PRINT PREVIEW
send to printer

Concierge.com

PARIS

PARIS

By
Destinations: 
13th Arrondissement,
6th Arrondissement,
7th Arrondissement,
Europe,
France,
Paris

Paris a few ideas

ITEMS

Eating

L'Ourcine, France

92 Rue Broca
Paris 75013, France
Tel: 33 1 47 07 13 65

The menu changes almost daily at this superb old-fashioned French bistro near Gobelins, but usually offers a mix of traditional, homey, primarily southwestern classics such as piquillos stuffed with brandade (whipped salt cod). Plus, there's classic creamy blanquette de veau and contemporary creations like braised rabbit with green beans or cannelloni stuffed with lamb and eggplant. Service is friendly, and the small, brightly lit dining room has the appealing atmosphere of a country kitchen, decorated with old irons, hand-cranked coffee mills, and knickknacks. Book far ahead.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays noon to 2:30 pm and 7 to 10:30 pm.

Eating

Le Comptoir du Relais, France

9 Carrefour de l'Odéon
Paris 75006, France
Tel: 33 1 44 27 07 97

With his 1990s hit restaurant, the far-flung La Régalade, Yves Camdeborde was credited with reinventing the Parisian bistro. Now the cult chef presides over this irresistible neo-bistro—40 wooden chairs atop multicolored mosaic-tile floors, with wood paneling and yellow-and-red-trimmed walls—next to the Hôtel Relais Saint-Germain. A master chef and marketeer, the affable Camdeborde offers two distinct menus: bistro (or brasserie), from noon to 6 pm daily and until 11 pm on weekends; and on weekdays, the phenomenal bargain five-course "gastronomique" menu. Lunch service is sans reservations, meaning a daily free-for-all (come just before noon or after 2:30 pm for the best chance of scoring a seat), and dinner reservations book up months in advance. But it's worth the hassle for Camdeborde's wild cèpes molded with foie gras and flanked by whipped artichoke mousseline, and a neo-tarte Tatin dessert that merges apples and mango, with vanilla ice cream. The secret to getting a dinner reservation? Stay at the Hôtel Relais Saint-Germain, which occupies the same building (33-1-43-29-12-05; www.hotel-paris-relais-saint-germain.com) or phone at about 7:30 pm on the evening you hope to go, and ask if, by some miracle, anyone has canceled. The magic word in French is désistement.

Open Sundays through Fridays noon to 6 pm and 8:30 to midnight, Saturdays noon to 11 pm.

ALT HERE

Eating

L'Épi Dupin, France

11 Rue Dupin
Paris 75006, France
Tel: 33 1 42 22 64 56
Website: www.epidupin.com

Chef François Pasteau's market-based, creative cuisine served in a neighborhood-style setting was revolutionary for the mid-1990s. Now it has become the norm, yet few chefs do it better, and the popularity of this far-from-new neo-bistro continues unabated. Pasteau favors sweet, mildly spicy combinations for his ever-changing menu. For a starter, there might be a beef mille-feuille paired with chutney, ginger-perfumed zucchini, and a shellfish coulis for balance. The five main-course options may include skate with slow-cooked orange- and coriander-spiked fennel, sautéed scallops with meltingly tender leeks in citrus vinaigrette, or a spiced skirt steak in a rich red-wine sauce. Desserts range from house-made gingerbread with orange marmalade and basil sorbet, to roasted peaches, to plum crumble. The location is convenient (Le Bon Marché is half a block away); the food is affordable (a dinner prix-fixe is about $45); and the markups on the short, well-chosen wine list are reasonable (try a glass of the peachy house organic white from the Armagnac region). There are, however, drawbacks to the compact dining room: The faux wooden tables and plastic chairs could be in a 24/7 diner, and the decibel level reflects the elbow-to-elbow crowding (as well as contentment). Reserve at least a week ahead, and request the second seating for lunch or dinner and a corner table.

Open Mondays 7 to 11 pm, Tuesdays through Fridays noon to 3 pm and 7 to 11 pm.

Eating

Chez Les Anges, France

54 Boulevard de La Tour-Maubourg
Paris 75007, France
Tel: 33 1 47 05 89 86
Website: www.chezlesanges.com

Cool jazz on the sound system, a sunny veranda, and a cool, modern bar: That's how Jacques and Catherine Lacipiere—the husband-and-wife team also behind Au Bon Accueil (14 Rue de Monttessuy; 33-1-47-05-46-11)—have reinvented this former Burgundian bastion located within a Champagne cork's flight of Les Invalides. Catherine greets guests and takes orders at lunch; Jacques does the same at dinner. This is pure market cuisine, the daily changing menu punctuated by fabulous wild fish, wild mushrooms, and seasonal game. To start, try escabèche of mackerel with capers and parsley sauce or succulent boned quail with a perfect soft-boiled egg on a bed of fresh spinach. Follow with thickly sliced pan-fried calf's liver with coarse salt and roasted shallot, or an intensely flavorful Bresse hen cooked in its own juices and served with dreamy mashed potatoes. At lunch expect politicians, journalists, and museumgoers (from the Rodin and Invalides), and at dinner, chummy regulars: a mix of ladies in designer jeans and pearl necklaces, gentlemen in blue blazers.

Open daily noon to 2:30 pm and 7:30 to 10:30 pm.

Eating

Café Constant, France

139 Rue St. Dominique
Paris 75007, France
Tel: 33 1 47 53 73 34
Website: www.cafeconstant.com

Formerly the executive chef of Les Ambassadeurs, Christian Constant has spun his well-earned celebrity into a mini empire of four restaurants, located practically side by side on Rue St. Dominique, near the Eiffel Tower. His establishments range from the pricey, high-design Le Violon d'Ingres (33-1-45-55-15-05; www.leviolondingres.com) to this unassuming corner café. And they all turn out some of the best food you'll eat in Paris. Café Constant's market-based menu is ever-changing, but the neighborhood regulars seated cheek by jowl on bentwood bistro chairs or burgundy-colored banquettes might be tucking into, for example, house-made foie gras terrines, roasted Bresse chicken, crispy phyllo purses stuffed with shrimp and basil, or plump chocolate dumplings. The wines are affordable—try the flinty Quincy from Philippe Portier or inky Côtes du Rhône from Perrin—and the weekday prix-fixe lunch is an excellent value at about $30. Reservations are not accepted, but if you arrive at noon for lunch, or 7:30 pm for dinner, you probably won't have to wait. Once installed, you can relax: Service is swift yet startlingly courteous, and the staff doesn't rush to turn tables.

Open Tuesdays through Saturdays noon to 2:30 pm and 7:30 to 10:30 pm.

Shop

Le Bon Marché, France

24 Rue de Sèvres
Paris 75007, France
Tel: 33 1 44 39 80 00
Website: www.lebonmarche.fr

Le Bon Marché is a reference for everything a department store (Paris's first) ought to be—from its Gustave Eiffel–designed glass and steel structure to its spacious floors and well-edited selections. You can linger in the ground-floor hat department and consider the millinery confections for the races or a grand wedding, or go up to the second-floor lingerie department for the most delectable display of the best, and frothiest, under-things. And if the shopathon takes its toll, pick up a portable snack at La Grande Épicerie, a tony temple to international food.

Open Mondays through Saturdays 10 to 8 pm.

$200-$299
Editor's Pick
ALT HERE

Hotel

Hôtel le Saint Grégoire, France

43 Rue de l'Abbé-Grégoire
Paris 75006, France
Tel: 33 1 45 48 23 23
Email: hotel@saintgregoire.com
Website: www.hotelsaintgregoire.com

Tucked away on a narrow street between Montparnasse and St-Germain-des-Prés, this 20-room hotel, in an 18th-century mansion, is popular with fashionistas, the literati, and stylish French visiting from the provinces. All rooms are done up in a classic Gallic tour-de-force of floral chintz curtains, white-varnished furniture, and embroidered coverlets. Oil paintings, framed mirrors, and Oriental accent rugs abet the impression of being a guest in the private house of some very refined Parisians, and the English-speaking manager is on hand for restaurant and shopping recommendations or information on the latest gallery shows. Wi-Fi is available in all rooms, and breakfast is served in the vaulted stone cellar.

$400 or more
Editor's Pick

Hotel

Hôtel Montalembert, France

3 rue de Montalembert
Paris 75007, France
Tel: 33 1 45 49 68 68
Email: welcome@montalembert.com
Website: www.montalembert.com

When the Montalembert was renovated and reopened in 1990, it rocked the hotel world with its radical departure from traditional hotel design—an uncluttered contemporary aesthetic by Christian Liaigre. This being Paris, the hotel's 56 guestrooms (which have received some updates over the years), are plush but snug. Upgrade to a junior suite if you require more than 300 square feet or an Eiffel Tower view. (Street-facing rooms on the lower floors have views into offices and apartments). Most rooms have clean-lined furniture and subtle earth-tone or plum-colored fabrics; some deluxe rooms are more traditional, with Louis Philippe-style furnishings—but even then, there's not a stitch of toile in sight. All have marble bathrooms, flat-screen TVs, and WiFi (about $16 per hour). The restaurant serves a menu of border-hopping dishes, such as lemongrass-marinated chicken and seared tuna in sumac, although peckish gourmands may prefer to pull up a stool at neighboring L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. The Saint Germain neighborhood's many hopping cafés are also nearby. Even though the boutique hotel concept is no longer novel, and a night here will set you back at least $400, it's a refreshing alternative to the city's fussy grand dames and a good base for imagining yourself as a 21st-century Parisian.

$300-$399
Editor's Pick
ALT HERE

Hotel

Hotel Bel-Ami, France

7–11 Rue St-Benoît
Paris 75006, France
Tel: 33 1 42 61 53 53
Email: contact@hotel-bel-ami.com
Website: www.hotel-bel-ami.com

Hotel Bel-Ami isn't new, but it's dynamic and has come into its own since opening in the bull's-eye of St-Germain-des-Prés in 2000. Hong Kong–born luxury hotel maven Grace Leo-Andrieu is behind this 115-room property, and the Asian touch shows: thick carpets, contemporary wood armoires, and a muted palette of olive and taupe accented by crimson fabrics. All rooms have AC, quadruple-glazed windows, well-stocked minibars, and marble-clad bathrooms. The catch is the shoebox size of the standard ("Rive Gauche") rooms—numbers 110, 117, 121, and 129 are just too small to be true. Even the Superior rooms are snug, so pop for a pricey Deluxe room or Junior Suite (only those on the fourth floor have rooftop views). Still, it's booked pretty much year-round by European business and media types who care more about chic and convenience than space. There's a compact sauna and fitness room (with aquariums and a flat-screen TV); and the free Internet access in the lobby is accompanied by a life-saving American QWERTY keyboard (Wi-Fi is also available).

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.