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New Years Eve in Paris

My husband and I will be in Paris from Dec 30-Jan 6 2007/08 and were looking for a recommendation for New Years Eve. We would like something near our hotel (Hilton Arc de Triomphe) and fairly close to the Champs Elysees so we can join the crowds after dinner. Good food is a must. Places we have enjoyed in Paris before are Aux Lyonnais and Le Bastide Odeon. We don't enjoy really stuffy places like Alain Ducasse and Laurent. Someplace serving lots of chilled seafood would be really great! I understand we need to make reservations very early as thigns book up quickly, so I'd love to hear from anyone who has been to Paris at this time and has advice to offer. Thanks!

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  1. I have spent the last 2 NYEs in France, 31 Dec 2005 at a 2 star (Auberge du Cheval Blanc) in Alsace and 31 Dec 2006 at a more modest place (Coup Chou) in Paris. My recommendation is to skip NYE dinner at a restaurant. They are so absolutely packed that the staff has a hard time providing the expected service and the food is outrageously expensive. Many, probably most, places only serve one set menu (I say this with reasonable sureity since I polled a number of places both years to get an idea of what to expect) so they can offer dishes with most items prepared in advance so they can handle a fully packed house.

    The dinner at Cheval Blanc was actually quite good but not nearly as wonderful as the several I have had there on non holiday occasions. Still, it was packed and service lacked a bit and keep in mind this was at a 2 star (at the time, now they are 1 star). Coup Chou was just a shitter, lots of mediocre stuff shoveled out to a large crowd.

    It may well be true that you can find a good reasonably priced NYE dinner in Paris, try if you like. I did two years in a row, both at the high end and moderate end of the restaurant scale, and will not do so again.

    I say go somewhere decent for lunch and pick up some items from a traiteur (of course there are many excellent ones in Paris) for snacking later in the night.

    2 Replies
    1. re: f2dat06

      "My recommendation is to skip NYE dinner at a restaurant."
      "Same advice -- skip NYE's dinner"

      Well, whatever y'all do, we've got our foie gras, escargots, herring, chorizo, creamy Taleggio cheese (made from "tired" cows) and Victoria tarte from Larher (4.10 E not outasight) - we're already grossed out on oysters and salmon - and Colette and I wish you all the happiest of New Year's Eves and a most scrumptious 2010.

      John & Colette

      1. re: John Talbott

        Happy new year to you, Dr. T and Mme.

    2. Same advice -- skip NYE's dinner, this is the one time of the year when you don't eat well in France. And no matter where you go, it will by scary expensive. Buy oysters and foie gras from the market rue Bayen if you like, some special (say truffle) bread from BE, some wine from Petrissans or Augé, and have your own dinner in your hotel room.

      Otherwise, there are always cabaret option -- Lido, Crazy Horse. This is the traditional place if you really want to be out on NYE.

      Good seafood brasserie or restaurant: why not Chez Francis, Place de l'Alma, or Marius et Jeanette? In your area, I would try a good Chinese, like Diep or Tong Yen, or Tse Yang for an original, maybe less packed, NYE experience. There's also one on top of the Avenue de Wagram.

      Alternatively, you can try very high end places that will not sacrifice the quality, but it will be expensive. Of crouse you don't like Laurant or Ducasse, they're not stuffy, they're pretentious. See Les Elysées for instance for a dinner that will remain amazing and could hardly be closer to you destination.

      But again -- keep your money for good food in good places on other days.

      1. I have to agree with the others as to the usefulness of dining out on NYE.

        I did have a decent meal at Paolo Petrini which is just beyond the Arc d'T on NYE 2000. I had another decent NYE meal at the Brasserie Suffren in the 7th, but the place has gone way downhill since.

        1. We happened on this site totally by accident - it's heartening to see that there are other's in the same boat as us - a lovely New Year break planned in Paris - supposed to be one of the most marvellous places to be; and we're all mithering about where to eat without being parted from our entire budget!

          We are also staying at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe - what a co-incidence!! So far I like the sound of somebody's suggestion in another part of this site, that there is a nice little creperie at the back of the Pantheon in the area of Rue Moufftarde. It will no doubt sort! See you in the bar - we'll be the ones with the bags of crisps!!!!

          3 Replies
          1. re: jacaranda

            We were in Paris last NYE with our 3 teens - and needless to say we didn't want to spend a fortune with them in tow, and we couldn't find anyplace we liked that had an opening. So we did exactly what someone suggested above and went to a street market and bought all kinds of fresh seafood and foie gras and had a feast in our apartment, complete with champagne. At first I was dispoointed to miss an opportunity to eat a meal at a Parisian restaurant, but it ended up being one of our best memories. I'm going back this year with my mom and I plan to do the same thing. You can always go out later and have a drink with the crowd!

            1. re: jacaranda

              I'm a much more simple person and prefer just to get crepes late in the day, then hang out by the Tower to see the fireworks. Simple, cheap and fun!

              http://www.visitingeu.com/western-eur...

              1. re: BobSteel

                I don't know if that makes anyone simple but it is indeed a very good option on NYE if you feel like you don't need the party dinner.

            2. Here are two good restaurants for NYE specials:

              Tante Louise, 95€

              Le Cristal de Sel, 120€

              2 Replies
              1. re: souphie

                And also Pasco, 74, Blvd de la Tour- Maubourg, 7th arr.
                The NYE menu incl. champagne to start with, wine (1 bottle for two) and coffee is 95€.
                http://restaurantpasco.com/enindex.htm

                1. re: Dodo

                  I liked Pot-de-Terre near the pantheon, cozy, decked out w/Dumas' musketeers on every wall in prints, posters, and paintings, loved it. Even have a D'Artagnan ale, all in a 15C. townhome setting. Tonight a good 85Euro five course meal w/bottle of wine, champagne, and digestive. Check out the website:)

              2. You are THERE right now, you lucky stiffs! I want to know where you dined, and what you decided to do New Year's Eve?

                9 Replies
                1. re: ChefJune

                  NYE day: Claude Colliot
                  NYE eve: foie gras etc at home
                  NYD day: Lao Lane Xang II

                  John Talbott
                  http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/

                  1. re: John Talbott

                    when you say your lunch at Lao Lane Xang II was an "astonishing" 65 euro, is that astonishingly cheap or expensive?

                    1. re: whs

                      For me, 65 E for 2 is very reasonable.

                      1. re: John Talbott

                        I guess it's all relative, living in Paris, but $94US seems a little steep for a Laotian restaurant...next time you're in the neighborhood, will have to introduce you to the pleasures of southeast asian food in Lowell Mass.

                        1. re: whs

                          In my mind any meal that's under 100E a couple is a bargain.

                          1. re: John Talbott

                            in your mind and in Paris as well. Well, bargain may be strong a word. But it's not expensive.

                            1. re: souphie

                              I'm in the process of writing a piece on how to survive fluctuations in the Euro/Franc/Dollar game; my summary; if you live long enough you'll see the dollar = the equivalent of 10 FF's again as well as the Euro = $1.50+.

                              1. re: John Talbott

                                So the secret to surviving is living long enough. Quod erat demonstrandum, Mr. T!

                                1. re: John Talbott

                                  "sigh" I remember 10 FF to the dollar back in the '80s. Even the Ritz was cheap.