Looking for suggestions for dining in Le Marais. Here's my research for the 3rd/4th. Haven't dined at any of them except for Chez Omar, which served up delicious North African fare. If anyone has dined at any of these, please share your opinion. I wouldn't consider any of these fancy dining, but they sounded good. Again, this visit is going to be a tricky one, having such very young children along.
So. Back to Le Marais... (sorry, no pics)
32 rue du Vertbois, just up the street from 50 rue Volta, corner of Volta/Vertbois
Wed - Sun. 12pm-1:30pm, 8pm-11pm
+33 1 4887 7748
69 rue de Gravilliers, off of rue Turbigo, down from rue Reaumur
Morrocan, great for authentic northern African food, sights and sounds.
+33 1 4274 5781
53 blvd beaumarchais
North of Place des Voges, btwn rue des France-borgeois
+33 1 4271 8262
Mon-Sun 12pm-2:30pm, ?:30pm-11pm
Sardinian provencial Italian, noisy crowded, 20 varieties pizza, good pasta.
47 rue de Bretagne
+33 1 4272 3626
Best North African food in Paris
Arrive wel l before 8pm to be seated promptly. Very popular.
Mon-Sat 12pm-2:30pm, Mon-Sun, 7pm-11:30pm
39 blvd du Temple, metro Rue Rambuteau
+33 1 4454 3900
Quiet, peaceful Alsace regional food, sausage, potatoes, pork, sauerkraut
Not to be confused with rue du Temple. Go up rue de Turbigo to Place de la Republique,
Right to end of place, then right on blvd du Temple, right side.
38 rue du vertbois, right up on the corner from rue Volta!
+33 1 4271 6695
Village life remains in Paris. Café, simple menu, fresh, friendly, warm
I didn't include Nicolas Flamel, but am aware of that one.
Some people will call this heresy, but I have rarely had a truly great restaurant meal in Paris (and that's where in the past I have spent most of my years in France). To get amazing food, I go first to Burgundy, second to Provence, and third to the Loire Valley. If anyone is planning a trip to Dijon, Beaune, Saulieu, or any other part of Burgundy, let me know!
I am so glad you were bold enough to share that opinion. I agree! I guess that's why I am so interested in good places to eat in Paris. It seems to be the one point that has been lacking on my visits there. To be honest, I haven't had much luck in Bavaria with good meals either, but Bavaria is much more difficult since I don't speak hardly a lick of German (danke, bitte, grus got). I was beginning to think it was me. I have on the other hand, had delicious meals in Italy, and enjoyed a fabulous meal once at a family operated restaurant in the Loire Valley, in the town surrounding Chateau Cheverny. I did in fact enjoy two memorable meals in Paris on my last trip, one on rue Marbeuf and the other at Terre du Truffe near la Madeleine, but with so many restaurants, it seems to me that there should be no reason why one couldn't expect to dine well every evening there. While the Paris Marriott Concierges have always been polite, professional, knowledgable, helpful and friendly, I've never really trusted their dining recommends (it's not them, it's me). It sounds like Jerrycoin has it dialed in, and I am very grateful for his generous postings on the subject. I do now feel armed and ready to take on Paris dining, and am determined to eat well this next trip!
I have had very good meals in Bavaria (Will start a new threat on that subject). Do you get to Freiburg, Germany? I have some great places to dine there. To me it's not about just expensive places, it's about value. I want to help anyone avoid a "Big deal NOT worth it"!
Jerry, great! Thank you. Never been to Freiburg, but will look it up. Since my kids are in Bavaria, I do travel there about twice/year. Helping someone avoid 'big deal not worth it' is a gift. Don't have the budget for pricey dining at every meal, but a couple times per visit is a nice treat, however with the babies this trip, I'm thinking casual pretty much, as I am very mindful of not permitting an unhappy child the potential to ruin a perfect stranger's dinner. Don't mind taking the littles outside for a walk while their parents can enjoy a good uninterrupted meal, but I'd also be disappointed if I had to say 'no' to my own expensive meal that was served and for which I'd have to pay for, as a result of having to tend to the littles.
I don't think it's just me, because I've lived in Paris about four total years of my life, two during one stretch. I have had some amazing meals made by French people I know, but almost none at a restaurant that would compare to meals I've had in Belgium and other parts of France. I think probably my most memorable meal in Paris (long ago - it's probably not even still around) was at a Russian restaurant in Paris called La Troïka back in the 80s.
I think to some extent Parisians know that most Americans (their main visitors) will probably not venture far afield, except maybe Normandy, so I don't know that they try as hard as other French restaurants in the provinces.
This has been one of my long-held opinions since I fancy myself a modest version of Julia Child (I have her first edition) and except for oysters -- which I've never mastered opening -- I can cook most things better myself than I have had at Parisian restaurants. By contrast, on two of my earliest trips outside Paris in the late 80s, one to Strasbourg and one to Brussels, I had some of the best meals of my life.
You might want to take a high-speed train (only an hour) to either Dijon or Brussels for a superb meal .
PS - What you said hits the nail on the head. If I am going to pay significant amounts of money for a meal, I want it to a whole lot better than I could cook at home. I was spoiled all that time living in France when I could go to the daily markets and buy fresh seafood, meat, cheese, vegetables, fruits, you name it. My favorite (albeit somewhat unfortunate) time was Christmas eve in Dijon. My college rents an 'apartment' (i.e. part of a mansion) there, and when French dept. people aren't there, I can stay for free. I bought all the things I wanted from the fresh Breton oysters (unfortunately unshucked*), to all the ingredients for soupe à l'oignon gratinée and then boeuf bourguignon. And the wonderful thing is that it was all very inexpensive and I could actually use really decent wines to cook the beef in. I admit since I'm not a dessert person, that I bought a tarte aux fraises (strawberry tart, but with some wonderful crème française) the night before. I went to Christmas mass in the cathedral of Saint-Benigné, then came home and started -- trying -- to shuck oysters. I've lived on the US Atlantic coast or near it all my life, but have never had to deal with oysters. But the idea of real and truly fresh ones was so wonderful. Alas, it is an art. And if you don't know the art you are likely to do what I did. First, nothing happened when I 'skillfully' applied the oyster knife. Since I am a lobster afficionado, I didn't think it would be that much different. Second and third oyster, same thing. By the fourth oyster, I thought I'd gotten it, and just as I stuck the oyster knife in and the shell came loose the knife went through my left thumb. And it was Christmas day, and NOTHING is open except for a few convenience stores on Christmas day in France. I immediately tried to staunch copious bleeding wearing the luxurious bathrobe of the French dept.'s normal resident. The result was a disaster that the washing machine could not remedy. Worse was my thumb. I used about everything in the house to try to stop it from bleeding and ended up in a virtual cast.
But I was not to be stopped! I simply resorted to the trick I use when really hard shell lobsters are in season -- go to the toolbox and get out the hammer. It worked, more or less, though I had to pick the shell remains out of the oysters. But since all all the while I was drinking like Julia Child and cooking the boeuf bourguignon, I probably did not notice a few ingested oyster shell remains. That was 13 years ago!
I still have the scars on my thumb... Lesson learned: let someone else shuck the oysters.
Oohh, ProfC! What a story! Just reading it produced a lot of animation on my part. Oh, what an unfortunate experience made hilarious in the telling! Alas I am not a fan of oysters. The truth is I've never tried them, the ones I've seen look ahem, okay, I'm just not interested. I know, I'm probably missing out on a good thing (but hey, I write about tacos). The soupe à l'oignon gratinée and the boeuf bourguignon sure sounded wonderful though. Mmm. I have a sort of similar story about deveining shrimp once, when I tried my hand at Shrimp Étouffée. No injuries, but lack the skill (or desire) to devein it properly. Hmm, never again. Do love escargot. Frog legs, not so much. Had to dissect them in high school biology. My biology teacher wore a lab coat. The back of it had a cartoon caracture drawing of her chasing a frog with a butterfly net. Jerry, $90 for escargot? Boy.
I agree with Lori that you got taken, Jerry, on the $90 for an escargot. I have found a dozen really good ones should cost no more than 15 euros in Burgundy (and that's where they're best). Lori, just try one oyster or two somewhere where they're good. The thing I loved about being in Paris in the 80s was I was living a new and different life and trying new things. There are about 14 different oyster varieties in most Parisian markets, and you usually get a choose of 4-5 varieties at most restaurants. I like the saltier ones the best.
Yes, that was an interesting Christmas Eve and Christmas day. It was about 15-16 years ago (time seems so relative these days), but it felt so glorious to be cooking Julia in situ. And Dijon at Christmas is such an amazing place to be. Père Noël comes down from the old houses at the city center which are all very decorated (unlike the more austere Paris) and it's a huge celebration and great fun. Then, after midnight it is all very quiet (unless you are trying to shuck oysters and nearly kill yourself) until after noon the next day. Oh, how I love Dijon!
I will have to add Dijon to my wish list. (à Bourgogne, oui?) You make a good commercial. Can you please tell me how you type your French letters with accents? I have to keep a legend of letters and constantly reference it because I cannot for the life of me remember the alt codes for all of them. It is painfully slow and tedious. Do you know how the French do it? Thanks.
Well, we look like we have a good number of shuckers, so that part is settled! We just all need to be in France at the same time, and my times are summer, January, and fall and spring breaks. But I think Jerry and Tryt53 should offer tour shucking and dining excursions. Non?
And yes, I could easily be a tour guide for Burgundy, which is truly my favorite part of France (and like the whole of France it is many parts). Have you been to Vézelay, the basilica of Mary Magdalene? It is some of the most amazing architecture from the medieval world, and there are (or at least were) a couple of Michelin restaurants right in Vézelay or in St. Père-sous-Vézelay. Nearby Saulieu is famous for the suicide of a very famous chef who did so because of losing a Michelin star. I can assure you, however, though I drove through a winter snowstorm in winding roads to Saulieu, that under its new chef it is just as amazing. Vézelay is also the place where Picasso went, and where numerous luminaries of the writing and artistic world are buried in a cemetery not far from where the 2nd Crusade was preached. (It's part of the pilgrimage path to Santiago de Compostella, to mix languages.) But as one of the most beautiful places on earth, it's my favorite.
Dijon is the best and capital city of Burgundy (modern version). It's 1-1/3 hours from Paris by TGV, so a day trip if you want. But only slightly longer on the TGV is Beaune, host every November of the Chevaliers des Tastevins, which grew from a medieval tradition based on the incredibly beautiful hospital founded by the Dukes of Burgundy. The outside of the Hospice is nothing to look out -- go in the courtyard and you'll be blown away, and then even more so throughout the hospital which has both original furnishings and rooms made up as original apothecaries, etc.
And after you've done your cultural duties, nearby is Père Patriarche et Fils and other Burgundy bottling houses, where for a very small fee you can enter their cellars, keep your silver tastevin, and at your leisure drink from bottles in as many as 22 separate stages depending on the house. IN the process you'll see bottles from before the French Revolution. The first time I went in the 80s, with an ex-husband, we were really stupid. We not only hadn't eaten, but tasted to the fullest as we started. But they rank the wines. The cheapest are at the beginning when most people will guzzle. The best are at the end when most will sip (or have passed out in between).
My last trip, a few years back, showed the wisdom of age. I went AFTER lunch, barely sampled the first several tables, and concentrated my efforts on the last 8-10 tables of wines. It's more or less expected that you'll buy a bottle or so at the end, but there's no pressure, and you can buy one cheap bottle or many expensive ones and have them shipped home.
Also they'll give you a tastevin card. My first trip was excellent in that I could read my comments on wines 1-8. However, once the wines got even better my handwriting deteriorated significantly. Again, the second trip proved age is wisdom.
And I have had some wonderful, amazing lunches in Beaune, which is the heart of Burgundy country, and so beautiful -- and so close to Paris thanks to the TGV. Go!
That sounds like a lot of fun. Did I mention our European tour will be about 2 1/2 years out still. I will probably miss parties in Paris till then, but will definitely be ready for one when we get close. I was thinking around October 2014 is our guess when we will make that trip, but might be able to look around Thanksgiving break time also (is that when your fall break is?). Still a long ways off, so i'll keep dreaming about it for a long time. Anticipation always makes whatever you're waiting for better!
I spent about 4 years down in Panama City, FL, when I was in the Air Force, and got pretty good at shucking oysters. As Jerry said in his post, all you need is a good shucking glove (one that protects the palm of your hand too) on the hand that holds the oyster, A good shucking knife to pry the hinge and get good leverage with, and lots of experience. We used to get a full bushel and have some over and shuck them all and have a big lawn party. If were ever together, for something like that, I will be happy to do the shucking!
I also love escargot. If you ever decide to be adventurous and try raw oysters, here are a few tips. Many beginners start with a small oyster and put it on a saltine cracker and then squeeze a couple drops of lemon juice and then a small spoon of cocktail sauce on it. Not only does it look pretty that way, it makes it easier to try because of all the other stuff. Later, as you're ready, you can progress onto the more hardcore ways of eating them. Also, if you're getting the oysters in warm water climates, eat them only in the months with R's in them. The months with R's are all the colder months, and as with any uncooked or lightly cooked seafood, the possibility of bacteria is greatly reduced. They really do taste so good, that I can't describe them or compare them to something you probably already eat.
The Rive Gauche does, but I don't recommend their oysters -- not out of spite for my last trip but because I got very sick last time I ate them there. They did not do the horseradish, vinegar, lemon juice or hot sauce versions, just oysters and lemons. It could have been something else, but I leave oysters to real restaurants.
It is amazing to see the people "Shucking Oysters", at the sidewalk cafe's. They have it mastered and I am not that good, but will be glad to for all MI's.
This place on the Left Bank, I cannot remember it's name. (On Rue St. Germain). Will check it out again, on my next trip. They had the finest Oysters of the trip! You can see the area they work on them right in the front of the place.
Is that not too far from St-Germain-des-Prés? If so, it looks like one of the restaurants near Café Procope frequented by Sartre, Beauvoir, and so many other French intellectuals, writers and film-makers during the 20th C.
I know when they wanted to change ownership of one -- closer to the Latin Quarter and nearly across from Notre-Dame, there was a huge public uproar.
Another note on oysters -- make sure you (to the extent you can -- and this is how I judge restaurants) a sauce that includes vinegar, shallots and a bit of hot sauce. This serves two purposes. Number one, it's delicious; secondarily, it counteracts most possibility of tainted raw shellfish.
And back to wonderful hors d'oeuvres, my very favorites are escargots -- but they must be either in Burgundy or done in Burgundian style (sautéed in white wine, butter and garlic and parsley). They are my absolute favorite! In Dijon at least, EVEN supermarket frozen escargots are really very good.
It is a short distance from ND, and I thought it was on I know it is in a "Wedge", of two streets. It is probably it, but I cannot make out the name on the front. Have been there a number of times, and like a lot of places in Paris, has a neat staircase to the bathroom in the basement.
Do you know this places name?
I east my oysters with chopped shallots, vinegar, and hot sauce. When I request that, even in nice places, they look at me like I came from Mars.
Love escargot, and must tell you if you go to Jules Verne, do not order it there. Instead of the "Classic" way you and I like it, they mixed it up with something else and it was not my style. The really bad thing is that it cost over $90 for that one order of escargot.
Now here is something unique. I thought I recognized the place so I put Paris, restaurants, poissons, quartier latin, into a search and came back with a lot of possibilities including photos. When I went back to Marriott on both Safari and Firefox, your photos didn't appear so I couldn't compare (I opened a new window on safari). This is bizarre. Anyway, I think I have been there.
Any place in Paris where you complain about not having shallots, vinegars and hot sauce[ or horseradish] (the normal way) with your oysters should not be serving oysters. Not only do they not taste nearly as good, but you don't get the effects of eliminating possible raw shellfish problems. I've been to a few places (including the Rive Gauche restaurant) where they serve oysters only with lemon slices. NOT ACCEPTABLE. And not FRENCH.
Sorry to hear about your pictures, I will try it again here.
No, I never had the request turned down in France, only here in the US. Never heard of just lemon slices! Have you ever seen how many oysters some of the French can eat at one sitting. I was with a petit lady who told me she ate something like 100 at one sitting!
As I mentioned above to ProfC, I will be happy to be the designated shucker. I've shucked hundreds and hundreds, and really enjoyed the Apalachicola oysters down close to Panama City, FL. Nothing better than a fresh shucked oyster, just slurped out of the shell straight!! I will put a few drops from a lemon slice and cocktail sauce (ketchup and grated horseradish) on them and like them that way too.
This time, "You are the Man"!
We could have everyone bring something! As one of my favorite singers would say, "Went to a garden party" (Ricky Nelson).
We'll start in Paris and I'll drive us to Dijon, and we will have a great time, and fly back from Basel or Zurich?
Get your glove ready.
Okay, now see Tryt, that is why I do not think I like oysters. Slurped out of the shell? Aye (I'm biting my fist)! But if I ever can bring myself to take Prof C's advice and try them (and if I ever do, I will try them as you suggest, on a cracker et al), and I IF find that I do like them (fist bite), then okaaay... We'll have an oyster party, and you can shuck and Jerry can drive(?) and the rest of us will just enjoy le parti d'huître jardin. And that there was a glass of wine.
Other Paris threads to check
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