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Oct 21, 2009 12:30 PM

3 days in Paris

Hi everyone,

I'll be visiting Paris in Dec with my folks, but as we'll only be there for 3 days, I need some help in narrowing down places to eat as I hope to make the most of our 3 days there and treat my parents to some good food (not bank breaking though).
After reading thru previous posts, I have decided on the following:

Chez L'ami Jean (either for lunch or dinner. which is better? if for dinner what time is their sitting?)

Le Cinq and Guy Savoy (only have time for one of them, which would you pick?)

Les Papilles (can someone kindly enlighten wha's their operating hours/days? couldnt find info on their website and their email bounced)

Fish (still undecided, is it similar to the above in terms of cuisine?)

ok that's all i have for now are there others you would reccomend?
Also we might make a trip to La valle, are there any good places to check out or should we just have lunch in the city 1st?

Lastly, what do you think abt Alain ducasse's restaurants in Paris, his restaurant doesnt seem to be mentinoned often around here. is it worth checking out?

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  1. CAJ - lunch is calmer, dinner busier. Sittings from when they open to when they close, they turn each table three or four times.

    Le Cinq is magnificent and wonderfully traditional, I believe Savoy is modern and more innovative.

    Fish - has quite a light menu, with modern touches. I have yet to visit Papilles, but I believe it is more traditional.

    Ducasse - which restaurant? He has 6 or 7 in Paris. I like all of the ones I have been to. They suit my mood when I want something safe and dependable. In a way his restaurants are like an old Volvo, you don't get the thrills of a sports car, but it is reassuring (and that is the reason they don't get mentioned much). But beware is top end are bank breaking and his lower priced options are not cheap.

    1. Phil D's comments on CAJ are spot on. If you go with three for dinner there is one table for three that is pretty comfy and not really in the line of fire, but lunch is far more relaxng. If you can do 2 lunches do both Le Cinq and Savoy, both have great lunch specials , Savoy obtained on internet only, both different and great. l did a recent report on Le Cinq, read it

      1. Les Papilles is open for a 4 course single spoken-menu dinner around 7:30, Tuesdays through Saturdays. The tables are turned on Saturday nights.

        Lunch is a la carte, probably noon through 2.

        7 Replies
        1. re: mangeur

          Les Papilles: De midi à 14h et de 19h30 à 22h. Fermé le dimanche et le lundi.

          1. re: PhilD

            thanks everyone for your great advice, would like your input for one more place: L'atelier de joel robuchon. Wanted to try this when we were in tokyo but didnt manage to, should we check out his Paris's outlet ?

            PhilD-- loved your volvo analogy, really apt =)

            1. re: xblueberries

              Tasting l'Atelier in Paris won't give you a fair idea of l'Atelier in Tokyo (or London, or NYC). Of course the setting and the menus are very similar, but each Robuchon branch is run by one or several actual chefs that, eventhough they play Robuchon's score (more or less) have different strengths and weaknesses.

              L'Atelier in Paris is a pretty good rotisserie and high-end snack. I don't think it's an essential place to go, but if you have sweetbread cravings at 10pm one night, it's ideal.

              1. re: souphie

                hmm... guess I will give L'Atelier a miss. thanks souphie.
                By the way, if I were to call these places up to make a reservation, would it be a problem if I don't speak french?

                1. re: xblueberries

                  my husband and I tried for Chez L'ami Jean lunch today, food was fabulous! It is 9pm now and I still can not eat dinner. Their pre-fix menu is 3 courses for 35 Euros. If you don't read or speak any French, this is probably the way to go. There is a blond lady with short hair that works there and speaks very good English and will help you translate the menu. As soon as you get to Paris, have your hotel concierge call for reservations, as there are only about a dozen tables, it's quite hard to get in. Highlights, the skate wing and braised beef main entrees are excellent, the lemon mousse dessert was devine. There were lots of additional dishes that looked great, but as I was not able to read the menu, we stuck with the pre-fix items. Enjoy! We are trying Les Papilles in a few days, another tough reservation to get.

                  1. re: xblueberries

                    I have always found that most of the high-end restaurants have someone on the phone that speaks English. I speak in French, but they hear my accent immediately and usually switch to English. :-) That said, using the concierge or desk people often works wonders.

                    1. re: zuriga1

                      Absolutely - the front man who had 10 years of English won't but the Somali plongeur will.

                      John Talbott

          2. Well since we're all friends here, the only places on your list I'd recommend to a friend are Les Papilles and Fish.
            L'Atelier de JR is too Mary's Fish Camp for me. I need space and talking room.

            John Talbott

            3 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott

              Is it true Les Papilles only has 1 fixed menu for dinner? As my parents don't take beef this might rule it out as a dinner option.
              So I'm now thinking of shifting Les Papilles to lunch and Le Cinq to dinner. What do you guys think? If we have dinner at Le Cinq, what are the prices like for set menu?

              Lastly, my dinner plans for 2 nights are still open. Besides Fish & CAJ, where else offer good value (read affordable) options. Frenchie?

              so many choices so little time arrrghhhh!

              1. re: xblueberries

                I don't think les Papilles will have more choice for lunch than dinner. At night, Le Cinq's first prixfixe is 160. Then there's the tasting -- don't know how much that is, less than 300 for sure. And ALC is in the top bracket of restaurants, with almost no course under 100.

                Good value meals -- Fenchie indeed, Christophe, La Régalade, Au Bon Accueil, Chateaubriand, l'Avant-Gout....

                1. re: xblueberries

                  Click on the red "consulter...." line to pull up the lunch menu.