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Le Petit Bofinger: The Charming "Baby Bo" * 4e
Le Petit Bofinger is across the street from its parent, Brasserie Bofinger. It is smaller, more intimate and a bit less pricey. We had a delicious dinner here on our last night in Paris. It specializes in fish as opposed to the parent charcuterie.
Favorite Dish: I loved my salmon and the husband said his meat and potatoes were excellent also.
Absolutely Smoke-Free Restos: Smoke-free Food
Many of you will be happy to know that in 2008 this tip will be obsolete as Paris moves to non-smoking restaurants!
I know there are many of you out there who do not like dining in smoke-filled environs in Paris. Many think that the smoke interferes with the taste of the food & the overall atmosphere.
Now, I KNEW Bofinger was strictly smoke-free in its famed domed dining room (it has to be to protect the beauty of the dome). I had read about the "smoking police" in Patricia Wells' definitive foodie tome Food Lover's Guide to Paris. I found out first-hand my last trip there. At one point, I smelled a faint whiff of smoke and then NO MORE.
I also knew that many salons de the were smoke-free. Now, here is a list of completely smoke-free places to eat. To see a further list of places that are "mostly" smoke-free please consult the website listed below.
A Priori The
- 35 Galerie Vivienne, 2e
-30, rue Bourg-Tibourg, 4e
-13, rue des Grands-Augustins, 6e
-Le Bon Marche, 24 rue Sevres, 7e
-13 rue des Grands-Augustins, 8e
-Lafayette Maison, 35 Bd Haussmann, 9e
-Printemps Haussmann, 64 Bd Haussmann, 9e
-Printemps Italie 2, 30 avenue d'Italie, 13e
-10, rue Victor Cousin, 5e
Le Petit Vatel
-5, rue Lobineau, 6e
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
-5, rue de Montalambert, 7e
Le Jardin de Fees
-29 rue des Trois Bornes, 11e
-57 rue Ramey, 18e
La Table d'Helene
-14, rue du Duc, 18e
Favorite Dish: My last trip to Paris (February 2006) I noticed a lot less smokers in Paris and more smoke-free restos & more espace non-fumeur in the restaurants. So even though the smoke-free law didn't pass Parisians seem to be more aware & smoking less.
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We've been served french fries that hadn't been finished by some previous customers, by some other fingers... (how many?). Under the first fries, some others had already ketchup on them!!
I don't want to think more about the way they cook the rest of the meal with that strange spirit...
I wrote to complain (in french, I am french) but the don't seem to care at all.
Don't go there, it is just a tourist trap.
Favorite Dish: none.
We were so excited to be able to eat at one of Paris oldest brassieres. I had booked a month in advance and requested a seat near the glass dome downstairs.
We also made sure we were dressed nicely for the occasion, but on entering the restaurant this quickly became apparent wasn't enough.
Like many other reviews I have seen, we were quickly and rudely ushered up the stairs by the maitre'd and sat in the corner of a backroom away from the fashionable Parisians downstairs. This, we quickly realised was the "tourist room".
The waiter eventually gave us some menus after about 10 minutes of waiting and then ignored us for another 10 without offering us any drinks or the wine menu.
As the menu was written entirely in French I wanted to ask a couple of questions about some items to have them translated so I knew what I was ordering. Again when asked the waiter was rude and impatient.
I almost walked out when another waitress came over to serve the wine. She had the nerve to actually shout at me for not "tasting it properly" saying to swirl the glass first. The whole room of other diners turned round to stare at this point causing embarrassment for me and my girlfriend.
The wine glasses themselves also had to be changed as they were filthy as was my girlfriend’s cutlery. All the dinner plates were scratched and chipped.
After an unmemorable first course of foie gras pate that was just thrown on a plate with a sprig of parsley we were served a crab lasagne that although was tasty, was also full of crab shell so every other bite was like eating sand.
After this we couldn't wait to leave, so after eventually being presented with a hefty bill of €75 imagine our surprise to see a queue out of the door waiting to get a table! It dawned on us then that they live off the hype of being the "oldest brassiere in Paris" so they don't need to care, people will flock here anyway.
The only way you’re going to get good food and service in here is if you’re a French president, a film star, or a fashionable Parisian with more money than sense.
If you’re not, I would give it a wide berth.
Bofinger: What a Disappointment
I was really disappointed in Bofinger. On the positive side, the building is beautiful and the staff was attentive. However, I found it too touristy.
First, the food was overdone and rushed.
Second, I would agree with the earlier reviewer who recommended that one dress for dinner there, but for a different reason. We had reservations and were nicely dressed, but we, too, were seated in a corner in a little room upstairs, probably the same table that the casually dressed reviewer was seated. What annoyed me was that my husband and I had dressed for a special occasion, dining in a historic, romantic place I had wanted to go to for years, and they sat us next to tables of French couples in Euro Disney tshirts or worse.
Bofinger: OK to miss this one
This restaurant is a Parisian institution, but I would not really recommend it, and I was sorry that this was our last meal in Paris. The service was terrible, with our condescending waiter disappearing mid-way through the meal. The food was absolutely forgettable.
Bofinger: Bofinger & it's Dazzling Dome
Not as expensive as you'd think the oldest, most historic brasserie in Paris would be. Brasseries are breweries serving Alsatian cuisine and seafood.
My mother would adore the decor of this place - the fabled stained-glass Art Nouveau 1919 cupola IS gorgeous, the dome is interspersed throughout with colors in green, blue, and rose. The glistening dark wood of the entrance grand stairway is stunning. Overall it's a very nice, very peaceful ambience and just a great dining experience.
Service was good but with the typical French measured time. Didn't experience the bad service that the American French-food critic, Patricia Wells, says she's experienced of late. Perhaps management has taken note of her complaints. I spoke with Ms. Wells this past June at a book-signing in Cincinnati and she stated she would not be going back.
I knew I was going to be arriving about 15 minutes late so I had the concierge at my hotel call ahead. When I arrived the Maitre d' jovially remarked that at LAST they were able to meet me! Ah, the French and their sense of humor.
NON-SMOKING RESTAURANT: I was seated in the non-smoking area (the stained-glass domed area) and for one second I smelled cigarette smoke but then no longer. The new Bofinger smoking police were in effect.
Make reservations direct on the website. They usually run web-only specials so take advantage.
Listed in the following guides/books:
Cadogan Guides Paris
Fodor's Paris (Gold Guide series)
The Food Lover's Guide to Paris by Patricia Wells
Frommer's Irreverent Guide to Paris
The Historic Restaurants of Paris by Ellen Williams
Rick Steves' Paris
Favorite Dish: Chateaubriand
My dinner was absolutely faboo: soup a l'oignon gratinee (but did require a smidgen of salt), supremely tender chateaubriand steak with superb haricots vert (French green beans) & grilled tomatoes, kir vin blanc (white wine with creme de cassis, a blackcurrant liqueuer), glass of Beaujolais & creme brulee (mais oui!). Mmmmm.
Did not try them but there were beautiful stacked trays of seafood artfully arranged. Bofinger is also famous for their choucroute (sauerkraut & sausage) platters.
Dinner total: 46.50euro
Various restos: Can't miss the French food...
Can't miss the French food, absolutely delicious...manage to seriously put on weight after living in France for 4 months...
Here's some sugestions if u don't want to spend much on your meals:
- Chez Clemence, as it's a chain, u'll manage to find it everywhere
- plenty of restaurants and bars in Republique, Rue de Lappe, spanish, french whatever u want
- Romain, bit Italian and French but still has delicious carpaccio boeuf & somon, foie gras etc
Favorite Dish: Best cheese & excellent wines
- Food and Dining
Bofinger: Don't Underdress!!
I would like to be able to tell you about the dome in the downstairs center of the restaurant since I thought we had reservations there a week in advance, but I didn't take into account what I didn't know....meaning you can't go there underdressed and expect to be seated in what I imagine is a prime spot. Instead we were virtually shunned to the remote corner in the upstairs. We worked hard at not being the "ugly americans", but in this particular case it didn't seem to matter.
For the money (not to mention the overall service and feel) we would go up the street to La Bar a Huites. The food was better and the service outstanding. Very good atmosphere as well.
Favorite Dish: We did enjoy the food. We had a good seafood platter (I hope you enjoy very large snails...these babies were big!)
Had a very nice dinner at...
Had a very nice dinner at 'Bofinger'. Met a cousin and her son and friend. We all ate, talked (more or less, my cousin's English was non-existant and my French wasn't much better), drank and generally had a very enjoyable evening.
Paintings by Hansi, mosaics by Panzani, ceramics, and a breathtaking cupola and medallions adorn this 'brasserie'.
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