We had some great meals during our short stay in Paris. Our first night we had a reservation at Bistrot d’Henri which was about a 5 minute walk from our hotel in the 5th arrondissement. I booked it because I knew we would be tired from the long flight and wanted something close to our hotel and low-key but also very French. This fit the bill perfectly as it’s a small, family-owned bistro focusing on traditional French dishes like roast chicken, escargots, duck confit, boeuf bourguignon, etc… All the classics, which are executed perfectly here. We left stuffed and happy. I suggest making a reservation as it’s a teeny-tiny place with only 15 or so tables. We sampled the snails and I had their signature duck confit while Steve went with a hearty beef bourguignon stew.
Our second day we decided to return to Au Bon Acceuil near the Eiffel Tower – we ate there 10 years ago for dinner and thought it was wonderful. I think it was even better this trip. It’s a little more upscale and has a great view of the tower from its small patio out front. As we were a little under dressed in our shorts and sandals and there was a large group of business guys in suits and ties inside, we opted to sit outside on the patio and enjoy the view. We had a fantastic pinot noir wine from Alsace and did their 3 course set lunch menu. We had grilled octopus and pate to start and then I had roasted lamb saddle with eggplant and couscous while Steve had their braised pork. We splurged and had desserts but ate them before I got any pictures. Steve and I agreed that this was our favorite meal in Paris during our entire stay.
For dinner on our last night in Paris at the very end of the trip, we went to Le Grand Colbert on the Right Bank. It was featured in the Diane Keaton/Jack Nicholson movie, Something’s Gotta Give. It’s a really picturesque restaurant and they are known for their poulet rotie (roast chicken) which is what I enjoyed. This is a very busy and popular restaurant so reservations are a must. I’ll also add that it can be a loud and frenetic restaurant so not the best choice for a quiet, romantic dinner if that’s what you want. It’s also quite touristy because of the movie but it’s a fun option for dinner. The food won’t blow you away but it’s solid French bistro fare. Steve and I stuck with the basics and started with burgundy-style snails and oysters from Brittany and then he had a peppercorn steak and I tried the roast chicken with frites. We ended up skipping dessert because we were so full by the end!
Other favorite stops for us include Berthillon for ice cream and Laduree for macarons. For inexpensive street food, I think L’as du Falafel on Rue des Rosiers in the Marais district is the absolute best as well. As everyone says, Paris is expensive so you really just have to accept that unless you do take-out sandwiches or the like, you are probably going to pay close to 50 to 80 euros for lunch for two and 100+ euros for dinner unless you skip wine and alcoholic beverages. The set menus (“formules”) offering 2 to 3 courses are the most affordable options if you’re looking to save a little cash. Steve and I tend to spend what we want for food and drink on vacation – it’s our treat to ourselves, is the way we look at it. In lieu of that, neither of us spends hardly anything on souvenirs or shopping. I was tempted by some of the beautiful shoes, purses and scarves I saw in the shop windows but exercised self control this time! We didn’t do any haute cuisine in Paris because we saved that meal for our stay in the French Riviera and it was well worth the wait! Separate post on the very special Chevre d’Or meal to come!