“Fourteen Years in Paris, Four Hundred Restaurants”

Chef Bibi at “Les Fêtes Galantes” in His Tiny but Formidable Kitchen

Fourteen Years in Paris, Four Hundred Restaurants

Parler Paris…
Your taste of life in Paris and France
Wednesday, September 3, 2008
Paris, France

Community Calendar Updated Every Wednesday

This October, Your Paris Dream Could Come True…

Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conference!
October 11-12, 2008
Paris, France

If you’ve always dreamed of owning your own “pied-à-terre” in Paris or home in the Provinces of France, perhaps as a future retirement home or for now as investment property rented part of the year…this power-packed two-day conference is a MUST.

Hosted by Adrian Leeds, long time resident of Paris, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly E-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for the International Law Partnership, London, these two days in Paris will point you in the right direction to make it really happen!

For more information or to register, visit frenchpropertyconference or email Schuyler Hoffman, Conference Coordinator, at info@adrianleeds.com

Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Fourteen years ago today my family and I boarded a plane headed for Paris, France. We had sold our Los Angeles home, packed our belongings, storing most in containers, but shipping our most personal items to Paris in advance. A furnished apartment in the 17th arrondissement awaited our arrival the next morning and our daughter was expected to begin school only two days later. It was very exciting…and frightening, too.

This morning I boarded the Eurostar train headed for a one day visit to London, England. The only thing I packed was a computer and a few files for a meeting with John Howell of The International Law Partnership, the co-host of the Living and Investing in France Real Estate Conferences, and colleague for many years. The results of today’s meeting will soon be announced, should it prove to be successful, as it’s one of the most exciting projects to which I have ever been involved…a real testament to what is possible when you believe that anything is possible in an impossible world.

It is this special anniversary when it’s natural to reflect on the past — the last 14 years living in a place that seemed so foreign then. Everything was a new discovery, from how to ride the city buses to where to eat at a bargain. Like most newcomers, we were open to just about any experience and made a point to explore the city to its fullest.

One of our favorite Paris ‘sports’ was to ferret out the little bistrots that frankly didn’t exist Stateside. You know the kind. Often they were family run, serving up homemade-style dishes at affordable prices. The tables might be draped in red checkered cloths, the windows might be shaded by old fashioned lace, the “Papa” might be standing behind an old zinc bar pouring glasses of red wine while the “Mama” shuffled out holding the plates of steaming French specialties, some of which we had never tasted before.

One in particular that comes to mind immediately is “Au Pied de Fouet” on rue de Babylone (number 43) in the 7th arrondissement. It was so tiny that it was impossible not to make friends with your dining neighbors. Regulars kept their cloth napkins in little cubby holes to use time and time again. “Mama Andrée” wore slippers that clacked on the wooden floor as she brought out the dishes, ordering the patrons to pass them down to those wedged in the corners. The food was hearty and tasty. The wine was drinkable and the atmosphere friendly. The bill, when it came, was a ridiculous bargain. It wasn’t like anything we knew in Los Angeles — a world apart and we were beaming wi

th delight.

This began the quest to find more Paris bistrots with such character. And we did. But you didn’t find them in the guide books. The guide books were filled with the restaurants everyone already knew about — the popular spots where tourists were sure to be found. We avoided them like the plague. Instead, we canvassed the neighborhoods, read the posted menus, peaked inside, took a deep breath to test the savory smells and tried them out. Within two years, I had amassed a list of 50 favorite restaurants in the City of Light where one could dine well, enjoy the ambiance and not have to empty your pockets.

Word got out that we knew ‘where to go.’ Friends began to call to ask for advice and to give out the names and addresses of our favorite spots. That’s when it seemed logical to create a listing and write descriptions about each restaurant so that it could just be handed out. But, we did better than that. With a Web-savvy partner we launched the first electronic Paris restaurant guide of its kind in 1996. It was successful from the moment it landed on the Internet and over the years it became the prototype for many more electronic guides to Paris on other topics under the same name: Insider Paris Guides.

Now 12 years later, I’m still eating out two meals a day and still writing about it. Among friends it’s become a joke how the only things in the fridge are bottles of wine and champagne, coffee, butter and perhaps a couple of old eggs. The restaurants in my neighborhood all know me well from being such a regular patron. Everyone wants to know how I can afford it, and no doubt, it’s more expensive to eat out than to grocery shop, but when you eat out like I do, it’s just not worth cooking!

Restaurants reviewed in American magazines don’t get my business. I leave those for the American tourists who don’t care how much they spend and want to try the latest restaurant fad. Restaurants that are designed to look like they are located in Soho I leave to the young French who think New York is cool. If the price is too high, then I wait till someone treats me, but it will never make the good-value list, no matter how delicious and exciting the meal. The best restaurants bargains in Paris can be the least known spots hidden on some little neighborhood street that only the local residents know about.

Bibi and His BrasToday there are 200 of my favorite restaurants in the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants in all 20 arrondissements. Au Pied de Fouet is there, now with three locations and still doing a fabulous job of being the perfect Paris bistrot, but sadly Andrée is long gone. “Les Fêtes Galantes” is there (17, rue de l’Ecole Polytechnique, 5th), with chef and owner Bibi’s collection of patrons’ bras and panties displayed on the wall, but with the tastiest food for the price and the most commented upon listing in the guide. And “Le Felteu” is there (15, rue Pecquay, 4th) whose decor hasn’t changed in 50 years, whose owner, Jerry, sits with you as he’s taking your order and whose lamb chops are the best in the world.

Just today, the guide was updated adding a few new finds and removing a few that are no longer so interesting. The restaurants are not REVIEWED — they’re RECOMMENDED, so any one you choose should be a winner. If it’s not, then I want to know about it and why.

Using the guide is different than surfing the Web and finding restaurant listings. That’s easy and there are plenty to be found, but usually the restaurant paid to be there. The restaurants in the guide never had a clue that I was more than just a normal patron when testing them out and later including them or not. So, it’s tough to go wrong. And I want you to eat as well as I do on as little a budget.

The Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants is one of a series of electronic guides to Paris. You can find it and all the others by clicking here.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris

Share this article with a friend…


P.S. Last year I recorded more than 400 restaurant meals at an average of $30 per meal including tax and tip. Not bad, huh? You can do it too. Here’s how.

Your Complete Solution to a New Home in France…

Adrian Leeds and her team of property professionals can help make your dream to live or invest in France come true. These experienced property experts provide comprehensive services including property s

earch, purchase, mortgage and other after-the-sale services, such as renovation and rental management.

Let the Adrian Leeds Group guide you through the process with ease and peace of mind… to have your very own pied-à-terre in Paris or home in the French countryside.

Visit frenchpropertyconsultation or email info@adrianleeds.com

This Week in French Property Insider…

Old NiceNice is Nice
By Adrian Leeds

Last summer I stayed in an apartment owned by a reader of FPI who is a successful property investor with an apartment in the heart of Paris as well this one in the heart of Nice. It afforded an opportunity for me to become familiar with the city, the adjacent villages and what it might be like to own something that could be enjoyed part of the year and profitable the rest of the time thanks to vacation rental revenuesSubscribers Read On…

Learn how to buy property in France!

French Property Insider is a weekly e-zine, sharing insights, recommendations, tips, and discoveries about Paris real estate and French property. Each information-packed issue is devoted to educating its readers on how to effectively, efficiently and profitably purchase property in France.

For more information visit frenchpropertyinsider.com or email info@adrianleeds.com

Aimée Leduc Readings

September 15, 2008, 7-9 pm
Aimée Leduc (Cara Black) in Conversation with Terrance Gelenter
A discussion of the origins and inspirations for the eight novels in her series savored by Sara Paretsky and Alan Furst who describes it as “Transcendentally, seductively, irresistibly French”
Hotel Madison
143 Boulevard Saint Germain
75006 Paris
Metro: Saint-Germain-des-Près
Tickets: 25 Euros complimentary appetizers, no-host bar
Reservations: Terrance@paris-expat.com or 06-7098-1368

September 23, 2008 at 7:30 pm
Writers on Writing
The American Library in Paris
10, rue du General-Camou
75007 Paris
Metro: Ecole Militaire

September 25, 2008 at 7:30 pm
Murder in Paris Discussion
The Red Wheelbarrow
22, rue Saint Paul
75004 Paris
Metro: Saint-Paul

September 29, 2008 at 10 am
“On the afternoon before Rosh Hashanah the San Francisco author shares the Marais experiences and venues that echo the Holocaust and informed her first Aimée Leduc investigation and launched her series of murders by arrondissements.:
Where: The Marais, Paris
Tickets: 150 euros Walking Tour of the Marais
Reservations: terrance@paris-expat.com or 06-7098-1368

The Film Producing Workshop
Presented by Judith Merians
Saturday, September 13, 2008
Le Pierre du Marais

Do you want to produce the script you wrote or the literary property you optioned, start a production company so you can develop projects, or talk to producers intelligently? In the Film Producing Workshop you will learn what it means to be a producer, what skills you need, who you do business with, how you analyze the marketplace and the buyers, how to talk to money, distributors, and producers and think like they do.

This workshop is led by Judith Merians, who has been an entertainment lawyer and studio executive, literary agent, and film school professor in Los Angeles for over 25 years.

Join us for this 3-hour workshop session sponsored by Adrian Leeds and Parler Paris.

Where: Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais in Le Marais, 96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003 Paris Métro Lines 9, 3 et 11, stations Temple, République or Arts et Métiers

Time: 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

Only 30€ per person!

Places are limited. For more information visit frenchpropertyconference/

To register email judithmerians@aol.com

We wanted better guides. So we wrote them.

Insider Paris Guides are written for people who love the City of Light. You’ll get a Paris insider perspective on Good Value Restaurants… Making a Life… Black Culture… Expat Writers…plus the newest guide, Practical Paris!

Visit Insider Paris Guides

Welcome to your home in Paris. Home is how you will feel in a private apartment in Paris that has the “seal of approval” from Parler Paris Apartments and me, Adrian Leeds.

One-Bedroom, Sleeps up to 4

L’Aubergine sits tucked away on an historic and quiet Marais “cul de sac,” making it an oasis of peace and calm. This second floor apartment (two flights) has two large bright windows that face a classic Parisian courtyard. With digicode, intercom entry system and elevator, it has been completely renovated and professionally decorated to the height of luxury, with a soothing “aubergine” (eggplant) and taupe color scheme. Everything in the apartment is new, from the designer linens and towels, to the appliances and electronics.

Reserve now! Visit /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/aubergine.html
or email: Apartments@AdrianLeeds.com

Parler Paris Après Midi

Come for a drink and to meet and chat with other readers in Paris…

The next gathering is September 9, 2008 and every second Tuesday of the month.

Parler Parlor French-English Conversation Group

Practice speaking French and English. Make friends, discuss interesting topics, learn about other cultures, progress in understanding and speaking, naturally and easily. Meets three times a week — come as often as you like!


Parler Parlor meets Tuesdays 6:30 to 8 p.m. and Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

23, boulevard de Sébastopol (at the corner of rue de la Reynie), 1st arrondissement
3rd Floor on the Left (read notice on door to obtain entry code)
Métro Châtelet, Les Halles

Wednesdays 3:00 p.m. to 4:30 p.m.
14 rue Mabillon, 6th arrondissement
(at rue Guisarde and Le Marché Saint-Germain) 1st Floor
Métro Saint-Germain-des-Prés, Mabillon, Odéon

For further details, visit parlerparlor.com

Join Us for the Rentree Party Picnic!

Saturday, September 20, 2008
Join us for the Conversation Group and then meet there to picnic on Sandwiches, Desserts, Wine and Drinks — 10€

Save 25€ when you buy a 20-Session card that Day!
Normal price 125€, but you pay only 100€!

Parismarais.com: Discover the number one travel guide to central Paris

Parismarais.com, affiliated with the Tourist Bureau of Paris, is the creation of a team of journalists and advertising professionals. Passionate about their district, they want the world to discover it as well. The Parismarais.com team constantly selects and recommends the best charming hotels, inexpensive restaurants, upscale shops, museums and galleries. Their goal is to provide information to all tourists and residents. Whatever your passion, everything you want to know about le Marais, in English, is on Parismarais.com! So chic, n’est pas? parismarais.com/

Subscribe to the free Parismarais® Newsletter and each month you’ll receive a review of great bargains to be found in the district…

Every day, check out what’s new in central Paris on the Parisma

rais Blog: parismarais.fr/blog/

Book the best luxury hotels in Europe:parismarais.com/hotels-europe.htm

France Today, The Magazine of French Travel and Culture, delivers all the information you need to indulge your passion for France: travel advice you won’t find anywhere else, off-the-beaten-path trips, the inside track on trends in dining, hotels, shopping and style, and the culture scene.

To subscribe, visit francetoday.com or call 1-800-901-6560

Buy and sell with Parler Paris classifieds: ParlerParis.com/advertise.html

Read past issues of Parler Paris: ParlerParis.com/issues/readpastissues.html

Know someone who would be interested in the opportunities in Parler Paris? Forward it for FREE to your friend, relative, or associate here: ParlerParis.com/tell-a-friend/index.php

To Subscribe: ParlerParis.com/subscribe.html

To Cancel Your Subscription: *|UNSUB|*

Copyright 2010, Adrian Leeds®
Adrian Leeds Group, LLC, adrianleeds.com

This entry was posted in 2008, Parler Paris and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>