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Oct 14, 2007 05:50 PM

Our final restaurant list - comments? Do we need reservations for all?

After a few months of scouring this board and the internet, we *think* this is our final list. Any firm objections or comments?

Also, do we need to make reservations for all of them? Also, anyone know about the dress codes?

Saturday lunch: Cafe du Marche
Saturday dinner: Cafe Constant

Sunday lunch: Pierre Gagnaire
Sunday dinner: Mon Vieil Ami

Monday lunch: Picnic at Champ de Mars
Monday dinner: Chez Denise

Tuesday lunch: Les Elysse du Vernet
Tuesday dinner: Aux Lyonnais

Wednesday lunch: Brasserie Ile St Louis (or a picnic on the Seine - I'm not convinced the food is that great)
Wednesday dinner: Les Bouquinistes

Thursday lunch: Taillevent
Thursday dinner: Le P'tit Troquet

Friday lunch: Au Bon Accueil
Friday dinner: Chez L'Ami Jean

That's it! Any pairings that seem strange (ie - two heavy meals in one day, etc).
Anna & Mike

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  1. You are going to waddle home if you eat all that food! I have not dined at all these places, but I can easily remember that after lunch at Taillevent, we normally have a late bowl of soup somewhere, and that's it!

    Are you sure Pierre Gagnaire is open for lunch on Sunday?

    1. Dress code: as you like except for les Elysées, Gagnaire and mostly Taillevent where jacket and shirt are mandatory (they will provide you with a jacket if you don't have one).

      Reservations always preferrable, mandatory (or highly recommended) for Gagnaire, Taillevent, Bouquinistes, l'Ami Jean, Vieil Ami, Bon Accueil, Café Constant, Lyonnais at least.

      I share Chef June's remarks about Gagnaire: it is open sunday for dinner, not lunch. And eating a normal meal for lunch if you have Gagnaire in the evening is unwise -- get something light and easy, a salade or a grilled meat without fries, etc.

      Actually, it is bold of you to have another real meal with any of your 2-3*** places: Elysées, Gagnaire, Taillevent. Especially les Lyonnais on the evening of les Elysées sounds very ambitious to me. Beyond the question of whether you will actually be able to eat that much (and one can always find resources in that field), there is the more important question of whether you will able to enjoy that much. I'm ready to bet that if you go to les Lyonnais after les Elysées, you will find it bad (Not that it's that good, imo). Worse again, if you eat lunch at Mon Vieil Ami and then head to Gagnaire...

      Experienced fine diners often quasi fast the day before and the day after a great meal. Salads, fruits, and some exercise. But hey, you're the one knowing your limits and what suits you.

      For your picnic at Champs de Mars, I would recommend getting the cheese from Cantin AND macarons from Renard -- but he's not open on monday. Is Cantin, by the way? I have a sudden doubt about that.

      6 Replies
      1. re: souphie

        Re: Cantin hours: Mon-Sat 8:30 AM to 7:30 PM. Closed Sun.

        I am totally with the previous posters.

        I am not sure, I'd enjoy all those meals. Going to a second place the same day, still full and/or impressed by the previous place/meal, is just a pity. Also, keep in mind, you won't leave some of the lunch places long before 4 PM. So, I suggest a really good walk and then, a light supper (a salad, a soup, etc.) later in the evening rather than another full meal at 8 PM or so.

        PS: I'd drop Café du Marché, for sure. Food is so mediocre. It's ok for a coffee or a glass of wine and people watching. I'd go to Le Sancerre, Avenue Rapp, 7th instead, for an omelette aux cèpes or so.

        1. re: Dodo

          Thanks to all for the feedback. I thought for sure I'd read somewhere about Gagnaire being open for lunch on Sunday but I guess I was wrong. I'm not sure we can swing dinner (too pricey) but we can do lunch there the next day and switch the picnic to Sunday (buying what we need after our plane arrives on Saturday afternoon to avoid Sunday closures). We're not huge eaters so I may need to rearrange the order of meals or just contend with eating less for dinners, even if we stick with our restaurants of choice.

          Cafe du Marche was mainly chosen based on reading a few positive reviews about the place in general and its location since we'll be staying at an apartment on rue de l'universite. Any other suggestions for a lunch in the area are appreciated!

          I'll be back with a revision :)

          1. re: annamikemc

            >We're not huge eaters so I may need to rearrange the order of meals or just contend with eating less for dinners, even if we stick with our restaurants of choice.<

            About going to restaurants at dinner, not ordering much... isnt that considered kind of rude? Or is it just my homecountrys code?

            1. re: Loveling

              Don't know about your homecountry, but you can eat what you like at nowadays' French restaurants. They're here to please you, not the other way around.

              1. re: souphie

                Good to know:) I guess I will add a couple of reservations for my trip then.

                1. re: Loveling

                  Annamikemc - I agree with Souphie you are advised to make reservations at most of the restaurants on your list (and also agree that you may struggle to enjoy that many in quick succession).

                  I know many hounds have been lucky and managed to secure tables without reservations but it is unpredictable. I could guarantee that if I didn't make a reservation then it would be tricky to get a table at a preferred restaurant - especially on a Thur/Fri/Sat evenings (I also feel that if I can get a last minute reservation, then the restaurant isn't great - OK I am paranoid).

                  Loveling - don't worry about feeling obliged to order too much. My wife usually orders two entrees (starters) at most restaurants and I can't recall any problems.

                  One tip - sometimes restaurants will ask you to order desert at the start of the meal. Push back on this and order after your main course. More than once I complied and regretted it as I was to full to do justice to the desert when it came. Of course a souffle is an exception and it may be best to order this early.