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The comments here are just our personal opinion based on our experiences. Your mileage may vary.
- La Gueuse
La Gueuse was our favourite restaurant during our trip. Just down the road from the hotel, it is a real delight. Click on the photo to see a larger version in a new browser window. The service is quick, attentive and very friendly. The menu is quite extensive. The mussels are really excellent, as good as those we've had in Belgium. Customers are never rushed regardless of how much or how little they may have ordered. They sell yards of ale - mainly to students I suspect! The wine list is great and not over-priced. Mussels with cream costs 9 Euros. The place is always buzzing and full which is another really good sign.
- In the Luxembourg Gardens there is a little cafe that we stopped at a couple of times. It is quite lovely. The service is friendly, the prices reasonable. Not very busy when we were there, it has a very relaxed feeling. Nearby there are people doing Tai Chi and Yoga.
- One evening we were heading back to the hotel after a very full day of walking and decided to get Chinese takeout. To the people running the hotel, don't worry, we took it immediately out to the balcony so there was no smell of food in the room. It was lovely. Really! Incrediby well priced and just a couple of streets from the hotel. At the moment I can't find the receipt but as soon as possible I will get the name and hopefully a link. We think it is located on Rue Cujas. It seemed to be family run. The food is freshly cooked and so tasty. One of the (few) pitfalls about living in rural Canada is the lack of 'real' Chinese food. Sadly this is driven by local tastes so we do understand, but boy it was lovely to have the real thing in Paris. If anyone knows the restaurant and/or has a photo please do drop me a line.
- Le Soufflot
This restaurant was further down the road. Again it's very busy and has a nice feel to it. Sitting outside to eat and watching the world going by is fun. It's where we witnessed the one and only fender bender during the course of our entire stay. It amazes me how the traffic flows in Paris, it looks chaotic but somehow it all works. I had the lamb daily special and Alan had the beef. Both good. The service is attentive and friendly. Portion sizes are perfect, not too large, not too small, vegetables fresh and not overcooked. The lamb was very tender, nicely rare. Again there is no sense of being hurried.
- ALTITUDE 95 - Eiffel Tower
Altitude 95 is located on the first floor and the name comes from its height, 95 meters above sea level. The decor is apparently supposed to remind you of an airship which is apt because it definitely has an overinflated air of self-importance. We arrived without a reservation and the manager took a very long and dramatic intake of breath before finally allowing that he might be able to squeeze us in. We walked up to the restaurant which was a quarter full at most. We were seated at an empty table laid for about a dozen people. The head waitress firmly told us we could not sit nearer the window because the entire table was booked. We were fine with that, we had already seen the view. We spent 1 hour and 20 minutes in the restaurant, just the two of us at an otherwise empty table. Perhaps the 'booking' was not for that day? The menu is fairly limited and very expensive compared with similar cuisine at other places but of course you are paying for the view, when permitted to see it. The portions are huge even by North American standards. Way too big in fact for a lunchtime menu. It was a little disconcerting to see the head waitress' mouth fall open when I ordered steak tartare. She actually took a step back and gasped 'But it's raw!' Sadly I suspect the irony in my reply 'I certainly hope so.' was lost in translation. Alan's Salade Champs de Mars was good with a light dressing and fresh ingredients though definitely over-priced. While my meal was fresh and the ingredients good quality, the steak was not chopped which is the correct way to present it these days - in the past it was scraped - but simply passed through the coarse blade of a mincer, something they didn't even attempt to disguise. Listening to the comments from other diners it seems that were were not alone in our views. An American couple at the next table (also set for 12 with just 4 people seated) mentioned that the oysters were not that great and a tomato based dish appeared to consist of a smear of tomato paste from a can and was too vinegary. Fortunately none of the staff was upset by any reviews made by customers because at no time did they break off from their private conversations to actually enquire. The bread was good. But then, it's hard to screw up bread in Paris. We paid 59 Euros for steak tartare and a main course salad, 3 Perrier waters and a coffee.
- Galeries Lafayette
We stopped here for lunch at their Sushi restaurant. It was excellent. We had a mixed platter of sushi and sashimi. The service is good although no English is spoken. Fair enough, by then we were getting pretty adept in French thank goodness.
- Relais Paris Opera
We were caught in a sudden rain storm and kind of staggered sideways into this restaurant. The waiter was your fairly classic 'What is zees nasty smell under ma nose? Oh eet is a tourist! And they are wet tourists too...' and we were promptly seated by the door to the loo. A less bedraggled group who came in just after us were seated nearby at a better table - somewhat elevated. So it was pretty hilarious to hear them order one plate of chips between the four of them while we ordered rather more. The waiter managed to thaw a little by the end of the meal and cracked a smile. We wanted to add the tip to the credit card and he insisted that could not be done. Odd because every other place managed to do so. We assume he didn't want that because a) he would have to declare the income and b) of course the credit card company does take a cut so he would get less. He got less anyway because we left much less cash than we would have done on the card. I had the daily special - crab salad. It was out of a tin. Good size portion but really not up to much. Alan had pate with salad. The salad was a bit tired but the pate was good. It cost us 81 Euros for the meals, a beer, a bottle of wine, a coffee and a tea. Not bad but not great.