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Oct 17, 2007 11:53 AM

Honeymooners in Paris need help

Having a hard time sorting through all the wonderful postings about Paris Restaurants and would really appreciate some up-to-date recommendations for our 3 nights there.

We eat alot in Manhattan and understand it can take a lifetime to sort through the everchanging and wonderful menus a city can offer. Some of your favorites in Paris would be appreciated as it is our first time there, our honeymoon, and we love FOOD.

I am really looking for some standards that one would tell friends "not to miss!"

We have a reservation at Alain Ducasse but didn't see any recent reviews. I see much more debate about Taillevent. Has anyone been to Ducasse recently, I would hate to go to a "past its prime" hotspot.

Also, I don't want to break the bank EVERY night so I wouldn't mind spending as little as 100E pp for dinner on the other 2 nights if I can find food somewhere near the equivalent in quality. And if I can cheap out and get the same experience, GREAT!

~Desperately seeking guidance as my soon to be wife is counting on me to deliver!

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  1. Even when it comes to 2 and 3 stars people have different views. I can't see how Alain Ducasse would disappoint, although I still have a soft spot for Joel Robuchon as it was my first three star back in the 90's when it existed on rue Raymond Poincaire. You should try to vary your experiences. Spring is fun, but it is probably too late to secure a dinner res. although I see on Daniel's web site that they are serving lunch--don't know if it's started yet. My recommendation is to try the authentic wonderful bistro Chez Denise--you can go late after enjoying a light supper, dancing at a hip place and then dinner around midnight--great Paris night. If you don't want to go to Denise, try Poule au Pot in the 1st arr. They are also open very late and the "chicken in the pot" is satisfying.

    I really think you should try Joel R. For a honeymoon dinner I recommend Le Table.

    I enjoyed my meal at Chex Catherine very much and it is in the 100E pp range, as is the wonderful Dominique Bouchet. Perhaps, my favourite meal in Paris on my last trip a year ago was a Chez L'Ami Jean.

    For afternoon tea or lunch, try to get to Musee JaquesMart, to see the wonderful collection and house and then eat before or after the viewing'

    I know you will have a wonderful time. Congratulations

    4 Replies
    1. re: faijay

      Faijay...Thank you so much for your advise! I put in a reservation request for Le you know approx $ pp. Along the lines of Alain Ducasse?

      1. re: TedyB

        I should point out that robuchon is not the chef at the restaurant--it is Frederic Siminon (i think). I believe their tasting menu is 150 euros, so that is considerably less than Ducasse. The current chef cooked with Ghisalaine Arabian and of course Joel R supervised and developed the menu. The last time I was at La Table he was there and came out to talk, something he never did at his three star establishment.

        1. re: faijay

          <something he never did at his three star establishment.> that's because he was actually cooking there!

      2. re: faijay

        I can't see how Alain Ducasse could satisfy anyone. It is industrial luxury with no soul and no wit, it is not even technically perfect. I can't understand what people like with Ducasse, and despite many experiences, I have yet to eat one really good thing at his place. Save that fancy artisanal Nutella they have for breakfast and a fresh little feuillete once.

        If you love FOOD, I would advise breaking the bank once at l'Ambroisie, Gagnaire or l'Arpège, the three best in town foodwise (see comparison of their styles at Taillevent and Savoy can make it in the top list because of the overall experience and their world class services, in very different styles (Savoy is a showman, a bit like a fancy cabaret, Taillevent is super classy and more traditional). You might consider le Bristol as well, among palace restaurants, it is the one that is most about food-loving.

        For the rest, there are so many great bistrots and middle class restraurants in Paris, many of them mentioned in the board. So you can make choices based on the ambiance you'd like, the style of cuisine, and why not the location. For instance some places like l'Ami Jean offer little privacy -- which can be a plus or a minus depending on your mood and the situation.

        With your 100€ budget, you can have Robuchon or Senderens if you are careful what you order, there is le Florimond indeed, and also la Braisière, Le vin sur vin, Les Ormes (22 rue Surcouf --

        Here's a new tip: Vincent, one of the most renowned Italian in Paris just moved from his little bistrot by the Buttes Chaumont park to the incredibly charming restaurant INSIDE the park, a Parisian treasure, countryside in the middle of the city. Vincent prepares the best antipasti in town, in the middle of the dining room, singing Aida or some other Italian opera. Now this is, imo, one of the most romantic places in Paris.

        So, if you ask me, I'd go to l'Ambroisie, les Ormes and Vincent. And have very light food the rest of those days.

      3. My favorite is Le Florimond in the 7th across from the Metro..
        Isn't in the same class as Ducasse or Taillevent but this is where I have seen all the Foodies dine and its fabulous..
        I had a Lobster in a cantaloupe beurre blanc and my husband had Filet medallions in a fig cabernet reduction and we had a bottle of red, soup and mussels and for dessert we each had a creme brulee with latte's and a port and the meal was under 80 Euros..
        Have a wonderful time in Paris!

        1 Reply
        1. re: Beach Chick

          I thought Taillevent was very romantic and the food was excellent when I went last year. This is not a push-the-envelope sort of place, but what they do they do superlatively.

          One of my favorite cheaper restaurants in the city is in the Marais, called Le Hangar. Below is a description that I've posted elsewhere on here (or parts thereof...) from my two or three experiences. It's been about nine months since my last visit, so I'd imagine dishes are different....

          Le Hangar
          12, impasse Berthaud
          (Close to the Rambuteau stop on the Metro)
          Main plates about 20-25 euros
          Closed Sunday and Monday
          No credit cards

          Excellent, simple French food, with great first courses built on fresh
          ingredients. Friendly staff, and great wine prices.

          Haricots verts salad
          Grilled baby artichoke appetizer
          Marinated fresh sardines
          Ravioli with eggplant-cream sauce
          Filet mignon with mushroom-wine sauce
          Seared foie gras served on olive-oil mashed potatoes

          Skip the chocolate soufflé you have to order in advance

          1. re: Spiritchaser

            Thank you everyone for all your help and advise...I will be back early December with plenty of reports and opinions of my own.

            1. re: TedyB

              my paris trip was quite a success, thanks for all the chow hound input...

              ate at taillevent...the service was by far the best experience we have ever had at a restaurant. monseur vranat was wonderful with the reservation and the staff was perfectly attentive, the somalier was helpful as well. As far as the food. Did the tasting menu and for the most part it was flawless, nothing trendy per se, even a tad bit predictable but just what we were looking for. It was a romatic and wonderful experience although quite expensive with the $ so week.

              We also went to La Table de Roubechon, service and atmosphere was much more what we experience in NYC and other parts of the US, in a good way of was darker seating, closer together, and the staff was adequate. almost reminder me of a nobu vibe. The FOOD was everything we hoped it would be, we chose the tasting menu and it was AMAZING, many wonderful flavor combinations, all very precise and daring with traditional french style (like seared foi grois) mixed in. I wouldnt miss going back next time in Paris. However, the tasting deserts might have been the worst I have ever had...ever! herb sorbet was downright odd and didnt go at all with the flavorless and very undercooked soufle (and i cant help i but think all soufle should be choc. or at least an exotic flavor and shouldnt taste like egg whites, i know i am such an amercian). Especially when everyone else ordering off the regular menu ordered glowing red sugar orbs filled with some sort of mousse or something that made us jealous..Le Table lived up and surpassed the hype, but not near the aristocratic experience of taillevent (which should also be experience once or twice) The kind of place that you could find yourself eating 1 a month with a new foodie to show them something to be excited about.

              had a lunch at altitude 95 in the eiffel tower...touristy for sure, but worth the experience of having a window view....believe it or not the truffle sauce mac n cheese was pretty great. worth the ride up for decent lunch although dont tell locals or your hotel you are going there unless you want to be talked out of it. fyi the only reservation we had that was difficult to confirm and that customer service didnt seem a priority.

              1more restaurant to review but will need to get name a post later...that is all for now...thanks again for all your help

            2. re: Spiritchaser

              was there a few months ago, indeed it was fab

            3. The original comment has been removed