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Eat casual in Paris

28 Dec 2011 by ReggieHo

L’Alsace lalsace

At almost 2am on a rainy night, I found myself left with not many options for a bite on Paris’ most famous street. So I was quite happy to come across this 24-hour restaurant. Only cold dishes such as seafood and oysters on ice and salads were available at the time I visited, and although the fresh catches looked very tempting (and fellow diners seemed to be enjoying them), all I wanted was a salad and a glass of wine. My salade Elysee (€10.70/US$14) with endive, walnuts and cheese, with a light sauce, did the trick and the glass of Alsatian pinot blanc (€5.80/US$7.6) was crisp and refreshing.

39 Avenue des Champs Eylsees; tel + 33 8 92 70 02 59; www.restaurantalsace.com

 

lecoqLe Coq

On recommendation by the concierge at Shangri-La Paris, I came to this restaurant – 10 minutes walk away – for a late lunch. I was told that it was a good people-watching spot, although most of the action would be at nighttime. The interior was more like a club, with iceberg-like decorations, but I chose the outdoor area with red cushioned seating. The macaroni with morels (€25/US$33) had a great texture and some hearty cheese that warmed me up on a chilly afternoon.

2 Place du Trocadero; tel +33 1 47 27 89 52

 

 

Hippopotamus Restaurant Grillhippo

This lively restaurant serves great food in American sizes, and quality is generally good. I didn’t realise how big the salade terre & mer would be until it came – and the big healthy chunks of salmon were very filling. But I still managed to throw in a burger with Roquefort, which was done just right.

20 Rue Quentin Bauchart; tel +33 1 47 20 30 14

 

lentrecoteL’Entrecote des Halles

This restaurant near Le Marais has a typical brasserie décor, and a decent outdoor seating area with checked tablecloths. But what really makes it stand out is the live butcher counter where you get to see from start to finish how a pork stew is made (if you are squeamish, sit further away). Both the French onion soup and beef bourguignon we had (part of a three-course lunch set, €16.90/US$22) were decent – the former with a good helping of cheese (and slightly burnt, just the way I liked it) and the latter tender and hearty. The carafe of Beaujolais was lacking in both body and flavour, but otherwise, it was a pleasant experience.

38 Rue St Denis; tel +33 1 42 21 99 16

 

L’Avenue

lavenue

This is a restaurant of both style and substance. All the waiters and waitresses look and dress like catwalk models, and posing also seems de rigueur while guests are waiting for their tables. The décor looks a little kitsch, but it just adds to the good fun. We asked what was so extraordinary about the “extraordinary snails” (€18/US$24) and the waitresses honestly said, “they were just snails”. The dishes were all well made though, including the Atlantic tuna “new style” (like a carpaccio; €23/US$30), white Alba truffle risotto (€64/US$84; cooked just right and al dente) and lobster and French fries (€36/US$47). Prices are steep, but it is an experience.

41 Avenue Montaigne; +33 1 40 70 14 91; www.avenue-restaurant.com

 

Reggie Ho

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