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Apr 1, 2000 09:48 PM

Is La Grenouille still a nice place for a 50th bday, or Jean George, or?

  • c

I've only been to La Grenouille once (1 year ago) and had a wonderful time (except when we wanted to take home half of our entrees so we could leave room for dessert, the waiter actually had to ask the maitre'd if we could do such an unheard of thing...) I've read some reviews from last year that were not very complimentary, so any updated info? It's my brother's 50th bday and I wanted to treat him to a very nice dinner (emphasis on food!). Jean George I've heard both good and bad. Lespinasse, mixed as well. Any opinions?


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  1. a
    Adam Stephanides

    I've eaten once at Jean George's, very recently, and it was extraordinary. I've eaten three times at Lespinasse; sometimes it's been extraordinary too and sometimes just very good. I've never eaten at La Grenouille.


    1. How do I respond to the doggie bag thing without sounding rude or anything? First, it's just not done in France. The way cappuccino is only drunk in the morning in Italy. It's not a value judgement, it's just not done. In luxury haute cuisine French restaurants in NYC, it's also not done. In the latter case it may be a value judgement. Nevertheless, the kitchen is unprepared for the request and owners probably prefer not to see someone carrying food out of the restaurant. There was probably no precedent for the waiter.

      As far as saving room for the dessert, lots of svelte dieting customers on big budgets just leave most of the food on the plate at each course. I'm not sure that pleases the chef at all however.

      Now I'm curious, how did the maitre d'hotel handle your request?


      1 Reply
      1. re: bux

        The maitre'd said it was ok, and they packaged up the food. Now, I know that it's not done in France, but really, this is NY, and the quantity of food that they serve here in this restaurant is obcene (if you really want to enjoy your meal without geting sick). Maybe they think that the quantity justifies the high price? The portions that I've had in France have always been much smaller than what they served here. But why should they throw out perfectly good food? Even if I didn't want to eat it myself, my dogs have enjoyed many good leftovers (g).

      2. I love La Grenouille, it is a classic and classy French restaurant. If you wish to try something new, why not go to Danielle? The food is exquisite and the room is gorgeous.

        1 Reply
        1. re: Renee

          Hmmm, I hesitate to try Daniel because I've tried his other place, Cafe Boulud, and was not impressed with the actual food...maybe because he wasn't there to monitor, but in a lamb entree the main flavor was salt, 3 appetizers were "blah" in flavor and texture (although the written descriptions sounded wonderful), and a fish dish was OK, but not special in any way. By the same token, Jean-George's Vong was also disappointingly over-rated.

        2. r
          Randall Kellogg

          I'd go with Jean Georges. I had a wonderful meal there and would highly recommend it. I've also never heard anyone having a disappointing meal there. It's pricey, but worth it!!!

          1. Well, Jean George "lost" our reservation, so we went to La Grenouille. Decor was fabulous with beautiful flowers, but the service and the appetizers slipped down a notch. Main dishes and deserts were fine, except for a lobster special that was so overcooked that the woman could not cut it with her knife. So still a nice place, but not as nice as last year. BTW, this year there were no left-overs....maybe they cut down on the portion sizes?

            2 Replies
            1. re: Claire
              Adam Stephanides

              That's really a shame, both your disappointment at La Grenouille and Jean-Georges losing your reservation. What exactly happened, if I might ask? Did you confirm your reservation? I don't recall if I was asked to confirm my reservation when I went there, but most fancy places do. At any rate, I hope this is an isolated incident; not that that would be much consolation to you.


              1. re: Adam Stephanides

                When I first made the reservation at Jean-Georges, about 1 month before the date, the woman said that she was putting me in the computer as confirmed, and that I didn't need to call back to confirm. Well, the day before, I did call back to confirm, and they couldn't find me under any listing. So who knows what happened. Was I bounced for someone else or did the woman hit the wrong button?