Tomy & Co, Paris, 3/21/18

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exterior

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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exterior

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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exterior

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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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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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

Exterior
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