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Honeymoon in Paris - one splurge dinner - where?

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We are getting married on Saturday, heading to Paris on Monday evening for 4 days. We both love to cook and love great food - despite the awful exchange rate, we want to do one splurge night. I have a friend who may be able to help us get in anywhere. I went through the Zagat guide and pulled out the ones that looked most interesting - any guidance or suggestions would be greatly appreciated:

Apicius
Relais Louis XIII
Le Grand Vefour
L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
Hiramatsu
Le Jules Verne (more for the romantic view)

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  1. If you can get in anywhere and love great food, try l'Ambroisie, l'Arpège, Pierre Gagnaire... JR is the best of your list but you would be sitting at a bar. In general, the Michelin is more reliable than the Zagat for top restaurants in Paris.

    Le Relais Louis XIII has very classic French food well made, and mostly is located in a very old house. Apicius setting is georgeous and the food very generous and enjoyable, but not wow.

    Le vefour offers you the possibility to seat where Victor Hugo did. That's the best reason to go. Very historical and good looking, though.

    3 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      We loved L'Astrance and Taillevent - though they're very different.

      Agree with Souphie: Michelin is a better guide than Zagat.

      1. re: souphie

        All good ideas, but for the "WOW" factor I would go for Pre Catelan, La Grande Cascade or Lasserre.
        The Zagat guide can, and has been, "gamed" in the past; it is good for tele. #'s etc.

        1. re: Oakglen

          I second La Grande Cascade. We had an amazing meal there in January. The setting is also very beautiful and romantic.

      2. l'Arpège

        SO worth the $$$!

        1. My favorite "Splurge" place is Alain Ducasse. Of your list, I would remove L'atelier as it is a good place, but not a "splurge" place and absolutely not romantic and French. I go to the restaurant at least once per month, though, because I really love the food.

          Jules Verne is also very, very good, as is Tallevent. L'arpege is OK, but I don't appreciate the menu any longer. Relais Louis XIII is very good also. I haven't eaten at Hiramatsu or Apicius, so I can't comment. I will soon be able to comment, though.

          Congratulations on your wedding.

          2 Replies
          1. re: chasebailey

            we ate in apicius a few months ago, it was Great !

            1. re: intrepid

              at apicius had this pasta cooked like risotto, in an anchovy/cheese sauce, fabulous.
              http://www.alpina-savoie.com/en/curre...

          2. I would second Le Pre Catalan (FANTASTIC food, tasteful dining room) and Alain Ducasse at the Plaza Athenee (gorgeous dining room, very traditional French).

            My meal at L'Arpege was hardly worth the money, and certainly no where near the quality of Alain Ducasse or Pre Catalan.

            You can experience Joel Robuchon here in the US, and Taillevent is now only a 2-star restaurant.

            1 Reply
            1. re: edwardspk

              Some friends of mine dined at Taillevent a couple of weeks ago, and reported back they enjoyed it very much -- they said fabulous food, and amazing sommelier, and altogether totally gracious service.