Monday, January 09, 2006

Paris Bistrot


If you come to Paris, you have to pay a visit to a Bistrot. A Bistrot (which apparently means "quick" in Russian) is the French equivalent to the English pub or the American diner. You find one at virtually every street corner and it's the perfect place to order "un p'tit noir" (an espresso) or "un p'tit blanc" (a glass of white wine) if you are more into alcohol... The atmosphere is hard to describe you have to experience it!

25 comments:

  1. I'd love to, but because I am American, I'd be hated... for good reason, though I am not like a lot of Americans.

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  2. My daughter, Megan, spent a few months in Paris this past summer with her uncle and she still talks about the great time she had and going to the corner bistrot was a big part of it. She said that the staff does not rush you and that she felt very comfortable in Paris. Thanks to all of the great French people that she met and made her feel welcome!

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  3. Great shot with the mirrors. I love this sort of moody, natural lighting kind of photo. And of course Bistrots as well :)

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  4. Bistrots (or "troquets") are part of my life. Real huge part of my life! ;-) "petit noir" for me, not "petit blanc ou rouge"...

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  5. There's an intimate, mystical, aura about French Bistrot's. I've yet to find anything elsewhere that compares. Great lighting in this photo, which adds to that feeling of being there.

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  6. My friend Cyril Lerisse opened a restaurant here in San Diego, in a relatively 'trendy' quartier. He did an excellent job of imitating the petit bistro du coin, with the classic affordable dishes -- foie de veau, hachis parmentier, poulet a l'estragon etc. Guess what? It failed. Apparently it's a cultural and gastronomic phenomenon that doesn't travel.

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  7. I think it is a good shot: I can feel the atmosphere just like if I were there....which actually was the case !! I also love the nose !!

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  8. I love the reflection of the reflection of the reflection of the reflection....you get the idea!

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  9. Crallspace: You're just giving in to the stereotype!

    Look, I grew up in France and I really don't know where this stereotype is coming from, because honestly, it was never obvious to me that "we" [French people] hated Americans. Yet, that's all I ever heard since I came to live in the States years ago. Nobody, however, could ever give a good reason why they were saying that or state a specific incident to support that idea.

    Right now, there may be a strong ... ahem... "difference of opinion" between the leaders of France and USA's but then again, there is a strong difference of opinion between one half of the USA and the other half...

    Another comment I hear constantly is how French people don't "remember" the help given during WW2. In that regard, I'd suggest you read this article written by an American expat in Paris. She's explained it better than I ever could.

    Anyway, crawlspace, I hope you do go to Paris some day, and I hope you have a wonderful time. Many American people do (yes, even in Paris!).

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  10. And now, what I really came to say:

    Good shot, Eric, with the mirrors!!! Well done, indeed!

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  11. A little bit of history about "bistrot" (or "bistro", as both writings are accepted)/ As Eric wrote, it's said to be russian. If I believed my history teachers from many years ago… it comes from the russian soldiers who were camping on the Champs-Elysées after the fall of Napoleon.

    > Tomate Farcie : ;o)

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  12. Crallspace: Americans are definitely not hated here in France. OTOH, G.W. may be ;)
    And judging by your photo, I would say I appreciate people into Pantera/Korn/SOAD :) But "l'habit ne fait pas le moine", of course...

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  13. Now, if you are going to talk about W, then that's a completely different story!!! :-) But hey, he doesn't have very many fans here either (in San Francisco).

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  14. And that's good news :)

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  15. I really miss Paris' bistrots. They are so comfortable and charming, and the food is unpretentious and delicious.

    Do you mind sharing some of your favourites, Eric, and other readers?

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  16. I am a retired American Naval Officer and I was stationed for 2 years in London, England. (1985-86) I had heard the stories about the French treating Americans rudely, but when I visited Paris I had exactly the opposite experience.

    On time I was in the Paris subway having trouble with the automatic ticket sales machine. A french man came up to me and when it became clear I didn't have a clue about the money to put in, he took money from his own pocket and bought my ticket.

    As far as US/French Navy to Navy relationships, I was always treated very well by my colleagues in the French Navy. When I visited their ships I was wined and dined in a very 1st class manner.

    I think that today there are many people who think American foreign policy is out of whack, but that is hardly hate for the American people as a whole. As someone mentioned above, half of America is in disagreement with the current administration.

    In any event, America's relationship with France goes back the the American Revolution. I'm sure we will get over "freedom fries" and continue our long alliance.

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  17. Tomate farcie--> It doesn't seem that Sprint will be a good option!

    CNN) -- Users of Sprint's mobile and long-distance phone service in the western United States faced a widespread outage that lasted more than three hours Monday after a fiber-optic cable was cut in California, the telephone company said.

    The outage affected customers using long-distance and Internet services across much of the region.

    Internet service on Sprint Nextel phones was also delayed, the company said.

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  18. Love the shot...I was in France not too long ago, all over Europe actually. But the nicest people that I met, out of everywhere I went, was in France.

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  19. Do you mind sharing some of your favourites, Eric, and other readers?

    I'll give you one, and it's way off the beaten track. Le Commerce, right by the métro station of the same name in the 15eme. In classic style, it has a bustling and friendly stand-up bar, a terrace (where your petit blanc sec costs a little more) and a dining area with all those unpretentious but tasty bistro dishes.

    By the way Julia, looking at your list of favourite things, I'd say we're highly compatible!

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  20. Here's a good one...

    Bistro de Breteuil
    3, Place de Breteuil
    75007 Paris
    Tel. : +(33) 1 45 67 07 27
    Fax : +(33) 1 42 73 11 08
    http://www.eng.cityvox.fr/restaurants_paris/bistro-de-breteuil_6363/Profil-Place

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  21. BISTRO(T), OTE, (BISTRO, BISTROT)subst.
    A. Fam. Petit café, petit restaurant sympathique et modeste. Courir les bistrots :
    1. Il allait se faire de bons copains des gars qui seraient allés au front comme lui il dénicherait un petit bistro convenable pour manger à midi, il trouverait une chambre pas trop loin, pour pouvoir se lever tard.
    DORGELÈS, Les Croix de bois, 1919, p. 312.
    2. Après le meeting on est allé dans un bistro manger de la choucroute et boire de la bière, ...
    S. DE BEAUVOIR, Les Mandarins, 1954, p. 553.

    B. P. méton. Le patron de cet établissement. Tulacque était bistro à la barrière du Trône (BARBUSSE, Le Feu, 1916, p. 22) :
    3. Ils ont un compte au cabaret, et se décident à travailler deux ou trois jours de temps en temps, lorsque le bistrot menace de se fâcher.
    ROMAINS, Les Hommes de bonne volonté, La Douceur de la vie, 1939, p. 199.
    Au fém. Bistrote. Femme qui tient un café :
    4. Avec un long épi, il [Vieublé] était occupé à chatouiller de loin le creux de la main de la bistrote, qui faisait la belle avec ses compagnes.
    DORGELÈS, Les Croix de bois, 1919, p. 178.
    PRONONC. ET ORTH. : [ ]. Lar. 20e écrit bistro, DUB. et Lar. encyclop. Suppl. 1968 écrivent bistrot. ROB., Lar. encyclop., QUILLET 1965 et ROB. Suppl. 1970 admettent bistro ou bistrot; ce dernier ajoute la forme bistrote ,,n.f. Femme qui tient un café.``
    ÉTYMOL. ET HIST. 1884 arg. pop. bistro « cabaretier » (G. MOREAU, Souvenirs de la Petite et de la Grande Roquette, t. 2, p. 3); 1892 bistrot (TIMM.); d'où le fém. bistrote [1914 d'apr. ESN. sans attest.]; 1919, supra ex. 4.
    Orig. obsc.; à rattacher au poit. bistraud « petit domestique » d'orig. inc. (cf. FEW t. 22, 2, p. 61a; v. aussi ESN., s.v. bistaud) si l'on suppose que le mot a tout d'abord désigné l'aide du marchand de vin, plutôt qu'à relier à bistingo « cabaret » 1845 (RAISSON, Une Sombre histoire, I, 40 dans Fr. mod., t. 19, 1951, p. 203), bustingue (avec coquille?) « hôtel où couchent les bohémiens » 1848 (A. PIERRE, Arg. et jargon, ibid.) et bistringue, bastringue*, tous d'orig. obsc.; l'hyp. qui voit dans le mot, l'adaptation du russe bistro « vite » remontant aux cosaques assoiffés occupant Paris en 1814 n'est pas suffisamment fondée. Le -t final qui permet le fém. bistrote (cf. supra prononc. et orth.) est dû aux nombreux mots fr. en -ot à valeur affective (cf. NYROP t. 3, § 287-291).

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  22. Thanks Michael and Stu!

    PS Stu, care to elaborate? ;-)

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  23. PS Stu, care to elaborate? ;-)

    Well just for a start, 8 of your 9 main interests are also main interests of mine. However, in a matter of hours I'll be indulging Interest #2, travel -- off to Paris, no less. I'll chat you up a bit more when I get back. *hug*

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  24. Bon voyage Stu - look forward to hearing about your trip (Paris, sigh) and chatting more.

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