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Mar 16, 2008 01:47 AM

Proposal in Paris...

Hi guys,

Even though my name looks French, it is not, I'm from England! :)

Next Wednesday I will be proposing in Paris and an struggling to find somewhere to eat.

The central problem as I see it is that I cannot at this time afford the truly luxurious, Ducasse etc, etc where it will cost 200 euro a head minimum. But at the same time, however good a Bistro might be, the atmosphere seems inappropriate...

Thats the first question: Is a Bistro an inappropriate atmosphere, do you think?

The second question presents an alternative way of answering the same predicament, and it goes like this. Last year, in Montpellier, our most memorable meals were not eating La Compagnie des Comptoirs (the Bistro of the very famous Le Jardin des Sens), but was instead the family run restaurant of Castel Ronceray or perhaps Le Petit Jardin, found down the brilliantly atmospheric and old Rue Jean Jacques Rousseau. Remebering us holding hands down that street as we walked home is a lovely memory...

Thus, is bistro style the answer? Is the quaint, interesting little memorable place the answer, regardless of whether it is quiet, exclusive or private enugh?

Here were some of my ideas:

First, non traditional bistros, in the same vein as Compagnie des Comptoirs or

In this list, I suppose we could consider Ducasse's bistros too.

Here is the other extreme, this unusual little place I came across looks adorable:

Or here:

The middle ground might be this restaurant, which seems to me to be great value for a Michelen Starr in a quiet, but also cosy and memorable envrionement:

Can anyone offer any advice? Obviously, it is getting close to the date, which would suggest that anywhere hard to get a table for is not a possibility... I have read so much now and I am saturated - I don't know what to do!

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  1. The final thing I forgot to mention is that my partner does prefer lighter food, as do I really, so some of the traditional heart attack inducing bistros are less appealing.. And it is why some of the seafood specialists above seem like a good option... but then there is the problem of them not being memorable enough as suggested...

    2 Replies
    1. re: PaulMichel

      One final thing I also forgot to say is that, essentially, I think I'd like some sort of haute cusine (and by that I use the term loosely, I merely mean, modern food, smaller portions and weird and wonderful layouts, rather than just pigs heads...) But probably in a memorable environment...

      1. re: PaulMichel

        The problem with Paris restaurants is that table space is usually pretty limited so in many restaurants you can be "elbow to elbow" with your neighbours. I really like both "Gaya" and " Chez l'Ami Jean" but both are quite small and usually crowded so less than ideal for a proposal.

        One idea - why not try Les Ombres ( - this restaurant sits on top of the Quai Branley museum so has a great view of the Eiffel Tower.

        I haven't been, but it looks spacious, and the food has been well reviewed (there is a menu on the site). It should give he right combination of style, space, food and a memorable view.

      1. re: intrepid

        There was a fairly long thread on the San Francisco board a little while ago about popping the question in a restaurant and there were tons of opinions on there about doing that...might want to check that out.....that being said you are in one of the most beautiful cities in the world why not spend the day putting togeher a picnic and use the cities scenery as your backdrop?? Find a park or bridge and do it there? Either way by very best to you and your partner for a wonderful evening! Good luck!

        1. re: bubbles4me

          Forecast for Wednesday is 8 degrees (46 Fahrenheit) and rain... picnic may not work.

          1. re: PhilD

            wow I didnt think about the weather, (SoCal girl so it is rarely an issue and I was just in Paris at the end of January and it was chilly but nice...short sighted on my part!). I guess chattering teeth and being pelted by rain is not too romantic. What about stringing the ring box to the inside of the umbrella....when you open it the ring drops down? Let us know how it went!

      2. We ate at Ze Kitchen Galerie about a month ago, and it probably has the sort of light food you might be looking for. It's modern and chic, too. But the tables *are* quite close together. Personally, I'd opt for the proposal to be outdoors and in private. There is a wonderful lookout up in Montmartre. It overlooks all of Paris and we even heard an accordian playing, but that was about 10 years ago. It's a fabulous site for a proposal and more memorable than a restaurant. You can go eat and celebrate afterwards! Be romantic.. let your imagination wander.

        3 Replies
        1. re: zuriga1

          zuriga 1, did you also eat at les bouquinestes or not? im interested to hear your opinion if you did, a while ago we all were in discussions about it..thanks

          1. re: intrepid

            You can just call me zuriga for short. :-) No, we didn't eat at Les Bouquinestes. We were just in Paris for two days, one night and the other will maybe have to wait for another visit. I only have about 20 places on my list! I wasn't bowled over by ZKG, although we had a good time. We ate in a French place closer to home here in England on Friday, and it was about as good as anything I've had in Paris in the past 10 years, although I rarely go to the best Paris has to offer. You can read about it over in UK/Ireland,

            1. re: zuriga1

              zuriga, we also ate at ZKG, we liked it, but like you was not bowled over.

        2. Lasserre, a two star, has prix-fixe lunch for 75E. Tables are widely spaced etc. Wife says this is her favorite Parisian resaurant. And please take Le Coupe Chou off your list.

          1. Laperouse has private rooms that are very romantic.

            A little over 5 years ago, I made the call to reserve for a friend who was proposing to his girlfriend on their first trip to Paris. The person who took my call and reservation request was extremely nice; the couple had a wonderful experience (and yes they became engaged there). Since then I've read about some not great experiences so I hesitated to suggest this now more than I would have 5 years ago. Perhaps people with more recent experiences can comment?