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Ocean_islands

Awful restaurants in Paris

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Grand Vefour - hands down winner - I still can't shake of the nightmare that was artichoke brulee with candied vegetables and the foie gras ravioli with albino vomit-like sauce

:laugh::laugh::laugh:

Gotta stop reading this at work: Just gave a loud shout of laughter that made all heads turn around to look at me.............how to explain??


I'm a canning clean freak because there's no sorry large enough to cover the, "Oops! I gave you botulism" regrets.

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I'm very sorry to hear that you had a bad experience at Le Soufflé. It's one of our consistent favorites, and we have a table reserved for lunch next month. :blink:

I've heard that reaction before when I've made my comment about Le Soufflé, enough that I could believe that my experience may have been somewhat anomalous. And this experience was years ago. But with all the food experiences to be had in Paris, I've never returned to confirm or revise my opinion.

I'm often surprised at the range of opinion among reasonable men regarding any particular restaurant.

Indeed. There's only one Parisian restaurant that I visit on each trip, and that's La Galoche d'Aurillac. But I'm probably the only one who says that :laugh:

:smile:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

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How do you react to widely ranging reports about one restaurant? Do you average them? Are you more or less likely to steer yourself to a place that neither offends nor excites others?

Good question. Above all, I consider the sources.

But there are plenty of "mid-range" restaurants that are nearly universally lauded. For me, with my ~one week a year in Paris, the problem lies more in whittling down this list to a manageable number. Even if my "Paris restaurants with good value" thread remained static, it would take me a month of dining to visit the restaurants about which everyone agreed. So, bottom line, the chances of my going somewhere with even a partial diversity of opinion is slim.

But I will say that, for me, this wouldn't apply to upper-starred restaurants. There, I'd be more likely (in theory, anyway :laugh: ) to read widely and match the restaurant to the experience I was after. Opinion would play second fiddle to more factual information.

:smile:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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How do you react to widely ranging reports about one restaurant? Do you average them? Are you more or less likely to steer yourself to a place that neither offends nor excites others?

I tend to listen most carefully to those whose opinions I've learned to trust. With Marlena, for instance, although we report different responses to Le Trumilou, I have agreed with her evaluations so often that I would try without hesitation any place she recommended.

As to a report from a stranger, I would be liable to evaluate the prose style as a means of determining trustworthiness.

And then there's John Talbott. As soon as I saw his photo I knew that he was infinitely wise and took his every word as gospel. :biggrin:


John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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ma maison at 1 rue de bucherie. Great Polonia tree, interesting looking menu, fabulous location, sucky food and bad waiters. I just reread our journal entries for this trip to remember the name of the restaurant. I think we ended up spending nearly 110 euros for a unmemorable, rushed meal at 10:30 pm.

lala


I have a relatively uninteresting life unless you like travel and food. Read more about it here.

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And then there's John Talbott. As soon as I saw his photo I knew that he was infinitely wise and took his every word as gospel.  :biggrin:

Appearances can be very deceiving. I hear that's a very old picture. :biggrin:


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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First of all, hello to all, because this is my first post to this forum which I have been reading with great interest for some time.

I'm French and I've been living in Paris most of my life, except for three years in the Nice region as a child and three years in NYC during the Eighties. For about eight years, during the Nineties, I was a ghost-food-critic for a Parisian restaurant guidebook. Which doesn't mean much (for reasons inherent to the trade and that particular guide) and also was a long time ago.

I just read this thread with particular great interest. I agree with most of the appreciations here. I can guess that some places can be consistently mediocre (I see "L'Ambassade d'Auvergne" mentioned — I had one of the most horrible meals there. Uncooked sausage. No proper Auvergnat would dare this.) Ma Bourgogne has a pretty bad reputation indeed, unlike Hélène Darroze, and about the latter I'm glad to read frank reviews at last. Fouquet's was always rather dire and I can see that hasn't changed. I'm not a Le Soufflé fan, actually I didn't know this place still existed. I have yet to meet a Parisian who actually knows it exists (maybe I'll meet some here though). As for rue Mouffetard, the whole street from beginning to end has become a tourist trap, which means a food disaster — except for a few places like the Korean restaurant on rue Blainville. Etc.

What is funny is that many of those places enjoy a good reputation in general. I think it sticks to them by habitude, or some sort of mysterious taboo. It is considered bad manners in Paris not to appreciate Hélène Darroze. L'Ambassade d'Auvergne too. Many raised eyebrows when I mention the sausage.

Some personal appreciations: being suspicious about chain restaurants is not entirely unfounded, at least in France. The problem is not that the public thinks that chain = bad food, it's that some chains do. Not all, of course. But if you're wise enough to avoid Hippopotamus, you'll be even wiser to avoid La Criée. Remember the time when all those Batifols were in Paris at every corner? Terrible food. Not surprisingly, they sank. Someone mentioned Chez Clément. I think Clément is, most of the time, okay. A bit expensive, true.

I was a bit sad about Le Trumilou. It's a place I like a lot. I like the enormously kitschy décor, but most of all the old-fashioned simplicity of the place. There are dishes that other bistrots have stopped serving decades ago. I think the food is good, simple-good, not zen simple but on the verge of sloppy-simple (as in the now extinct "bougnat" tradition). Sometimes, maybe, on bad days, it can be further than on the verge (Au Tord-Boyaux, le patron s'appelle Bruno, know that song?) and that's when you may have experiences like the one Marlena describes.

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Assiduously reseraching restaurants is one of life's great pleasures for me, however there is still the occasional low note. One glaring example was Chartier, which is listed in many places as a place to visit. My recommendation is just that...visit but don't eat! My entrecote was far from cuttable with any utensil normally found in a restaurant, the haricots vert were mushy and barely vert. The price is very affordable but the quality unacceptable.

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That reminds of the time my husband was working at the South Pole scientific station and the cook served up steak that was hard as a rock. One of the guys in the dining room tried to cut the meat with his Swiss Army knife, then grabbed a jackhammer and went to work. True!

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First of all, hello to all, because this is my first post to this forum which I have been reading with great interest for some time.

Excellent first post, and welcome!

:smile:

Jamie


See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

biowebsite

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Ptipois, welcome to the forum, now tell us what you like. :biggrin:


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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First of all, hello to all, because this is my first post to this forum which I have been reading with great interest for some time.

Excellent first post, and welcome!

:smile:

Jamie

I agree, thank you!!


Edited by little ms foodie (log)

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Ptipois, welcome to the forum, now tell us what you like. :biggrin:

Thanks for the warm welcome!

What do I like? Hmmm...

Well, many places that may not readily jump to my mind right now. In Paris I can mention a few Asian eating places in the 13th, like Li Ka Fo and Lao Thai; L'Ami Jean (rue Malar, 7th); Le Pré Verre (rue Thénard, 5th); L'Ecureuil, l'Oie et le Canard (rue Linné, 5th); Creole food is very nice at La Rhumerie (bd Saint-Germain); Moroccan food at L'Atlas (same boulevard)...

There are other places I have good memories of, but I haven't been there for some time and I don't know if they're still recommendable.

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I know, I know, I really WANTED to like the place......for all the reasons you mentioned. but the food........sloppy and tasteless and just awful in every way from the bread right to whatever we ate for dessert, though as i mentioned there was a nice something with prunes, perhaps it was duck.

and welcome to egullet!

marlena

I was a bit sad about Le Trumilou. It's a place I like a lot. I like the enormously kitschy décor, but most of all the old-fashioned simplicity of the place. There are dishes that other bistrots have stopped serving decades ago. I think the food is good, simple-good, not zen simple but on the verge of sloppy-simple (as in the now extinct "bougnat" tradition). Sometimes, maybe, on bad days, it can be further than on the verge (Au Tord-Boyaux, le patron s'appelle Bruno, know that song?) and that's when you may have experiences like the one Marlena describes.


Marlena the spieler

www.marlenaspieler.com

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This one may surprise a few people, Le Repaire de Cartouche! The service was non existant, the food was mediocre, the dining room was dingy! But the funniest part was they served us a corked bottle which I returned. A few minutes later some friends of the chef came and sat at the table next to us. Damn if I didn't see the bartender top off the bottle and serve it to the friends as compliments of the house! As they were drinking, everytime they took a sip they would say, does this taste right to you? to each other!

They were already a bit drunk as they came in so they finished the bottle, asking that question each sip!


Paris is a mood...a longing you didn't know you had, until it was answered.

-An American in Paris

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This one may surprise a few people, Le Repaire de Cartouche!

Actually, it doesn't surprise me. I've had bad service and inadequate dishes there too (though never a wine trick like that) and indeed swore off it until P. Wells wrote that she goes back every year so I said, OK let's try it again; I suppose I keep going because the dingyness is kind of charming and usually the food is zesty, albeit heavy.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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raisab, I loved your story! :biggrin: Last time I was there, I ate on the first floor, where the chef has just lauched a lunch formule, maybe 13 or 14€ for an entrée and a plat -- and maybe even more, I can't actually remember. It was quite good... and I didn't have wine. :wink:


"Mais moi non plus, j'ai pas faim! En v'là, une excuse!..."

(Jean-Pierre Marielle)

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Almost forgot, Pierre au Palais Royale, simply for the fact that chef/owner Jean-Paul Arabian is a rather disagreeable person (in every way), in my (and many others) opinion. I for one won't be going to his new Russian restaurant when it opens...


Edited by fresh_a (log)

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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