Americans probably spend more time in the small area around the Place de l’Opera, the Opera itself and the department stores of Galeries Lafayette and Printemps than the whole rest of the quartier and know the rest very little.
But there is more out there. One of my favorite museums is the Musee de la Vie Romantique and while its special exhibitions go from the familiar to the strange, it’s a great setting. Less interesting for me are the Musee Gustave Moreau and Musee Grevin, a misnomer for the wax exhibition but a great show can be seen at the Drouot auction house with its almost unceasing rotation of exhibitions and sales of everything from Picassos to grandma’s silver. I strongly recommend just walking in and around and sometimes even bidding if you know your stuff.
It’s not a great quarter for famous walks, you’re mainly going from point A to point B. But I do know friends who enjoy walking from the base of the hill right up to Sacre Coeur.
As for restaurants, oddly enough, there’s not a lot. Chez Catherine’s on the Rue de Provence was superb before she moved to bigger, pricier space in the 8th and about the toniest place is actually le Chene Vert in the Galeries themselves. I think the best undiscovered Paris place may well be Carte Blanche, that Georgette is a nifty place for dinner, that Le Petrelle is a quirky place with good food, that J’Go has great lamb, but of course that’s what they do (J’Go, Gigot, got it?), that the Domaine de Lintillac is a great place for dark and dirty meat of all sorts, that La Grange Bateliere will fill the bistro need, and that Le Jardinier is new and politically correct for your diet and, while I find it pricey, Chez Jean serves up some very good chow.
So, as usual, here are my favorites in the 9th
6, rue Lamartine, 9th (Metro : Notre Dame de Lorette)
T : 01.48.78.12.20
Closed Saturday noon and Sundays
Menus at 25 and 31 €, a la carte 35 €.
29, rue Saint Georges, 9th (Metro : Notre Dame de Lorette)
T : 01.42.80.39.13
Closed Saturday, Sunday and Mondays
A la carte about 35 €.
34, rue Petrelle, 9th (Metro: Anvers)
Closed Sundays and Mondays and open only for dinner
A la carte about 50 €.
La Grange Bateliere
16, rue de la Grange Bateliere, 9th (Metro : Richelieu Drouot)
T : 01.47.70.85.15
Closed for dinner weekends
Menus 25 and 30 €, a la carte about 55 €.
*Originally published in September 2006
Update May 2009.
There is no question that the culinary event of the last 3 years was the opening of Daniel Rose’s Spring. Word was so positive that he soon had one of the longest waiting lists in Paris.
While he closed up shop, last week he started taking reservations for dinner on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday evenings and next Saturday, May 30th he’s “starting a new formula at SPRING. Service all day... no reservations. Champagne, cold beer and LOBSTER SANDWICHES. Just what you always wanted during an economic crisis- a pricey luxury sandwich and enough cheap booze to help you forget about it. Call ahead and order live lobsters to go at cost + 5 eurobucks.”
As great as it is, one also should note the other additions to the quartier: La Canaille, Sobane, Carte Blanche, Cul de Poule and l’Office.
The standout here is:
28, rue de la Tour d’Auvergne, 9th, (Metro: St Georges or Pigalle)
Open Wednesday-Friday for dinner with one seating at 8:30-9 PM 48€
Saturdays a new formula with service all day... no reservations. Champagne, cold beer and lobster sandwiches.
Also - live lobsters to go at cost + 5 eurobucks.