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Poppy Quince

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  1. Thanks for the update. I haven't been back to l'Epigramme in about a year but mean to go soon. I had dinner at Le Gaigne in September and was very disappointed. The food was boring, some of it not good at all. We were surrounded exclusively by Anglophones in the tiny room. When I asked the server (the owner's wife?) if this was typical, she told me that it was since the article had come out. She seemed quite pleased.
  2. I should have given my opinions of the places I listed upthread, but was in a hurry at the time and just reeled off everything I could think of in the immediate area. I agree with Ptipois about Au Bascou, I never understood what the big deal was...l'Ami Jean is soooo much better. Although I prefer 404 to Chez Omar, I think both of them fail to hold a candle to La Table de Fez. I didn't particularly like my one meal at Pramil 2 years ago, I thought the chef overreached. Chez Nenesse is, I think, too expensive for the 'real traditional bistro' experience, but it certainly looks right, I agree. I've had several very good meals at Café des Musées, and one mediocre one. On the whole a great choice. Le Progrès is a lot of fun to hang out in, and although it's become more and more 'in', it's miles better than that new-ish Costes place down the street. I like Chez Janou for the bar and the outdoor seating, although the food isn't anything special. It just looks like a movie version of Paris.
  3. Within about 3 blocks: Au Bascou, 38, Rue Réaumur, Telephone: Au Fil des Saisons 6 rue des Fontaines du Temple Telephone: 01 42 74 16 60 Café des Techniques, Musée des Arts et Métiers, 60 rue Réamur, 01 53 01 82 83,. Sunday brunch includes museum entry. Pramil: 9, rue du Vertbois, Tel: 01 42 72 03 60 404, 69 rue de Gravilliers, Tel: 08 26 10 09 84 Chez Omar, 47 Rue de Bretagne, 01 42 72 36 26 The take-out options at the Marché des Enfants Rouges are great: Moroccan, Japanese, Italian, etc. There is an extraordinarily good boulangerie open only part of the week (try the blinis!), a wine shop that sells homemade sausages and several greengrocers. The shops along rue de Bretagne at that point include a fabulous poultry merchant and a great cheese shop. All: M° Temple ou Arts-et-Métier As for farther afield, there's a new branch of Rose Café on rue Debelleyme near Le Pamphlet and tons of good places in the Marais. I agree that you shouldn't miss Breizh Café.
  4. l'Epigramme has it on a special gibiers menu tonight, Oct. 10
  5. The sub-head to the article does say "the scene has moved-across the Seine-to a collection of fringe neighborhoods..." so I assume they're not geographically challenged at Gourmet.
  6. I should think business fell off, but I can't understand why it took so long. And as for that expensive farce upstairs...the Connaught can have her. (re-reading this I realize I sound cranky, but that's the way I felt after visiting chez Hélène)
  7. No no no. If your heart says no, don't go. We should start a topic on this. There are places, such as l'Astrance, Ze Kitchen Galerie + Itineraires where honorable eaters disagree; we should respect that. We should each speak our piece, but tastes differ and that's life. And information as to where to go. ← I agree that we don't have to agree, but since you (and the three harshest critics you know!) were so enthusiastic, who am I to dig in my heels and refuse to give it another try? I intend to go back and hope to be won over next time. (I'll take a couple of critics along as well to make sure.)
  8. OK, I guess we'll have to go back. I'd love to find I was mistaken the first time.
  9. Well, as they used to say on the commercials, your mileage may differ. I was thrilled to have stumbled across Itineraires when out for a walk one day in early May since I had absolutely loved le Temps au Temps. I made a reservation for dinner immediately and looked forward to it all day. Having arrived in a downpour, we were welcomed and seated with an aperitif and ordered from what sounds like the same menu you were offered. I had the asparagus in vinaigrette, in which I could identify no foie gras, and found the dried tuna belly just odd. This was followed by the beef cheek confit, the sauceof which was, in my opinion, TOO intense and I just couldn't finish it. The potato puree however was the best I've ever had. Can't remember what my husband had, but we were both disappointed and agreed that it just didn't measure up to Temps au Temps. The service was very warm and we had quite a long talk with Mme. Sendra, who was charming, but we left feeling no need to return. Having not had a chance to read any reviews since then I'm a bit startled to hear you rave. I feel we do need to try it again, but given we had the same dishes, I wonder if it's just a matter of personal taste. Maybe we could try it together next time and compare on the spot.
  10. Well, we had dinner at les Fines Gueules in early May and enjoyed it very much. The excellent first courses were more exciting than the mains, it's true, but the dessert was also stellar. Can't recall the wine I'm afraid, but here's my note of the meal from the blog I write when traveling: >>Last night we wanted to stay in the neighborhood for a simple meal and wound up at Les Fines Gueules near Place des Victoires, a wine bar that distinguishes itself by serving impeccably fresh simple food sourced from the best names among local producers. We had a terrine of fish with leeks and eggs baked with barely smoked haddock to start (here's the terrine de poissons, discreetly snapped for your edification) and shrimp Provencale and a gorgeous hand chopped tartare de boeuf. Dessert was an entire peeled poached peach (can you say that 3 times, fast?) with a sauce of caramel laitier, a milky unctuous cream. << Now that I think about it, it was awfully early for peaches...
  11. Thanks Forest, this is great. We were just mentioning today that dinners in Paris tend to be less expensive than in the US because we don't order cocktails beforehand, but every once in a while the need for a great martini kicks in. For me that usually means vodka, but friends have introduced us to Hendrick's gin, which has turned my opinion of gin on its head. The Experimental Cocktail Club is just around the corner from where we stay in Paris and we'll definitely try it soon.
  12. I'm sorry to hear it, but will be interested in the details. By the way, when was your last previous visit? I haven't been there since October, when I felt it was still very special.
  13. Figaroscope's article mentions that great and talented couple running Le Temps au Temps have given it over to someone else. This had become my favorite resto and am devastated to hear this, although the promise is that it will "not change". Can this possible be the case with a new chef? At least my favorite dessert remains, according to Figaroscope. Has anybody tried it since mid-JAnuary? Any reports?
  14. I came across a used copy of The Chateau a few years ago and have read it at least twice since then. It's definitely worth searching out. And thanks for the reminder of Godden's Greengage Summer. I recall reading it decades ago, enjoyed it a lot, but have very little recollection of it now. I think I would like to re-read it.
  15. Exactly what I ordered on my first visit...wonderful! I've never been able to just walk in and get a table however; always quite a long wait and nowhere to wait comfortably, although you can get a coffee at the café across the street, or sit in the park on warm days.
  16. I happened to have two lunches there in October, both excellent. The cochon au lait with lentils was wonderful. Both times I was seated outside and my neighbors were French-speaking. Admittedly we heard quite a lot of English spoken nearby as well. Having failed to snag a dinner reservation after a couple of attempts in the last year I no longer try, but if there's a table available when I'm in the neighborhood at midday, I grab it.
  17. So we're agreed, Les Fontaines is off the acceptable list. Even if it wasn't dreadful, I want more than serviceable. And for what it's worth, it was nearly empty the night we were there; it may not last long in this incarnation. P'titpois, thanks for the mention of Maison de la Lozère. It's been on the "to try" list for quite some time, but that salade sounds like just what I want, so it's moving up in priority!
  18. Looking for a place to meet a friend for dinner near the Luxembourg gardens last night, we dropped in to Les Fontaines on rue Soufflot, a longtime favorite for its endive salad with bleu cheese and excellent meats. It looked a bit spiffier than the funky 1950-ish decor I remembered, but not strikingly so. The menu however was completely changed and not a salad to be found. Meat, meat and more meat, with an assiette of charcuterie to start if you wanted something sliced. Although the waiters were the same, the couple who used to run the place were no longer evident. The waiter said the management had changed 2 years ago. We decided to stay and in fact it was quite serviceable: an entrecote with sauce poivre, onglet with sauce roquefort and filet du canard, each with its own potato sidedish. Large portions at less than 100 euros for three, including, by the way, that assiette de charcuterie to share. It had some lettuce in the center.
  19. The chef is named David Panis. Here's the website: http://monsite.wanadoo.fr/chienlunatique/ Apparently he's cooking at Chez Panisse for the summer.
  20. So is the place called Relais de l'Entrecôte on rue St-Benoit in the 6th an impostor? They serve exactly the same menu and have done for years, but there's no mention of it in the article or the website noted (www.entrecote.fr) Edited to say I just read the "steak frites" thread and apparently this has been discussed already.
  21. With all due respect to everyone above, every place in Paris I've been to fails either the "can we do it as well or better" test, whether it's couscous (me) or tagines (Colette). Pastilla/b'steeya/bstella/bistilla/bastaila, now that's another matter. Well, John, the votes are in. Name the date and time. We'll bring the bistilla.
  22. I'm reluctant to mention La Table de Fes on rue Saint Beuve in the 6th because the friends I took there last week were terribly offended by the rather strange personality of the patronne and only server, who has run this place for many years and has perhaps become a bit odd. There were few other diners the night we were there but I can't say whether these facts are related. One of my companions ordered the "oriental salad" which came with the ingredients not chopped into small pieces. When she mentioned that it wasn't what she expected of oriental salad, the patronne took offense and lectured her, saying there were different versions and this was the one her Moroccan father-in-law taught her. When another guest thought of ordering both the bistilla and a salad, Madame brusquely told him he couldn't have both as that would not allow the full enjoyment of the bistilla. So fair warning is hereby given. That said, the quality of the food is unchanged and excellent over the 15 years we've been coming here. The tagines of lamb with prunes and chicken with lemons and olives were flavorful, the couscous perfectly separated andthe broth rich and tasty. The bastilla was delicious. We didn't linger for dessert or coffee. The tagines were 30 Euros each. Last year I tried Chez Omar and was disappointed. The food was dull and lacked flavor, and now that I recall it, the service was rather rude. We plan to try 404 next time, but I suspect it may be more hype than quality from reports I've heard.
  23. I called the number I had for Le Petit Pamphlet to make a reservation the other night and the man on the other end noted it, said he'd see us that evening, hung up the phone. I didn't pay attention to how he'd answered the phone. Going out after the thunderstorm I couldn't recall the exact address, but knew it was rue Saint Gilles, only 2 blocks long. After wandering up and down a couple of times we stopped to ask at another restaurant, called Le Carré des Vosges, which turns out to have taken over the space and the phone numberof Le Petit Pamphlet, with little to no fanfare, as far as I can tell. Luckily it was quite good, with chef Marc Ouvray in the kitchen and his wife running the front of the house. We had risotto with watercress coulis and asparagus, piquillos stuffed with chevre accompanied by jambon de pata negra wrapped around a small herb salad, and three kinds of seafood tartare with a light wasabi cream sauce for our first courses. These were followed by fricasée de volailles with morilles and magret de canard with honey and spices, both good but not quite as interesting as the firsts. We had dessert but can't recall what. A bottle of Minervois, several bottles of water, and a bill around 200 Euros for four.
  24. Um, it's actually just across the river from the Ile, at rue du Pont Louis Philippe. I've been passing by it for years, noting its very high adorableness quotient, but never actually went in. I assume the adorable level will drop as the chi-chi level rises.
  25. Having wandered into Brasserie Balzar recently after a movie, we noticed that they have a great deal for orders after 10 PM: a three course meal for what I recall as €19, although it may have been €1-2 either side of that. Choices included virtually everything on the carte, including items that alone cost more than the thre-course total. One dinner at l'As de Felafel, a huge salad at Nemrod near Bon Marche another evening and a late dinner at Balzar should give you 3 nights in Paris with a pretty fair sampling of good food at low cost while staying within your budget. And although they may have raised the price within the last year, I would vote for a splurge at Les Papilles, which was under €30 and well worth giving up lunch for last time I was there.
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