The Highs and Lows of Paris Dining

The Bar at the Atelier Joel Robuchon

The Highs and Lows of Paris Dining

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Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Paris, France

17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved to Paris…


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Dear Parler Paris Reader,

Maybe it’s my New Orleans upbringing, but food and drink somehow end up the center of all life here in Paris, where there is a café, brasserie, bistrot, restaurant or “traiteur” (take-out) at almost every turn.

While my 5-square-meter compact kitchen functions even better than the big American kitchens I had come to know (with their cook islands, Sub Zero refrigerators and walk-in pantries) and the open-air markets abound with the most beautiful fresh and varied produce one might imagine, still, the “cuisine” remains idle, virtually untouched, with the exception of brewing coffee or tea. It’s just too easy and too much fun to head out to any one of the eating establishments, with friends or alone, order up whatever is my fancy, pay up and say so-long to the dishes and mess.

Yes, dining out at every meal can get expensive, but doesn’t have to. I’ve learned how to stretch the dining euro to a maximum by seeking out “good-value” restaurants and averaging about 20 euros per meal. (Thus the beginning of the Insider Paris Guide for Good Value Restaurants. ‘Course, even at that, making it a twice-daily experience can add up to a yearly budget enough to pay the rent on a small apartment in Le Marais. I figure that my hard-earned euros aren’t going to pay for things like a car, health insurance or private school for the kids…so I can afford to treat myself to the small pleasure of dining out. (Not a bad justification, huh?)

What I’ve discovered is that the best meals are either at the bottom of the price barrel or at the top, but not in the middle. Most recently, thanks to visiting friends who love to “collect stars” (Michelin-rated restaurants on the star system), I was able to experience all three levels and found the most pleasure from the two extremes…at the top costing about 150 euros, the middle range about 65 euros and the least expensive about 35 euros.

For a truly unique experience at the three-star level, take your buns to the bar at the L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon (next to the Pont Royal Hotel at 5 rue Montalambert, 7th arrondissement, phone 33-1-42-22-56-56) that has the look and feel of a diner or sushi bar. Revel in the casual atmosphere and take advantage of the unexpected bonus to chat with your dining neighbors (and sometimes perhaps even share a taste!). It’s an extravaganza by one of France’s greatest chefs, Joel Robuchon, who retired in 1996 from his three-star haut luxe restaurant to a busy life of television appearances, articles, and books. Only 37 Lucky Lous get a chance starting with the first seating at 11:30 a.m. for lunch and 6:30 p.m. for dinner. Reservations are only accepted at the first seating. After that, it’s a wait, so be prepared, but it will be worth it. Says one Web site about the Atelier, “The food is uniformly exemplary, bearing the stamp of Robuchon’s creativity—delicious, beautifully prepared and served in either tasting portions or full dishes.”

On the other end of the scale was a huge surprise. Just a block from the Canal Saint-Martin in a location that has housed many different bistrots, including “Au Gigot Fin” and later “Le Bouldogue,” “Et Dans Mon Coeur Il Y A…” opened just two months ago (with what I think is a pretty difficult name to say or remember for us Anglophones, at 56, rue de Lancry, 10th arrondissement, phone 33-1-42-38-07-37). The decor is not all that dissimilar from Robuchon, although of course a bit lower scale and dining is at tables like usual, but backdropped by the same very dark woods, rich tones and fresh flowers. Service is young, friendly and on the ball. Dish after dish served was almost every bit as exciting and delicious as the Atelier (believe it or not), clearly punctuated by Asian influence in the use of soy, garlic, ginger and other eastern spices.

At the middle range, at Le Père Claude (51, avenue de la Motte-Piquet, 15th arrondissement, phone 33-1-40-56-97-84), a restaurant recommended by the Concierge at the Hôtel Ritz, we had a rather mediocre meal with the exception of one redeeming course — dessert. Here the “Mousse au Chocolat” that is served in a glass canning jar, is absolutely the creamiest, most divine to have ever touched my tongue.

Still, give me the highest or the lowest in lieu of the middle any day of the Paris dining week…and what a week it is, every week.

A la prochaine…

Adrian Leeds
Editor, Parler Paris
Email [email protected]

P.S. See you this coming Saturday at Judith Merian’s Script Writing Workshop (scroll down for more information), on the streets that evening at La Nuit Blanche and next Tuesday the 10th, first at Parler Paris Aprs Midi and later that evening at Parler Parlor’s new Marais location! Too much to do…too little time!



Calendar #129
Wednesday, October 4, 2006
Paris, France


To access the complete Community Calendar, you now have two choices:

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Thank you, Adrian

Getting a mortgage in France is easier than you think


* Let us show you just how hassle-free it can be to get a mortgage for your French dream property! /frenchproperty/insider/mortgage.html

French Property Insider Consultation…your complete solution to finding, buying, renovating or renting your new dream home or apartment in France. /frenchproperty/consultation

The Presbytery, Part I By Jeffrey Greene
From “French Spirits”


This week in French Property Insider…

How is it that real estate agents know even before they look at you, as they shout on the phone to a colleague, that you are a waste of their time? They must develop a sixth sense to spot dreamers, like us, who know nothing about owning a house. The agents spend their days taxiing people around a particular region, fumbling with keys and feeling about for light switches, each house a disaster, a trap, a mystery, an answered prayerFPI Subscribers Read On…


Right now, get the FREE 10-page report “17 Things I Wish I Had Known Before I Moved to Paris”… By Adrian Leeds when you subscribe for two years to French Property Insider! Plus, save 20% off the regular subscription price! Offer expires October 31, 2006.

To learn more, visit /frenchproperty/insider or go directly to subscribe at /frenchproperty/insider/subscribetofpi.html

Paris Publications for People of Color…


Excerpt from Insider Guide to Black Paris
By Melinda Herron


>In the last two years several new publications geared to people of color have hit the kiosks. You can buy the magazines mentioned below at local newsstands or at Présence Africaine bookstore in the Latin Quarter (See “Shopping – Books”). Listings are in alphabetical order… for the complete list, see the guide.

Get your copy of Insider Guide to Black Paris now.

Living and Investing in France Seminar…

Adrian Leeds, Parler Paris, French Property Insider and John Howell & Co. of International Law Partnership Present the…

Living and Investing in France
One-Day Seminar

December 29, 2006
Chez Jenny, Paris, France

If you’ve always dreamed of moving to France, starting a new life in Paris, enjoying a “pied-à-terre” of your own part of the year or perhaps investing in property in France, this power-packed seminar is a MUST. Hosted by Adrian Leeds, Editor of the Parler Paris Nouvellettre® and French Property Insider weekly e-zine and John Howell, lead attorney for John Howell & Co.,International Law Partnership, London, this one day in Paris will put you on the right footing to make it happen!

You will learn how to…

* Obtain the Right to Be in France!
* Buy and Own Property in France!
* Profit from the Leaseback Program, Corporate Housing in Paris (CHIP) and Other Investment Property Programs!
* Find Your Dream Apartment in Paris or Home in the Country!
* Get a Mortgage!
* Minimize Your Tax and Maximize the Benefits!
* Rent Your French Property for Profit!
* Reduce Your Currency Exchange Risk!
* Plus, answer all the rest of your questions during a Q and A panel with the presenters.

Details to be announced…to be on a special mailing list to be notified with complete information about the conference, email [email protected]

How to Write a Script I Can Sell
How to Sell a Script I Wrote


Learn inside information and Hollywood strategies to write a script you can sell and sell the script that you wrote!…All in three short hours Saturday afternoon, October 7th, with Judith Merians, Hollywood Entertainment Lawyer, Studio Executive and Consultant to Independent Producers for the last 30 years. Judith is also a UCLA Film School Instructor of Business and Finance of Filmmaking and has also taught at the Moscow Film School, Tokyo Film School, American Film Institute and Los Angeles Film School. She regularly speaks at the Cannes Film Festival and is published in four Countries.

Bring your paper, your pen and your script. Workshop in English.

3 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Saturday, October 7th, 2006
Upstairs at La Pierre du 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

30 Euros
Limited to 30

Register upon arrival
Reserve your place by emailing: [email protected] Mornings Only

You can trust the team at Parler Paris Apartments

Email: [email protected]

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.

Parler Paris Apartments offers high quality accommodations to make your stay in the City of Light as enjoyable and memorable as possible. We at Parler Paris know each and every apartment owner or manager personally, and stand behind the quality of those we represent. We understand your needs and desires, all the small details that make a rental apartment a warm and welcoming home – and a much better alternative to an impersonal hotel!

Parler Paris Apartments is administered and serviced by the same great team as Parler Paris, French Property Insider and French Property Consultation. You can trust that Parler Paris Apartments and all those with whom it is associated will do their best for your 100% guaranteed satisfaction.

* “Le Provençal” Studio: Now Available!

Located in a very charming and quiet 18th-century building in the heart of Le Marais, this sunny studio is perfect for one or two seeking ultimate Parisian calm, flavored with the beautiful colors of Provence.

Pictures and more details available here: /parlerparis/apartments/rentals/provencal.html

Parler Paris Après Midi

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

The next gathering is October 10, 2006

So mark your calendars to be sure not to miss it! See /parlerparis/apresmidi.html for more details.



Welcome to France Fair

New to France or just looking to make the most of expatriate life?

At the Expatica Welcome to France fair you will get the information you need from companies and agencies specialised in expatriate services.

You’ll find information on house hunting, finding a job, immigration and permits, staying long-term, and much more.

Meet the people who make expat life great, including the top clubs and associations, travel agents and event organisations.

Welcome to France
October 15, 2006
Carrousel de Louvre
Paris, France

Tickets are FREE if you sign-up online before September 15th. For more information visit

To sign up for your FREE tickets, click here!

*** See the French Property Insider Consultation and John Howell of International Law Partnership booth number 55/56 next to the entertainment area and stay for our presentation, “Getting ready to find your dream home in France…” with John Howell and Adrian Leeds at 3:45 p.m.

New Tuesday Location at the 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!


* Tuesdays 6:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.

Upstairs at La Pierre du Marais
96, rue des Archives at the corner of rue de Bretagne, 75003
3rd arrondissement, Paris
Métro Temple, République or Arts et Métier

* Wednesdays 2:30 p.m. to 4 p.m. and
* Saturdays 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

13 passage Dauphine (entrance between rue Dauphine and rue Mazarine), 75006
Métro Odéon, Saint-Michel, Pont Neuf


Subscribe to the PARISMARAIS monthly newsletter FREE
The Art of Living Guide to Le Marais.




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