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May 21, 2009 05:04 AM

Jackets required at lunch?

I'm leaving tomorrow for a week in Paris and have finished packing but don't have room for a suit coat. I'm planning on doing a lunch at either L'Arpege or Pierre Gagnaire but can't find anything about the dress code. I've seen everyones posts on dressing in Paris but would like a definitive answer on if wearing a shirt and tie will be allowed in these two restaurants for lunch. I've tried removing everything I can, but just don't have enough space for a suit coat.

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  1. then wear it! you will need a jacket at those restaurants at lunch, just as you would at dinner.

    When we pack light, we often wear clothes we don't want taking up space in the suitcase, but will need while there.

    6 Replies
    1. re: ChefJune

      You don't need a jacket for lunch at Arpege.

      1. re: AK21

        maybe not, but imho, not to wear one in a fine dining restaurant in Paris is impolite. (Ugly American, anyone?)

        1. re: ChefJune

          I agree with chef june. I think a jacket and tie is mandatory when going to a three star restaruant in Paris. Yes, they will be those dining without but you are going to one of the best restaurants in the world. What is so wrong with dressing the part?

          1. re: sethd

            Yes, wear the jacket. I just got back and you might even need the jacket for a chill in the air. My experience last week was that jackets don't hurt but it is the women who dress up more. The men kind of fade into the woodwork.

          2. re: ChefJune

            I would generally agree, but after having lunch there mid-April, I'm not so sure. I did wear a jacket as I thought I would be out of place without one. However, other than a few Japanese tourists not many others were wearing them (and most seemed to be regulars/Passard's friends). They also offered to take it and check it at least twice. The restaurant is quite informal for one of it's caliber, and I'm not quite sure that such a rigid dress code as ***=jacket/tie is required in France.

            I had a similar experience the next day at Gagnaire, where many blatantly non-Americans were without jacket. It's possible to dress appropriately and show respect for the restaurant without dressing to some codified American standard,

            1. re: AK21

              < some codified American standard,> I think not. It's a French standard. Ask Souphie.

      2. I agree with the above. Although one does not need a jacket for lunch at either Arpege or Pierre Gagnaire, I would feel absolutely "naked" walking in with just a shirt and a tie. If you cannot pack a suit jacket, at least wear something stylish and casual such as a sweater over the shirt and tie.

        1 Reply
        1. re: PBSF

          why do I get the feeling OP wasn't intending to pack a tie, either?

        2. As they said, l'Arpège is a pretty casual place. It almost feels strange to wear a jacket there at lunch. The chef, who eats in his own restaurant almost everyday, wears a buttoned-down shirt and blue-jeans. Jackets are tolerated because we understand that some people need to wear them at work.

          Gagnaire is by any standard a fancier place, even if not intimidating by any standard. You'll need to dress up a bit, also because it has many more financiers and lawyers in its clientele (the last people in France to still wear ties). Now the question of the jacket is a formal, somewhat artificial one. I just called Gagnaire to be sure: they said you need a buttoned down shirt, jacket is optional.

          Where jacket or tie are mandatory or appropriate, they are always provided if needed -- Taillevent, le Cinq, Alain Ducasse...

          Bottom line: relax. But don't shorts and sneakers- relax!

          2 Replies
          1. re: souphie


            If you could choose one restaurant for lunch in Paris (with price not an issue), where would you choose?

            Thanks for your suggestions.

            1. re: mhecho

              That all depends on taste and what kind of occasion. If you want to invite me somewhere I'll probably say l'Ambroisie cause I'm really not rich enough to go there with my own monet but I think it can be wonderful. If I want a mix of relaxed and a high chance of exceptional food, l'Arpège. My go-to restaurant, where I go with my money, is le Cinq no question. I love La Grande Cascade too. If I want to have a party with food lover friends I would chose Rostang. For a date with a woman not afraid of classics, I'll pick Lasserre. For a date with a woman afraid of classics, Savoy.

          2. Wore a blue blazer at lunch on the Patio at the Ritz, maybe the best lunch I have ever had, also the most costly. Surrounded by movie stars, great food and service, good wines.

            1. What about requirements for a coat in Provence in June? We will be dining at some very nice one star, and perhaps a two star restaurant in Provence (not along the Cote) in June. Some of these meals will be for lunch, and some for dinner. We have been told by our travel agent that a coat will not be necessary anywhere in Provence in June. Is this true?

              1 Reply
              1. re: josephnl

                Not necessary, but if you have a summer sport jacket, I would pack it. Especially if you're going to l'Oustau de Baumaniere.