|Subject: Paris - December 2004 - expositions and restaurants|
We spent 10 glorious, expensive days in Paris and enjoyed every minute of it.
Here are some tips and "doings" for all who will be there this winter.
Some of the shows will have closed, but there are always others!
First of all, regarding the Metro: The metro map that we found the most useful was marked "Paris", as it has the Metro stops in alphabetical order. When you find your stop, you will know approximately where you'll be in Paris. The Metro map that is marked "Paris Tourisme" is helpful if you are looking for sites - However, it has no alphabetical listing of each stop. (These maps are free at every metro station)
Secondly, do remember to pick up Pariscope at any Tabac on Wednesdays! It contains all happenings for the week (music, art, museums, galleries, etc) The Paris Zagat was also helpful as we never knew when we were going to be hungry during the day or where we would actually be.
EXPOSITIONS and/or museum shows -
Turner, Whistler, Monet - at the Grand Palais through January 17, 2005 - (M. Champs-Elysses-Clemenceau) ****Tickets necessary - The accoustaguide is terrific. This is an outstanding exhibit but wear comfortable shoes. It takes a very long time to see it all.
French Press Photos from 1944 - 2004 - Biblioteque nationale de France - Richelieu site (M.Bourse) - through the 13th of February - very good. Also there - but, unfortunately closes on Dec 31, is the Robert Capa " known and unknown ", exhibit which was outstanding!!!
Le Mer - Biblioteque nationale de France - Mitterrand site - (M. - Quai de la Gare) - Wonderful exhibit on all aspects of the sea including wonderful, old maps from the 1400's. There are also beanbag chairs to sit in while listening to music composed with sea themes or backgrounds. The exhibit closes Jan 16, 2005.
The Veronese Exhibit -- at the Musee de Luxumbourg - Excellent ***** Tickets necessary. (M.Odeon or ) Excellent, expecially his portraits! - I'd recommend the accoustagudie - It's well worth the 5 EU- Through Jan 30, 2005.
The Apollo Gallery at the Louvre. Reopened in December after a long closure. The gallery is truly breathtaking the Crown Jewels are fantastic!!! There are also boxes of every size and design along the cases along the walls. They are just gorgeous!
Pharoah - At the Institute of the Arab World (M.Jussieu) - Fine, fine exhibit. *****Tickets are needed, but we got ours at the door and only had to wait about 15 minutes as they stagger entry. Open through April 10, 2005.
Jean Puy -- At the Marmatton - Monet (M. Muette) Through Jan 30th. This is a fabulous exhibit (to our eyes) of a not-so- well-known Fauvist, but it's a terrific exhibit and seeing Monet's water lilies is always a treat!
Steinlein -- At the Musee de Montmartre (M.Lamarck- Caulaincourt) - through February 13, 2005. He was a Belle Epoque poster (like Lautrec) painter and his work is housed in this house/museum. It's not a big show, but it's always fun to be in Montmartre and I will list a terrific restaurant where we had a wonderful really French experience - below. The restaurant is not too far from the museum.
Restaurants of note:
Café Lenotre - This is on the Champs-Elyssee - diagonally across from the Grand Palais (if you happen to finish the exhibit around lunchtime as we did.) We sat at the window and enjoyed a really splendid salad, wine, and dessert. Because this is a café, it did not break the bank and the food, service and setting were all extraordinary!!! (tel: 01-42-65-85-10)
L'Estrapade - 15, rue d l'Estrapade - 75005 - tel: 01-43-25-72-58. This is a teeny, tiny wonderful treat if you're in the Sorbonne area. English is not spoken, but the food is wonderful and the owner/waiter is very nice. It only has about 15 seats, so I'd suggest a reservation if you plan to go. We loved it here!!! Everything was delicious!!!
Chez Nenesse - Another tiny restaurant - we went after music in the area and would gladly return. It can seat about 20 - 25 and is a very homey, warm place where the husband and wife are the owners/chef/waiter. It really works and it's fun. 17, rue de Saintonge (Angle Rue de Poitou - Paris 75003 tel: 01-42-78-46-49 (This restaurant is closed on weekends and State holidays)
La Biche au Bois - This is a lively, fun restaurant within 2 blocks of the Bastille Opera House - where we had dinner after the opera one night. It features game and it's delicious - especially the mashed potatoes that go with the game! It's very crowded and is always filled so book early if you'd like to go. (M. Gare de Lyon) Tel: 01-43-43-34-38 - 45, av Ledru-Rollin)
Le Cottage Marcadet - 151 bis, Rue Marcadet - Paris 75018 - tel: 01-42-57-71-22. We had the best lunch here and spent a great deal of time talking with the owner who also serves as the chef. The restaurant is not from the Musee de Montmartre and is a treat. It is very French in the old sense - with lovely sauces and it is beautifully served. We would definitely return. This, too, is a small restaurant - serving about 20.
Of note: Les Editeurs --- in the Quartier Latin opposite the Odeon metro stop (café/restaurant) where I had previously recommended tea, a glass of wine or sandwich or whatever all hours of the day or night is now too crowded and noisy and smoke-filled. We found it not fun this trip.
We did find, however, another place for tea, wine, sandwich, or whatever for the same kind of experience. This is called Café de'l'esplanade - located very near Invalid -- 52, rue faubert, Paris 75007-- tel: 01-47-05-38-80. I had a fabulous croque monsieur and Fred had the best omelette!!! The staff was very accommodating and the place was filled but not stuffed. Everyone had time for everyone and the food was delicious.
We were told by some Americans whom we met to stay away from Allard... They said that it had gotten very pricey and the waiters were not good. Also, our favorite duck was just "okay." This was just a report from people we do not know, but it's worth mentioning! We haven't been back in a few years, but I was just passing it along ---
It was, as usual, an outstanding trip. We could not believe how little our dollar bought, but we made do and we loved every minute of our experience. Do go, don't worry and just enjoy. Yes, Paris was outrageously expensive, but it doesn't have to be for you and it's still a magical city with things to do all day and night and the food is so, so good!!! (BTW, We did make a usual stop at Lauderee - and enjoyed the macaroons, hot chocolate and café creme immensely!)
Regards, Susie, Newton, MA