Special Dinner with Friends in Paris
I'll admit it - I'm overwhelmed! I am looking for a special place for dinner with my sister and close friends this coming week in Paris and am overwhelmed by the number of places recommended in guidebooks, boards, etc. I thought if I posted very specifically what I am looking for, I could get some sound recommendations. We are looking for authentic French food, but it also needs to be approachable (one friend in particular isn't too adventurous!). We are planning to spend around $120 per person (including a bottle of wine) and there will be 4 of us. We will be staying in the 6th but would be willing to take a short taxi or metro ride for the right place. Ideally we'd like to go to a restaurant that has some cache, one that people maybe have heard of and has a reputation. We could go any night from Sat - Tues. Any thoughts? Also should I make a reservation in advance?
Though some will probably argue that it has passed it's prime, I have always had very good experiences at Brasserie Lipp. It's in the 6th, and certainly well known. Perhaps too much so. If you're trying to impress foodies, this may seem too obvious of a choice. It's classic brasserie faire, not haute-cuisine, but they do most of the classics very well. My husband and I ate their on new years (got super lucky with a walk in porch table after being told on the phone they were full), and with mains, cheese, dessert, and house wine, we spent around 120 euros total for the two of us. The sole mueniere and duck confit are great, but I actually love the fillet mignon au poivre with bernaise the best. I recently had a mixed group of non-adventurous eaters visiting for a week, and Lipp was their favorite. Nearly everything comes served with some form of crispy fried potatoes. Like I said, not haute-cuisine, but classic French faire in a beautiful old bistro. The wait staff can be rude and stuffy, but that's part of the historic charm. You would definitely need a reservation, any night of the week. Ask for a table down stairs. I've never been stuck upstairs, but I here its not nearly as lovely.
We LOVED Le Florimond. The only place I made reservations at. 6 people (2 were children) at 7:30. This was our step up in service and in style...it was really like a very good neighborhood restaurant on the Upper East Side in Manhattan. I had the duck confit and it was amazing. Probably the best I've ever had. My husband had the 'face to face' which was beef 2 ways: 1 grilled and the other in a small pot - the beef cheeks. started with tiny raviolis stuffed with lobster. That was a splurge and we ...treated our friends. The whole meal came to E300. Enjoyed the non-smoking. the set menu was 35.50 each for 3 courses and was a great deal.