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I wonder why a place like that would decline. Does Auboyneau not care any more? I should have thought he was more than competent to hire good kitchen staff.

 

I have no prior meals as a benchmark but, as I said, my meal last spring was very good. I don't know. Primary chef change? Disinterest? 

 

Jesikka - where did you see the decline when you last ate there? Were the cooking/service/ingredients no longer on point?

 

Stuff was over or undercooked (steak and fish).  Service was ok from what I recall but certainly a bit disinterested.  I think the ingredients were fine but there was certainly nothing exciting.

 

Parisians prefer Le Baratin or Le Bon Georges.  I don't hear any talk of Au Pied du Cochon to be honest, but there are quite a few Parisians living in Paris so who knows, it could be filled with them.  I like Le Baratin plenty and I haven't been to Le Bon Georges in a long time but I'd happily return for a regular meal.  I'm interested to see what comes in the next year of La Bourse et la Vie (a place not particularly beloved by Parisians).  I also think Le Ami Jean continues to be great although the service schtick annoys me and its got the basque slant of course.

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As I think Orik said, "it is that time again."   I will be in Paris for a few days in the beginning of December, any recommendations? New ones, old standbys? Places to avoid?   I have a bunch o

I suspect Bruni or Paglia wrote that review.

Had lunch here last week and it was so good I've booked dinner for next month!.   Added bonus of being right by the metro on the 8 line.

Very helpful. I'm literally providing people with some recs right now to a colleague who is there now and considering going. 

 

The cooking errors are unfortunate, certainly we didn't have them on our steak and fish, but not surprising that that kind of restaurant may be a hair over or under. We were there last spring - have you been back since moving to Paris? And have you noticed the errors on multiple visits or is this a bad meal combined with general data form the Parisians kind of thing. 

 

On the other restaurants, haven't been to Bon Georges but came highly recommended from a friend who called the chef a true fascist who refused to use anything but French snails in a very complimentary way. It's on the list. Baratin is a very different thing than Paul Bert. Paul Bert strikes me as quintessential bistro cooking, while Le Baratin was home cooking. Certainly, there were more cooking errors at Baratin (which isn't to say the food wasn't delicious) than at Paul Bert, but the meal could have been an outlier and people (including the few Parisians I spoke with) love it. Le Ami Jean was good, but it was years ago now, though I did get the feeling that there was a real push to get the tourists to shove down the tasting menu, and when they saw we wanted to eat a la carte, there was a bit of disinterest. 

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I'm interested to see what comes in the next year of La Bourse et la Vie (a place not particularly beloved by Parisians).  

 

Do they feel the same about Chez La Vieille?

 

Our last trip (which was when we ate together at Chez La Vieille), was the first trip in a while where we did not eat at La Baratin - I missed it, and we'd never had a bad meal in 4 or 5 tries.

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Very helpful. I'm literally providing people with some recs right now to a colleague who is there now and considering going. 

 

The cooking errors are unfortunate, certainly we didn't have them on our steak and fish, but not surprising that that kind of restaurant may be a hair over or under. We were there last spring - have you been back since moving to Paris? And have you noticed the errors on multiple visits or is this a bad meal combined with general data form the Parisians kind of thing. 

 

On the other restaurants, haven't been to Bon Georges but came highly recommended from a friend who called the chef a true fascist who refused to use anything but French snails in a very complimentary way. It's on the list. Baratin is a very different thing than Paul Bert. Paul Bert strikes me as quintessential bistro cooking, while Le Baratin was home cooking. Certainly, there were more cooking errors at Baratin (which isn't to say the food wasn't delicious) than at Paul Bert, but the meal could have been an outlier and people (including the few Parisians I spoke with) love it. Le Ami Jean was good, but it was years ago now, though I did get the feeling that there was a real push to get the tourists to shove down the tasting menu, and when they saw we wanted to eat a la carte, there was a bit of disinterest. 

I absolutely consider Baratin a classic bistrot, as do Parisians.  It is the first thing they suggest when you say you want that food.  Errors at Paul Bert at 2 meals I was dragged to by American friends since April, supported by everyone in the city hating the place.  I've never seen anyone eat the tasting menu at L'Ami Jean.  I'm honestly not even sure they have one now?  I don't recall it.    

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I'm interested to see what comes in the next year of La Bourse et la Vie (a place not particularly beloved by Parisians).  

 

Do they feel the same about Chez La Vieille?

 

Our last trip (which was when we ate together at Chez La Vieille), was the first trip in a while where we did not eat at La Baratin - I missed it, and we'd never had a bad meal in 4 or 5 tries.

 

Yes.  Daniel Rose has a very American following and has never been especially embraced by Parisians, which is not to say that there are not French people who get it.  Its also a tiny place.  La Bourse is specifically going to get a remake in the next year, though, from what I understand, specifically directed at grabbing stars.  Although the french food press has been massively hard on Daniel, they can't ignore him now with Le Coucou.

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Paul Bert - helpful observations.

 

L'Ami Jean - 100% a tasting menu (the website is a nightmare but from 2019, eg, https://www.londonmeetsparis.com/2019/01/02/chez-lami-jean/). A while ago, but certainly everyone but us in our immediate vicinity was ordering the tasting menu. 

 

Baratin - It's an extremely different menu from Paul Bert. The Paul Bert menu is almost bistro trope stuff (again, based on one data point, well executed bistro trope stuff) while Baratin is much less of a canonical dishes kind of place (not that it's not a bistro, but you're not getting steak au poivre, or duck confit, or a paris brest for dessert). Rustic and idiosyncratic and good but not where you probably send someone if they want the classic bistro thing. Not a criticism, but just a different kind of bistro than Paul Bert (or even L'Ami Jean) is. 

 

Not sure I understand the "what Parisians eat/what the city says" tact. Much more interested in your personal observations and evaluations. 

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Paul Bert - helpful observations.

 

L'Ami Jean - 100% a tasting menu (the website is a nightmare but from 2019, eg, https://www.londonmeetsparis.com/2019/01/02/chez-lami-jean/). A while ago, but certainly everyone but us in our immediate vicinity was ordering the tasting menu. 

 

Baratin - It's an extremely different menu from Paul Bert. The Paul Bert menu is almost bistro trope stuff (again, based on one data point, well executed bistro trope stuff) while Baratin is much less of a canonical dishes kind of place (not that it's not a bistro, but you're not getting steak au poivre, or duck confit, or a paris brest for dessert). Rustic and idiosyncratic and good but not where you probably send someone if they want the classic bistro thing. Not a criticism, but just a different kind of bistro than Paul Bert (or even L'Ami Jean) is. 

 

Not sure I understand the "what Parisians eat/what the city says" tact. Much more interested in your personal observations and evaluations. 

My personal observation is that Paul Bert sucks and my friends agree, that Le Baratin is consistently excellent and serving classic bistro fare for the most part (if not offering a predictable giant menu of classics), and that no one around me at L'Ami Jean was eating a tasting menu when I was there a month or two ago.  I believe you that they have a tasting menu, but I don't specifically recall one.  Most people were sharing the cote de boeuf, which we had, which was notably excellent.  Those are my observations, which I feel forced to defend at every turn to people who have eaten in these restaurants once a long time ago.

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Re: L'Ami Jean:  Our experience (yes, only been there once, but not so long ago  :) ) was that most were ordering off the menu, as did we.  There was a party of 5-6 French speaking businessmen across the room who were being brought out plates in tasting menu style but, otherwise, not.  We wound up in conversation with others around us (of course) and each of them had ordered, or were ordering, individual dishes.  We, ourselves, were comped a dish while drinking glasses of wine we had brought from the bar while waiting for our table, then we each ordered a starter and a main, before splitting the rice pudding (enough for an army).  I remember consulting with the waiter about what we should order but don't remember him ever recommending a tasting menu option.  With a bottle of Gigondas, we managed to spend around 200euros, a very reasonable amount for what we ate & drank.  We liked the place and would be more than happy to do a follow up study.

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I was kicking myself for missing out on Paul Bert, but now I don't feel so bad.

 

When we went to L'Ami Jean for lunch, they offered (and we ordered) an abbreviated 4-course tasting menu for around 40 euro / pp that included a family-style dish of stewed rabbit.

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L'Ami Jean is the quintessential insider bistrot.    You go with a table of known-to-the-house, sit at a communal table at the pass, order the tasting which will become much more than that, and play with Jego.    Other than that, it's a quite decent bistrot serving good product, but not more.

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This really does bring up something important.    Those "who do have the power" write up their fabulous experiences and the rest of us peons think it's for real and for everyone.     So we book and we go and we get a table somewhere south of Siberia and the staff isn't hateful and the food pretty good.    But we can't understand what all the noise was about.    Tale of two restaurants.  

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