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Paris in November


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Allons enfants de la Cuisine. Le jour de gloire est arrivé ....

Well, not yet.

In November, I’m finally going to Paris! Actually, back in 1985, I was in Paris for four hours on my way to Brussels, but that doesn’t really count.

I’ll be in Paris for five nights, starting on Thursday night. In terms of eating, that would be about five dinners, five breakfasts, four morning snacks, four lunches, four afternoon snacks, four apertifs, and perhaps five midnight snacks. I’ll be traveling by myself. I just made a hotel reservation in the 7th arrondisement, close to Le Violon d’Ingres, La Fontaine de Mars and Au Bon Accueil. I could go visit such places as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, but on this vacation, I want to eat my way through Paris.

So far, I’ve told a few people about my vacation, and the suggestions have already started coming in. Trying to sort out all these recommendations can be a nice problem, I suppose. Mind you, I want to come up with an overall approach to Paris. Do I only dine at Michelin-starred restaurants? As a solo diner, how hard is it to make reservations at these high-end restaurants? I want to try some of the neighborhood bistros (bistrots). I also want to leave some room to discover places on my own, namely a spontaneous culinary tour to discover things. And I wouldn’t mind eating with a few Francophile foodies while I’m in Paris.

So far, here is my list of restaurants I want to dine at (subject to change): Arpege ; Astrance ; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon ; Le Bristol ; Chez L’Ami Jean ; Le Comptoir de Relais Saint Germain ; L’Espadon ; Guy Savoy ; Le Meurice ; Pierre Gagnaire ; Le Violon d’Ingres

At this point in my vacation planning, I’m going to try and make reservations at three-star Michelin restaurants for lunch and eat at the various cafes and bistros near where I’m staying in the 7th for dinner, as well as snacking my way through the boulangeries, patisseries, fromageries, etc. I was told that I should have a back-up plan just in case my first choice is overly busy or closed.

In preparation for my trip, I’ve created a few Google maps:

Les restaurants (***) de Paris 2009

Les restaurants (**) de Paris 2009

Les saveurs de Paris 2009

Although my Parisian vacation is six months away, any help would be appreciated.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Being solo is not a problem when reserving in restaurants in France (there are exceptions, not starred one to my knowledge).

I heard that the high-end restaurants do not encourage solo dining because that's one less seat available that could have been filled with a party of two.

The problem that I foresee is scheduling. If I want to eat at a certain Michelin-starred restaurant, I would only have one day to go there, due to the restaurant's hours and my vacation schedule. And the question I would ask myself is whether this restaurant is worth the effort, since there are so many other places to eat in Paris. C'est la vie!

As for local foodies, you know where to find us.

Of course. I'll just ask the concierge ... :raz:

Thank you for your help, Julot!

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Here are some restaurants in the 7th where there is either controversy or lack of current reporting: Thoumieux (new owner, new chef), D'Chez Eux (new owners, same menu), Les Coteaux de Tannay (the old Maupertu space) and Leo Le Lion (we like it, others don't). Take some risk, it may pay off.

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I heard that the high-end restaurants do not encourage solo dining because that's one less seat available that could have been filled with a party of two.

Last November, I had lunch at the Jules Verne (** on the Eiffel Tower). They were exceptionally nice to me as a lone diner, and gave me a brilliant table right by the window.

Caroline

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Being solo is not a problem when reserving in restaurants in France (there are exceptions, not starred one to my knowledge). As for local foodies, you know where to find us.

Several topics discuss the issue of eating alone, particularly this one.

Merci beaucoup, Monsieur John!

Now, I can do some restaurant planning ... sans peur (without fear). Mind you, if I get tired of the company I keep with this solo dining routine, I may contact some local foodies.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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