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In search of one special meal

velza Feb 13, 2009 07:15 AM

My husband and I will be visiting Paris for our 10 year anniversary in April. We are looking for a restaurant with memorable food and would like to stay under 200euros. I am beginning to think this an impossibility! Our hotel is near the Louvre and would like to have something semi-close. I am open to all suggestions from Bistros to Brasseries to fine dining. In all of my searches, I find restaurants with good ratings but poor reviews from regular people and really want one special dinner. Any suggestions??

  1. c
    cpearson Apr 20, 2009 10:07 AM

    None of you have suggested les bistros de Guy Savoy, any reason why not? We went to Les Bouquinistes years ago for lunch with six teenagers - one of our best meals ever!

    Would love to know as I had planned to go again when we are in Paris in June.

    Also, any comments on APICIUS would be appreciated.

    As for a special meal, I haven't been, but have heard that l"Ambroisie is worth the $$$$.

    2 Replies
    1. re: cpearson
      souphie Apr 20, 2009 01:17 PM

      You know how in Paris some chefs invented "Bistronomique", i.e. the idea of offering fine dining ingredients and techniques but in a very informal environment? Well, the way I see it, Apicius does the opposite, and serves brasserie food (well made, and, mostly, using lots of staff) in a high luxury environment. It's probably the most gorgeous restaurant setting in Paris, and a very pleasant place. And one of the least expensive of high luxuy restaurants. And a somewhat festive place. But extraordinary food it is not.

      1. re: cpearson
        fanoffrance Apr 23, 2009 02:00 PM

        I agree with Souphie about Apicius. I had lunch there a year or two ago--wouldn't mind returning, but am not in a great hurry to. As for l'Ambroisie, I definitely think it's worth the $$$$; it's the only Paris restaurant I like so well that I go there every time I'm in town. Just thinking about it makes my mouth water. (Unfortunately it costs almost four times the original poster's budget.)

      2. p
        ParisKat Apr 19, 2009 08:59 AM

        I just returned from a trip to Paris that was full of great restaurant visits. The one that stands out in my mind as truly spectacular is not a traditional three course meal. It was at La Maison du Truffe. I went there for lunch and had their truffle omelet with extra black truffles shaved on top of it. The omelet was served with a simple green salad with truffle oil. I had a glass of white wine with the meal. That simple meal was one of the best meals I've ever had. Yes, I paid a lot for eggs (39 euros for the omelet and salad, extra for the wine), but I can't to visit Paris so that I can do it again. As far as memorable meals are concerned, this one is in my top 5. La Maison du Truffe is on the Place Madeleine, not sure of the exact address.

        2 Replies
        1. re: ParisKat
          o
          Oakglen Apr 19, 2009 12:43 PM

          It's at #19 Place Madeleine, and they have a prix-fixe menu around 50E, as I recall. Truffle quality hasn't been so good recently, at least in my experience. Maybe this restaurant has better access.

          1. re: Oakglen
            souphie Apr 20, 2009 01:34 AM

            Really? This season has been particularly great, though, with lots of excellent truffle. I guess that further illustrates the point that good truffle cook and good cook are two independent things, and that it is important to rely on truffle specialists when you want to have truffle -- in Paris, I know Joséphine, Au Bon Accueil, Gérard Besson, Michel Rostang, L'Ambroisie... and that's about it. Maybe Savoy.

        2. b
          bombayduck Apr 18, 2009 05:48 AM

          L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. 5, Rue Montalembert, 75007 Paaris. Phone 01 42 22 56 56
          Fax 01 42 22 97 91. E-mail: latelierdejoelrobuchon@wanadoo.fr - 2 star Michelin. For 10th Anniversary splash a bit. How can you budget for an occasion like this. It only happens once! Enjoy.

          1 Reply
          1. re: bombayduck
            souphie Apr 19, 2009 04:17 AM

            would differ with that recommendation. It's not very romantic with its black bar where you seat and unlikely to accomodate a meal for 200e for two given that its tasting menu is at 150;

          2. fanoffrance Feb 16, 2009 06:46 PM

            A ways east of the Louvre is the famous old bistro Benoit, run by Ducasse since 2005. I had lunch there a couple of years ago and found it agreeable, if not exactly memorable, and it is within your price range. I had a tasty seafood soup as appetizer, a scrumptious chevreuil (deer?) as main course, and the savarin au rhum (a rather boring sponge cake drenched in liquor) for dessert. For the wine I took a Saint Romain (from the hills SW of Beaune) which I enjoyed a lot. I found the atmosphere very congenial--lively, but not chaotic--and the decor attractive and nostalgic. The service was as good as could be expected given the large number of clients being served. Benoit has one Michelin star--the only Parisian bistro honored with that distinction, according to them. They have a great website with photos and videos that give a good feel of the place: www.benoit-paris.com.

            1. Laidback Feb 13, 2009 09:32 AM

              For a lovely setting on the Place Gaillon, I would recommend 2 places across from each other..."La Fontaine" Gaillon or "Drouant". Both are attractive places with above average cuisine. From the Louvre area, just walk up Ave. de l'Opera until you reach rue Gaillon, take a right and you will see the Place.

              2 Replies
              1. re: Laidback
                velza Feb 18, 2009 10:08 AM

                Both of these places look great! And they are really close to the Westin where we are staying. Will definately eat at at least one! Thanks!!

                1. re: Laidback
                  velza Apr 17, 2009 08:41 AM

                  We had a great meal at La Fontaine Gaillon. It was one of our favorite meals in Paris. The terrace was open, so we have a very romantic meal outside. Thanks for the suggestion!!

                2. o
                  Oakglen Feb 13, 2009 08:05 AM

                  The three course souffle offering at Le Souffle, on Mont Thabor, will be memorable. This is a prix-fixe deal which will allow you to have a good wine and aperitif drinks, all within your budget.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: Oakglen
                    f
                    f2dat06 Feb 13, 2009 08:27 AM

                    Agree about Le Souffle, always enjoyable and very well priced. Here is a picture of one they call souffle antilles, with dark rum and rum soaked raisins.

                     
                    1. re: Oakglen
                      velza Feb 18, 2009 10:06 AM

                      This looks like a great place. I will put this on my list!! And very affordable! Thanks!!

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