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My first trip to Paris - merged topics


Revallo
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I'm planning a trip to france within the next couple of months, I was planning on going from april15-30. I am mainly looking for a place to live/work but I would like to know if there are any notable festivities going. I just have a history of traveling and the day after i depart somthing incredible is going on. So anything from winetastings to village festivals that should not be missed, your suggestions are welcomed.

"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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May Day, International worker's day (Fête du travail) May 1st, is a big holiday in France. Generally there are parades. The first of May is also the fête du muget, or lily of the valley. I don't think I've ever been in France on May first so I can't tell you if children still sell lily of the valley bouquets as I've been told they used to by an eldery French woman when talking of her childhood.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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You don't mention the area of France that you will be traveling in...

Not that much in the way of festivities in April, it is pretty much an "off Month", things start heating up toward the end of May--

However, there is a noteworthy Jazz Festival the entire month of April in LeMans, just 1 hour out of Paris. This is in the direction of the Loire Valley so you could combine it with a trip there. The French love their Jazz, and this is one of the biggest events. Check with the LeMans OT: 02 43 24 81 78.

Easter Sunday AND Monday are huge holidays, expect just about EVERYTHING to be shut those days, including Museums, Restaurants, and stores. You need to plan ahead for those days, and the pickings will be slim.

Will you be moving permanently to France? What is your métier?

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If I can piggyback on Revallo's query, what about restaurants in Paris on May 1 -- will many of them be closed? And what about markets such as the Maubert-Mutualité market in the 5th? We arrive on Friday 30 April and I had looked forward to the market the next morning. Thanks for the help.

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Thank you for all of the replys, I think i will stretch my trip in the first week of may for the fete du travail.

Menton1- I am flying in to paris and then, i just plan on seeing as much as i can, I am also very excited about going to provence, and maybe corsica. Thanks again for all your help.

"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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There is much to see in France and if you spend the time to travel slowly, you will learn that it is, in its way, a very multicultural country. The corners of the hexagon are heavily influenced by Italian, German, Flemish, Celtic, Basque and Catalan cultures. Even the interior of France is rich in differences.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I know going to a new Country for two weeks... (especially France...) how am I supposed to find out where I want to live in that amount of time, I am really just looking to make a few contacts and possibly a place to stay for a couple years, My ideal living situation would be to have an owner of a restaurant put me up inexchange for my kitchen skills, and maybe if I am of any worth to him, a small wage, but more like pocket change...

"Only the tougne tells the truth..."-F.A.

revallo@gmail.com

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  • 2 years later...

I have read the entire France forum, Parisblagueur, Chocolate and Zucchini, Figaroscope, Parisist, Whitings writings and every place each of those could take me.

Would you believe I still have a couple of questions??? :rolleyes:

First, Oysters etc on a Sunday evening, I havent found much written about where to get the Plateau/Raw bar type experience...

Second, If anyone wants to throw out some translations of game meats it would be loverly

3rd, I love seared Foie Gras, hate liverwurst and not so good with pate, never tried torchon...how will seared foie be written on a menu (in french) what is the most common way it is served?

ok 1 more for now...food/gift shopping at the airport, we are going from Paris to Munich and back to Paris for a layover befor NY flight. Are there any goodies I can get at CDG....cheese etc

Than you

tracey

Edited by rooftop1000 (log)

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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First, Oysters etc on a Sunday evening, I havent found much written about where to get the Plateau/Raw bar type experience...

Le Dome, 108 Blvd du Montparnasse; open daily; there is a fishmonger attached, so they have very, very fresh seafood; the plateau de fruits de mer includes oysters, it's amazing - or you can get just oysters, of course; 43 35 25 81 - make a reservation for dinner (they are open till 1). this is a very Parisian brasserie, opulent interior, very beautiful. The oysters I had there a couple of weeks ago were among the best and I have ever tasted.

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3rd,  I love seared Foie Gras, hate liverwurst and not so good with pate, never tried torchon...how will seared foie be written on a menu (in french) what is the most common way it is served?

Foie Gras Poêlé is seared foie gras. I had this as an accompaniment to my main course. As an appetizer, I found terrine de foie gras to be more common (cold, served only with fleur de sel, or maybe with a fruit compote of some sort) - and it was usually so good it did not really need anything to go with it. Enjoy!!

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First, Oysters etc on a Sunday evening, I havent found much written about where to get the Plateau/Raw bar type experience...

Any brasserie, why don't you tell us where you'll be and we'll specify.
Second, If anyone wants to throw out some translations of game meats it would be loverly
I think we should start a thread on this (right now I'm pressed but perhaps someone else can start and we can all add on [i do recall a discussion of the differences between chevreuil, biche, cerf & daim some time back but forget where]).
ok 1 more for now...food/gift shopping at the airport, we are going from Paris to Munich and back to Paris for a layover befor NY flight. Are there any goodies I can get at CDG....cheese etc
Yup, there's a shop in Terminal 1 that sells French products such as cheese more or less opposite the perfume shop.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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John et al

I was informed by a very nice guy from Baltimore that we are staying in a nice neighborhood....on Rue Simart....

See I really want good suggestions for the oyster night, Dec 3rd because I want to get together with anyone interested :biggrin:

Tracey

The great thing about barbeque is that when you get hungry 3 hours later....you can lick your fingers

Maxine

Avoid cutting yourself while slicing vegetables by getting someone else to hold them while you chop away.

"It is the government's fault, they've eaten everything."

My Webpage

garden state motorcyle association

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  • 5 months later...

Here are my current reservations for starred restaurants for my 11 days or so in Paris (I have two weeks in France, mostly in Paris, with three days in Lyon in the middle):

Le Bristol - dinner

Taillevent - dinner

Atelier de Joel Robuchon - dinner (at the 6:30 seating, of course)

Pierre Gagnaire -lunch

Ledoyen -lunch

L’Ambroisie - lunch

Le Pre Catalan - lunch

This is my first trip to Paris, and it may be a while before I am able to get there again, so I do want to visit several destination restaurants, even if the schedule ends up being a bit crowded. My schedule is mostly full with these and some less expensive and more casual restaurants, but I may still have a slot or two open. Are there any other particular restaurants that anyone would recommend? My flight is on Friday, so I still may be able to get reservations for lunches, although obviously not at all places, for example, L’Astrance, which did not have availability when I called a few weeks back.

Any bad choices? I’ve read the decidedly mixed reviews re Atelier, but still want to give it a try. Please comment if you have any thoughts!

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Here are my current reservations for starred restaurants for my 11 days or so in Paris (I have two weeks in France, mostly in Paris, with three days in Lyon in the middle):

Le Bristol - dinner

Taillevent - dinner

Atelier de Joel Robuchon - dinner (at the 6:30 seating, of course)

Pierre Gagnaire -lunch

Ledoyen -lunch

L’Ambroisie - lunch

Le Pre Catalan - lunch

This is my first trip to Paris, and it may be a while before I am able to get there again, so I do want to visit several destination restaurants, even if the schedule ends up being a bit crowded.  My schedule is mostly full with these and some less expensive and more casual restaurants, but I may still have a slot or two open.  Are there any other particular restaurants that anyone would recommend?  My flight is on Friday, so I still may be able to get reservations for lunches, although obviously not at all places, for example, L’Astrance, which did not have availability when I called a few weeks back.

Any bad choices?  I’ve read the decidedly mixed reviews re Atelier, but still want to give it a try.  Please comment if you have any thoughts!

I wouldn't worry too much about Atelier, once you get past the door and don't have more than 2 persons, (in which case comfortable conversation is impossible at the bar), you'll do fine. I guess if I had to add something at this level and the weather is good I'd also do Grande Cascade in the Bois. And Le Meurice is very nice and was recently re-endorsed by vmilor. I would avoid Helene Darroze and am always enthusiastic about non-starred Ze + Spring.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Hope you are not eating both lunch and dinner at these restaurants. Then dinner will be shortshrifted.

If it were me, and if the number remains the same, I would give a try to Arpege (go menu deg) and Les Ambassadeurs (dinner, lunch menu is good but his best is reserved for dinner). I would take out Taillevent and L'Atelier.

The room at l'Ambroisie is fit for dinner more but cooking should be the same.

Please write your overall impression and have a great time.

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Thanks, John!

I have a dinner reservation at Spring, and am probably planning one at Ze Kitchen Gallerie the second week I am in Paris - the hotel I am staying at that week is very close by, which is an added bonus.

I was particularly thinking about adding Le Meurice because I did just see Vmilor's very nice review. Also thinking about Le Grand Vefour, although I am partly attracted to that restaurant for the history, and am not as sure about the food - have seen mixed reviews.

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I am not planning on more than one of these starred-type restaurants in the same day - as it is, it will still be a lot to take in physically and mentally and spiritually (not quite the word I'm looking for, but you get the idea) over a two week period!

I am traveling alone, and seemed to be having more trouble reserving at restaurants for dinner, while lunch was generally available. I don't know if I just was calling/e-mailing too late - I started a little over a month in advance, but I suppose that could be too late for some of these restaurants.

[Edited to add:] I had previously been unsuccesful at getting a dinner reservation at L'Arpege. Is the degustation menu available/the same at lunch? I'm not sure why, but Les Ambassadeurs had been flying under my radar, and hadn't really been on my list. I will go research now. Thanks!

Edited by HOLLY_L (log)
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Actually there is a 110 Euro menu for lunch at Arpege which is good value.

Since you are not going to l'Astrance I thought it may be interesting. Barbot is a student of Passard. Presently. I still prefer Arpege.

My blog partner Mikael Johnson wrote a review of Ambassadeurs. The chef is a Ducasse protege and presently you may eat there even better than Ducasse (which is not in your program). Lunch at 80 Euro or so is a great value there and may give you and idea.

If i may say, at L'Ambroisie, since it is your first visit, it may be wise to ask Monsieur Pascal for advice and sequencing. They do not have menu degustations there.

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Holly I had dinner at Le Bristol 2 years ago and it was very nice. the room is beautiful and the dinner was excellent. Be warned that cocktails in the lounge before dinner ran us about $30 per drink! ouch.

My dinner at Taillevant was alsmost five years ago now and I know different chefs are in the kitchen but it is still one of my fondest memories. granted it was my first 3 star (at the time) visiti but the service was OTT wonderful and the food was gorgeous, haute cuisine- not earth shattering but perfectly prepared.

Paris is my favorite city and I generally go once a year. To be able to stay for the length of time that you are will be awesome!! You are in for quite a treat!

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Thanks for the thoughts. I have been able to replace Atelier-JR with Arpege, which will probably be a better overall experience, even though Atelier-JR would have been interesting, I'm sure.

I am going to keep the Taillevent reservation, I think. For one thing, that is scheduled quite early in my visit and would be hard to replace with something else at that point. But I am optimistic that the food will be good, and I'm sure the service will be great and the evening pleasant all around.

I still have one night free - my last night in Paris. I had been thinking about doing something more casual, but my flight is not until about noon or so the next day, so no reason to hold back, I suppose!

I am now trying to take some notes about stuff like at which restaurants I should order the degustation menu, signature dishes, etc. But I'm sure I will have to put some reliance on M. Pascal and others at most of these restaurants, since they are all new to me. How exciting!

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You have outlined an extraordinary schedule of feasts! I have to confess that I have dined at few of them. I would encourage you to include a couple of less important meals so that you will take home also some memories of the flavors of everyday Paris. With your enthusiasm, I have no doubt that you will return again and again, and savor every moment. Enjoy!

eGullet member #80.

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