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American-born travel journalist and guidebook author Heather Stimmler-Hall created the Secrets of Paris in 1999 to share the hidden side of the City of Light. Discover what you've been missing:

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Calendar of Paris Events

January 7 - February 17
The annual Winter Sales, aka Les Soldes, take place beginning midnight in shops throughout France, particularly on clothing.

Through February 15
Skate on the Eiffel Tower! There is an ice skating rink on the first level of the Eiffel Tower, free for those who already have a ticket for the Tower, open daily 10:30am-10:30pm. Skip the line by taking the stairs, it will help you warm up, too! Skates size 25-47 (EU), gloves are required. 

Through February 15
At the Place de la Concorde is the Grande Roue Ferris Wheel. Each enclosed "car" holds six people. €10 for adult, €5 for kids under 10, open daily 11am-midnight (Fri-Sat until 1am).  

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Wednesday
Apr012009

Galopins

Les Galopins
33 ave Philippe Auguste, 11th
Tel 01 43 67 01 23
M° Nation

Even if you don't think you'd ever travel across town for a good restaurant, this address is a good one to keep handy in case you're ever in the Nation or Père Lachaise district. Les Galopins is a typically French bistro-wine bar. The tobacco-yellow walls (rest assured, it's just the color of the paint; the smokers have a covered terrace for dining) are covered in vintage beer posters and retro cooking images, which go well with the simple wooden tables and red checkered cloth napkins. The menu is written on a chalk board (you can ask for the printed translation in English), with starters like os à moelle (bone marrow) and foie gras, and main dishes that are heavy on the red meat and fish (I didn't see any vegetarian dishes the night I was there). Desserts are also along the traditional, with crême brulée, profiteroles, and fondant au chocolat. The wine list is extensive, of course, and reasonably priced by the glass or pichet. 

The service is friendly, with a small beer or kir offered on arrival. When my dining companion wanted his steak cooked "just a teensy bit more" they did so perfectly and happily. The other diners were mostly in their 30s, couples and groups of friends, casually dressed. It's a cozy and warm atmosphere.

Dinner is à la carte and is about €35. Lunch formules are €12.50, menus are €15 and €18.50.

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Reader Comments (1)

A really special restaurant, Frequented by the locals which is always a good sign. We visited twice last week.The food &service was superb on both occasions.Totally loved it and we would undoubtedyly return on our next visit to Paris.
April 28, 2009 | Unregistered Commenterjmrb

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