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sookeharborkid

Best Paris Brasserie MERGED TOPIC

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here's a pix

Those are them. Percebes, I mean.


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.

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You ask the darndest questions - here's a pix and this dictionery sez they're barnacles.

Pollicipes cornucopia or goose-necked barnacles, or pouce-pieds, or anatife, esp. percebes, port. perceve.

That's a lot of nice pouce-pieds on the picture! They're hard to come by.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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One question. Are "pouces-pieds" goose barnacles, or what are known as percebes in Spain? They've gotten outrageously expensive in Spain and can't be any cheaper in Paris.

They could. They're less esteemed in France than on the Iberian peninsula. Here, they're mostly favored by Bretons, and rarely outside of Brittany. It is rather amazing to find pouce-pieds and murex in a Parisian brasserie where, as a rule, sea-urchins and violets are the worst you can get on the list of marine weirdness.


Edited by Ptipois (log)

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Allright, I've read and reread the threads, the books, the clippings I've saved, etc. etc. etc.

My dear spouse and I will be spending Thanksgiving week in Paris, our third visit, and what we'd really love is to go to a "traditional" brasserie on our first Sunday, have great oysters, cassoulet, choucroute garni, good beer on tap, etc. We want the look and feel of the real old thing - is service as important for this meal...don't know.

Ms. Wells seems to like Flo or Julien. Is it still possible, and if so, where?

Is it a Flo restaurant, or some hidden gem?

Please, do tell...and thanks much.


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

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Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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Allright, I've read and reread the threads, the books, the clippings I've saved, etc. etc. etc.

My dear spouse and I will be spending Thanksgiving week in Paris, our third visit, and what we'd really love is to go to a "traditional" brasserie on our first Sunday, have great oysters, cassoulet, choucroute garni, good beer on tap, etc. We want the look and feel of the real old thing - is service as important for this meal...don't know.

Ms. Wells seems to like Flo or Julien.  Is it still possible, and if so, where?

Is it a Flo restaurant, or some hidden gem?

Please, do tell...and thanks much.

Hidden gem? I don't think so, although Pierre45 swears by the Cafe du Commerce

Is it still possible? Of course.

Traditional brasseries? Flo Group - Coupole, Julien, Terminus Nord, etc. - just fine.

Non-Flo ones - Brasserie Lorraine, Bofinger and over 30 others - good.

All will offer you the "look" you want as well as

oysters, cassoulet, choucroute garni, good beer
and pretty standard hurried (in a nice way) service.

Right now the Brasserie Lorraine's my favorite, but if coming in on the Thalys or Eurostar, I can easily be talked into the Terminus Nord. There's none except the over-hyped Lipp & Coupole & Balzar I would not patronize.

The setting, food and service are such you cannot lose no matter which you pick; neither will you be surprised by some exotic dish.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Of the "traditional" brasseries, we like Julien, Bofinger and Lorraine; Julien will give you the best "photo op" even though the area is not the best if you are planning on dining late. Book Julien on-line and save 15% at www.flobrasseries.com. John is probably correct re his quality ratings.

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For perhaps sentimental reasons, as perhaps sentimental reasons are as good a way to pick among brasseries, or among the Flo brasseries, we like Vaudeville. Balzar didn't seem worth a return and Lipp never really appealed to us. La Coupole was a hangout for us some forty years ago and it's changed enough not to return on the basis of sentimentality. La Coupole is just no longer there in that context.


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I recently had lunch at Balzar and thought it was rather good (much better than I expected) and they serve 'real' French Fries, not the frozen ones (which nowadays is enough reason to return...) Unlike the other Flo restaurants, they don't seem to have lunch of dinner fixed-priced menus and the place was full of Parisians, mostly. I had some roasted veal and a bottle of rosé. All the food around me looked good.

Last night I ate at Terminus Nord, which I love for the atmosphere...and the neighborhood. The interior is amazing and the service was great. The food was so-so; I had frisee salad with lardons, steak frites (frozen frites :angry:) and haricots verts. The dessert was a citrus salad (I think the citrus sections were pre-prepped somewhere...) with lemon sorbet. The fixed price dinner for 3 courses with a half bottle of wine is 34 euros. If you go to Terminus Nord, stick with basics & bistro classics; steak tartar and oysters, foie gras, frisee salad, etc...

I ate at Julien once about a year ago and was not impressed. Am anxious to try Brasserie Flo, since I love the setting and interior, but have not eaten there. La Coupole wasn't bad when I went; I stuck with oysters and duck confit and was happy. The waiter was great; we were a party of 12 and he remembered each of our 3-course orders without writing down one word!

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I have always been pleased with dinner at Bofinger. The domed room, which is stunning, has always been non-smoking, but the last time I was there, we were seated in a non-smoking section on the second floor. It was nice but not quite as nice. I don't know if there was a change or an expansion of the non-smoking areas. I always order the same thing: cold seafood and choucroute garnie (the simple one), and it's alwyas been very good. The service is very professional, if a bit harried. I believe it is one of the Flo group.

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Allright, I've read and reread the threads, the books, the clippings I've saved, etc. etc. etc.

My dear spouse and I will be spending Thanksgiving week in Paris, our third visit, and what we'd really love is to go to a "traditional" brasserie on our first Sunday, have great oysters, cassoulet, choucroute garni, good beer on tap, etc. We want the look and feel of the real old thing - is service as important for this meal...don't know.

Ms. Wells seems to like Flo or Julien.  Is it still possible, and if so, where?

Is it a Flo restaurant, or some hidden gem?

Please, do tell...and thanks much.

When you said you'd read and reread the threads it didn't occur to me that there was a big article by François Simon, Alexandra Michot and Emmanuelle Maisonneuve on brasseries in Figaro that I summarized in September in the the Digest. It had a side-bar list of places with ratings from 6.5-13/20 and of the food from 1.5-3.5/5. Since September, I've seen several other positive references to Chez Flottes, the top-ranked one, so you may want to put it on your list.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Thanks again John, for all your suggestions, not just on this thread but overall.

We're leaving tomorrow night, and will be looking forward to one of the brasseries you mention above for Sunday dinner.

Also looking forward to our Monday dinner reservation at Comptoir, along with La Cerisaie, Aux Lyonnais, L'Abadache and Constant among others during our week-long stay. I better be walking a good 5 miles a day, though!


Mitch Weinstein aka "weinoo"

mweinstein@eGstaff.org

Tasty Travails - My Blog

My eGullet FoodBog - A Tale of Two Boroughs

Was it you baby...or just a Brilliant Disguise?

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I'm going to Paris, the first week in February and had Chartier on my list but on another forum, they all said it was not worth going to for the food. I trust all you here more. Feed back, please.


Sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly....MFK Fisher

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I'm going to Paris, the first week in February and had Chartier on my list but on another forum, they all said it was not worth going to for the food. I trust all you here more. Feed back, please.

Cigale,

trust me on this one...go take a look at the belle epoque interior and eat elsewhere. I had probably the worst meal I have ever been served in France there; gristly lamb that could not be rendered bitesize with any implement normally available in a dining room, green beans criminally overcooked, etc. The waiter was not bad if you like Stage Deli style cheekiness but the food was not a bargain even at their low prices. If you must go I would suggest you stick with simple items, i.e., oeufs dur/mayonnaise.

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Cigale,trust me on this one...go take a look at the belle epoque interior and eat elsewhere. I had probably the worst meal I have ever been served in France there; gristly lamb that could not be rendered bitesize with any implement normally available in a dining room, green beans criminally overcooked, etc. The waiter was not bad if you like Stage Deli style cheekiness but the food was not a bargain even at their low prices. If you must go I would suggest you stick with simple items, i.e., oeufs dur/mayonnaise.

We have heard exactly this response from friends in the past few years. Some historical places are best experienced from pictures in old books while sitting in front of a fire at home. Désolé.


eGullet member #80.

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Chez Jenny at the Republique, or Marty sort of near the Place D'Italie.

They are both okay for that type of food...

I don't know. Maybe Bofinger is best.

They all seem to give us the English menu immediately, even though we try to always speak French. It's all sort of condescending.

And the food is pretty similar.


Philly Francophiles

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I wanted to add another place to the list- Le Gallopin, a brasserie near le bourse which dates from 1876. I went the other day for lunch with a friend and I couldn’t believe that I hadn’t heard of it before. It was everything that I wish a place like Lipp would be—a beautiful room, old-school waiters in tuxedos with long white aprons, and—what a lot of places lack--good food. I started with fish soup which was served in its own tureen with a side plate of rouille and garlicky French bread. I then had delicious chicken breasts with mushrooms and cream over dauphinoise potatoes. Not exactly diet food, but very good nonetheless.

When I got home I looked in Patricia Wells’ Food Lovers Guide to Paris and was very surprised it wasn’t listed. I then looked in the 2006 Pudlo and saw that it got their “coup de Coeur” for the 2nd arrondissement. It was also listed in another French book I have about historic restaurants in Paris where they note that it is now owned by the former owner of Bofinger.

Le Gallopin

40 rue Notre Dame des Victoires


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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In April's Where Alexander Lobrano gives descriptions and coordinates for several of Paris's classic brasseries:

Le Terminus Nord - his first brasserie experience

Au Pied de Cochon - open all night long

Le Stella - "some of the best brasserie fare in town"

Le Suffren - also very good

La Coupole - Art Deco & to "see and be seen"

Bofinger - "gorgeous...and see and be seen"

Le Train Bleu - "opulent" Belle Epoque

Le Vaudeville - Art Deco

Julien - Art Nouveau

Montparnasse 1900 - "stunning" Art Nouveau

Alcazar - Terence Conran's "edgy, contemporary" "sexy decor"


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Another Flo brasserie that's sort of a personal favorite is Vaudeville. It's got a great marble art deco interior. As with most brasseries, seafood platters, andouille, steak frites, etc. is probably a better choice than more complicated dishes. As far as oysters, sausages and other provisions, all of the Flo Group have the same sources.

I hesitate to take issue with a post by our former leader, Robert Buxbaum, who can no longer reply, but I'd heard several positive comments about Vaudeville over the past few months that prompted us to go for New Year's Eve lunch when little else is functioning. It was terribly disappointing. First the amuse-gueules of tiny snails never were delivered and the bread was blah. I had the menu with a parsleyed ham (alright), tasteless confit de canard (that I make better probably because the product is more expensive) with a ton of non-garlicky, non-tasty potato balls and a floating island that was enough for 3 persons; Colette finished half her salmon which she described as not good product. As Bux said, all the products for the Flo Group are purchased centrally, but we've had better at other of their places. Our bill = 86.40 E.

Go back? Unh unh.

Rating 1.0


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I would also second Le Gallopin. Good hearty food and an interesting small selection of grands vins which you can order by the glass or carafe, including an Echezeaux and a Hemitage, if I recall correctly. Felice, the memories of the fish soup haunted me on the 13 hours return to Singapore. The duck parmentier and salmon croustillant were also excellent.

I noted a couple of their fish dishes (think tranche of flesh, not oysters or soups) had a certain monotony of saucing. That is as harsh criticism you will get from me about this place. The service is more than gracious and the decor - well, I'm no aesthete, but it gave me the impression of dining in a luxurious old train car; green leather seating, wood panelling and the golden overhead rails to hold your coats and bags also reinforced my impression.

A perfect Parisian experience, with a predominantly French crowd on the night I went - the only English words I heard all night were from me trying to construct sentences with my broken sub-kindergarten French.


Julian's Eating - Tales of Food and Drink

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I would also second Le Gallopin. 

Aside from Gallopin endorsed by both Julian and Phyllis, does anyone have any good experiences at brasseries this past year (I've stopped going, for reasons unclear to even me, and I received an enquiry from a member.)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Ditto on the Vaudeville- very disappointing. Bad food quality, and they made oh such a fuss of preparing the tartar- it was still bad. And the waitstaff was making fun of the clients in quite a rude way...


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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Julien is the prettiest among those I've visited. Call me superficial, but that's generally what draws me to a brasserie.


Meg Zimbeck, Paris by Mouth

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As a category, brasseries are much more to be appreciated for their ambience than for their cuisine. If you order intelligently and don’t expect your palate to have a religious experience, it’s possible to dine pleasurably at any of the Flo Group, that much maligned hierarchy which has saved a number of architectural masterpieces from certain debasement or even destruction. Within the month I’ve had positive experiences at Flo and Au Pied de Cochon, not so good at La Coupole (I ordered unwisely), and less recently, very acceptable at Balzar, Bofinger, and Terminus Nord.

Bistrots, brasseries & restaurants parisiens (Editions Ereme 2004) is a vademecum to a treasure trove of interiors so breathtakingly splendid that the simplest lager and choucroute would seem like nectar and ambrosia.


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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As a category, brasseries are much more to be appreciated for their ambience than for their cuisine.

John, very good points. We always enjoyed Lipp, as it was our local, and we go skilled at getting a table in the front room.

However, I do think there are some that are to be avoided. Like John T. we also had a dire experience at Vaudeville - bad food and bad staff.

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