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Paris 2 and 3 Stars..Decisions, Decisions

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fishskis Jul 11, 2009 12:06 AM

I will be in Paris for four days in September. I would like to do maybe two or three Michelin starred meals. I do not want to overdo it, or over-reserve, as I have sometimes done in the past.

So, I am thinking one or two lunches, and possibly one dinner. I would appreciate advice and suggestions on the following:

I am thinking about lunch at Guy Savoy for their 100 euro internet special. I have never been to Guy Savoy, and all that hear, from others and from Souphie on this board seem to highly recommend. I have also never been to Arpege; do they offer something similar for lunch?

For my second lunch, I am thinking about Le Cinq (I also happen to have a $250 Four Seasons gift card;)). Or perhaps I should do this for dinner one night? Since I am traveling alone, I usually do my three-stars at lunch, to take advantage of the better value, as well as the slightly more relaxed atmosphere and somewhat less lengthy experience. But perhaps I could do a nice special dinner at Le Cinq?

Additionally, I love Pierre Gagnaire. I find their prix fixe lunch surprise menu (105 euro?) an incredible experience and, frankly, an incredible value. But I have done it a few times, and perhaps something different is better.

I also have not been to Senderens, and I am thinking about it for dinner. Any other more modern, creative, not overly heavy places I should think about?

Thank you.

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    dietndesire RE: fishskis Jul 11, 2009 03:13 AM

    Read the threads on the boards, topic has been done over and over for the most part.
    Normally, people would say lunch at Le Cinq but with your gift card, y, maybe dinner is worth it if you do not really have another use for it though you will spend more than 250US.
    Senderens has been down in the dumps according to Souphie and though I had a good one there many moons ago, I would steer clear on his word. Note, he recommends the desserts.
    I am merely rehashing what the board gurus will probably say.
    Of course, there are other choices but if you have Savoy and Le Cinq, that leaves you with one and some other recos will be Lasserre, Ledoyen, L'ambroisie. Of course there is nothing wrong with repeats(Gagnaire) if you really enjoy them, in my view.

    6 Replies
    1. re: dietndesire
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      Oakglen RE: dietndesire Jul 11, 2009 07:22 AM

      As a single, I would avoid Lasserre (formal) and L'Ambroisie (so serious) and go for a change of pace, like the one stars, Ze Kitchen Galerie or Les Fables de la Fontaine.

      1. re: Oakglen
        souphie RE: Oakglen Jul 11, 2009 10:01 AM

        I would too, if they were good.

        1. re: Oakglen
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          fishskis RE: Oakglen Jul 11, 2009 06:23 PM

          Oakglen, thank you. I completely agree about Laserre and L'Ambroisie; I have been to both, and never alone. I hear such mixed things about your other two ideas, that I hesitate to try them.

          1. re: fishskis
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            Oakglen RE: fishskis Jul 12, 2009 07:08 AM

            Both of the one stars are relatively new and I don't have a long history with them, like Souphie has with Le Cinq, for example. Fables benefits from the purchasing power of the Constant's, and I haven't read of any negative experiences. ZKG is unique, and seems to create bipolar reactions. Personally, I don't "get it", but then I'm not an adventurous diner like John T, who loves the place.

            1. re: Oakglen
              PhilD RE: Oakglen Jul 12, 2009 10:56 PM

              I also don't get ZKG, and I went back again to double check the place, and still didn't like it. I am an adventurous diner, but I reasoned that was why I didn't like ZKG, having had far better renditions of this style of food in other countries, and thinking less adventurous diners liked it because of its novelty value.

              1. re: Oakglen
                PhilD RE: Oakglen Jul 12, 2009 10:59 PM

                I agree about "Fables" I always have good food; for the price it punches above its weight.

                It is small so "elbow to elbow" dining which accounts or some less positive comments, it also doesn't do traditional presentations of dishes, so that may account for other grumbles. Best advice is to book the second sitting (after 9:00pm), it is more relaxed.

        2. Delucacheesemonger RE: fishskis Jul 11, 2009 08:13 AM

          Le Cinq and Savoy , yes; Senderens, no. was with Souphie for good desserts, meh everything else. Last lunch at Le Cinq, 2 people, 2 good not expensive wines, one a la carte, one prix fixe, total was 475 euros, absolutely worth it. $250 American translates to 175 Euros, so will have to ante up a little, but would have to ante up a lot at dinner. Many of the board would probably want to join you if you wanted company, email us.

          1. souphie RE: fishskis Jul 11, 2009 10:05 AM

            Like they said: Senderens those days is only reliable for desserts. You may still have a wonderful meal but it's just less and less likely, because the chef is just not up to the job.

            There's no point in going to Le Cinq for dinner, unless you particularly enjoy dim light and higher prices. The experience is not, however, less lengthy.

            All your choices are great, eventhough Savoy is more for the total experience than for the food, which is not always wonderful.

            If you want to see some of what's going on in lesser expensive restaurants, I would recommend Le Chateaubriand above all other "jeunes tables". Inaki Aitziparte is the real deal, unique talent and real rigour. Le Bistral and La Bigarrade are also interesting.

            1 Reply
            1. re: souphie
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              fishskis RE: souphie Jul 14, 2009 06:43 PM

              Thank you Souphie. I will be trying Le Chateaubriand and La Bigarrade based on your advice (and others' concurrence).

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