I see you have found the France Destination Board and with it many of my contributions to France. Thanks for your compliments. First all, please go to your Private Messages, I just sent you a couple of messages there.
As to the Hotel des Academies et des Arts, it is located at 15 Rue de la Grande Chaumiere, in the in a small and quiet street.in the 6th arrondissement, www.hotel-des-academies.com. just few steps from the LuxembourgGardens and the Place Saint Sulpice- The twenty-rooms are full of character and each room has its own special atmosphere. The Hotel des Academies is in the heart of a lively district that was once home of artists and writers.
Totally renovated in 2007 by the architect Vincent Bastie, the Hotel des Academies propose a warm and elegant surrounding.
Inspired by creative art, in an Art Deco or classical style, fully equipped with the latest features, air conditioning, WI-FI, Video or Music on demand, Internet on TV, flat-screen LCD TV with international channels.
In my opinion this hotel is in a good location. It is easy to get around Paris from here by either metro, bus or on foot. Very convenient for the excellent organic Raspail market and there are many excellent restaurants nearby. The staff is said to be wonderfully helpful, aiding visitors in any which way they can.
In close proximity you will find de Boulevard Saint Germain with its art galleries and famous restaurants such as "La Coupole", "Le Dome" and "La Closerie des Lilas". The hotel takes its name thanks to its close proximity to numerous academies of painting (L'Academie de la Grande Chaumiere, L'Academie Fernand Leger,...). The painter Modigliani used to stay there. The restaurant "La Coupole" is 300 metresfrom it, Montparnasse Cimetery just another 300 metres, LuxembourgGarden a mere 400 metres, the Fondation Cartier for Contemporary Art about 500 metres,the MontparnasseTower just 800 metres and Boulevard Saint Germain just short of a mile. All of these places are in easy walking distance.
As to some of my favorite eateries, you might check out:
There are lots of wonderful restaurant in Paris. See my post to Omegaet where I mentioned a number of my favorite ones. We just got back from Les Ambassadeurs at the Crillion Hotel to celebrate my birthday. The restaurant boasts 3 Michelin stars, yet the fixed price 4-course lunch menu at 70 Euros is affordable. The chef, Jean Francois Piege was the second in command under Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athena. He is both a performer and a composer. He epitomizes the very best of French lifestyle and talent which he embellishes with his unique flourish. He creates sensations which go beyond pleasure like the Blanc a manger doeuf/truffe noir, or le caviar dAquitaine/nage corsee/langoustine, Oeuf coque sans coque/celery/truffe/ecrivisse or still Pigeonneau desosse/fois gras/jus dolive. The food was absolutely outstanding and the accompanying wines superbe.
There is also the Ritz Espadon Restaurant, a truly remarkable setting which you are unlikely to ever forget. And the food is exquisite. They have 2 Michelin stars and their fixed price lunch menu is at 63 Euros. Michael Roth is the chef in command and I trained under him. On Mondays and Thursdays, the Ritz Escoffier cooking school offers cooking demonstrations for about 50 Euros where the chef demonstrates a 3-course meal and you get to taste the dishes afterwards, in case you or your girlfriend might be interested to assist at a cooking demonstration. www.ritzparis.com. There are also once a month on a Thursday special Soirees de Vignerons, where they convert the student kitchen into an elegant dining room for 30 people (3 Tables of 10), invite a vinyard to talk about their best wines. you start out with a glass of their best Roederer Christal Champagen, they prepare a whole meal around 4 different wines, the chef will demonstrate the meal you are going to taste and you get a copy of the evening's recipies to take home.
Another lovely high class Restaurant is the Grand Vefour. The Grand Vefour is one of the oldest restaurants in Paris. The 18th century dcor of this elegant restaurant, respendent with gilt-edged mirrors and chandeliers, was once admired by Bonaparte, Victor Hugo, Colette, Malraux and Cocteau. The chef, Guy Martin, carries on the tradition of the Grand Vefour, with his sublime raviolis de foie gras a lemulsion de crme truffee tourte dartichauts et legumes confits nd sorbet aux amandes ameres served with the finest French wines. We dined there once in the company of Parker, the famous wine authority. The Grand Vefour offers a 3 course lunch menu for 78 Euros.
Recently we had been to the ultimate Lunch place at the Hotel Meurice where 30-star Michelin chef Yannick Allno started us out with a 7 course meal all accompanied with specially selected wines to go with the various courses. This was the finest meal I have ever tasted, everything was absolutely perfect. Even famous chefs can screw up ever so often, but this particular lunch, we will remember for the rest of our lives to be THE BEST. If you are into food, go there, forget about Alain Ducasse's Plaza Athena... go th the Meurice. http://www.meuricehotel.com/restaurants_bars/index.html
At this point, I would not recommend the Tour d'Argent, food wise, although their setting is lovely with a perfect view of the Notre Dame. One of the loveliest places in Paris really, a once in a life time experience, but they have lost all their Michelin stars since Claude Tireille died earlier last year. You might check it out though, a very romantic place.
Then there are some of the BASSERIES you shouldnt miss.
Some places are engraved in our memories and, despite the passing of time, our recollection of them remains particularly vivid. They become reassuring, unique landmarks that never o out of style. Au Pied de Cochon is undoubtedly one of those brasseries, a true symbol of Parisian gastronomy. Au Pied de Cochon, 6 Rue Coquilliere -74001 Paris, Tel: 01 40 13 77 00, Open every day 24/24, Metro: Chatelet-Les Halles, Menu 40 Euros,
If the spirit of the Left Bank still has any meaning, it is surely at the Le Petit Zink. Le Petit Zink, 11 Rue Saint-Benoit, 75006 Paris, Tel 01 42 86 61 00, Metro Mabillon, Menu 43 Euros, Open every day till midnight.
Voltair once said of the Le Procop: wit alone could substitute for an invitation. With this caliber of patronage, does Le Procop, a flagship of French culture and gastronomy for more than three centuries, need any further introduction? Le Procop, 13 Rue de lAncienne Comedie, 75006 Paris, Tel: 01 40 46 79 00, Metro Odeon, Menu 45 Euros, Open every day 11:30 AM to 2:00 AM,
A small farmhouse in the heart of Paris, just a few steps away from the Champs Elysees? This might come as something of a surprise. Long ago, when it was still in the outskirts of the capital, Parisians used to go carousing at the Fermette Marbeuf, away from the noise and chaos of the city nearby. It has retained much of its freshness from those days, especially in its Art nouveau dcor, which boasts graceful plant motifs, curves and scrolls. It was rediscovered by chance in 1978 when the restaurant underwent a renovation and is now listed in the national heritage inventory! La Fermette Marbeuf, 5 Rue Marbeuf, 75008 Paris, Tel: 01 53 23 08 00, Metro: Alma Marceau, Menu 50 Euros, Open every day
L Alsace one of the most beautiful regions in France, as everyone knows. It is also a restaurant which is well known in the capital, an institution if every there was one, and an undisputed figurehead of the Champ- Elysees at the corner of Rue Marbeuf. It is a quintessential Alsation brasserie and has for many years been a favourite haunt of Parisians, who come to appreciate its warmth and bonhomie around the clock. LAlsace, 39, Avenue des Champs-Elysees, 75008 Paris, Tel: 01 53 93 97 00, Metro: Franklin Roosevelt, Menu 42 Euros, Open day and night,
A magical location, a simple name, sumptious dcor straight out of the 19th century and a perfect welcome: have you guessed where you are? Of course, its the Grand Caf, right off the place which defies the ageing process and remains eternally young and always at the height of style. And if a good meal could be said to put on a show, the Grand Caf is the most beautiful theater: with its colored marble walls, warm paneling and garnet hangings, it is a happy blend of classic 1900 style and the Art Nouveau of Hector Guimard. Foreign visitors who make up half of the clientel, come here to soak up the atmosphere of the classic Paris of the boulevards, full of flourishing hotels, cinemas, fashionable boutiques and luxury shops. In short, the quartier de lOpera. Le Grand Caf, 4 Boulevard des Capucines, 75009 Paris, Tel: 01 43 12 19 00, Open 24/24hrs, Metro: Opera, Menu: 42 Euros, Open day and night.
Brasserie Lipp This is the Brasserie that everyone loves to hate. However, its clientele of entertainment personalities and politicians keeps returning for the straightforward brasserie food. The dishes include herring in cream and for dessert a monumental millefeuille pastry. Ask to be seated downstairs where the action is. Upstairs is referred to as Siberia. Brasserie Lipp, 151 Blvd Saint Germain, 75006 Paris, Metro: Saint Germain des Pres, Tel: 01 42 22 06 57 Open 11:30 am to 1:00 am daily, www.brasserielipp.com
If you are more concerned about prices and want a selection of some nice, but less pricey restaurants, here are some of my favorites as well: These are nice restaurants that represent good value for your money. God knows, the dollar doesn't go very far any more in Europe, and it pays to seek out places, where you can tast good French food for reasonable prices.
Coco & Co
Former fashion stylist Cline Parrenin and pal Franklin Reinhard, an exmusic publicist, recently created this cozy two- story shrine to eggs in St.-Germain-des-Prs. There are 30-plus choices, none more than $27, including quiches, omelets and eggs au plat (fried), en cocotte (baked) and scrambled, served with ingredients like wild mushrooms, salmon, asparagus tips, basil and eggplant. 11 rue Bernard-Palissy, 6th Arr.; 011-33-1-454-40252.
At this rustic Alsatian wine bar, energetic Claude Steger is cook, waiter and walking wine listhe has more than 100 labels memorized. If you think the Muscat he pours with the potato salad and crunchy-creamy sliced pig's ears is too sweet, he will produce a minerally Riesling instead. Steger turns out a magnificent tarte flambe (he flavors the thin-crusted onion-and-bacon pizza with juniper berries), as well as four kinds of choucroute, including garnie saucisses, with crisp sauerkraut and three types of sausage ($15). 10 rue Condorcet, 9th Arr.; 011-33-1-452-64431.
Paris pastry wizard Pierre Herme is a fan of Philippe and Pnlope Tredgeu's irresistible Barnais bistro and its lace curtains, banquettes of red moleskin and seasonal blackboard menu. The sensational three-course, $44 dinner offers modern bistro dishes like almond-crusted sole sauted in butter (you can hear the sizzling from the kitchen), tender braised veal breast stuffed with Swiss chard and rice, and for dessert, Earl Greyinfused custard. More extravagant entres like game are available for a few extra euros. 83 rue Laugier, 17th Arr.; 011-33-1-405-49724.
Taverne Henri IV
Wine bars are fantastic places to eat and drink well without paying a lot, and Philippe Virmoux's old-time tavern, across from the Henri IV statue on the Pont Neuf, is no exception. Lawyers from the Palais de Justice (where Papillon was sentenced to life in prison) crowd the tables, banquettes and bar for sturdy bistro dishes like charcuterie platters and stuffed Savoy cabbage in red wine sauce, and for the Beaujolais, Loire and Alsace wines. 13 place du Pont-Neuf, 1st Arr.; 011-33-1-435-42790.
This no-reservations spot from chef Christian Constant (former head chef of Les Ambassadeurs at the Crillion Hotel) offers a $22 cocotte du jour, such as lomo ham with cauliflower, served in the restaurant's namesake mini cast-iron pots. 135 rue St. Dominique, 7th Arr.; 011-33-1-455-01031.
If you are looking for something romantic with an evening view of the Eiffel Tower I would recommend the new Restaurant at the Muse du Quai Branly Les Ombres, on the rooftop ( independently accessible). A departure from Jean Nouvels strong, colorful architecture, what distinguishes Les Ombres is its exceptional view of the Eiffel Tower. The structure so impressed the architect that he designed the restaurants dcor with a theme of metallic lace on everything from the floor to the plates. This, and not the lost civilizations of the Muse du Quai Branly exhibits, is the inspiration for the name, Les Ombres (The Shadows) www.lesombres-restaurant.com. Just 30-years-old, chef Arno Busquet, second at Laurent and trained by Philippe Braun at Jol Robuchon, directs the kitchen. Do not look for authentic, indigenouns sausage and an apple-cabbage pure, and coconut streusel and mojito sorbet fressinette. Flavors from around the world come together at this table. Menu at 37 and 95 la carte. Another lovely one with a view from the Eiffel Tower, that I could highly recommend is the Jules Vernes at the 2nd Level of the Eiffel Tower that Alain Ducasse just recently revamped. We have not been there since this was done, but I am sure it is good and the view in the evening gives you Paris at your feet....
Les Ombres at Branley Museum Jules Vernes at the Eiffel Tower
Let me know if you would like some additional information.
Hope you have a wonderful trip. Please report back to the Community, we all would love to hear about your experiences.
How was your New York Birthday trip? I do not doublt that you had a wonderfult time. I hope your read the Travel Blog by lhbrown about New York City.
Message Edited by LL_Travelfan on 08-23-2008 11:56 AM