They did bring the truffles by to tempt you to add them to something or order that menu.   Continue reading

Maison, Paris, 12/4/19

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Maison opened in September run by Chef Sota Atsumi who rose to fame working at the Clown Bar.  The place is interesting in that the ground floor only has lounge furniture and the bathroom, all the dining is on the second story that is open to the area below.  Most of the diners sit at one long table in the middle of the room.  There are a couple tables next to the edge and 7 seats at the bar looking into the long open kitchen.  Chef Atsumi was in the kitchen cooking and looking over plates but never came out to visit with guests.  The restaurant serves only a tasting menu chosen by the chef and it changes regularly.  At lunch it was a 5 course tasting and there was a supplemental cheese course offered.   There is a large skylight above the area so in the daytime between that and the windows from below that open to the street, there is plenty of light.  I do wonder what the temperature variations might be, though.  The tables are bare wood set with a white cloth napkin and comfortable chairs and music is in the background.  The walls and floor are tile and the kitchen has a wood burning oven.   Continue reading

La table d’Aki, Paris, 4/13/19

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We last visited La table d’Aki in February 2013, before I started this blog.  It’s a tiny place with about 8 tables for 2.  They do 2 seatings each night.  Classical music plays in the background and the small tables are very closely placed.  They are set with white tableclothes and nice sized cloth napkins.   The end of the room is the small kitchen where chef prepares all the food and cleans up too.  Each table has its own little light on it.  Near where the wall hit the floor was a piece of wood to prevent chairs from backing up too far and dinging the wall behind them. Chef is very particular and you can see him re-arrange things to his liking.  No tweezer action here but the food is precise yet simple.  It is good food but not earth shattering.  It is honest, clean tasting without dots, smears or 15 ingredients on one plate. It is only seafood and there are no amuse bouche or final treats.  The room has little ambiance and the staff spoke fairly poor English.  Everyone in the restaurant has the same tasting menu.  Pacing is rapid and portions size is on the small end of the scale. Continue reading

Coretta, Paris, 4/13/19

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Coretta is a medium sized restaurant located near Martin Luther King Park, thus the name.  Two sides of the room are large windows to the outside.  The modern room has lots of wood accents and the small tables are of wood based with a metal tops set with leather chairs.  Some of the tables are high top and there is outdoor seating.  It was nice looking but not the most comfortable the way the legs on the table hit your legs.  Modern music plays in the background and an opening on one wall looks into the kitchen.  The menu is a la carte or sold with a 3 course or 2 course price.  Certain picks do have a surcharge for this method.  Some of the food was quite good but none of it great, however it is a very pleasant place for lunch.  Service was friendly, efficient and they spoke great English. Continue reading

Restaurant Alliance (update), Paris, 4/12/19

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It’s been 2 years since we visited Restaurant Alliance, a small one star Michelin restaurant with Chef Toshitaka Omiya at the helm – someone who seriously knows how to cook.  If you have the opportunity to get there, do.  I give it solid thumbs way up.   The food is wonderful combinations of really flavorful ingredients that will leave you wanting more and then they’ll bring the next course that is just as good or better.  They offer 2 tasting menus, one a 7 course surprise menu selected by the chef or a Harmony Menu of set courses.  They do offer a smaller tasting menu at lunch but go at dinner if you can because you don’t want to miss any of the dishes this chef turns out.  Pacing is good, no lags and portion control great.  There are only around 7 tables in between the windows to the street and the large window looking into the kitchen.  Shades of gray and cream along with lower lighting provide a peaceful, cozy ambiance along with some cool circular overhead light fixtures.  Service is stellar, with welcoming and helpful staff that all spoke great English.  We were warmly greeted by  the chef and manager Shawn Joyeux, who is great at finding you a fun wine at your chosen price point. Continue reading

La Condesa (update), Paris, 4/12/19

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It’s been just over a year since we visited La Condesa and this trip we tried lunch instead of dinner.  It is a really small one star Michelin restaurant that has been open about a year and a half.  There are about 8 closely set small bare wood tables.  The use of mirrors helps make the place seem bigger but it has a cozy atmosphere.  Music is in the background and the chef Indra Carrillo is in the kitchen but makes frequent trips to the dining room to bring food and check on diners.  The menu offers tastings of 3, 4, or 6 courses and wine pairings are available.  We chose the 6 course menu and ordered our own wine.  Portion control and pacing are both good and the staff is all super friendly, helpful and speak great English.   Continue reading

Le Clarence (update), Paris, 4/11/19

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We were at Le Clarence last fall for lunch and so this spring we tried their dinner service.  The physical location had not changed but it did feel different without the sunlight streaming in the windows.  The same menus cost more at dinner but they offer the same great and friendly service at both times.  Of the 3 tasting menus we chose the Menu Inspiration.  The meal was presented with groupings of different plates, sometimes presented together and others in succession.  It made for fun combinations.  We ended up at the exact same table, but that was fine because I think it is the prettiest of the rooms.  However with the large, well spaced tables, all the rooms offer a lovely atmosphere for dining.  Chef Christophe Pelé was in house and stopped by to say hello to Frankie, as did restaurant manager Cédric Servain.  Chef’s creativity and flavor intensity make this a place a must when you are next eating in Paris.  It is pure, relaxed elegance. I did take photos of a number of the old photographs in the menu and will place them throughout this post. Continue reading

Restaurant H, Paris, 4/11/19

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Retaurant H is a small place of about 8 well spaced tables.  Soft music plays in the background, one wall has windows to the un-busy street and the back wall has a window into the kitchen.  The bare topped tables are set with lovely large napkins.  The modern room has wallpaper on some walls and others are decorated with arty photographs.  Decorations are minimal.  The menu is tiles in a box where you can pick how many courses you want.  They offer tastings of 3, 5 or 7 courses with wine pairings available.  We chose the 5 course omnivore menu and ordered our wine.  Service was exceptionally friendly and servers spoke great English and were helpful. The chef, Hubert Duchenne came out to visit with diners.  The restaurant currently has a one Michelin star rating. Continue reading

Cézembre Restaurant, Paris, 4/10/19

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Cézembre is a small restaurant of about 10 tables that serves only a 5 course set menu at dinner.  For lunch they serve a 3 course menu.   There is no a la carte menu.  The small varnished wood tables are set closely and with paper napkins.  Painted beams in the ceiling, lowered lighting and pop music in the background set the tone.  Mirrored walls make it feel larger than it is.  The staff was super friendly  and spoke good English.   This is a very nice place with good food in a cozy setting in the heart of the tourist district. Continue reading

Restaurant Antoine, Paris, 4/10/19

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Antoine is an enclosed patio with about 10 well spaced tables of various sizes.  Those tables nearer the windows to the outside were smaller whereas the ones along the kitchen wall were larger.  However those at the windows could have a view of the Eiffel tower and/or the museum across the street.  There is music in the background and the tables are covered with nice white clothes and set with good sized white napkins.  You are greeted at the table with the champagne cart – a wheeled “figure 8” table with the ice bucket of champagnes on top (later on it carries the cheese selection).  We were there at lunch time and they did have a special lunch menu as well as an a la carte menu and a 4 course lunch surprise tasting.  Wine pairings were available and they are known for their seafood.  We chose their 4 course lunch with our own bottle of wine.  They currently have a one star in the Michelin guide.  Servers spoke good English and were friendly and helpful.   Continue reading

Restaurant PAGES, Paris, 12/1/18

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Restaurant PAGES only has 7 or 8 tables with much of the room being taken up with the open kitchen.   They have one Michelin star.  White clothed tables are widely spaced and set with a wooden container of potato chips.  Pale walls with some exposed brick, a stone floor, and lots of stainless around the kitchen and on some of the walls and ceiling, set the tone of the room.  A display case is in the back with meats they are aging and soft music played in the background.  It felt very modern but I wouldn’t call it a fun ambiance.  They have been open 4 years and offer only a tasting of 8 courses.  There were 3 supplements available the night we were there, caviar, truffle and/or Wagyu beef.  We opted to include the last one.  There are no menus before or when you finish.  They did bring a nice warm cloth to wash off before you started. Continue reading

Le Bon Georges, Paris, 12/1/18

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Le Bon Georges is in the lower level of a corner building and divided into 2 rooms.  One room, set a little lower, felt a tad bigger and had a tile floor whereas the second room also held the bar and service area with the door to the kitchen and had a wood floor.  I think the noise level was better upstairs than below.  Tables are small bare wood, set with a high quality paper napkin, and close together.  Walls are covered with signs, objects and windows to the outside.  It has been here for only 4 years but feels like a place that’s been here for a much longer time.  The menu is on a chalkboard brought to the table as well as a large wall written version.  Service is ultra friendly and helpful with the atmosphere being cozy and fun.  I would recommend putting this place on your agenda. Continue reading

Cobéa, Paris, 11/30/18

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Cobéa is a smallish place that was really busy.  The setting is white clothes and napkins covering the small close tables, lowered lighting, no music, a wall of barred windows overlooking the garden and a small window serving as a pass through area for the kitchen.  The staff kept a frantic pace but seemed to be fairly inefficient in their service in spite of that, however it did leave me feeling rushed and yet I wasn’t.  There was lots of carrying things to and from the kitchen and the pacing quite variable, in addition the explanations of the dishes was poor.  The menu lists the items and you pick 4, 6, or 8 courses with the items already selected for the number of courses you pick.  There was little price difference in the tastings.  We chose the 8 course menu which featured both of the protein options.  Portion control was all right.  They have a one Michelin star rating. Continue reading

Le Clarence, Paris, 11/30/18

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Le Clarence has been around about 3 years and is in the private mansion of Prince Robert of Luxembourg, who is also President of a wine estate in Bordeaux, Domaine Clarence Dillon.   The building has been meticuously restored and decorated to provide a ‘lived-in’ feel while still being quite elegant.  There are three small dining rooms, each with a different decor, and a large area upstairs lounge to relax and have cocktails or after dinner drinks if you prefer that to sitting at the table.    There are also some private party rooms.  Some rooms have windows to the street and other have windows looking over the courtyard toward the glassed in kitchen area.  Beautiful carpet is on the floors topped with large widely spaced tables draped with pale green satin underskirts topped with white cloths whose color scheme perfectly mimics the charger plates on the table (marked with the CD logo).  Chef Christophe Pelé works some 2 star Michelin magic on the 3 different tasting menus that are offered.  Wine pairings are available.  There was also a truffle supplement offered the day we were there but we opted to just have their longer tasting, Menu Le Clarence. Pacing and portion control were great as was the service.  Every need was happily attended to and afterwards they showed us around some of the other rooms as well as having a printed menu of what we had for me. Continue reading

Le Vent D’Armor, Paris, 11/29/18

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Le Vent D’Armor has been in business for 3 years and offers a surprise tasting or an a la carte menu.  It’s a small place with windows opening to the street and the other walls are decorated with cut out circles filled with various fabrics.  Music plays in the background, the lighting is low, the floor is a wide wood plank and white tableclothes and napkins are on every table – even the outdoor ones.  A middle column was cornered in copper as was the ‘wainscoating’ on the walls.  The noise level kicked up a tad when the room filled but the tables are set widely enough that it was never a problem.  The only odd touch was the use of plastic chairs but however weird they were to touch they were quite comfortable.  It’s a cozy place where we felt very welcome and enjoyed a fine meal.  The co-owners (who previously worked together as head chef and sommelier at Le Divellec) split the duties of the place with Nicolas Tribet  serving as chef and Olivier Friant managing the front of the house.  We chose to order a la carte and pacing was wonderful with the portions being generous.   The food was honest and very tasty and it’s a place I recommend you try. Continue reading

Guy Savoy (update), Paris, 11/29/18

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It’s been 3 years since we were at Guy Savoy, a large 3 star Michelin restaurant.  Not much had changed in the physical structure but the feel was definitely of a tourist driven  machine.  We were in a room with mostly non-French speaking people and it was unsettling to hear the same “witty” remarks delivered to each table, like they were something new and personal.  Nevertheless service is well done with no need is too much to ask for.  The lunch special is not as good a deal now.  You are limited in your choices with it and the various lunch compilations did not appeal either, so we ordered from the regular menu.  Interesting enough the menu is printed in about 6 languages.  Chef Guy Savoy is still in house and makes the rounds of the tables but leaves early enough that I seriously doubt he was doing any cooking –  he is there just to be seen.  If you need to see him then I urge you to go but even though the food is really good you can eat better at a better price any number of other places. Continue reading

L’Arcane (update), Paris, 11/28/18

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We visited L’Arcane for the first time about 18 months ago and they hadn’t been open long (opened June 2016).  On this re-visit pretty much every thing that bothered me about the place has been corrected and food remains outstanding.  Get it on your list as soon as you can.  The tables are still small but well spaced and the lighting is at a good level.  Soft music is in the background and some decorative changes, like wide planked wood floors and nice artwork, have been made that are all for the better.  They now have a well deserved one Michelin star rating.  Chef Laurent Magnin is now married to Sophie Keller who runs the front of the house.  They offer a tasting menu only with the option of 3, 4 or 5 different courses, but there are a couple of amuse bouche to add to it.  There is no printed menu.   Portion control was good and pacing on the slower side but nicely regular as opposed to having long gaps. Continue reading

Le Radis Beurre, Paris, 11/28/18

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Le Radis Beurre is a small place that holds about 30 people with no music, small close tables and a corner service area.  The dark, bare wood tables were decorated with various squash and there were pictures of chickens, wine and radishes on the walls. There were 2 windows to the street which let in lots of light in the daytime but the lighting was not overly bright otherwise.  The service people seemed to know many of the patrons and mostly French was spoken by the guests, i.e. not a big tourist spot.  However they were very welcoming and helpful with selections.   It felt cozy inside and there were a few small tables outside if the weather permitted their use.  There is no English menu only a chalkboard of options in French, with first, main and dessert courses being priced the same or a price offered for 2 or 3 courses.  Some items did have a supplemental charge.  A truffle option had a sign but they were out of it that day.  There was another menu on a mirror but I wasn’t quite sure what it was. Continue reading

Comice, Paris, 3/24/18

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Comice is a one star Michelin restaurant appointed with nice linens, comfortable chairs, pretty flowers, wood floors and purse stools in a leather that matches the chairs.  It is run by a couple with the wife, Etheliya Hananova serving as sommelier and front end manager and the husband, Chef Noam Gedalof running the kitchen.  She is from Canada which may be why American music plays in the background.  It is a lovely room that is nicely lit and noise level is not a problem as the tables are well spaced.  It is a very comfortable atmosphere that offers a la carte options or a tasting menu of 5 courses (4 at lunch).   Continue reading

Quinsou, Paris, 3/24/18

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Quinsou is a small one star Michelin restaurant with about 30 seats that has been in business a year and a half.  A pop out window on the street wall lets in lots of light during the day and accommodates a couple of tables.  Otherwise there is long narrow bench seat along one of the walls topped with an aged mirror.  Light music plays in the background.  The menu changes slightly every day with major changes around every 3 months.   Chef Antonin Bonnet is in charge of the kitchen and a master of sauces, which were a highlight of each plate.  At lunch they offer a 3 course menu or a 6 course discovery menu that is basically a taste of everything on the menu.  We chose the discovery menu.  Service was excellent and proficient in English and portion control and pacing of the meal were good.   Continue reading

La Condesa, Paris, 3/23/18

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La Condesa is a small place of about a dozen 2-top tables that has been in business about 6 months.  Soft jazz plays in the background, windows along one wall look out to the street and bench seating lines both walls of the rectangular space.  Painted wood walls wood floors and hard ceiling make the noise level moderate once the place is full.  They only serve a surprise tasting menu to all guests and no write up of the menu is available.  An informational sheet states that Chef Indra Carrillo, who just turned 30, and his team offer “creative combinations of world cuisines using the best available ingredients.”  Service was good as was the pacing of the meal.   Continue reading

Ken Kawasaki, Paris, 3/23/18

exteriorKen Kawasaki is a small place with just 13 seats around a low u-shaped counter that frames the kitchen.  Ken Kawasaki is the Japanese chef that opened the place and still is in charge of the menu but he is rarely there in person as he is usually in Japan.  Staffing is sparse, as it appeared that the assistant chef also was responsible for washing dishes and helping serve.  The greeter/waiter also helped with serving and clearing.  It was impressive what they could accomplish with so little staff, but it felt odd that they still merited  receiving one Michelin star.  The service was helpful, efficient and provided good pacing for the menu however their command of English was variable.   Continue reading

Table Restaurant, Paris, 3/22/18

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Table is a one star Michelin restaurant that is run by Chef Bruno Verjus who started out as a food writer.  It has been in business 4 years and 9 months and is a good sized place that doesn’t seat many people, as seats are nicely spaced.  We were fortunate to get some prime seats at the bar counter where we could watch the kitchen action.  Other seats are in cozy booths and various sized tables.  Service is efficient and super friendly – they really aim to please. The menu is a la carte but they were willing to have the chef design a degustation menu for us and the sommelier helped chose 2 wines that complimented the many dishes.  The food here is fairly simply done but it uses only the best of ingredients that are available.  It seemed to stress flavor and that’s right up my alley. Continue reading

Elmer Restaurant, Paris, 3/22/18

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Elmer is a one room restaurant with an open kitchen that has been in business 2 years.  One side of the room has large windows to the street; bench seating lines another wall that faces small tables set fairly close together.  Above the bench is a shelf of decorative objects that add nice color and personality to the room.  There are a couple larger tables in the center of the room that appeared to be offered for community and/or single seating.  Another side is filled with the bar and service area with the final wall being a large opening into the kitchen.  Hanging fixtures light the tables, no music is in the background, no clothes are on the table but a nice cloth  napkin is placed for each guest.  Panels of sound absorbing material hang from the ceiling which works well to keep the noise level very acceptable. At lunch they offer a 3 course, fixed price menu (with a choice on the main course and a cheese option for dessert) but also offer a la carte but the 3 course is a much better deal.   Continue reading

Tomy & Co, Paris, 3/21/18

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Tomy & Co. is a medium sized place with bench seating along the walls for the bare wood tables.  They have been open one year.  Background music plays but the overall noise level is low and the walls are decorated with wine bottles and some food artwork.  Subdued lighting is from hanging ball shaped lights and candles.  Tables are set with interesting glassware that all have a larger portion on the bottom of the glass.  It was different but I wasn’t sure it worked well for drinking.   Service is friendly, helpful and the staff spoke good English.  At dinner they offer a 6 course surprise tasting or you can chose a starter, main and dessert from the menu choices for 47 euros.  They offer wine pairings but we ordered our own bottles of wine.  We had the tasting menu that seemed to consist of options on the a la carte menu with slight variations.   Continue reading

Abri, Paris, 3/21/18

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Abri is a tiny rustic place with the open kitchen taking a third of the space.  There is no sign but a menu is on the window.  Bare wood tables are set with a variety of chairs and artfully exposed wood under the wall plaster serves as a decorative feature.  Some music plays in the background but the place epitomizes minimal, almost bohemian.  Japanese chef Katsuaki Okiyama is in charge of the kitchen and he was present while there but did not interact with guests.  We saw other dishes coming out and inquired to find that the chef will send out different things depending on if you’ve been before.  Service is efficient but there is not much English spoken by the staff.  At lunch, during the week, only a 4 course surprise tasting menu is offered where you get to chose between fish or meat for the third course. On our visit the choice was cod or small chicken which turned out to be quail.   Continue reading

Signature by Pierre Sang, Paris, 12/2/17

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Signature by Pierre Sang is a tiny dining room in the back of a large front room kitchen that has been in business for about a month.  It is only about 4 tables that all receive a surprise tasting menu designed by the chef, consisting of snacks, 2 appetizers, fish, main course, cheese and dessert. The cozy room is beautifully appointed with one of the walls being lighted wine storage racks – what better backdrop?  Another wall is copper with a large service area and another is stone.  There is a large skylight that would add natural light if you were there in the daytime.   This is the third of Chef Sang’s restaurants in the area but this is to be his high-end one.  All have a similarity though, in the surprise factor of the menu.  In fact they like to present the food with no explanation and then come back to see what you thought it was – just like his other place (Restaurant Pierre Sang Boyer) that Frankie visited on 12/5/15.  There is a great wine list and helpful staff to navigate it with you as well as attending to your every need.   Continue reading

Chez La Vieille, Paris, 12/2/17

exteriorChez La Vielle is named after the woman who started and ran it for over 30 years.  Now Daniel Rose (whose other restaurant is close by) owns the place which has about 8 tables in an upstairs dining room and a bar with a counter type tables downstairs.  The hours are limited.  The more comfortable upstairs has a couple windows that look down at the busy street but the tables are small and close together in the small space.   One good thing is the bathroom is on the second level which is nicely convenient.  Service was friendly and efficient but as the room filled the waiter was stretched to work the room alone.  The same kitchen services both areas.   It offers a small a la carte menu with many plates designed to be shared.   Continue reading

Virtus, Paris, 12/1/17

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building

Virtus is a good sized place with soft lighting and background music.  The couple that ran Clandé, Chefs Chiho Kanzaki and Marcelo Di Giacomo, changed the name to Virtus about a year ago and then moved to a new space about a month ago where they moved in many of the same decorating fixtures into this location.  You’ll find a variety of chairs and light fixtures that were stylish points at casual Clandé.  Virtus seems to be a bit more upscale, with well spaced tables and a separate bar area that also includes some seating.  They offer a 7 course tasting menu priced at a point to challenge anyone from using the a la carte ordering items.   Portion control runs on the slight side and the meal pacing started nicely and then slowed to a crawl and fell apart as the restaurant got full.   Continue reading

Gare Au Gorille, Paris, 12/1/17

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exterior

Gare Au Gorille is a good sized place that is simply decorated and very busy.  It is a long, narrow place with low ceilings and bare light bulbs and a really lively vibe.  You enter into a small bar area and then into rooms of tables ending in the kitchen.  Service is exceptionally friendly and helpful with most of the servers speaking good English.  We were there at lunch which has a different menu than dinner but in both cases there is a large moderately priced wine list.  We were offered a choice of 3 courses or 6, including cheese with two optional appetizers available and there was a glass of wine of the day. We opted for the longer tasting and ordered an optional appetizer.   Continue reading

Les Déserteurs, Paris, 11/30/17

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entrance

Les Déserteurs is a tiny place that holds about 20 people at mostly 2-top tables.  When you enter you immediately notice the open kitchen on one end and benches lining the the two other walls.  They do supply you with plenty of bolsters that you can use for back support or as a divider between you and the next table’s guests.  Lighting is nicely lowered, but not too dark, and soft background music plays.  The windows on the back wall appeared to look out on a courtyard but it was too dark to really tell for sure.  They have been open about 4 years and are furnished with bare wood tables but lovely cloth napkins.  The menu is a choice of 4 or 6 courses and the menu denotes which courses are included in the 4 course.  They have a really nice wine list and the menu does offer a couple supplemental charge options.  We chose the 6 course menu and our own bottles of wine. Continue reading

Pertinence, Paris, 11/30/17

17634729_1311278148965357_41170642959506995_nPertinence is a very stylish small place with only about 10 tables, whose name means “food for all”.  The ceiling and back wall are lined with wood slats that morph into a seating bench, two other walls are covered with heavy vinyl drapes and the final wall is large windows looking out on the street.  Copper accents make up the window and door frames. There is a window to the kitchen on the wood slat wall where you can peek and see chefs Ryunosuke Naito from Japan and Kwen Liew from Malaysia create their excellently flavored foods.  Tables are bare at lunch (clothed at dinner) but do provide a generous lovely linen napkin.  Soft music adds a bit of background noise which was good.  A large brass egg  is on the table and hidden inside is additional silverware. The restaurant opened last spring and serves a la carte as well as a tasting menu.  I want to credit Pertinence for the use of their exterior and interior pictures, as mine didn’t work.  Continue reading

Restaurant MONTÉE, Paris, 11/29/17

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exterior

MONTÉE is a tiny place, seating less than 25 people, including a small second room.  It was not full the night we were there but they said lunch is their busy time and they have only been open one year.  It feels a bit spartan with no art, music or flowers (except one dried arrangement) and there is no signage out front on the quiet street.  It is run by a husband and wife team with Japanese chef Takayuki Nameura in the kitchen and his wife in charge of the dining room.  At night it is a tasting menu only which is printed in English and French on the table.  They were warm and friendly, even though their English is limited, and pacing and portion control were really good.   Continue reading

eels restaurant, Paris, 11/29/17

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building

Restaurant eels has been receiving lots of accolades since it opened 6 months ago.  It has about 15 tables and and offers 2 and 3 course lunch menus where you choose your selection or a 5 course surprise tasting menu with optional pairings at lunch.  We chose the latter option and ordered our own bottle of wine.  The menu changes monthly and all the food was quite flavorful but the pacing of the service was varied, although the scaled portion size was well done.  The restaurant has lots of hard surfaces, including 2 walls with windows looking out on the street, as well as some background thumping music and thus noise can be a factor.  It is a fairly dressy crowd in the packed room.  Tables have moderate spacing and there is a copper tint to the lighting.   Continue reading

Accents, Paris, 3/25/17

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exterior

Accents is a medium sized long restaurant with about 12 bare wood tables and little wall adornment. They only opened 3 months ago, in Dec. of 2016.  Some of the walls are exposed brick and the floor is concrete but the tables are spaced well enough that noise is not a problem. The chairs are comfortable  and there is soft background “elevator” music.  They serve a 6 course surprise tasting menu or this night they also have a 5 course truffle tasting.  Wine pairings are available. The savory food seemed to try too hard – with lots of ingredients but sometimes under-seasoned – it didn’t really sing. However the pastry chef seemed to produce a better product.  Service is good with friendly servers who spoke great English.   Continue reading

Restaurant Yam ‘Tcha, Paris, 3/25/17

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exterior

Yam ‘Tcha is a fairly small place (25 seats) that greets you with a cup of welcome tea. There are many Asian overtones to the interior as well as food.  Chef Adeline Grattard spent time in kitchens in both Paris and Hong Kong.   The food is precise and very good.  It is a fairly casual and draws a youthful crowd. They have been in business for about 8 years ago, but only moved to this location 2 years ago.  Excellent service people who all spoke great English made everyone feel very welcome. They all seemed to really like working there and water glasses never went dry, wine was poured when needed and pacing was near perfect.  When a staff works this well (attended to details but never felt hovering) it’s hard not to like the place – a good vibe.   Continue reading

Restaurant LOUIS, Paris, 3/24/17

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street view

Restaurant Louis is a really small place of about 10 tables that has been open a couple years and draws a fairly casual crowd.  The decor is modern with a turquoise and gray color scheme carried out down to the table candles.  Tables are very close and most are 2-tops but all are set with chairs as opposed to a bench seat.   We were fortunate with this though, as it allowed us to interact with the lovely couple sitting next to us. They offer only a surprise tasting menu and you can choose between 6 and 8 courses.  They offer wine pairings but unlike the menu statement the waiter said not all courses come with a pairing, however pairings are all wine. The lighting is a tad on the bright side but the up side of that is better pictures.  The noise level is good.   Continue reading

Les Tablettes Jean Louis Nomicos, Paris, 3/24/17

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building

Les Tablettes de Jean Louis Nomicos is a medium sized 2 room place with a very modern interior.  The woven wood ceiling and walls are a striking feature.  The polished wood tables are nicely spaced and set with good sized linen napkin in the main room and lovely full linens in the second room.  Service is top notch.  It seemed formal at first but as time went on we were able to establish a rapport for a most pleasant dining experience.  Chef Nomicos peaks into the room often to see that all is going well and later comes out to visit with his guests.  It gets a well dressed crowd but is a surprising value at lunch.   Continue reading

L’Arcane, Paris, 3/23/17

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building

L’Arcane is a very small place with one side of the restaurant having floor to ceiling windows looking onto the street.  The wood tables are well spaced and topped with placemats and nice linen napkins.  Soft music as well as comfortable seating give it a cozy atmosphere, but the lighting was on the verge of being too brite.  The noise level only rose marginally when the restaurant filled.  The menu is a surprise tasting only but you can choose whether you want 3, 4 or 5 courses, with reasonable portion control.  We chose the 5 course. They do offer wine pairings and I noticed a line on the house glasses that I wondered if that was for fill level or decorative.  With a surprise tasting it is really difficult to select your own wine which a good sommelier can help with but that service didn’t seem to be available.   Continue reading

Restaurant Auguste, Paris, 3/23/17

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Exterior

Auguste is made up of 2 rooms, modern art,  and nice but not overly friendly service.  Tables are set with placemats and with no music the background noise is almost non-existent.  At lunch it offers a 3 course tasting menu as well as a la carte and specially priced house wine by the glass.  It is a fairly good deal.  We chose the tasting menu and house wines.  For the tasting you have 2 choices for each course.   Continue reading

Restaurant Alliance, Paris, 3/22/17

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Exterior

Restaurant Alliance is a small place, about 10 tables, that has been in this location about 15 months.  One end of the room is windows looking into the kitchen where you can watch Chef Toshitaka Omiya work his magic.  He makes trips into the dining room to check on the diners also.  The one dining room is modern in style with interesting circular ceiling fixtures providing a nice light level.  The noise level is very acceptable and probably helped by the various geometric shapes on the walls, carpeting and drapes.  Tables are close enough to that you don’t feel isolated but not so close that you have to move a table to exit.  Alliance offers two tasting menus of 6 or 8 courses and an a la carte menu.  I don’t think I saw anyone choosing the latter option. Continue reading

Neige d’été, Paris, 3/22/17

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Exterior

Neige d’été is a small 2 room place that offers only a tasting menu at lunch.  It is 4 courses with a supplement for an additional course of cheese. They offer wine pairings as well as a wine list.  The tables are nicely spaced and appointed with lovely white linens that are the dominant color scheme also.  The walls and woodwork are white washed and the main source of color are the beautiful deep pink roses scattered throughout.  No art but a few figurines add some interest.  It was a total contrast to have the kitschy plastic Eiffel Tower on the discs of sugar dish.  The place has a nice hum of background noise but the ambiance is stiff with service being really slow and sterile. The food was nice but it would not be on my list of places to go again.   Continue reading

Le Baratin, Paris, 12/3/16

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exterior

Le Baratin is a small 2 rooms packed with wood and marble tables. There are 2 seatings, at 7:30 and 9:30 and they do turn the tables so don’t be late or take too long ordering. Service is brisk.  We were lucky to have 2 grinders on the table as some tables had salt bowls – although the food didn’t really need further seasoning.  It’s not a bad place but it’s also not great – kind of like the service is not unfriendly but not overly friendly or fun.  The chef is a Argentinian woman who turns out an amazing amount of food for the size of the kitchen.  Her partner/owner works the front bar and mostly looks like he wishes he wasn’t there.  It is a very casual place and there seemed to be a lot of regular customers there.   Continue reading

L’Assiette, Paris, 12/3/16

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exterior

L’Assiette is composed of several adjoining rooms with lots of interesting decorations, an old wood floor and elaborate ceiling in the entry room.  Some of the tables are quite small but most of of moderate size and reasonably spaced.  There are no table clothes but nice linen napkins.  The menu is a la carte with a chalkboard of specials and lunch special.  There are also wine specials and a dessert of the day. Chef Rathgeber was in the house and frequently seen taking a look over the dining room to make sure all was going smoothly. I know his cooking was responsible for the wonderful aroma that greeted me when I walked in the door. Continue reading

Les Arlots, Paris, 12/2/16

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building

Les Arlots is a cozy little spot that has been open less than a year, but if it continues as we found it, it is destined for great success.  The small tables are set close together to get in as many as you can in the 2 rooms (about 24 people in front and 6-8 in the back room). The ambiance is enhanced by a bar wrapped in beautiful woodwork, a lovely terrazzo floor, lowered lighting and what appear to be acoustical tiles on the ceiling.  The staff are exceptionally friendly and helpful to make your meal into a total experience. The menu is all a la carte and on a chalkboard brought around the room.   Continue reading

Huitrerie Regis, Paris, 12/2/16

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exterior

Huitrerie Regis is a tiny place that soon after opening has a line to get in, as they are reputed to serve the best oysters in town. That’s the main thing they serve and they come in a couple sizes and varieties but they also have sea urchin, clams and shrimp.  All the trays come on a bed of seaweed and ice and are served on an elevated stand on the table. They offer several wines to go with but with the limited options I imagine the line moves fairly well but there are only 7 tables for two.  We chose to each have a La Dégustation which features a dozen of their most common oyster, Fines de Claires No. 3, a glass of wine and coffee.  The table is set with bread, butter, a vinegar sauce, packaged hand wipes and nice cloth napkins. The staff were very friendly, fun and spoke plenty of English. I found it humorous that their young helper had a pizza delivered for his dinner! Their oysters were ultimately fresh and tasty but certainly not a stuffer meal. Continue reading

Septime, Paris, 12/2/16

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Exterior

Septime is a medium sized one star Michelin with lots of 2-top tables and an open kitchen. The tables are a bit larger and better spaced which makes it easier to move around than some other restaurants. One side of the space is filled with windows looking out to the street.  On the opposite wall a lovely garden fills the space not occupied by the kitchen. It is basically 2 rooms with more windows between the two rooms and a large bar/coffee area taking up a lot of the entry room. No music and no art anywhere. There are lots of staff and most seem easily conversant in  English, but for the most part are rather impersonal. We were there at lunch when they offer a 6 course surprise menu with an optional cheese course for additional charge. Continue reading

Clown Bar, Paris, 12/1/16

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Exterior

Clown Bar is a small place located where the circus people used to hang out – thus the elaborate tile work in the front room of circus clowns and the large clown overhead.  The back room does not have this decoration but it does have a large table suitable for a party. The bare wood tables are set with paper napkins and the flatware is located in a drawer under the table. Our server, Pierre, was very nice and helpful in making our selections. Most plates are suitable for sharing and he even offered to split the dish in the kitchen when possible, which allowed us to sample a few too many items.  It is relatively simple food, combining good ingredients. The ambiance of the place felt very date friendly and most guests seemed more interested in the other people than the food.  They played a mix of American tunes while I heard mostly French being spoken by the guests.   Continue reading

L’avant Comptoir De La Mer, Paris, 12/1/16

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exterior
L’avant Comptoir De La Mer is a small stand room only place next to Relais Saint-Germain. It is the newest addition to the series of restaurants that he has opened and this one serves only seafood snacks. Always full of friendly people, nice staff and tasty food it is a perfect place to pass a little time and enjoy good wine and snacks. We were there to try their oysters and the manager fixed us a tray of many different varieties.   All very fresh there were different textures but a similar brininess to all. If you want meatier snacks just pop next door. Continue reading

L’Ami Jean, Paris, 12/1/16

img_6420L’Ami Jean is a fair sized place which is really crowded at dinner. Lunch was much nicer. The tables were still tiny and very close but there were enough empty ones to not feel claustrophobic and at 38 euros it is a good value to try the place.  The day we visited they were having power issues and Chef Stéphane Jégo was outside trying to find a solution. It didn’t effect critical cooking equipment and so one of his kitchen staff took over the lunch service.   Continue reading

ASPIC, Paris, 11/30/16

ASPIC has 11 small rustic wood tables in one room with subdued lighting and the tiniest napkins ever. You can see the chef and kitchen through a door opening into the dining room where they prepare a surprise 7-course tasting menu everyone receives.  Heavenly aromas occasionally waft into the room from this opening. Reservations are staggered as it Chef Quentin Giroud is doing the cooking and he likes to have time to come out and present some of the courses. Continue reading

La Bourse et La Vie, Paris, 11/30/16

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Building

La Bourse et La Vie is a long restaurant of 2 rooms, one of which is quite small in the back of the restaurant. The tables are small and fairly close together.  At lunch it was a small menu and a couple specials, all a la carté. The helpful staff spoke good English. All tables are set with slices of crusty bread and a plate of pickled radish pieces.  We started with 2 of their first courses on the menu. Continue reading

Clandé, Paris, 3/4/16

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Exterior

The smallest place ever, but what a find! It serves only a fixed 7 course menu and provides a reasonably priced wine list to choose from to accompany your meal. The staff are incredibly friendly but English is not a first language so communication takes some effort. The small number of seats are well spread out in this simple, modern interior. An array of different fixtures light the tables and most of the walls and ceiling are unadorned plywood. It is a paper napkin, no tablecloth and an assortment of chairs (mine swiveled!) place that has been open about 3 years and all together is a delightful dining experience. Most of the dishes have few ingredients but they are well matched and seasoned that makes for simple  and very tasty food. Continue reading

Restaurant Le Cinq, Paris, 3/4/16

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interior

This large place is in the elegant Four Season Hotel George V and the dining room is a fittingly beautiful room.  It’s been several years since we were there but we wanted to visit again because a chef we enjoyed at Restaurant Ledoyen, Christian Le Squer, is now head chef at Le Cinq and since his hire they have been awarded their third Michelin star. It is an old school kind of place where women don’t get menus with prices and most of the waiters are men with women carrying the trays the men serve you from. Continue reading

Le Galopin, Paris, 3/3/16

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Exterior

This small bistro was opened by the Tischenko brothers (Romain Tischenko was the winner of Top Chef in 2010) about 4 years ago. It only seats a couple dozen people and it was packed.  The name Le Galopin means “cheeky kid”. They serve only a 7 course tasting menu at dinner and their are no upgrades, etc. only substitutions for allergies. It appears to be simple but there is often a surprise tucked underneath.  This very flavorful food is prepared with care. I would go again in a heartbeat! Continue reading

l’Astrance, Paris, 3/2/16

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Exterior

We re-visited this small wonderful 3 Michelin starred restaurant after a several year hiatus. It has been open 16 years and I believe it’s better than it was before!  Service was stellar and they offer a huge yet reasonable wine list. They have several different tasting menus and on our visit they had fresh truffles that were available as a supplement to any of the options. You could get them for one course, a few more or on everything for adjusted pricing.We chose the longer of the menus and opted for a small amount of truffle addition.   Continue reading

Restaurant Arpège, Paris, 3/2/16

Chef with Frankie
Chef Passard with Frankie

Frankie and I posted a meal here last Dec. but it was so good we wanted to visit again and enjoy the meal of a different season. Not as heavy in protein courses as last meal but every bit as tasty. The surprise tasting menu at lunch is the best way to go here and seemed to be what the majority in the room were having. All the staff is so very  welcoming and friendly and the food is amazing.  It is a must stop if you have the ability! Hope you enjoy our March meal – we did! Continue reading

Le Timbre, Paris, 3/1/16

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exterior

This very small place is named perfectly – it is a postage stamp sized restaurant, but it is packed with happy customers. Chef Danet and his partner Agnès Peyre have owned the place for about 18 months and seem to navigate the challenges of such a small place without a hitch. They offer a set menu in which you can choose to have 3, 4 or 5 courses with increasing prices and scaled portions. It is quite reasonable as is the wine list, which Peyre will assist you with. Continue reading

Ze Kitchen Galerie, Paris, 3/1/16

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Exterior

This medium sized place has a modern interior and a large window to see into the kitchen.  We were lucky to sit right the window so we could watch the action as well as see Chef William Ledeuil oversee all the plates as well as taste occasionally. The supervision paid off as it was a fine meal. He introduces some Asian influences into French cooking and the pairing comes off nicely.   Continue reading

Restaurant L’Arpège, Paris, 12/3/15

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exterior

This was our third visit to Chef Alain Passard’s  3 star Michelin restaurant that emphasizes vegetables and is a delight for the tastebuds. Chef is in the kitchen actually overseeing what diners are served but later in the meal will be out working the room and visiting with all the guests.  He truly seems to enjoy his work. It is a medium sized place with light wood and beautiful glass sculptures on the walls. They offer 3 tasting menus and an a la carte option.   Continue reading

Restaurant Pierre Sang Boyer, Paris, 12/5/15

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Exterior

Pierre Sang Boyer was a semifinalist in the Top Chef 2011 television program in France. He has 2 restaurants very close to each other and this one was his first to open. It has 12 barstools around an open kitchen as well as a few 2-top tables around the edge. They offer only a tasting menu but  will accommodate food allergies as needed.  They offer pairings as well as a wine list but this time we chose the pairings. Continue reading

Le Grand Pan, Paris, 12/4/15

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exterior

A very small place of about a dozen tables and most for two. The young chef, Benoit Gauthier, peeks out of the tiny kitchen’s window often to keep an eye on the packed dining room.  It’s a chalkboard menu and the staff while not as fluent in English as many are very friendly and communication happens. It is simple but great food. The tastes are fresh and full.  Small items like just having great greens in the salad make the place seem that much better and it is obviously a hit with the locals. Continue reading

Restaurant Les Climats, Paris, 12/3/15

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exterior

This restaurant opened in 2013 and they appear to have done massive decorating to give an old and ornate feel. It is medium sized but they have a terrace out back that is available at lunch. They received their Michelin star this year and are definitely trying to fit into that mold, serving several amuse bouche, presenting some beautiful treats to finish your meal and having purse stools. The owner greets you at the door and it is a pleasant and beautiful place to enter but the service still has some kinks to work out. It has an extensive Burgundy wine list, which is one of its claim-to-fame. Continue reading

Le Comptoir du Relais, Paris, 12/2/15

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Exterior

A very small place that is a hard to get reservation as they save many tables for guests of the hotel. The tables are close together and you’ll hear lots of English spoken.  It is a tasting menu that offers some supplement charges if you want to change some of the courses. The menu varies every night but has basic similarities over the course of a week. We have eaten here a number of times and it is always good but sometimes more to the average. Continue reading

Guy Savoy, Paris, 12/2/15

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building exterior

A little over 6 months ago Guy Savoy moved his restaurant from the it’s location of 28 years, to the French Mint building. They have the top floor and the beautiful entrance and building add to the experience of going there. The rooms have some similarity but each has a character and different art but more importantly have windows even in the kitchen. Continue reading