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Apr 22, 2008 06:54 AM

Cri de detresse: Les Elysees closed near term - what to do?

I had hoped to go back to Les Elysees before chef Briffard went to Le Cinq. I had a reservation for 2 Mai that has just been cancelled. This was to be the one splurge - my other choices are worthy bistros but not the same level. So now with fewer than 2 weeks to go, I need a worthy substitute. I don't know where I can get in - suggestions please!!!! Also, any suggestions for Sunday night would be most appreciated too.

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  1. Try Robuchon (55 inc beverage), and there's the Savoy 100 eur menu, the 75 at Lasserre, the 135 at l'Arpège -- that's all lunch deals, of course, and I'm assuming that is what you are looking replacement for.

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      there's also a 75 lunch deal at le Cinq. It won't be Briffard's cooking for a while, but it still is a good restaurant and an incredible setting and service.

    2. Goumard, on rue Duphot, is open on Sunday; they have a prix-fixe at 60E which includes wine. I don't rate it as high as Souphie's choices but it does have one star. The special menu is not featured on their web site and,as I recall, there isn't much choice involved. Still, if you are staying in this part of the 1st, it might be worth a try. The Dover sole and smoked salmon are always good.

      1. No, it was for dinner. Prior to posting, I tried to get reservations at Le Cinq and L'Arpege without luck.

        5 Replies
        1. re: wryorwhite

          It's a friday night, so indeed it might be packed. But then you have access to all three and two stars in town and you have a huge choice if you don't have a budgetary constraint. L'Ambroisie for traditional and Pierre Gagnaire for crazy innovative cuisine are top of the class (with l'Arpège). Le Bristol and Le Meurice are palace choices. I mean you need to be more specific about what you expect and are looking for, in terms of food, price, wine, service, setting, or we'll just unfold the Michelin for you.

          1. re: souphie

            Although I did also try to get into Le Cinq, I would prefer to skip the Bristol, Meurice etc for a more intimate but lovely dinner. The sky is not the limit but as I noted, this was meant to be the biggest splurge.

            I also tried to get into L'Ambroisie but no luck. I've been to Pierre Gagnaire before and found it interesting but not necessarily compelling. Do you have any thoughts about Citrus Etoile? L'Astor - I haven't been back for years but when Robuchon was consulting, it was nice.

              1. re: wryorwhite

                L'Astor is not what it used to be, even just after the Robuchon consulting years. It's good place, but no special occasion. Same for Citrus Etoile, imo. Hard to believe that it is a so hard to book a top quality intimate dinner in Paris. What about Lasserre and Ledoyen, the Champs-Elysées stars? L'Arpège is always an (expensive but amazing) option. Did you try the Bois de Boulogne ones (Grande Cascade and Pré Catelan)? This the right season to go there. Apicius is very convivial, like Rostang (no redefining the gastronomical scene for sure). Le Carré des Feuillants has its fans (I'm not one of them). Why not la table de Joël Robuchon? It is intimate and not luxurious. The relais Louis XIII has quality food in a historical setting, a really old Parisian house. You can try Gordon Ramsay in Versailles (haven't been to the gastronomic restaurant but the nearby brasserie is very great).

                Anyway, here's my purely subjective short list in no particular order: La Grande Cascade, la Table de Joël Robuchon, Lasserre, L'Arpège. And try again for l'Ambroisie on the same day, there will be some last minute cancellation.

                1. re: souphie

                  I am certainly not comparing Citrus Etoile with Arpege, Ledoyen, Gagnaire, L'Ambroisie or any of the Michelin 2 and 3 stars. Citrus Etoile is a no star, but their cuisine is top notch for what it is.

          2. I had booked a lunch for my little family of 3 in June at Les Elysees before hearing on this board that chef is probably leaving. Was your cancellation a one-time thing or are they cancelling in general, do you know? I had thought we'd go anyway, but I'm wondering if the place will be in some degree of disarray?

            3 Replies
            1. re: meemster

              The restaurant will be completely different, probably lower end.

              1. re: souphie

                NEWS : I called, and hers what they said : Briffard went to the five as you said, but his second stayed, and now proposes a less expensive menu but a great deal of quality. The service stays the same. And I heard we will be able to enjoy again the restaurant in October.
                On the other hand if you're looking for a nice experience not that expensive, try "le Comptoir du Relais Saint Germain", even though it's pretty hard to get a reservation, for diner, the menu is only 45€ (no wine) and is a surprise which changes everyday.

                1. re: thehunter2k

                  Have you considered Passiflore in the 16th? It quietly keeps on keeping on and has maintained 1 star for years.