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Tim Dolan

One night in Paris

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My brother is getting married in London in late January, and since we'll be on a plane over on my girlfriend's actual birthday, I decided to make it up to her by heading over to Paris for a night as a birthday present. She has three things on her agenda; see the Mona Lisa, see the Eiffel Tower, then have a nice dinner and get drunk off of red wine (and perhaps a few cocktails) for the rest of the night. It's up to me to figure out where to stay, eat and drink.

I have been and will be going through all of the other threads to see what I can dig up, but I figured it's always a good idea to put my questions out there to the knowledgable members of this board. As far as food, neither of us is terribly familiar with French cuisine but we'll try just about anything. Also, we'd prefer something more comfortable and casual (but nice) as opposed to dining at any of the truly high end places. I'd like to keep dinner at less than 100 a person as a guideline. If I can somehow manage to find anything that fits this criteria, and also stay within a 15-20 minute walk to the Eiffel Tower, that would be ideal. We will only be there for a night, so any place with a clean, comfortable bed will suffice. Neither of us has been to Paris before and although I'll try my best to be accomodating, my experience with the French language falls in between the window of negligable and nonexistant. Thanks in advance for any suggestions!


I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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I'm certain that others may be able to give you more detailed help here - but I recently ate at Les Cocottes, and a few years ago dined at Le Violin D'Ingres - both owned by Christian Constant and located storefronts away from each other a stone's throw from the Eiffel Tower. I would highly recommend them, and I think they fit your criteria of comfortable/casual/nice/not too expensive/location. Les Cocottes doesn't take reservations and is mostly counter seating - not sure if that's what you're going for or if that's too casual - but my meal was absolutely divine. If I lived in Paris I'd be a regular there for sure.

Restaurant website

I loved Experimental Cocktail Club for cocktails. You should check Forest's thread and blog on cocktails for other suggestions.

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Thanks! Violon d'Ingres looks like exactly the type of place I'm looking for. And I have absolutely already checked out Forest's blog (thanks Forest)!


I would kill everyone in this room for a drop of sweet beer...

Homer Simpson

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Thanks! Violon d'Ingres looks like exactly the type of place I'm looking for. And I have absolutely already checked out Forest's blog (thanks Forest)!

no problem! if you do follow Daisy17's advice on Experimental (which is great!) i would recommend Frenchie for dinner which is just around the corner. 5 rue du nil. The menu prices are great as is the food. It's a MUST to book in advance as the place is rather small.

Also, for cocktails - I haven't blogged on it - I also really recommend the Experimental's 3rd bar that opened 23 rue Mazarine called Prescription Club which is excellent. (it's not really marked with a sign, so you'll just have to go to the address)

I also ate recently at Chamarre Montmartre & thought the price/quality was excellent. They have 3 course menus at 52 Euros each. So, with some very careful planning (the wine list is a bit expensive, so you'll have to hunt out something below 100 Euros). The chef there (Antoine Heerah) is a fun and friendly guy and he's doing some things that are bit more experimental than the standard fare. If you have time for lunch, I think the lunch menu looks like a fabulous deal at 17 Euros (I think that's just for two courses). in fact, I just reserved to go back there to try the lunch this Sat. And, while none of my fav cocktail places are super close, it's on the backside of Montmartre so you could start or end on the front side where there are plenty of fun places.


Edited by Forest (log)

52 martinis blog

@52martinis

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One thing to keep in mind given your tight schedule is that, if you are actually going up in the Eiffel Tower lines can be dreadfully long so you might make it a first stop and get there before it opens. Also, as you make the long walk to the Mona Lisa, you pass a couple other less-well-known (but cooler, IMHO than the Mona Lisa and, as I recall, prominent in the Da Vinci Code, if you've slogged through that) Da Vinci's. Also, don't miss "Sammy" as my friend calls "Winged Victory of Samothrace.

But, to food. I suggest that in addition to your dinner out, you consider prolonging the magic, as it were, by stocking up on picnic supplies for noshing the next day. A few minutes in one of the city's market streets (Rue Cler is not far from the tower) should yield a bounty for noshing on the long flight back home, it's a great way to extend the vacation for a few hours more. Customs, alas, isn't as romantic about these matters as they might be, so more than can be eaten on the plane might be wasted (meats, especially, are verboten), but jarred foie gras and vacuum sealed cheese have been waved through before. With a bottle or two of wine and some only slightly stale bread from a Paris boulangerie, you might even get a picnic in your living room out of the trip.


I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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....should yield a bounty for noshing on the long flight back home, it's a great way to extend the vacation for a few hours more. Customs, alas, isn't as romantic about these matters as they might be, so more than can be eaten on the plane might be wasted (meats, especially, are verboten), but jarred foie gras and vacuum sealed cheese have been waved through before.

....but do we wary of the security checks, "no liquids, pastes or gels" includes a lot of food stuffs like cheese and pate. If I am carrying food by air I tend to put it in my hold baggage to be safe and ensure it isn't confiscated as I go through security at CDG or Heathrow.

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....but do we wary of the security checks, "no liquids, pastes or gels" includes a lot of food stuffs like cheese and pate.

And, as I rudely found out two years ago, sealed mustard!

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Wholeheartedly recommend Les Cocottes & Violin D'Ingres also. Les Cocottes is brilliant.

ps... Just as a sidenote I've really missed John Talbott lately. I love his regular input on the France forums and his steady guiding hand....

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