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Benoit Merged topics - Review from 2003, Ducasse


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has ducasse taken over yet & has anyone been?

is there another bistro like this that someone can recommend? e.g. aux lyonnais, chez georges etc.

Tony - I think there lots of folks who would respond to your second question if you could flesh out your query with some details; what exactly about Benoit are you seeking to duplicate/parallel? Size, decor, menu, price, ambiance, location, bistro-resto-luxe spectrum spot, etc.?

Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

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No two restaurants are the same, not is any good restaurant a substitute for another restaurant, nut Aux Lyonnaise reminded me more of why I fell in love with Paris in the early sixties than any øther restaurant since La Régalade. It's pretty much old fashioned traditional food, but manages to avoid clichés and any staleness to the food, so far for us.

I'd love to try Camdeborde's new place.

Robert Buxbaum

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Tony - I think there lots of folks who would respond to your second question if you could flesh out your query with some details;

fair point - I’m looking for an old fashioned bistro that when you are in it you can be no other place but Paris. The ambience / décor is probably more important fact or than (leading edge) food – but the food should still be good with strong references to more classical times

This isn’t for me, btw, its for my partner (not a foodie) who gets dewy eyed over Le Benoit – I’m just trying to find a couple of alternatives

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Aux Lyonnaise should work, although it could as easily be in Lyon as Paris. I suspect that's actually okay in his book. Let me add Bistro du Dôme, just behind, and under the same management as, le Dôme in the 14ième. Primarily a fish restaurant as you might imagine. Good food, although not as good as Aux Lyonnaise.

Robert Buxbaum

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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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Yvan, formerly of La Grande Cascade is running the place now. The project will be unvealed offically to the world in September...

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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Let me add Bistro du Dôme, just behind, and under the same management as, le Dôme in the 14ième. Primarily a fish restaurant as you might imagine.

Being a fish bistrot it's bright and blue, not red/brown and dingy; but I agree it serves great product for reasonable prices.

John Talbott

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  • 1 month later...

After the many fine suggestions/alternatives given here, we ended up a Benoit for supper last Friday. Ducasse took over a month ago and is keen that the bistro doesnt lose its "buzz". A chef or two will be joining the kitchen and a few suggestion made - but overall they are trying to keep it business as usual.

That said - we had really terrible meal there & the service has plummeted. Perhaps understandable but Ducasse may have a lot of work on to build this back up.

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  • 2 months later...
as the risk of opening up even more controversy, a la L'Ami Louis string, what is the latest on Benoit? also expensive, but maybe even more than L'Ami Louis, the quintessential bistro?

Well, my friend and I "auditioned" it last week (that is, we looked at the menu in the window) and it seemed to be as if not more pricey for the same stuff they served 20 years ago. This week, the critics will weigh in. Stay tuned.

John Talbott

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as the risk of opening up even more controversy, a la L'Ami Louis string, what is the latest on Benoit? also expensive, but maybe even more than L'Ami Louis, the quintessential bistro?

Well, my friend and I "auditioned" it last week (that is, we looked at the menu in the window) and it seemed to be as if not more pricey for the same stuff they served 20 years ago. This week, the critics will weigh in. Stay tuned.

merci m. talbott. look forward to your review.

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Benoît is the correct spelling, my error

Actually j, you've raised an interesting point. Because eGullet is an American site, our style guidelines, only guidelines, mind you, call for no accents so that searches will be better. I searched a couple of Parisian restaurants with and without accents and indeed the results are different (one gets more English sites without accents and French sites with, which makes sense). Therefore, I guess I'd caution everyone who wants to search a resto to use both accents and no accents.

John Talbott

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Well, I had dinner there on Saturday and loved it. Veal tongue in superthin slices, mounted like a terrine, then served as a tall slice, with lentils and drizzle of creamy horseradish sauce. Splendid tête de veau with boiled potatoes and chopped hard-boiled eggs, pleasantly tart, also great. Gigantic chocolate mousse, more than enough for two, dense and classic-tasting. Tarte tatin, ruby coloured on top but not quite caramelized, served in big wedges with cream (or ice cream if you ask). Fourteen choices on the cheese board, matured to perfection.

Mr. Ducasse has kept everything almost the same, but now they have a well-groomed and polished maitre'd that came from a Relais&Chateaux in Champagne. American couple dining next to me complained that they used to wheel out samples of all appetizers and give regulars little tastes, but that doesn't happen anymore. Still, if you ask, they will gladly show you the paté en croute and some of the other apps.

Not much to complain about...

Edited by AlexForbes (log)

Alexandra Forbes

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Well, I had dinner there on Saturday and loved it. Veal tongue in superthin slices, mounted like a terrine, then served as a tall slice, with lentils and drizzle of creamy horseradish sauce. Splendid tête de veau with boiled potatoes and chopped hard-boiled eggs, pleasantly tart, also great. Gigantic chocolate mousse, more than enough for two, dense and classic-tasting. Tarte tatin, ruby coloured on top but not quite caramelized, served in big wedges with cream (or ice cream if you ask). Fourteen choices on the cheese board, matured to perfection.

Mr. Ducasse has kept everything almost the same, but now they have a well-groomed and polished maitre'd that came from a Relais&Chateaux in Champagne. American couple dining next to me complained that they used to wheel out samples of all appetizers and give regulars little tastes, but that doesn't happen anymore. Still, if you ask, they will gladly show you the paté en croute and some of the other apps.

Not much to complain about...

thx for your great & recent review/update. not sure if i'm fond of the additional polish, but c'est la vie

btw, why DID the "family" finally sell after all these yrs? made an offer they couldn't refuse, or...?

Edited by jgould (log)
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  • 1 year later...

While in Paris I hope to try one of the Ducasse-ified old fashion bistros, either Aux Lyonnaise or Benoit. From what I have gathered Aux Lyonnaise has fared better than Benoit, but a Sunday dinner at Benoit (AL closed on weekends) would suit my schedule, particularly since I will be staying 10 minutes away on foot.

Any recent reports on Benoit?

I have checked this site and elsewhere without much useful information. The resto does not seem to have generated much recent traffic, other than the announcements of sale and new staffing.

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While in Paris I hope to try one of the Ducasse-ified old fashion bistros, either Aux Lyonnaise or Benoit.  From what I have gathered Aux Lyonnaise has fared better than Benoit, but a Sunday dinner at Benoit (AL closed on weekends) would suit my schedule, particularly since I will be staying 10 minutes away on foot. 

Any recent reports on Benoit?

I have checked this site and elsewhere without much useful information.  The resto does not seem to have generated much recent traffic, other than the announcements of sale and new staffing.

Sorry, I have been only once since Ducasse took over but it was in November 2005 and I was not blown away.

John Talbott

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Agree with John - nothing very special (I hardly remember what I ate except a decent crepes with orange marnier)

I went there Spring 06. While the tasting menu seemed to be a good deal, if I had another chance, I would rather try the ala carte. The neighborhood is quite nice though. Well, it's just me and maybe it's getting better now. Good luck!

Aux Lyonnais is slightly better in terms of food, while the rests (places and service), Benoit is above AL

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I was last July.

No, it is not blowing one away. But it is very competently prepared classic food (in generous portions) served in a very classic and lively environment. I had foie gras and blanquette de veau, both comme il faut.

So if that is a style you like then go.

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