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Apr 12, 2007 02:39 PM

I have FOUR hours in Paris? Fabulous lunch recommendation?

I have a layover in Paris and will have about four hours free. We are looking for a restaurant to have a fabulous lunch. Any price range will do!
P.S. It would be my first time in Paris (short trip! hopefully not my last!) so I am just looking to make the most out of an extremely short excursion. reiterate..if you had four hours to eat in Paris, where would you go?
Recommendations thus far have been Le Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower or Georges at the Pompidou center. thoughts?

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  1. Le Comptoir in Saint-Germain is wonderful...there is a two month waiting list for dinner, but lunch is quite open. They were just featured in Food & Wine a few months back as the best new restaurant in Paris.

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      1. For a first timer, Le Grand Vefour with its great food and magnificent palatial decor should provide the 'Oomph' factor for a memorable experience.

        1. I think it is about impossible to do this assuming your layover is at CDG or ORLY. Although these airports are not far from central Paris it can easily take more than an hour each way to get to / from town by taxi, train is not much better since once you get to town you have to change from the RER to metro or taxi to get to your final destination. That leaves you at best 2 hours for lunch. Believe me you will ruin your dining experience if you try and rush through lunch at a place such as Grand Vefour so quickly. Also, though the lunches at the starred restaurants are a bargain compared to dinner they are still not cheap. With a modest wine, water and coffee, and the shitty USD (assuming that is your currency) you will still drop well over $100 for lunch at a starred restro. There are some exceptions to this such as Violon d'Ingres mentioned below which is now more casual and has a 45e menu. I say wait until you really have time. with traffic as it is to and from the airports you could very easily just end up with a lengthy ride into town and have to immediately turn around and head back for your connection.

          1. On the assumption that you have a total of four hours for your layover, I totally agree with the above post that this is not enough time for a leisurely lunch. You should allow at least 1 hour each way by RER, a little less by taxi. Besides, Le Jules Verne and Georges are both known more for their great view than for their food. If you do have 2 full hours, I would recommend a good bistro near a RER stop from CDG or Orly. Couple of possibilities are: Chez Michel, an excellent "modern" bistro two blocks from Gare du Nord RER stop or Chez Denise, an old style Les Halle bistro, a block from the Les Halle/Chatelet RER stop. If you do have four hours besides travel time, then a lunch at a top restaurant is certainly possible. Le Grand Vefour, Ledoyen, Pierre Gagnaire and Taillevent all have a prix fixed lunch menu around 75 to 95E which includes tax and service.

            2 Replies
            1. re: PBSF

              Thanks for the recommendations thus far. Just to be clear...we actually have a TEN hour layover in Paris, so with transportation and getting in and out of the airport, we've figured we have about four hours to dine. That being said...any recommendations?

              1. re: twolous196

                Provided it is not on a Saturday or Sunday, you can choose just about any restaurant in Paris. It depends on what type of dining experience you are looking for. If you’re looking for a top traditional restaurant, I would recommend Le Grand Vefour, Taillevent or Leydoyen. If you are looking for modern cooking, Le Restaurant at Meurice (the hotel’s top restaurant), Pierre Gagnaire are both terrific. All offer a prix fixe lunch menu for about 75 to 90E. Their regular menu will cost at least twice that. There is still a sense of dressing up in Paris but a sports jacket for men, etc, will be sufficient for lunch. I’ve seen diners wearing jeans and still received the excellent service. For the above restaurant, I would make reservation as soon as possible. If you are looking for a simpler lunch, there are hundreds (or more) restaurants in Paris that have terrific food. Let us know what your dining preferences are and you’ll get some good response. Also check the board for past suggestions. If view is what you are interested in, both Le Jules Verne and Georges are both good choices.