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Feb 7, 2009 09:37 AM

Questions about NYer's Paris choices

Bonjour, we will be arriving in Paris next Friday morning, leaving Tuesday afternoon. Thanks to all your advice, I have devised the following dining plans:

Friday Lunch: le Rubis (if we are up to it after having just arrived, don’t have a reservation)
Friday Dinner: Reservation at Chez L’Ami Jean

Saturday Lunch: Nothing planned
Saturday dinner: Reservation at Le Petit Pontoise (tried to book Itineraires, but it is full)

Sunday Lunch: L’As du falafel
Sunday Dinner: Reservation at La Rotonde

Monday Lunch: Reservation at La Table de Joel Robuchon
Monday Dinner: Reservation at La Regalade

Tuesday Lunch: Reservation at L’Epi Dupin

My question is whether you suggest I make other plans for dinner on Saturday night or Sunday night given my itinerary. (I am certain, based on the comments on this board, that my plans for L’Ami Jean and La Regalade will be approved of and that I should not change them!) As I understand both of these places are pretty loud and boisterous, and I was hoping to have more relaxed meals on Sat and Sunday night – not too staid or boring, something a little lively but where a group of three could have good conversation without raising voices, and have a leisurely meal, but at reasonable prices. I have no idea about the ambience at Le Petit Pontoise – will it fit the bill? If not, any other recommendations where I would be likely to get a table for a Sat night, reserving less than one week in advance? I thought about Mon Vieil Ami, which I really enjoyed last time in Paris (May 2007), but comments seem to be negative recently.

Also, is La Rotonde a bad choice for Sunday night based on the same concerns, or am I limited to a place like it (I’m assuming it’s pretty loud and cramped as well, but I may be wrong) because it is Sunday night?

Final question – for Monday lunch, I am considering skipping TJR and booking a table at Le Cinq instead. I would definitely only go for the 85Euro prix fixe—is it still available? Is it a much better choice than TJR? We have been to l’Atelier in NYC and enjoyed it, but were not blown away. But also, we have had lunch at Taillevent (I may be wrong to compare Taillevent with Le Cinq here) and were a little disappointed in both the food and service. I just want to have a nice enjoyable meal where I can be wowed by at least some of the food. What do you think? I welcome all your thoughts and comments and thanks for all the advice I’ve already gotten from reading this board!

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  1. I believe that TJR is open everyday for lunch if that helps your planning - had lunch there in Jan, great value and excellent food, will definitely return. TJR might be good for your first day in town, big portions, lots of food. That's what we did, all night flight from US,,check into hotel around noon, TJR for a long lunch and then a nice sleep. TJR is a more casual experience than Le Cinq, the room is not a dramatic, but great value.
    Absolutely go to Le Cinq for lunch or dinner...not to be missed. I believe Le Cinq is open 7 days for lunch and dinner and I would go there early in your trip and not save it for last day. Le Cinq has a beautiful dining room, excellent food and service. May be the best in Paris now. It was so good I tried to go back next day but sadly no reservations available.
    IMHO do both TJR and Le Cinq.... you won't be sorry....keep L'Ami Jean and La Regelade on your list. Rotonde is good for a casual dinner, also open everyday I believe.

    1. Been devising my own schedule and there are other better voices who will probably chime in but just in case I will throw what is maybe worth 2c(or maybe 2 eurocent) in.
      La Table JR is different than L'Atelier in Paris or NYC. You will not really do better for the money for lunch. So if money is no concern, then do whatever is purely best, I guess, if it is at all, keep this. I am planning on going but procrastinating making my own res for lunch, stupidly.
      It is available only during the week, the lunch 55EU that is.
      Go for Le Cinq, I am going to and I have never been.
      Yes, you should do both if your budget allows, I think.

      As mdietrich said, keep La Reg and L'Ami Jean. I will attempt to go to the latter, myself.
      So, we have many similarities and I am just relaying what I believe the most knowledgeable people on this board will say, anyway, so all credit(or most) to them.

      Good luck

      1. As DnD says, the lunch deal at Robuchon is weekdays only, eventhough the restaurant is open every day. By contrast, the lunch deal at Le Cinq is offered everyday. I think le Cinq is in the run for best in town but I should warn that 1- Lunch menu can be slightly subpar compared to the other menus (still excellent) and 2- Statistically, people going during the weekends seem to be more disapointed than the ones going during the week. If you go, contact me to discuss the best ordering strategy -- these days, I would say Risotto and duck, but the menu changes pretty often.

        As MD says, La Table de JR is mostly the best value in town for high quality food. There is usually no wow, but a very well mastered classicism of Nouvelle Cuisine. 55eur includes four courses, wine and water.

        If you're looking for the best value for wow food, I'd have to put in a vote for the 88€ Ledoyen lunch menu -- tue to fri).

        La Rotonde is not loud at all. It is actually pretty comfortable and quiet (especially compared to CAJ or Reg), though lively and located at a major intersection. It's an excellent choice. That would totally be a saturday night or sunday choice for me. Saturday night in particular tends to be a nightmare in so many places... this is a shelter.

        Other good sunday bistrot options include Chez Christophe (sad but delicious and comfortable), l'Auberge Bressane (for excellent traditional creamy food, crepes suzettes, etc.), La Rotisserie du Beaujolais (for rotisserie only), Le Réminet, La Fontaine de Mars, l'Assiette, Chez Georges porte Maillot.

        8 Replies
        1. re: souphie

          Thank you all for your replies! You have convinced me to do both Le Cinq and TJR, and I sent a reservation request online to Le Cinq for a reservation for Saturday lunch. I am waiting for them to get back to me.

          Now, I will take you up on your offer to discuss best ordering strategy. Also, not just for Le Cinq, but what would you recommend for CAJ and La Regalade?

          Thanks again!

          1. re: cjk5

            Let's discuss it the week of your meal, so we can discuss actual options. If I have to go to La Régalade to know what's on their menu, so be it.

            1. re: souphie

              No no, you should not go to any trouble to see what's on the menu! You are too kind. Actually, it is now the week of the meal, since we are leaving New York tomorrow evening and so will arrive in Paris on Friday morning. But really, any general menu guidance is totally appreciated, and please don't go to any unnecessary trouble!

          2. re: souphie


            For La Rotisserie du Beaujolais, what foods do you recommend? You mentioned on a previous post that you can get lamb and chicken (call ahead). Are the foods on the menu also worthy? Or would you skip? Any strong positive (or negative) memories?

            Also, thanks for all the posts. You have guided a ton of my choices for my upcoming trip!

            1. re: nmanowitz

              cjk5, why don't you contact me directly at ?

              In terms of general guidance:
              - At La Régalade, get the pot au feu de foie gras de canard aux truffes (this is truffle season). Pics:
              - At CAJ, since you're already having foie gras at La Régalade, get the cote de veau pour deux and the riz au lait (if you're a foiegrasista like me, you can also get the foie gras for two) Pics:
              - At Le Cinq, I'll check the menu but don't get the eel for starter and don't get the osso bucco as main. If you have the budget, the 155 menu is worth it, and if you like that sort of things, so are the wine pairing. Be careful with the first glass of champagne, it's expensive (I skip it). Pics:
              - At La Table, go for the Lunch menu -- if you like fish, make sure to get the Merlan Colbert as a main, and don't overlook soups as starters. (pics:


              Leely, Christophe is sad -- it's the setting, the atmosphere, the yellow lights, glass plates, stone tables. It is less sad in daytime. It is always delicious. Check my pictures at

              nmanowitz, foods on the menu at La Rotisseie are between good and so-so. Focus on rotisserie on order (call half an hour before you go to tell them you're arriving and they should start roasting your chicken or lamb shoulder).

              1. re: souphie

                Thanks Souphie!

                Is La Rotisserie the best choice for a Sunday dinner? I'm having concerns...

                We only have 5 nights. We are a group of 8 (including 2 kids). I have a reservation for Bis du Severo (Le Severo is closed next week) and Le Régalade later in the week. Definately stop at L'As du Fallafel for lunch.

                I was going to try Chez L'Ami Jean later in the week. Chez Denise is closed next week.

                Seems like so many are closed on Sunday. We are looking for high points on food vs. cost (the most inverse proportion). Casual places that are ok to bring kids.

                Also, if there are one to two other must tries I am missing...

                Thanks again!

                1. re: nmanowitz

                  You'll always be missing something. Let go of that.

                  For affordable sunday dinners, my list include la Rotonde, l'Auberge Bressane, La Rotisserie, La Rotonde (big brasserie, seems like you should have one on your itinerary), Fish (great wines and great prices, time to educate the kids), Christophe.

            2. re: souphie

              Souphie, pardon my ignorance but why is Chez Christophe "sad"? I am in the very early stages (thinking about thinking about) of planning a few meals in Paris for May. I shall be solo, so perhaps "sad" in this case would work for me?