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Aug 19, 2009 12:15 PM

Need help with France restaurants Please!!!!

My husband and I are going to Paris, Cannes, and Saint tropez. We already have reservations at the following: Paris- Alain Ducasse, Le Cinq, Le Meurice, Guy Savoy, and Taillevent. Are these to intense to do all one night after the other??? Any suggestions woujld be greatly appreciated! We are only in Cannes for one night and will be going to Le Palme d'Or.
And in Saint Tropez we are planning on going to La Pinede, Villa Romana, Auberege De La Mole, and Belrose. Anywhere else we should go or not go. Lunch and patisserie suggestions would be greatly appreciated as well!!! Thanks so much for all your help, and I apologize for this long post.

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  1. My only comment after reading your itinerary is that Alain Ducasse, Le Cinq and Le Meurice are all similiar in that they are palace-type hotel restaurants. This may be exactly why you are choosing these three, but if you'd like to have greater variety in your Paris meals you may consider eliminating one or two of these. I'm not suggesting any of these choices are bad, just very similar in atmosphere (not necessarily food though).

    At this level, you could consider places like L'Arpege and L'Ambrosie or maybe Lasserre or La Grand Cascade- places where the food should be as good as the places you've listed, but could provide a different overall experience. Either way you'll be eating very well.

    1. Guy Savoy is to this day one of the best meals that I ever had--and most pleasant staff--I went for lunch in April, and they treated me like a king.

      I always stay at Le Meurice when I go to Paris--the Dali Bar and Restaurant (not the formal dining room) is a wonderful place to have a relaxed meal. The Bellini is spectacular. The formal dining room is fantastic, and although the atmosphere is similar to Le Cinq--a hotel dining room--the chef is quite ingenious (more Wylie Dufrense without the molecular gastronomy but with the play on food).

      Have a wonderful trip

      1. If you have a chance, La Potiniere in Cannes is delightful, website with a virtual tour is at It's across the street from Palais des Festivals where the Cannes Film Festival takes place. The cafe has tons of movie posters, of course. Also, the fresh market in Cannes, Tuesdays, I think, is not to be missed. I lunched with a group at La Potiniere a few years ago, on the terrace, and it was delightful, right next to the harbor.

        1. I've been to Ducasse, Meurice, and Savoy (twice). I liked Savoy the first time, but was very disappointed on my second visit (starchy soups and sauces, overdone spices, tasteless fish... the only thing I liked was the dessert, and of course the service). Ducasse was OK (except for the unfortunate wine) but uninteresting, impersonal and pompous to my taste; Meurice had rather brutish recipes, but that was probably 3-4 years ago so it may have improved. I recommend l'Ambroisie and La Grande Cascade. (I haven't been to le Cinq or Taillevent, but the former seems to be a rising star while the latter has fallen. As for the Cannes area, I wonder if you have considered the Chèvre d'Or in Èze; I haven't been there, either, but it sounds intriguing.) No, I don't think you're overdoing it with one grand meal a day--just don't try to do two a day!

          1. Five top meals in a row is, in my opinion, too much. Three, maybe four can work depending on your abilities, but I don't think there's anyway you won't be able to enjoy at least some of these meals. Ducasse and Meurice will feed you reasonably but the three others offer avalanches of food.

            I think the three palace restaurants are very different from one another, but they indeed all are palace restaurants so will offer similar features if different styles and food.

            3 Replies
            1. re: souphie

              Thanks for your responses! I was wondering though if there are any places that aren't quite as fancy, that you love for dinner? Just in case we don't want to be fancy. Also, I love all sorts of food but my husband is slightly more picky, he doesn't want to get stuck at a restaurant that all frog legs, lamb, and duck. Are any of the choices I named in my first posting limited? Thank you so much for all your suggestions! They are very much appreciated!

              1. re: foodenthus

                The best non-fancy restauarant I've been to in Paris is Fables de la Fontaine. Many people love Chez l'Ami Jean, but I was there once and wasn't crazy about it.

                1. re: foodenthus

                  In my opinion, the best bistronomiques are Chez l'Ami Jean, La Régalade, Christophe and Au Bon Accueil (bistronomique means fine dining techniques and ingredients in a casual setting). The best very traditional bistrots are Chez Joséphine, Le Quincy, l'Auberge Bressane and Chez Denise. The best meat place is Le Sévero (or le Bis du S). Fish is also a great simple place with great wines. Willi's Wine Bar has great wines. Le Bistral and Le Chateaubriand are the best representatives of new innovative chefs.