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Jul 21, 2009 05:22 AM

Le Carré des Feuillants or Helene Darozze for dinner?

I have the choice on Saturday - does anyone have any recommendations?

I'm taking my girlfriend for her first michelin starred meal so am looking for a place with a "wow factor"...

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  1. Honestly, none of them is worth it, if you ask me. Le Carré at least has some fans whereas no one ever saw someone who actually enjoyed their meal at HD.

    6 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Agreed, board like Le Cinq for lunch, Arpege for lunch if you are lucky and others

      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        How did you come up with these two choices?

        1. re: michaelstl

          Loved Le Cinq and lust for Arpege. Many of the others in Paris l have been to have changed to the negative, Whil G Savoy and Gagnaire are great in their own right, the two l mentioned have a definite 'wow' factor.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Delucacheesemonger- Sorry, I phrased my question poorly. I full understand why you suggest Le Cinq and L'Arpege. Both are great options and certainly can have the "wow" factor.

            I was trying to ask the OP how they narrowed down all of the places in Paris to Carre or Helen D. as neither place generates much news or seem to be destinations in the food blogger world. I've never been to either so I'm not suggesting they are bad choices, but I'd done quite a bit of research for my recent Paris trip and these rarely, if ever, came up as places to try.

            1. re: michaelstl

              Went to 'Carre' about three years ago, and while fine, certainly had no wow factor.

      2. re: souphie

        Correct souphie but if jamesrdown, if you're dead set on one or the other - Carre.

      3. For the "Wow factor" take her to the Jules Verne :o)

        1. Darroze gets dumped on a lot, both on this board and others, and I wonder how many posters have actually been there.

          I did have lunch there several years ago when it was still a one star. I have been to better places but I still fondly recall a dish of crackling hot legumes de printemp served with foie gras ice cream that melted over the hot vegetables to produce a very tasty sauce. Also had a piece of nicely cooked fish with a thing I will call goat cheese potato sandwich. This was two rounds of potato with an herbed goat cheese filling, the whole thing wrapped in jambon de bayonne and baked. I have replicated this thing a number of time for dinner parties, always a big hit.

          The day I was there, and this was 5 or 6 years ago, there were only 2 other people in the dining room. Maybe the staff had extra time to do a good job given the low number of customers, don't know. Just remember leaving thinking this was really a good one star. I have never returned because seems like after she got her second star prices really exploded and there are plenty of other places that offer better value now.

          4 Replies
          1. re: f2dat06

            I have eaten at Darroze as a 2 star and it was a dire experience. I can't recall much about the food, but remember the really snotty service, and especially their insistence that we ordered desserts at the outset of the meal. We tried to push back saying we had no idea if we would want dessert at this stage; we lost. At the time we lived in Paris and fully appreciated the nuances of French service, this was poor for a non-stared restaurant, let alone a 2 star.

            At the time she was much feted by the French media, and I always wonder if her fame has more to do with her success as a female chef in the traditionally male dominated French food industry.

            1. re: PhilD

              With the consistently negative reports, both in France and in the States, I've wondered how Darroze can stay open. Is she subsidized by someone?


              1. re: rswatkins

                Media work, I thought she did some French TV? I suspect her London restaurant is a "consulting" arrangement rather than any capital or money at risk. I also believe she cut back from three to two venues in Paris (two in the same building).

                1. re: rswatkins

                  Her family is famous for producing Armagnac.

            2. They were simply the two places where I was able to get reservations. I found that most places were closed when I'll be eating.

              1. Update - have just managed to secure a reservation at Le Cinq!

                Based on everydobies recommendations that's where I'll be going - Many thanks for all your help.