Saturday, May 16, 2009

Paris in November

Allons enfants de la Cuisine. Le jour de gloire est arrivé ....

Well, not yet.

In November, I’m finally going to Paris! Actually, back in 1985, I was in Paris for four hours on my way to Brussels, but that doesn’t really count.

I’ll be in Paris for five nights, starting on Thursday night. In terms of eating, that would be about five dinners, five breakfasts, four morning snacks, four lunches, four afternoon snacks, four apertifs, and perhaps five midnight snacks. I’ll be traveling by myself. I just made a hotel reservation in the 7th arrondisement, close to Le Violon d’Ingres, La Fontaine de Mars and Au Bon Accueil. I could go visit such places as the Eiffel Tower, the Arc de Triomphe and the Louvre, but on this vacation, I want to eat my way through Paris.

So far, I’ve told a few people about my vacation, and the suggestions have already started coming in. Trying to sort out all these recommendations can be a nice problem, I suppose. Mind you, I want to come up with an overall approach to Paris. Do I only dine at Michelin-starred restaurants? As a solo diner, how hard is it to make reservations at these high-end restaurants? I want to try some of the neighborhood bistros (bistrots). I also want to leave some room to discover places on my own, namely a spontaneous culinary tour to discover things. And I wouldn’t mind eating with a few Francophile foodies while I’m in Paris.

So far, here is my list of restaurants I want to dine at (subject to change): Arpege ; Astrance ; L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon ; Le Bristol ; Chez L’Ami Jean ; Le Comptoir de Relais Saint Germain ; L’Espadon ; Guy Savoy ; Le Meurice ; Pierre Gagnaire ; Le Violon d’Ingres

At this point in my vacation planning, I’m going to try and make reservations at three-star Michelin restaurants for lunch and eat at the various cafes and bistros near where I’m staying in the 7th for dinner, as well as snacking my way through the boulangeries, patisseries, fromageries, etc. I was told that I should have a back-up plan just in case my first choice is overly busy or closed.

In preparation for my trip, I’ve created a few Google maps:

Les restaurants (***) de Paris 2009

Les restaurants (**) de Paris 2009

Les restaurants (*) de Paris 2009

Les saveurs de Paris 2009

Although my Parisian vacation is six months away, any help would be appreciated.