Where to take classy American-in-Paris foodies?
- Tara Aug 12, 1999 01:06 PM
My godfather, who is a diplomat, and his family are
coming to town from Paris at the end of the month and
I need a good place to take them to dinner. The
qualifications: they don't want French, Chinese, or
too shellfishy a menu (I don't think they eat it); it
must be quiet enough for lots of conversation; and,
preferably, downtown (they are staying in the
financial district). He picks up the check, so I
don't want it to be too pricey. They liked Home the
first time we went there, but the second time we had a
bad experience with service. Some kind of ecclectic
food would be best, but it has to be really good -
these people are hardcore and aren't afraid to
Thanks for any suggestions.
French inspired, perhaps; the chefs have always been
americans, and to my taste it could equally well be
called "New American", whatever that means. As for the
expense, you are right, this may be on the high end,
especially if you go for one of their lovely
burgundies, but I don't think these folks are looking
for a budget restaurant. Montrachet is not in the luxe
category, and offers more value than many others in
the same price range, a good dining environment for
conversation, and a distinctly downtown ambiance.
I think most places in Tribeca are closed on Sundays.
Try calling Canal House at the Soho Grand Hotel and
ask them to fax you a copy of the menu. I think there
was a chef change there recently, so I'm not sure what
the food is like now. However, I think the restaurant
should be quiet enough for your conversations (I would
still ask about that when calling).
re: Gary Cheong
How about Dok Suni? Korean is *lousy* in Paris, and
it's trendy, a bit unbuttoned, not too expensive, and
pretty well-executed. This would be a very *downtown*
way to go, but then, they might appreciate that.
You'd never find kaiseki in Paris. Sugiyama is not
downtown, but it is lovely, and there was only one
tiny shellfish in my meal, though you are looking at a
$60 prix fixe per person, which is definitely on the
pricier side, even by Parisian standards. Elegant
setting, if a bit understated, with gracious service.
Certainly any Danny Meyer would do nicely--I would
choose the cafe area at Gramercy; it's a bit less
expensive, and the desserts are exquisite.
Dok Suni is an awfully loud room, and while the food
there tastes pretty good, it's kind of Americanized.
If they've never had Korean and they want it you should
probably go somewhere else for an intro. (I like Cho
Dang Gol on 35th. Not downtown, though, or even
especially fancy, although it is affordable and not
How about Periyali? Are they open on Sunday?
I would stay away from Odeon. The food was
inconsistent when I was there, and it isn't really
special enough for the kind of meal you seem to be
It was a while ago that I was there, but I took my
grandmother to Clementine (she too will complain) and
we enjoyed it quite a bit. The room is a little bit
loud, but we did alright. It has (or had a year ago)
a "downtown" feel. I don't know about Sundays though.
Good luck. And I'll second the Dok Suni
recommendation, not authentic, but really tasty.
This may be a little pricey, and I'm curious to hear
what other chowhounds have to say about it, but I
think Firebird may be a good choice. The dining rooms
are quiet and lovely, the food is interesting and very
solid, and the service is impeccable. It's not
downtown though, it's on restaurant row. I've only
eaten there on one occasion, but I was extremely
pleased. Any input from the masses?
I would NOT recommend Grange Hall. I thought the food
was nothing special and the service terrible. As an
American who has lived in Europe for 8 years, I can be
pretty sure your friends would NOT like it. I know
that Grange Hall has gotten favorable posts here, but
that is my opinion.