Dinner in Paris: Brasserie vs. BistroApril 21, 2015
Welcome to the first installment of the Food & Travel series of GIC’s blog! As you know, throughout the year, GIC brings its members around the globe through its programming aimed at creating meaningful dialogue on issues that affect our international community—and with that, comes some truly extraordinary travel opportunities. I am pleased to be able to share the memories of GIC’s international events, outside the conference venue walls: the dinners and tourism, as well as recommendations and lessons learned from GIC’s experiences around the world.
Having just returned from GIC’s eighth conference in Paris, it seems only right for the first post to feature the City of Light. Paris has always been a very special destination for GIC as it was the venue for our very first international conference in 2004. This preliminary group, a small but mighty delegation of 12 globally minded American business leaders, has developed over the years into delegations over 50 members in size and representing all parts of the international community. With plans already in place to return in 2016, Paris will continue to be a GIC favorite.
Those readers who’ve joined our international conferences will likely recall attending the opening welcome dinner, our traditional conference kick-off event that welcomes speakers and delegates. These dinners provide an opportunity for our members and speakers to interact, share stories and engage in discussion in a casual and relaxed atmosphere. And did I mention the wine? The cuisine is just another example of what makes Paris a preferred destination for GIC, as the dining experience in Paris is an event in and of itself.
Historically, GIC has held its welcome dinners at a charming little bistro on the Ile Saint Louis, Aux Anysetiers du Roy. Owned and operated by the warm-hearted and talented Chef Liliane Khalil, for many years, GIC’s delegations have enjoyed getting acquainted with one another and with the pleasures of traditional French cuisine here. Situated in a building dating back to 1594, Liliane offers hearty French classics such as onion soup, bœuf bourguignon and crème brulée in a cozy setting, complete with beautiful ancient frescos adorning the walls. A visit to Aux Anysetiers du Roy, which is classified as a national heritage site, would make a memorable addition to anyone’s trip to Paris.
On March 22, GIC welcomed 50 guests at our opening dinner, thus outgrowing our sweet Liliane’s bistro. Moving into the heart of the 4th arrondissment at the Place de la Bastille, and thanks to the suggestion of Board Member and part-time Parisian J. Paul Horne, we held our dinner at the popular Brasserie Bofinger. (Brasserie, translating to “brewery,” is a large restaurant that serves the same menu all day. A bistro, on the other hand, is a small, informal, neighborhood restaurant with simple food, usually with a single owner or chef-owned.) Our members occupied almost the entire second floor and filled the air with the clinking of wine glasses and raucous debate on topics ranging from the future of the Euro to the future of the bottle of Bordeaux at the end of the table—all while the polite and professional servers, clad in jackets and bowties, expeditiously delivered escargot and grilled Norwegian Salmon.
Having planned four conferences for GIC in this amazing city, it’s clear, to me that we will always have Paris.
- Aux Anysetiers Du Roy: 61 Rue Saint-Louis en l’Île, 75004 Paris, France +33 1 56 24 84 58
- Brasserie Bofinger: 5-7 Rue de la Bastille, 75004 Paris, France +33 1 42 72 87 82
Other restaurants enjoyed by our delegates include: