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“A heads-up for first-time visitors...”
Review of Cafe des Musees

Cafe des Musees
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Ranked #530 of 17,515 Restaurants in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
Price range: $18 - $42
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine
Dining options: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner, Late Night, Reservations
Neighborhood: Le Marais
Description: Located in the famous area of Le Marais, Le Café des Musées is an authentic parisian "bistrot" that owes its reputation to its fine cuisine and its warm ambiance. Our food & wine menus evolve as the seasons go by, to propose you the best of what our French regions have to offer.
Reviewed July 17, 2013

I have previously reviewed this bistro, but feel the need to repeat it, after several friends came away disappointed. Here's what you should know before you go:

First, this is not a "tourist-oriented" establishment. It's a busy, local bistrot, where food is cooked to order - it's "authentic", but that might not be what you have in mind. You won't find a tender, thick steak or a fat-free cut of pork - meats are different in France, so don't order them, if that's what you want. You will find a very good quality boeuf tartare, escargots in garlic butter, and a traditional "chew-y" minute steak, though. Very often, chilled sea snails with mayonnaise, andouillette or boudin noir and soup made from radish leaves are on the menu. This is French food, prepared the way locals like it.

Second, do take the time to look at the menu, which is posted outside in both French and English. You may not find anything you like, especially if you are picky eaters, and should know this before you sit down. Each person is expected to order a reasonable amount of food - if you are not hungry, or planning on sharing portions, you should go elsewhere. No substitutions or special orders are available, and it is not possible to just order a side dish of potatoes au gratin for your meal. "Special orders" do upset the very busy staff - they are not possible, so don't ask.

Third, CDM has been "discovered", and is usually packed. This is both good and bad, for obvious reasons. What this means to you is that you really should reserve ahead - call or stop by, generally a day or so in advance, more in busy season. The staff is young, but professional - they are also over-worked. They do the best they can, but when this involves translating the entire menu a hundred times a night for various demanding foreigners, they can seem a bit less than charming. Don't take it personally.

If you are looking for "authentic French bistrot food and ambiance", and are open to eating interesting, quality, typically French ingredients - this is it.
If you are looking for "a romantic evening in a cosy Paris restaurant, where the waiter has time to cater to your every need" - this is most definitely not it.
If you are looking for outside dining, this is not recommended - the space is very limited, and located on a busy intersection.
Though we live here, and this is our favorite neighborhood spot, we don't recommend it anymore to most people.

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8  Thank pattyinparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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Reviews (677)
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256 - 260 of 677 reviews

Reviewed July 11, 2013

They say patience, patience while in France due to the overall horrible service you receive in many of the restaurants. This place takes it to a new level. The food - 3 of the 5 meals were sent back. Asked for medium on the meat. Came back raw. The place was very busy suggesting it night be pretty good. It wasn't! Keep looking

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Thank Mike P
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2013

Had dinner here with my niece who has been in Paris for the last 2 years finishing her masters degree. We tried the formula menu: watercress soup, roast rabbit, followed by selection from the dessert menu. The desserts were ok but the watercress soup and entrée were very good! Loved the blob of butter floating in my soup, so simple yet so delish! The roast rabbit was very well cooked, extremely flavorful. Not bad for the price of 25 euros. Service was good, not overly solicitous but neither were they rude. I would definitely go back as it is in the wonderful neighborhood of Marais.

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Thank CloeNTravels
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 24, 2013 via mobile

Another great restaurant in Marais area. Traditional French food, always qualitative, perfectly cook and delicious. Nice wine list too. Nothing special about the setting and if you book which is highly recommended, better make sure to avoid table in the basement which have no interest at all.

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Thank Virspec
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 12, 2013

We love this little cafe. For lunch today, I had a salad of goat cheese, greens, and lima beans followed by roast pork and potatoes au gratin. Pork was tender with a good sauce, roasted with whole garlic cloves. Potatoes were extraordinary. My wife enjoyed the mushrooms stuffed with escargot and the smoke salmon plate. When I asked the waiter for a glass of red wine, he asked, "Do you trust me?" I'm glad I did.

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1  Thank anchorbill
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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