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Last minute lunch reservation for L'ami Jean possible?

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I'm heading to Paris next week for my 50th birthday celebration (birthday dinner will be at Mon Vieil Ami)--can't wait! One of the restaurants I want to go to for lunch is L'ami Jean on the day after we arrive. I'm nervous about trying to call from here (my French is so rusty) and they don't seem to have email, so I thought I'd wait until I get there to call for a reservation. Will calling the day before for a Friday lunch reservation work or does this restaurant tend to fill up days or even weeks in advance for lunch?

Also, last time I was in Paris in 2000, I went to Les Bouqinistes for lunch and really enjoyed it. I see they still have relatively inexpensive lunch menu--is it still a good choice?

Thanks in advance for any input.

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  1. L'Ami Jean is very popular and I would call now if you want a table (and, you do, it is a great restaurant). Do not worry about rusty French; my French is quite lame and I made a reservation via telephone without any problem. If you are concerned about the language barrier, a hotel staff member might be able to make the reservation for you, assuming you are staying in a hotel. However, I would not worry about it - L'Ami Jean has English speaking people on their staff.

    1. Thanks for the input--I screwed up my courage and tried calling L'ami Jean just now (around 4:30 PM Paris time--figured they wouldn't be as busy then) and there was no answer (and I checked and re-checked the number). So I guess I'll try again a little later or take my chances when we get there.

      Does anyone have any current input on Les Bouqinistes? Thanks!

      4 Replies
      1. re: NWWanderer

        4.30 is during their break. You need to call during services, ideally at the beginning (12 and 7 Paris time).

        I haven't been to les Bouquinistes in a while, but I know it's not cheap anymore. La Régalade, l'Ami Jean and Le Sévero are still you best bets for inexpensive delights.

        1. re: souphie

          Ah, yes, thanks souphie, that makes sense for a Parisian restaurant--here of course it's best to call before a restaurant opens when there's staff around but they're not too busy so that's what I was trying to do.

          Les Bouquinistes is showing a 26 or 29E lunch on their website (depending on the number of courses) so that doesn't seem bad at all for a restaurant of that quality--if it's still in fact as good as it was 8 years ago.

          1. re: souphie

            Salut Souphie.
            I'm from Jakarta, Indonesia. This is my very first post in Chowhound. I'm going to Paris 2 weeks from now, and would like to try l'ami Jean as well! Tight budget. Rate is €1 = Rp.13,500. Everything will be extremely expensive for me, no matter how cheap they are. So even l'Ami Jean would be a stretch for me. But I'm willing to take the chance. Just this one (: Anyhoo, how do you say "I would like to reserve a table for 4 people, for 24 Sept." I think my French pronunciation isn't so bad, I just need to know what to say. Thanks so much for your help.
            -Sheila-

            1. re: inisheil

              "Je voudrais réserver une table pour quatre, le 24 septembre (au soir/à déjeuner), s'il vous plait"

        2. Just to update--I just called (at a few minutes before 7 PM Paris time) and was able to get a lunch reservation at L'ami Jean for this Friday. The person who answered the phone seemed to understand my rusty French just fine, thankfully ;-).