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David Lebovitz

Which Restaurant In Paris?

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If you had to choose one for dinner, with guests from out of town, which would it be?

We're thinking casual with very good food and interesting wine list, but a notch above the normal bistro...

Mon Vieil Ami, Les Ormes, Le Repaire de Cartouche, or Dominique Bouchet

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David, you would be one of the people I would be asking the question of! :laugh: It has been a year and a half since I have had the pleasure of dining in Paris and unfortunately none of those are within my personal experience. Nevertheless, I will follow this topic with interest.


John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

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- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

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Uually when people come to town, they want to go somewhere that I recommend (my tried-and-true spots) so I don't get the opportunity to try other places in Paris as often as I'd like to.

So here's my chance!

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If you had to choose one for dinner, with guests from out of town, which would it be?

We're thinking casual with very good food and interesting wine list, but a notch above the normal bistro...

Mon Vieil Ami, Les Ormes, Le Repaire de Cartouche, or Dominique Bouchet

Dominique's not really a bistro but #1 among those four; Repaire is probably the most bistroish; M V Ami modbistro & Les Ormes caught between its heritages as a bistro in the deepest 16th and a resto (Bellecour) in the 7th.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I ate at les Ormes in December for the second time and really enjoyed it. I have some picture from that trip and will post when I figure out how.

On the same trip I also ate at 1 star La Braisiere, 54 Rue Cardinet. This one is similar in size to les Ormes, maybe a little larger. The service is very attentive, really good cooking. I had a dish called gallete de pomme de terre, foie gras, trompette de morte. This was potato cake, not fried, with bits of foie and trompette in it, very good. For mains we both had jarret de veau over celeriac. For desset I had a prune and almond tart, wife had souffle poire williams. Wine was Allees de Cantemerle, second wine of Chateau Cantemerle. The have a nice list of Armagnacs but not quite as extensive as at Trou Gascon

I highly recommend this one, will certainly go again when I return to Paris in June. I have pictures and will post them some time soon.

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I don't think you could go wrong with your 4 choices except I heard that recently "Mon Vieil Ami" has closed, so of the 3 remaining, my personal favorite is Les Ormes.

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as an (across the Channel) out of towner, this information is almost a year old, so treat with caution.

We only experienced Mon Vieil Ami and Dominique Bouchet from your list and preferred the former by some way. Dominique Bouchet disorientated us a bit by serving the same sauce with three (very) different main courses - and the sauce itself was pretty banal. Created the impression of laziness and taking the easy option. Best feature of Db was the wine list - interesting, well priced, wines in good condition.

MVA was tiny, service good, wine reasonable, but the food had a "cleanness" and simplicity that was attractive.


Edited by algy (log)

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We also had a quite banal experience at Dom Bouchet, and couldn't really recommend it to anyone.

Although I haven't experienced a large number of higher-end Paris bistros, Josephine-Chez Dumonet was truly excellent and had a great wine list if you like Bordeaux. Basically, the deals begin from the year 1989 and before.


Edited by Mhirby (log)

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"Mon Vieil Ami has closed" Can anyone confirm this?

Like Richelieu, I have asked my spies to find out. If they fail, we can telephone. I suspect it's a conflation of Mon Vieil Ami with La Ferme de Mon Pere but that's speculation too.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I don't think a restaurant which buys Safeway level ingredients, cook them indifferently, and then gets good reviews from so many people who are hankering for a "real French bistro" experience and then charge top $s for their crap will either close. And come to think that people make lines (mostly English speaking but no pun intended) for the crap.

I heard good things about both Les Ormes and Repaire.

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"Mon Vieil Ami has closed" Can anyone confirm this?

Laidback just sent me this posted by St Germain on Bonjour Paris

Mon Vieil Ami is no more. Walked by yesterday and not only is the restaurant closed and the interior demolished but a new restaurant has been advertised. I have not been able to find anything in the Paris papers as to why Antoine Westermann's restaurant closed, although it had received some very good reviews in the past.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I have had two emails since I posted the post about the closure that both suggest MVA was just on break. Their entry in Pudlo says they're always closed 1-15 Jan and when I called just now they answered and the restaurant was full of customers. Unless someone beats me to it, I promise to drop by next week and see for myself.

Edited by John Talbott to update info.


Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I don't think a restaurant which buys Safeway level ingredients, cook them indifferently, and then gets good reviews from so many people who are hankering for a "real French bistro" experience and then charge top $s for their crap will either close. And come to think that people make lines (mostly English speaking but no pun intended) for the crap. 

I heard good things about both Les Ormes and Repaire.

Do I read you correctly that you don't like MVA? And here I thought I was alone! :hmmm:


eGullet member #80.

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Moderator's note: Although I too am responsible for the drift this thread has taken, I think this is developing into a MVA thread which already exists here. So let's post there on pros and cons of MVA. Thanks.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I have had two emails since I posted the post about the closure that both suggest MVA was just on break.  Their entry in Pudlo says they're always closed 1-15 Jan and when I called just now they answered and the restaurant was full of customers.  Unless someone beats me to it, I promise to drop by next week and see for myself.

Edited by John Talbott to update info.

I walked by yesterday, Jan 25th, and MVA is definately open. And there were people eating in there as well.

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Well, to bring us back to the topic of where to eat I think I should put in a plug for L'Ami Jean. The food there is really very soulful. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal we had there recently, especially the garbure.

The prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent.


Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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Well, to bring us back to the topic of where to eat I think I should put in a plug for L'Ami Jean. The food there is really very soulful. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal we had there recently, especially the garbure.

The prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent.

I was going to say L'Ami Jean as well, but felt that I had mentionned it too many times. I think it is a perfect choice for David's request of something casual but better than your average bistro. I was also thinking of L'os à Moelle.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Well, to bring us back to the topic of where to eat I think I should put in a plug for L'Ami Jean. The food there is really very soulful. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal we had there recently, especially the garbure.

The prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent.

I was going to say L'Ami Jean as well, but felt that I had mentionned it too many times. I think it is a perfect choice for David's request of something casual but better than your average bistro. I was also thinking of L'os à Moelle.

Hey wait a minute; I thought the rules were to pick one of the four restos David listed.

If that restriction is off then it opens the competition to Ze Kitchen Galerie, Les Anges, Violin d'Ingres, l'Ecallier du Bistrot, Maison du Jardin and I could go on.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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There are too many choices in Paris but to answer the question posed and based on recent experiences.

-Violon d'ingres

-Sensing

-Drouant

-Gaya rive gauche

All these restaurants are big notch above bistrots,both in food and surroundings and reasonable for the quality. Un excellent rapport qualite /prix.

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Well, to bring us back to the topic of where to eat I think I should put in a plug for L'Ami Jean. The food there is really very soulful. We thoroughly enjoyed the meal we had there recently, especially the garbure.

The prices are very reasonable and the food is excellent.

I was going to say L'Ami Jean as well, but felt that I had mentionned it too many times. I think it is a perfect choice for David's request of something casual but better than your average bistro. I was also thinking of L'os à Moelle.

Hey wait a minute; I thought the rules were to pick one of the four restos David listed.

If that restriction is off then it opens the competition to Ze Kitchen Galerie, Les Anges, Violin d'Ingres, l'Ecallier du Bistrot, Maison du Jardin and I could go on.

Sorry about diverting things here, John. It must be my short attention span kicking in! :unsure:


Roger McShane

Foodtourist.com

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I don't think a restaurant which buys Safeway level ingredients, cook them indifferently, and then gets good reviews from so many people who are hankering for a "real French bistro" experience and then charge top $s for their crap will either close. And come to think that people make lines (mostly English speaking but no pun intended) for the crap.  

I heard good things about both Les Ormes and Repaire.

Do I read you correctly that you don't like MVA? And here I thought I was alone! :hmmm:

Yes. We were there in late November. I was flabbergasted by how mediocre it was. It maybe because they were closing and the chef did not care. I can give details but don't feel like it.

I like quite a few bistros: Chez Michel, L'Os a Moelle, Voltaire (a bit expensive). L'Ami Jean, Benoit ( I don't know under Ducasse regime), Auberge Pyrenee Cevennes (traditional). Also the Lyonnaise Moissonier. incredibly rich pommes Lyonnaises.

Pierre45 who has a post here always recommends La Braisiere which is actually a one star but a well priced lunch menu. It is on my list too.

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I ate at L'Ami Jean last November. I thought the food was excellent for the price but I've been hesitant to recommend it to any of my friends. I thought the service was friendly and good but too hectic for a comfortable meal. The room is very very cramped and the tables are too small, packed too close together, even by Paris standard. I was a solo diner on a two-top and even then, there was not enough room for the plate, glasses, small casserole that the food was being served in.

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I love L'Ami Jean, but you're right, it's cramped. I've decided on Le Repaire de Cartouche since we're trying to stay on the Right Bank (yes, I'm very biased...)

I walk by Repaire de Cartouche all the time and have never been (well, I went to the 'bistro' upstairs for the 13 euro lunch, which they basically treat like an afterthought) so we're going to go there.

Hope it's good!

Thanks for all your suggestions...

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