At La Cité de L'Architecture & Patrimoine, visitors can view France's architectural delights under one roof.

Facing the Eiffel Tower on the Right Bank, the museum's collection of plans, models and blueprints for the country's architectural treasures, as well as shards of historical monuments, is billing itself as the biggest center of its kind in the world. While its temporary galleries opened their doors March, the permanent collection of French architecture and monuments from the 12th century to the present will open Friday.

Located in the Palais de Chaillot at the Place du Trocadéro, La Cité de L'Architecture, with a rooftop terrace and a stunning view of Paris, was designed by French architect Jean-François Bodin with galleries that curb around the building's original foundation.

Temporary exhibits include La Villa de Mademoiselle B., a Barbie doll villa and fashion line designed by nine French women architects, which runs Oct. 11 until Jan. 27. On the second level, projects for the Mies van der Rohe 2007 prize, Europe's most prestigious biennial architectural prize, will be on display by architects such as David Chipperfield, Norman Foster, Zaha Hadid and Jean Nouvel.

— Emilie Marsh


He may already have a Michelin-starred restaurant in Le Violon d'Ingres, an annex and a noted fish restaurant Les Tables de la Fontaine on the Rue Saint-Dominique, but chef Christian Constant has just opened a fourth venue on the same street. Les Cocottes de Christian Constant specializes in seasonal dishes in single-serving cast iron cocottes (French ovens).

"I wanted to do fast food à la Française," the chef said. "My idea was to offer good food and good prices in a setting where people don't linger at the table," although President Nicolas Sarkozy called a lunch meeting here recently.

That seating is limited — there are three tables and the rest of the seating is counter-side — and has le tout Paris angling for a spot. Constant's protégé, Philippe Cadeau, changes the menu weekly: look for mushrooms, game and scallops at the moment, but prices stay the same at about 15 euros, or $20.68 at current exchange, for a cocotte, and 7 to 10 euros, or $9.65 to $13.79, for soups and salads.There are no reservations, not even a phone, so the best shot at beating the line is to show up early, by 12:15 p.m. for lunch and 7:15 p.m. for dinner, or opt for the basic menu during off hours.

Les Cocottes de Christian Constant is located at 135 Rue Saint-Dominique, 75007

— Tina Isaac


Located on Rue Saint Sulpice in the heart of Saint-Germain des Prés, the charming Hôtel Odéon Saint-Germain offers luxurious intimacy and a convivial atmosphere.

Recently decorated by Jacques Garcia, the 27-room hotel has a refined decor with warm colors like ochre and grayish beige for the velvet and taffeta curtains or prune for the thick carpets. But the designer also kept the original white beams and cut stone. Price ranges from 150 euros, or $205, for a classic room, to 480 euros, or $657, for the junior suite equipped with a hammam.

Hôtel Odéon Saint-Germain is located at 132 Rue Saint Sulpice, 75006; +33.1.4325.7011.

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