Juveniles Wine Bar

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

My interest was piqued the other day when I was reading a popular user-generated review site, and came across a review for a restaurant in Paris. The author said they could tell they were in a good place because when they walked in, nobody was speaking English. In an international city like Paris, I don’t mean to be Déborah Downer (pronounced dow-nair), but a lot of people in Paris speak English. And I find it curious that tourists don’t want to go to a restaurant where there are other tourists. (Good thing they don’t feel that way about hotels – I doubt there’s be any place to sleep!) It’s as if the presence of foreigners equals bad food.

I, for example, am often a tourist and I love eating well when I travel. I hope the presence of me and my friends dining in a restaurant, say, in Palermo or Vancouver, don’t portend to potential diners poking their heads in, that a restaurant sucks.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

Restaurants in Paris often offer menus in English for a couple of reasons. One is that it makes the servers lives easier as the servers (who often has their hands full), don’t have to stand there and translate a menu for each and every diner. (You’ll notice dining rooms in most small restaurants in Paris don’t have busboys, runners, hosts, etc. The servers do it all.) And other reason is that it’s easier for the diners, too.

And for his or her host as well. Such as in my case, since I often translate menus when dining with out-of-town guests and friends who don’t read French. While I’m happy to run through the menu the first time for everyone, no one seems to pay attention. Then I have to go back and explain things item-by-item again. (And people always want to know things like, “If it says poulet fermier, what piece of chicken will I get?” or, “Is there going to be a sauce on that?”) And by the time I’ve read it all through for someone, I need a glass of wine — which at this point, is a priority.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

But it stuck in my craw, and I couldn’t help but wondering if it’s really true that the fewer people who speak English in a place has any correlation to how good the restaurant will be. I worked with a number of French people at Chez Panisse in California, and wonder how many French people may have overheard a conversation amongst them. Then, as a result, decided to go elsewhere? (I hope not, because the French people who worked there were really great cooks.)

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

Juveniles has been a fixture in Paris for about three decades. Owned by Tim Johnston, a Scotsman, he recently handed the reins over to his daughter, Margaux, and her boyfriend, who’s in charge of the kitchen. They serve the kind of food that I’m looking for when I want unfussy, but well-prepared, French cooking. There are no silly garnishes or gimmicks. You’ll find slow-braised meats, house-made terrines, and attention paid to vegetables and herbs. Because Margaux grew up in France, she’s perfectly multilingual. And even though my friend and I speak French, we spoke in a mix of French and English to her, and no one appeared to be moving their tables to get away from us.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

The wine list tends to wander outside of the “French” category as well, and although I started with a Juraçon sec, which was lovely, but a bit husky for a first glass/apéritif, I was happy to glide into an Italian white for the next glass. Then ending up back in France, with a bracing glass of Chablis, for a finish back en France.

(Juveniles is considered a wine bar, but is really more of a restaurant. Wine prices are very reasonable; the wines by the glass ranged in price from €4 to €6,50. Wines are also available by the bottle to go, as well.)

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

Aside from another table of diners, we were the only non-French people in the place. (Although my friend has a French passport.) And when the table of other English-speakers left, the owners of the place pulled down the shades, then promptly handed out new wine lists and bringing out rare, exceptional bottles, which they starting pouring for free in all our glasses. The staff quickly erased the menu on the blackboard and replaced the dishes listed with all sorts of marvelous platters of food — and get this: no main course topping out at more than €3. Margaux ran around the dining room, shaving rare black truffles (for free!) over everything, without a surcharge. And when we were done, each table was presented with a bottle of Dom Pérignon and a box of chocolates from La Maison du Chocolat. Complimentary, of course. So I guess it does pay to go to places where there are only French people dining there!

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

Actually, what happened was that the other table got seated with French customers, making us the lone Americans. Perhaps the French fellow sitting at the next table felt sorry for us, so he started talking to us, and even let us taste his dessert later on. But it didn’t seem to bother him that we were there.

My favorite word on a restaurant menu is maison, meaning something is made in-house. So we split a meaty terrine de campagne, made on the premises, which came out with a crusty top. The other starter we shared was a soft cooked farm egg with crispy green beans and a lovely beet sauce. We were both surprised by how much we liked the beet sauce, which seemed to be simply a puree of beets, but precisely seasoned. Whatever they did to it, we liked it a lot.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

For main courses, my friend had the haggis, a nod to the Scottish heritage of the owner. (When we’d arrived, the two Frenchwomen sitting next to us were splitting the haggis.) Gosh, I didn’t realize haggis was so popular in Paris. I went with the braised pork cheeks with winter vegetables and a blitz of straw potatoes.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

It was terrific, although the portion was huge and I couldn’t make it through it all, mostly because I’d filled up on first courses. (However, if they offered up some free black truffles, I probably could have summoned up the courage to finish them off.)

Our neighboring Frenchman, whose girlfriend had arrived, insisted I take a picture of the échine of pork that they were splitting. And they even offered us a taste.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

By the time dessert rolled around, I might have passed, except it was my friend’s birthday and she was eying the dessert menu like a hawk, so she ordered Donald’s Chocolate Cake. I wasn’t as wild about the riz au lait as I thought I’d be; perhaps if they put some of the lovely house whisky in the caramel, it could become a signature dessert. However whoever Donald is, his chocolate cake is excellent – a dense wedge of bittersweet chocolate, served with coffee ice cream. Because it was my friend’s birthday, they brought us out complimentary glasses of port to go along with it.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

I should also point out that as soon as that cake with the candle landed, the entire restaurant (prodded by me — which is the downside of having dinner with me on your birthday) erupted into a round of “Bon anniversaire” (aka: “Happy Birthday”) in her honor. Then everyone went back to finishing their dinner.

Juveniles Wine Bar & Restaurant in Paris

Juveniles
47, rue de Richelieu (1st)
Tél: 01 42 97 46 49
Métro: Pyramides


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48 comments

  • Charlotte K
    November 3, 2014 12:10pm

    That looks fab.

    What Americans often forget since we are largely monolingual is that in a place like Paris a lot of Europeans are using English to communicate across their own language barriers. I saw this for the first time many years ago in a tourist office in the Netherlands–a woman from Spain had lost her contacts and she and the Dutch woman in the bureau were sorting out with each other in English what she should do. I’ve also seen other Europeans being “ugly Americans” in a country Czech restaurant, demanding “white bread”–in English– instead of the lovely brown bread they were serving. I always try to imagine what it would be like to go from Massachusetts where I live to Virginia and have to speak an entirely different language. I’m not a proponent of “everyone should speak X” at all–I love the differences–but I can see why a “lingua franca,” now ironically, English, is useful.

    • November 3, 2014 12:21pm
      David Lebovitz

      A French friend of mine was told a few decades back, when he was young, that it wasn’t necessary to learn English. Now – especially with the internet – it’s become almost imperative and there are a lot of English-language schools in France (with lots of ads in the métros) for those looking to learn to speak it. It really has become the international language, like it or not. In the old days, you’d run from a restaurant that had English menus. But you’re right, that it’s become the lingua franca for most cultures.

      A lot of the young French chefs, and their staff, are fluent in English and most good restaurants in Paris have a mix of cultures dining in them. And if you dine at the earlier seatings (like 7:30pm), you’re likely going to be surrounded by visitors since Parisians don’t eat at that hour. But in a city like Paris, any good place will have a mix of people in it. (And I’ve been to restaurants that were not good, that were filled only with Parisians/locals. So that’s not necessarily a barometer of where to eat.)

  • Zed
    November 3, 2014 12:19pm

    David, I understand your irritation but I think you’re being more than a bit too prickly about that comment. The fact is that in most major tourist destinations, certainly not least Paris, there exists a category of “tourist restaurant” – I’m thinking of laminated menu booklets with pictures of the food and text in French, English, Spanish, Italian, German, Russian, and maybe even Chinese or Japanese. I’m sure you’ve seen the places, and I’d be downright shocked if you ever saw a native Parisian (or insert “local”) dining in one of them, and I suspect French people in general could be expected to suss them out as well.

    So if unsure about a place, I don’t think it’s a terribly unfair metric to gauge how many people are speaking the native tongue (that said, bragging about it on the French Yelp equivalent does smack of posing). There are mitigating factors, e.g, are you on an offstreet or right next to the Eiffel Tower, but there’s a logic to “more French people = more “legitimate” or “authentic” of a place. Now, by all means question whether that “legitimacy” means better food, but at least it’s a quick means to cut out the tourist traps.

    I don’t really think that anyone espousing that method would look into a place, see someone like you chatting away merrily in English and say “I’ll pass”. Maybe you’ve lived in Paris long enough to learn to tune them out, or the places you holiday are “hidden gems” and not jammed with open-top buses for you to have to worry about this problem!

    • November 3, 2014 12:37pm
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Zed: The other day I was walking down the rue Saint-Andres des Arts, whose streets are lined with the kinds of places that you describe (laminated menus, buskers outside, etc) and it seemed about half of the clientele in those places were locals, mostly people having lunch during a work day. When I go to some Asian places, they have menus with pictures to help out. (Usually the pictures don’t correspond all that well to the look of the finished dish!) But it’s helpful when ordering, for those of us who don’t speak the language. I just find it a bit “posing” – as you aptly mentioned, to be irked at the tourists when you’re one yourself. People want to have an authentic, local experience when traveling. And so do I. Which is why I try to write up places on the site where everyone will feel welcome, and the food is good. Thanks for your thoughts! : )

  • E
    November 3, 2014 1:25pm

    At the risk of being labeled “anal”, shouldn’t “reigns” be “reins”? Although, I imagine French chefs to be the royalty among chefs. (“Owned by Tim Johnston, a Scottsman, he recently handed the reigns over to his daughter…”)

    Ha! Thanks for the chuckle. It’s fixed : ) – dl

  • November 3, 2014 1:59pm

    I am not sure if the perception of “more tourists, more probable” is exactly justified, but it is, as Zed said, logical. Interestingly, I think a part of the logic of wanting to dine in a place with locals when you’re a tourist yourself is an attempt to tell yourself you’re truly experiencing the native culture. Even if the restaurant you’re dining at is an upscale French restaurant in Cairo, a lot of people would be content eating there if they were the only tourists! Which can be quite strange, in my opinion.
    I wonder, though, why owners prefer no tourists in their establishment? From my experience working as a server in Israel, a lot of (non-American) tourists tended to tip less, if at all. Though they could have been perfectly nice, the difference in tipping culture was always jarring…
    In any case, I appreciated your little scenario of what happens when the tourists leave. For a moment there, I thought you were serious!

  • shelly matheis
    November 3, 2014 4:45pm

    Maybe they’re extrapolating from that old idea that if you see a lot of Chinese customers in a Chinese restaurant, it must mean the food is really good/authentic.

  • Jeffrey
    November 3, 2014 4:56pm

    The Secret Menu–I knew it! I’ll have to ask for it when I am in Paris next summer. So what is the French word for “menu?”

  • Ashley
    November 3, 2014 5:43pm

    First I love Juveniles, such a wonderful place for lunch or dinner and I’ve heard both English and French spoken there. As an American in Paris, I speak both French and English and have noticed that there are many wonderful resto where you often times hear more English than French, for example Spring and Verjus. However, I do travel often and am always reading food blogs and reviews to find the best places to eat in the cities I visit and while hearing English spoken in the restaurant will not disqualify it for me, I can appreciate finding the locals favorites where you will tend to hear more often the native language. And generally I am not disappointed.

  • November 3, 2014 5:44pm

    I always thought Juveniles was an offshoot of Willi’s Wine Bar…which I like very much. I think it stems from an occasion, some 15 years ago, when I couldn’t get a table at Willi’s and was sent around the corner to Juveniles, which I enjoyed immensely. Good food and good wines, served properly in warm surroundings. I always recommend both to my clients but will have to revise “the special relationship” part of the recommendation.

  • Lula Quinsey
    November 3, 2014 5:48pm

    For my Paris fix today, I Google-mapped Juveniles Cave à vin and trotted the little man over so I could get a street view. But lo! – there is a delivery truck plunked down in front of the place. Sigh. I was going to go up and ring on the door (in my dreams). Thanks for the good lead.

    Care to speculate on the spicing of the beet sauce? Roasted or boiled, do you suppose?

    A propos de beets … when I was an au pair I was amazed at the ready-cooked beets I bought at the local green grocers, which my madame diced and served with a simple vinaigrette. Are they still available?

  • November 3, 2014 5:58pm

    SUCH a good point. I tell people all the time that some of my favorite places here in Rome have figured out how to please the visitor/tourist and the local.

  • Catherine
    November 3, 2014 6:06pm

    Fairly unrelated comment but it cracks me up how all French handwriting is the same. And this is coming from a person who went to a French school in Switzerland, but who learned handwriting in the USA, but still don’t write like most Americans, nor like the French.

    How is it possible for a country to have the same handwriting? Is their a punishment if you don’t write like that?

  • Joan in Chicago
    November 3, 2014 6:07pm

    We used to go to Juveniles quite a bit and hadn’t been for a long time. In February, my husband and I popped in and had a delightful lunch. Margaux is charming and the food was better than ever. Because of the warmth and conviviality set by the hosts, it’s almost impossible not to chat with your neighbors. Lovely spot.

  • November 3, 2014 6:41pm

    My husband and I have been to Juveniles a few times and thoroughly enjoyed it. The food is delicious! We are heading back to Paris in the new year and no doubt we will stop by again.

  • Jed
    November 3, 2014 6:50pm

    Great Article David! I went to a local place in Paris last week that I had not been to in a few years. The owners like Americans and are always gracious and enthusiastic hosts. The menu is in French and like most places I go in Europe, I enjoy pulling out my food dictionary and work to decipher the dishes. Later I can get more details from the staff, but I enjoy learning the dishes and the words. This was only my second trip since your book signing in April, but hopefully I will have more Paris trips in the months ahead.

  • November 3, 2014 6:53pm

    The next time I’m in Paris ( I hope soon) I have lunch in Juveniles, thanks David. We are so lucky because English has become a universal language that everyone uses to communicate . I just spent a week in Stockholm. I appreciate English menus because I get very tired translating and explaining them when I’m in Germany, just imagine the poor server having to do it over and over again. When I go in a restaurant where I can’t read the menu I look around what other customers have and point to a dish I think I like.

  • Chuck
    November 3, 2014 7:05pm

    Hello David,

    This was such an excellent article. I just wanted to write and tell you how much I enjoy your posts and e mails. I wonder if you remember Maya G now Kinsey at Chez P?
    My wife and I visited Paris last April and we are booked for a month come April 2015. This will be our 19th visit to Paris but last April was our first in perhaps 7 years. Back then poulet roti was on half the menues in town. Now we had to hunt and seldom found the wonderful dish, so juicy and tasty brimming with flavor and the perfect crispiness. Many bars served it and little places. We have stayed the last 8 times in the 5th but we found a wonderful apt. on Rue Rouelle near St. Charles. Any ideas where we might find the elusive Poulet Roti nearby or on the bus 42 route to Gare de Nord?

    Thanks and thank you for all your great ideas.
    Chuck

  • November 3, 2014 7:32pm

    Hi David,

    I am so happy you ate at Juvenile’s!! It is my husband’s and my favorite restaurant, and has been the setting for some of our best memories (first date and post-Mairie wedding lunch.) We always take visitors to eat there as you get consistently fantastic and simple food, and, as you said, such a warm welcome. Happy to see the restaurant getting the recognition it deserves!!

    Cheers,
    Amanda

  • J
    November 3, 2014 8:02pm

    Thanks for the review. I am holidaying in Paris right now, from Alberta Canada. I will be visiting some wine bars/restaurants. I appreciate your reviews. Tonight I am trying out a bottle of wine, chosen at Monoprix, rose Abbaye St Hilaire; a lady in front of me chose it, and there is a gold painting on the label. I often choose a wine by the intersting label. Bonne chance to me”.

  • tyler
    November 3, 2014 8:11pm

    I have been here several times, as a good friend used to live just down the block. We have always loved it and Margaux is just a lovely owner/operator. I’ve recommended it to others many times and on several blogs. No one has ever taken me up on the recommendation (that I know of from blogs at least). I’m glad you made it there.

  • marketmaster
    November 3, 2014 8:12pm

    Several years ago my husband and I were in Aix en Province and wandered into a little place that looked like it had interesting things on the chalkboard outside. We didn’t judge by how many English speakers there were in a restaurant, but we did try to avoid the barkers.

    One man was running the entire front of the house, including cooking meats on the open hearth. He gave no indication that he spoke anything but French so I struggled away with my guidebook and whatever I could remember from high school French. We had a lovely meal–good, simple, well-cooked. It had a nice, neighborhood feel, and diners at several tables seemed to know each other.

    At the end of the meal the man who had served us (who turned out to be the owner with his wife who ran the kitchen) came over and spoke near-perfect English to us. I laughed and asked why he had put up with my fractured French. He replied that when he was young he had spent time in England and he felt that no one had put themselves out to try to speak some French to him so he didn’t feel any obligation to speak English to diners who wouldn’t at least try to use French. He didn’t sound bitter or haughty. He just had a policy. We had a nice conversation and still have fond memories of that restaurant.

  • Brad G
    November 3, 2014 8:19pm

    I’m not much of a commenter, but I want to let you know that I took your suggestion and went to Chambelland when I was in Paris. I loved it (would use caps but I know they are now allowed)!!!!!! I tried to put this comment on the post of Chambelland from May but I don’t seem to be able to do it. I’ve been gf for 13 years, and was wondering how I’d survive Paris without pastry. Chambelland made it possible. I tried to go to a couple of the other places you suggested, but it was the end of August and several were closed. Chambelland was so great that it didn’t matter. Their pumpernickel bread with raisins and walnuts was truly inspiring. Thanks, David.

  • Kim B.
    November 3, 2014 9:55pm

    This: “And when the table of other English-speakers left, the owners of the place pulled down the shades, then promptly handed out new wine lists and bringing out rare, exceptional bottles, which they starting pouring for free in all our glasses. ”

    hahahahahaha!!!!

  • Vicki
    November 3, 2014 9:57pm

    I always go to Les Juveniles when in Paris. I was initially drawn to it by the fabulous Australian wine named after it – Les Juveniles by Torbreck from South Australia (see blue labeled bottle in your photo). And the food is great too!

  • Tricia Robinson
    November 3, 2014 11:37pm

    Very timely blog – I just had”dinner” at Verjus wine bar on arrival in Paris. Not one French client out of about 16. All were very noisy Americans/Brits including one guy who thought it was very amusing to demonstrate pole dancing on part of the structure.
    Not what I hoped for first night!

    Food and wine were fine but not exceptional. Juveniles demain!

  • November 3, 2014 11:38pm

    I love reading your posts when feeling a bit under the weather. No matter the topic. After few giggles and laughs I feel much better :) thanks! :)

  • Bill Wilson (Australia)
    November 4, 2014 12:50am

    I am interested that English translations seem to meet with approval. My wife and I have been visiting France annually for over 40 years but speak almost no French (a result of our laziness and the French people’s wish to practice their generally excellent English). We find however that English translations of French menus usually provide little, if any, indication of the fare on offer and are often misleading. We are often offered menus in English but always request the French version. A pocket dictionary can be helpful until you get to know your vegetables and “critters” (and their bits and pieces).

  • November 4, 2014 1:04am

    I mean, if I walked into a restaurant in New York and heard people speaking Swedish, or French or Spanish it would not certainly dissuade me from eating there.

  • Gaby Olander
    November 4, 2014 2:44am

    Yes, it is a great restaurant but why did you have to tell everyone about it?

  • Linn
    November 4, 2014 6:20am

    There are lots of tourists in the city I live in and we try to avoid restaurants where tourists tend to go, mostly because it seems like they are noisy. Last week at a local lunch spot there was a German woman who had her iPhone on speaker and she was yelling into it — horrible(!) — finally she went outside to finish the call. But I have to agree with you that sometimes I end up at a restaurant with a lot of tourists and I hardly notice.
    In Barcelona we ate on Las Ramblas a few times but then found little out of the way and quieter places to eat — food was excellent everywhere we went, but the little neighborhood restaurants seemed more authentic. However I still remember the wonderful gazpacho and pizza at a street cafe beside Sagrada Familia.

  • November 4, 2014 6:24am

    Hola David! Thank you for another really lovely post. Chhers!

  • November 4, 2014 11:28am

    Bravo, David! I’ve been thinking the same thing for a longtime, too, which is that it’s bizarre that Americans automatically assume that a restaurant in Paris won’t be good if it’s frequented by other Americans. The whole conundrum sort of reeks of a steamer-trunk vintage snobbery against one’s fellow tourists that I find completely out of date, because if we’re lucky, we’re all tourists now and again, and also because they’re good tourists and bad tourists, i.e. those who are well-informed and those who are less well-informed. The corollary to this is that any place that becomes know will be ‘ruined,’ which is similarly ridiculous, since many of the best-known restaurants in Paris continue to be excellent despite their popularity.

  • Stephanie
    November 4, 2014 12:05pm

    David, I think it is funny that this comment got to you so much. If you were in Japan and saw a restaurant full of westerners next to a restaurant full of Japanese, which would you go to? As someone living in Paris, you can experiment and enjoy all types of establishments, but tourists on ephemeral visits looking for authenticity and the French experience should stick to places with predominantly French clientele. I have been living in France for 8 years and I have seen some of my favorite places taken over by tourists and the result is not necessarily good. An example: I used to go to Le Timbre regularly, but my French husband refuses to go there now because of all the loud and obnoxious Americans we have to sit next to/on top of. W

  • Kathy
    November 4, 2014 12:55pm

    We are Americans living in Brussels and laughed out loud at the paragraph about translating menus for guests. We are always happy to help and want everyone to enjoy their meal, but we do wish for a little more attention and a greater willingness to try something new – or even something familiar that is just prepared in a different way.

    • November 4, 2014 1:09pm
      David Lebovitz

      One of the hardest things to translate are cuts of meat, since they don’t quite correspond with American cuts. Trying to explain onglet, bavette, pièce de boucher, pavé, etc in terms that correspond with their US counterparts is tricky. I sometimes bring a little diagram of how French cows are partitioned, so people can check it out on their own. Plus the French like their beef very (very) rare and some places won’t cook their beef more than medium-rare, which is difficult to explain to out-of-towners that are used to getting things “their way.” : )

  • Philip
    November 4, 2014 3:02pm

    I was once given an English-only menu by the maitre d’ without asking, in an offal-based restaurant in the 9th, only for the waiter who actually took my order not to speak any English at all. Translating back into French on the fly was fun.

    But the worst attempt at translation I’ve ever seen was on the window menu of a restaurant in Aix-en-Provence that had obviously just plugged things into an automated translation site. “Moelleux au chocolate” was translated as “smoochy chocolate”.

  • Trevor
    November 4, 2014 6:51pm

    We live not far from Carcassonne, and it’s always a pleasure to see what Google Translate comes up with. Anyone care for:

    “Frogs legs in the Provençal”, or
    “Hearts of duck with chopped parsley”, or how about
    “Half a dozen of snail”

  • Debbie
    November 4, 2014 7:17pm

    We had a great dinner there last week. Like you we are a mixed French/American couple. We were not part of a secret French behind the scenes tasting but we did have a wonderful meal with friendly service. And yes, Donald’s chocolate cake was worth it.

  • Mary
    November 4, 2014 8:02pm

    I haven’t traveled in a while, but I frequently enjoy attempting to decipher local menus when abroad. My biggest surprise, however, was in Mexico City – the local “upscale” diner chain Sanborns does indeed provide English menus, but without prices. That seems to be the thinking in Mexico City – apparently for tourists needing an English menu, money is no object! It’s fun to get both Spanish and English and compare/enjoy.

  • pat pavlucik
    November 5, 2014 11:27pm

    Merci, David! My husband, 15 year old granddaughter and I will be spending the week between Christmas and News Years in Paris. Drew and I last visited Paris in 1992! This trip is a gift for our g-daughter and we are developing a list of places to take her for meals. Les Juveniles is now on my list. And, we are staying in the first arrondisement, so getting there should be fairly easy. Can you recommend a restaurant for New Years Eve – we’ll be early diners – 7:30 p;.m. or so, and I am planning to make reservations before we leave the states. We definitely don’t want to spend a fortune – I’ve been looking at restaurants on line, but haven’t found one that I would feel comfortable in with our g-daughter. Your input would be welcome.

    • Chuck Carlsbad
      November 6, 2014 5:04am

      Granddaughter delight. L’Orangerie on Isle St. Louis will make her feel special and the former restaurant owned by film legend Jean Claude Brialy still has his touch and the have a fine chef. After dinner stroll over to Pont Neuf for the 1 hour lighted tour on the seine. Grandma and Grandpa can purchase a bottle of bubbly on the dock. A perfect New Years eve. Alternate. Bouillon Chartier for a fun look back at Paris in the old days. First one affordable. Second one inexpensive.

    • November 6, 2014 9:55am
      David Lebovitz

      New year’s eve is not a great night for going out in Paris if you don’t want to spend a fortune; most places take advantage of the special event and have fixed menus that are higher than usual. My friend’s at Paris By Mouth publish a list of Paris Restaurants for Ringing in the New Year annually, which is quite comprehensive and lists places in various categories and price points.

  • heather
    November 6, 2014 3:07am

    hi David, there must not be any Scottish men reading this or they would surely take umbrage at your use of Scottsman instead of Scotsman………… couldn’t believe the ‘reign’ guy didn’t call you on it while he was at it! so i had to, s’il vous plaît excuser mon pickiness, and thanks always for a great read online.

  • Betsy
    November 6, 2014 4:40am

    Most unusual translation was at a little hotel-restaurant in Digne-les-Bains fifteen years ago, done by the printer who had assured the owner he knew English. One example: filet d’agneau was net of lamb.

  • pat [pavlucik
    November 6, 2014 6:15pm

    Merci, to you, too, Chuck. I looked up Chartier and loved the description, but I’d consider that for a lunch to check it out. I emailed “Juveniles” and requested a reservation for NYEve – hope to get a message back. Hopefully, dining earlier than most will help us to snag a reservation. Will also check out L’Orangerie. What a great blogging community David has – I really appreciate your suggestions!

  • Pandorab
    November 19, 2014 11:20pm

    Talking of customers wanting things cooked ‘their way’, my partner is insufferable in this regard. To the extent that he’ll barge into the kitchen to keep an eye on proceedings! I doubt this would be tolerated in very touristy places like Paris, but many places are surprisingly gracious, and actually appreciate that a client cares so much about their food!

  • Pandorab
    November 19, 2014 11:27pm

    All those who are bothered by the presence of English speaking tourists should just book dinner at a reasonable hour – after 9pm, all the Americans and English will be long gone.