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Jul 14, 2009 10:41 AM

A Week in Paris - help?

I will be in Paris for one week with my parents, who are going for the first time, to celebrate my birthday. I would love recommendations for a birthday dinner. The sky's the limit for prices, and my parents don't drink wine, so a glass of champagne and maybe a digestif after dinner is really all that will grace the table in terms of drinks.

My initial thought was to do the tasting menu at Guy Savoy....thoughts? other recommendations?

Other places for more casual dinners would be much appreciated, as well as traditional French bistro type lunch spots in the 16th. And the best place for oysters? (My father has an oyster farm, so this one's particularly important.) My parents care most about the quality of the food, but as it's their first time in Paris, I would also love recommendations for places with historical significance, that are particularly Parisian/French, and/or beautiful.


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  1. I had a really amazing dinner at La Grande Cascade for my husband's birthday. Good thing the sky is the limit for prices, though. : ) Still, there were four of us, all who love food (one French-Vietnamese born friend whose parents own a restaurant), and all said it was the best meal of our lives. It is also a beautiful, magical setting and service is flawless but fun. Most people who've been to Guy Savoy love it as well. It was closed the week I was there, so it wasn't an option.

    We had another (much cheaper) spectacular meal at Chez l'Ami Jean. Get the foie gras for two if you like foie gras. Amazing. The veal chop was also fantastic.

    Enjoy! Ah, to be in Paris with no budget restrictions. Perfection! Happy Early Birthday.

    1. For the oyster part, try Huiterie Regis near the Mabillon metro stop. Very, very small, but very fresh shucked to order oysters with a glass of Muscadet sur lies.

      1. Because unfortunately the sky is not my limit, I only had lunch at La Grande Cascade, but I agree that your parents might really enjoy it--it's quite a beautiful setting with delicious food. And "flawless but fun" is an apt description of the service. If you don't choose it for the big b-day dinner, you might head out for lunch one day anyway.

        I chose my meals based on advice from Chowhounders and I was not disappointed. Enjoy your trip and happy birthday!

        1. My personal favourite is easily l'Arpege. I rate l'Astrance very highly too.
          For more casual stops, Frenchie is interesting, le Chateaubriand can be very good or not, but dinner is only E45...
          Somewhere in between is l'Agape (1*).

          3 Replies
          1. re: food.snob

            hey foodsnob. i'm also looking for places to dine in paris, and saw your post on l'arpege. looks good. how much was the tasting menu, and can you order a la carte? what are the prices like?

            1. re: beansy

              Tasting menu is 360 euos.

              A la carte runs froum 45-70 euros for most appetizers/vegetable dishes, 100-150 eur for fish/meat. They are generally willing to serve split/half portions of any of the a la carte dishes. Creating your own tasting this way is a good option IMO.

              Desserts are like 37 euros.

              1. re: beansy

                hi Beansy. IMO, go carte blance (e135 lunch, e250 dinner)
                ALC is expensive, but portions are substantial.
                This ought to give you an idea of the prices:


            2. For beautiful places with historical significance I second the recommendation for La Grande Cascade where we ate very well last week. I would add Ledoyen; it is even more expensive and formal, but the cuisine is superb and it is in town. You should also consider Le Grand Vefour, although the food critics are down on it nowadays.

              You do not say when you are going, which is relevant to oysters.

              1 Reply
              1. re: beaulieu

                From 24-31 July, just before everything closes! Not the best time for oysters, but my dad will appreciate the gesture.