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Paris, 1 Day, Not Overnight - Lunch or Dinner and where?

My fiancee and I will be passing through Paris on our honeymoon for one day (not overnight as we fly out on a red eye that night to our actual destination). We are flying in overnight from NYC. We love food and wine and go out to places like Daniel, Per Se and Cru a few times a year.

1) Lunch or an earlier dinner? We fly out at 11pm that night for an overnight flight.

2) Where? Attire will not be a that big a eal...we will prepare if we need anything more formal.

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  1. I'd think a leisurely lunch would be better. Your body will still think it's on NY time at this point, so eating a lovely meal say from 1-3:30pm Paris time seems much more appealing to me than having an early dinner, having to keep an eye on the clock and worrying about getting back to the airport, etc.

    I had to do something similar once. I can't remember whether I used hotel points, or simply paid a half day rate, but I arrived at CDG in the morning, checked into a nice hotel at the airport, took a quick shower, went into Paris, spent a lovely day unencumbered by my travel stuff, went back to the hotel, ordered a snack room service (I didn't but you could also bring a small picnic back to the hotel) and changed clothes, checked out and went on my way. Used the hotel shuttle to go to and from the airport, and the RER to go into Paris. It worked out really well.

    6 Replies
    1. re: souvenir

      Thank you so much for sharing. This is such a no brainer! We both think this is a great idea and we will be going for lunch and do the half day hotel nearby the airport! Is the RER a subway or train (or both?)

      1. re: tkoby11

        Oh good. I'm glad you like this idea. Now I'll think about food suggestions, :).

        The RER functions as both train around the outskirts and then subway within Paris proper. Actually since it's your honeymoon, and if you are arriving at a time when traffic is not an issue, then just take a taxi or book a car to/from the hotel. If it's a weekday and during commute time, then I find the RER better. The hotel can help you sort this out.

        Actually knowing what day of the week, and how far out you are talking, will help with restaurant recommendations.

        1. re: souvenir

          Hi Souvenir! A great idea it is. So, unfortunately we are there on a Saturday when Taillevent is closed on the weekends :( We were thinking about lunch at Pierre Gagnaire, L'Astrance or Helene Darroze but are open to suggestions.

          RER sounds like I thought it was...On a Saturday afternoon a taxi may be best.

          Food suggestions? Restaurants?

          1. re: tkoby11

            I was afraid it might be a weekend day. The only good thing is that you should be able to go speedily in a taxi directly where you decide to go... unless there is something special going on that day, other than your honeymoon, of course, :).

            I'm pretty sure that everything that comes immediately to mind is closed on Saturdays for lunch. I'll think about it and try to make sure I get suggestions posted soon, or as I think of them.

            1. re: souvenir

              OK- this Saturday lunch thing is tough.

              Le Pré Catelan
              I was taken here a long time ago (mid 90s) and the setting was just so beautiful. I can't say I have amazing memories of the food, but the chef has changed so you need to hear or read from more recent visitors.
              http://www.theworldwidegourmet.com/?a...
              I didn't realize until looking up the URL and reading this page, that it now has a third star.
              http://www.precatelanparis.com

              Le Relais du Parc
              http://www.alain-ducasse.com/public_u...
              This one was on my list last summer and we didn't get there. I had read a couple of articles about its new chef, Romain Corbière, and wanted to try it. Has anyone been there?

              1. re: souvenir

                Thank you again! We are checking Catalon and L'Astrance!

    2. Since "early dinner" is not generally available in Paris, I would definitely suggest lunch. There's no point in being rushed.

      Where depends upon what type of place and food you want to eat. Pierre Gagnaire? that's probably the hottest table in Paris right now.

      My own all-time fave is Taillevent. They do a beautiful lunch, and would be thrilled at serving you the first meal of your honeymoon!

      2 Replies
      1. re: ChefJune

        Thank you for sharing. Taillevent was a name I ran across a lot in my research. I liked Gagnaire's website and will look into maybe having lunch there or Taillevent. How about Latour d'Argent? Michelen Stars are not necessary for us. Just a wonderufl, yet classical, degustation experience.

        1. re: tkoby11

          Tour d'Argent has GREAT wines... food, not so much.

      2. If you are reserving far enough in advance, I would suggest L'Astrance for lunch. It is only 70 euros and though there are no choices (it is actually a surprise menu) the food is superb and they do ask if you have any restrictions. This is one of the top restaurants in Paris and the lunch is a tremendous bargain.

        1. Saturday is difficult for lunch. I think Pierre Gagnaire is close Saturdays. Of of the top restaurants, Le Cinq, Le Bristol and L'Ambroisie might be open. I would check the Michelin Red Guide on what is open for lunch on Saturdays.

          1 Reply
          1. re: PBSF

            Exactly. And also Pré Catelan.

            If you are experienced foodies, you should try l'Ambroisie.

          2. I suggest Drouant. It is elegant, modern and rather hip. It is an older place that had two stars for many years. It is under new ownership now and has been completely redone, so it has no stars yet. We liked it better than any of the starred places that we ate at during our last three trips to Paris. http://www.drouant.com/

            1 Reply
            1. re: Jerrysfriend

              If you can go to Pre Catalan, it is incredibly romantic and perfect for a long honeymoon lunch in Paris. We ate there a year ago in October, and it exceeded my expectations. Be sure to start with rose champagne. I'm sure if you tell them you are on your honeymoon, the service will be extra good.

            2. Havent tried it yet but what could be more romantic for one day in Paris than lunch at Alan Ducasse's redone Jules Verne Restaurant in the Eiffel Tower. See if the reviews make it worth the price or somewhere like the Hotel Bristol if its open for lunch and you can walk around the city afterwards.