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Paris Bistros, Restos


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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.

Speaking of which, I'm going to hide the following in this thread.

 

Someone I know is getting involved in a business where members who join for a substantial fee are then, based on the profile information they give to the business, treated "as if they were regulars" at top dining spots around the globe.

 

I cannot tell you how much this pisses me off.

 

It's like, you work to become a valued regular at a place.  By going there repeatedly and spending money, sure (they especially love it when you run up big high-margin beverage tabs).  But also -- this is crucial -- by evidencing some understanding of the food they're serving, of what they're trying to do.  (There's one impossible-to-get-into regional Italian spot in the city I live in where I became a valued regular, able to score a table just by asking, not just by showing up the first day they were open, but by being their only customer that day who evidenced a decent understanding of (a) the cuisine of the region, (b) how Italian meals are structured, and (c ) what wine you drink with what.) (And, I drank a ton.)  So now, rich people will be able to buy the kind of treatment we get by working at it -- and will, because resources are finite, end up edging us out.

 

Fuck them and their enablers, and the horses they ride on.

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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.

Yup. The sad thing is that it didn't use to be this way - it was genuinely an excellent and generous bistro, but as the chef's delusions grew that he's cooking Michelin star food, so did the idea that the unshaven masses cannot appreciate this food, and only a select group deserves it. Of course it doesn't hurt that the same group was very vocal about the food at a time when blogs, food boards, etc. mattered :)

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Looking back, voyager may have misunderstood that I meant to be exclaiming that, since she was posting, she seemed to have actual literal PGE power, in her house.

Sorry I was so obtuse.   Thanks for the concern.  SF wasn't included in the blackout.  

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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.  

That is not my impression of what happens on this thread, though.  It seems more that we are talking about restaurants that you and I (and some people who read but do not post here) have eaten at and then everyone else comments without having eaten at them, wanting to eat at them, or honestly even wanting to talk about them.  I have been trying to post more genuine content and I have a few restaurants I've eaten at recently that are probably relevant, but it doesn't seem like there's a lot of interest here.

 

With regard to what you're saying, I think most people posting here do mention when they're known to the house, but maybe not always.  I've find that in Paris it doesn't take a ton to become a person who has a fabulous experience at a place, but its also related to how you interact with them, in what language, who your fellow diners are, etc.  All in all I think NY is a harder place to be seen as a regular / be treated well.  Then again, there are many spots in Paris where the best treatment available is terrible service, so that's a reality too.

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I want to eat at all of them you like!

 

I've find that in Paris it doesn't take a ton to become a person who has a fabulous experience at a place, but its also related to how you interact with them, in what language, who your fellow diners are, etc.  

 

I don't think this is only Paris...I think this is most places we go to...because doesn't everyone like to be treated nicely?

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I want to eat at all of them you like!

 

I've find that in Paris it doesn't take a ton to become a person who has a fabulous experience at a place, but its also related to how you interact with them, in what language, who your fellow diners are, etc.  

 

I don't think this is only Paris...I think this is most places we go to...because doesn't everyone like to be treated nicely?

No, I think some places are much more likely to interact with guests and to recognize you as a regular.  Stockholm, for example, was not much into treating repeat customers any differently than first timers.  But in France, I specifically think speaking French makes a big difference in how you are perceived.  Interacting with the staff makes a big difference too - I don't think many French diners ask questions, etc.

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  Interacting with the staff makes a big difference too - I don't think many French diners ask questions, etc.

 

 

 

Of course interaction matters.    First meal, stranger; second visit, recognized; third visit, regular.

 

But re French diners, our experience is that the French spend an inordinate amount of time conversing with waitstaff, discussing minuiae of product and preparation.    Often, it would seem, on each item on the carte!

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You know, many people make the mistake of thinking that "interacting with the staff" means getting personal with the staff, asking them personal questions about themselves.  In my experience, restaurant staff members HATE this.  As well they should:  they're at work.  Their personal lives are off the table.

 

OTOH, if you talk about the food with knowledge and interest, staff seems to find that gratifying.  And that WILL establish the kind of "relationships" (I mean, these aren't REAL relationships) that make you a valued regular.

 

Interestingly, this seems to be a generational thing -- and the divide seems to be about five or so years older than me.  (Yeah, there ARE people that old.)  People I go out with who are than younger than me wouldn't dream of getting personal with the staff (and resent it when the staff occasionally seems to be trying to get personal), but people older than me seem to think it's endearing (I'm reminded of a famous scandal at Ssam Bar a decade or so ago).

 

It isn't.

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You know, many people make the mistake of thinking that "interacting with the staff" means getting personal with the staff, asking them personal questions about themselves.  In my experience, restaurant staff members HATE this.  As well they should:  they're at work.  Their personal lives are off the table.

 

OTOH, if you talk about the food with knowledge and interest, staff seems to find that gratifying.  And that WILL establish the kind of "relationships" (I mean, these aren't REAL relationships) that make you a valued regular.

 

Interestingly, this seems to be a generational thing -- and the divide seems to be about five or so years older than me.  (Yeah, there ARE people that old.)  People I go out with who are than younger than me wouldn't dream of getting personal with the staff (and resent it when the staff occasionally seems to be trying to get personal), but people older than me seem to think it's endearing (I'm reminded of a famous scandal at Ssam Bar a decade or so ago).

 

It isn't.

I have (fortunately) never experienced a diner asking personal questions of waitstaff.   But why would one and to what end?  

 

But confirm that appreciation of the food or wine is a ticket to acceptance.   We marvel at the number of diners who treat a meal out as a strictly social occasion, and never seem to notice the food put before them except for a cursory thanks.   

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I am sure I mentioned this at the time, but this seems a good example. Asking serious questions at Twist in Las Vegas, and mentioning I’d been to PG in Paris, sent the utterly bored and under-utilized staff into over drive, and scored various comps.

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