Romantic restaurant in Paris for less than 100 euros (give or take)?
March 2, 2014 2:42 PM   Subscribe

We'll be in Paris on March 13th and 14th. We're staying very close to the Musée d'Orsay but we're willing to travel off the beaten path. Currently we've found Les Climats which seems highly regarded and right up our alley in terms of menu. However... husband thinks it might be overpriced and that we could spend less (than 45 euros each) somewhere not right in the middle of a tourist area. I speak some French so we definitely don't require an English speaking restaurant. I don't care about "fanciness" in terms of decor, but we DO want romance (i.e. not a place where one might find children, etc). This will be for our wedding anniversary, after all! And naturally, good food is a must. We are interested in modern cuisine, but classic French would do as well.

posted by ancient star to Food & Drink (9 answers total) 14 users marked this as a favorite
For our wedding anniversary (for which we happened to be in Paris), we went to Cafe Le Moderne.
posted by matildaben at 2:49 PM on March 2, 2014

I'm a bit wary of making a recommendation that is not based on my own experience, but if I were to be in Paris, this is where I'd go for a recommendation:

David Lebovitz is an American living in Paris. He has a food blog and has published a couple of books. Here is his page on places to go eat in Paris.
posted by sciencegeek at 2:52 PM on March 2, 2014 [2 favorites]

I was just in Paris this December. I had a wonderful, cozy, charming experience eating at the relatively-new Coistot Vino in the 9th. It's located alllll the way at the back of one of the nicer "passages". The food is wonderful, the wine list is small but supposedly fantastic, and it's got a sort of rustic romanticism - it's not hoity-toity and fancy, but it feels OBSCENELY Parisian and special and hidden. Plus, you'd have to try damned hard to exceed your budget.
posted by julthumbscrew at 3:03 PM on March 2, 2014 [3 favorites]

Was there recently and kept ending up in this place: L'elephant du Nil. They dim the lights at night. The food was good and the staff are as helpful as you need them to be. It's right off the Seine so the 'late night walk' can happen. The area, Marais, is hive of streets to wander where tea shops, wine bars, and chocolaterias abound.

We spent a lot of time Montmarte and if you wander off the main streets you'll keep encountering wonderful, little eateries. We did organic veggie spots, amazing Italian with home made noodles, straight up French cuisine, and every place had a decent wine selection. Most of the 'nicer' places were devoid of kids and had great atmosphere.
posted by artof.mulata at 3:30 PM on March 2, 2014

We had a really outstanding meal last fall at Youpi & Voilà. Sounds like it's exactly what you're looking for. (Plus it's in the 10th, so way outside of the normal tourist areas.)

You might also like Verjus, although it's a bit above your price range (~60 euros per person).
posted by asterix at 3:33 PM on March 2, 2014 [1 favorite]

Seconding sciencegeek's recommendation of reading David Lebovitz; not only is he a food blogger and writer, he used to cook at Chez Panisse for 13 years, if that gives you a better idea of the kind of food he appreciates to see if it matches up with what you'd like. I wish I had more personal recommendations, but it's been too long since I was there. Enjoy!
posted by Pandora Kouti at 3:46 PM on March 2, 2014

Hey, I'll be there then too. If you're interested in history of science, I'll be giving a talk March 13 at the ENS (rue d'Ulm). Probably not, though....

If you don't mind crossing the Seine to the 1st (on the border with the 2nd, a short walk from where you are), I would recommend that you check out Macéo, in the rue des Petits-Champs, just behind the Palais-Royal. I have never had a bad meal there. The menus are reasonably priced, they have vegetarian options (not vegan--this is Paris, after all), and the wine list is excellent (the restaurant is owned by the owners of Willy's Wine Bar, just a few doors down).

You could also try the Atelier de Joël Robuchon, not too far from where you'll be staying. It's not exactly white-tablecloth romantic. Think of eating at a Woolworth's lunch counter, but with better decor and, above all, exquisite French food. They take reservations only for the first seating, which is ridiculously early for Paris (6:30 pm, if I recall correctly); after that, it's show up and wait in line. But you'll get a highly memorable dinner for half or a third of the price of a fancier place.
posted by brianogilvie at 5:54 PM on March 2, 2014

P.S. I would have recommended my favorite restaurant of all time in Paris, Le Pamphlet, but it closed. Other possibilities (Google for more info):

- Cotte Rôti, an up-and-coming place in the 12th near the Marché d'Aligre
- Fish La Boissonnerie, not too far from you (maybe more noisy than romantic, though)
- Le Bouillon Racine, close to you in the 6th, lovely Art Nouveau dining room and good traditional cuisine
- Le Bastide Odéon, also relatively close to you, good traditional food.

I'll also put in a plug for a trip to the wilds of the 20th arrondissement, not too far from Nation:

- Les Allobroges. Not only is this an excellent place to get traditional southwestern French cuisine in a quiet, elegant setting, the proprietors even served me and my guest a meal on a night when they were normally closed. They had a private party that evening in the rear dining room, so when I called to ask for a table, they said they could accommodate me in the front.
posted by brianogilvie at 6:01 PM on March 2, 2014

I lived in Paris for a few years and used David Lebovitz's blog a lot for recs, although he doesn't focus exclusively on restaurants so you'll have to skim. Another good Paris blogger who does focus on eating out is John Talbott ( He includes a lot of higher-end but decently priced places and has his blog organized by arrondissement so you can find what you're looking for. I found his reviews very spot on and had a number of excellent meals thanks to his blog.
posted by tractorfeed at 8:13 AM on March 6, 2014

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