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Nov 4, 2009 08:36 AM

La Gazzetta or Chez l'Ami Jean??

Will be in Paris next month, all dinners are planned but one. Was looking to do either La Gazzetta or Chez l'Ami Jean?

Does anyone have a strong opinion one way or the other? Really can't decide between the two, haven't been to either. May be biased toward Chez l'Ami Jean because I am a big Camdeborde fan, but La Gazzetta's tasting menu looks intriguing and I've read nothing but good things.


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  1. Their "usage" is different.
    For a meal? Hands down, chez l'Ami Jean.
    La Gazzetta is more of a hangout for me. Very nice hangout.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Parigi

      This would be for a meal, yes. Does L'Ami Jean have a tasting menu? You would do L'Ami Jean over the 7-course menu at La Gazzetta? Thanks a lot!

      1. re: wishiwasinparis

        The chef at L'Ami Jean proposes a tasting menu for parties of 6 or more. Last time we tried it, it had 1 starter (soup), 2 mains (fish, beef) and 3 desserts. All for 35 euro per.
        If there are two of you getting different things and sharing, it's more or less a tasting menu there.
        Another time there were 4 of us. We tried to talk the strangers sharing our banquette to do a tasting menu. I would soooo like to tell you they went for it mais non, they looked at us as though we were nuts.
        Yes I would go for a tasting menu or a regular meal at L'Ami Jean over the 7-course menu at La Gazzetta.

    2. Why those two when there are so many other places that are not inconsistent and crowded (l'Ami Jean) or a Swedish version of Italianate (La Gazzetta)?

      John Talbott

      8 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        I guess, John, because those were the two they were trying to decide between, non?

        1. re: John Talbott

          I had yet another wonderful meal at CAJ last week -- see DCM's recent report. I don't think the place is inconsistent even if, like every restaurants, it has bad days. I actually, I reiterate that this just is one of the best foods in town and that the value is terrific. It is crowded and mostly, space is very very spare. As DCM mentioned, we had the (70 pound) puppy and the baby (with us, not as food) and it was very friendly.

          So my response to the OP would be: for excellent food, go to CAJ. If you want a very good-looking sexy chef, go to La Gazetta.

          1. re: souphie

            Soup, to be fair about CAJ it does have some dishes on the menu that don't meet everybody's taste. I wouldn't say it is inconsistent cooking, but that the dishes are different to the mainstream. I am thinking about some of the "one pot" dishes I have eaten over the years, most have been great but a few left me wondering why I had ordered them. So I can see that it can be possible to mis-order and come away unsatisfied.

            1. re: PhilD

              Funny, I was thinking exactly that -- the Axoa for instance (a veal stew) for me is profoundly uninteresting, especially when Jégo is such an great rotisseur. But then again, I think it's an uninteresting recipe to start with.

            2. re: souphie

              This L'Ami Jean fan wants to raise a minor point that is not minor to others.
              The cramped space bothers quite a few diners.
              Maybe that is why it is best to go with a group of very good friends, good enough that one does not feel bothered touching all the time. Some cultures and some people really do not feel comfortable with that.
              Goes without saying that it never bothered me.

              1. re: souphie

                Soup a dit: "So my response to the OP would be: for excellent food, go to CAJ. If you want a very good-looking sexy chef, go to La Gazetta."

                But the CAJ chef is might sexy himself !

                1. re: Parigi

                  He does not pose for fashion pictures, though.

                  1. re: souphie

                    And I'm never been to la Gazzetta, but I'm not sure Nielsen is even half as fun to watch working than Jego.

            3. Will be in Paris next week and am asking the same question La Gazzetta or Chez l'Ami Jean? - any new opinions - as I will be with my husband, more into food and atmsopere (non-stuffy) than sexy chef!)

              7 Replies
              1. re: P00kster

                You did'n't get the vibes that the vote was for CAJ?

                1. re: P00kster

                  I agree with John, they are very different (one on the basque side, and very loud, but the food is good, the other one more on the italian side but the food isn't very italian but not very cheap) .., one is in the 7th, the other one in the 12th!.. Why this choice ?

                  1. re: Pascale Parisvf

                    "Why this choice ?"
                    May we respectfully re-ask?
                    To paraphrase Sir Winston, "So few choices, so little time," which I know he probably never said but Aprocaphy lives on.

                    1. re: John Talbott

                      "Aprocaphy lives on"...

                      Oh learned one, is there such a word or did your fingers get tangled around apocryphy?

                  2. re: P00kster

                    Actually, this is one of the easier questions posed here. The way we (my husband and I) choose a restaurant is to compare the food and ambiance.

                    Here is La Gazzetta's menu:

                    Here is L'Ami Jean:

                    They are very different. As they say, so what do you want to eat?

                  3. This is easy. L'Ami Jean any time. We ate at both on our recent trip to Paris. La Gazzetta was inconsistently terrible. L'Ami Jean was consistently very good, and sometimes fantastic.

                    We had the 7-course menu at LG and three of the courses involved such awful flavor pairings that they courses were uneatable. Most people spoke English, and the waiters joked about being high while serving (which is probably correct anyway--they broguht out the same plate twice, twice).

                    We did a taster's menu at CAJ. Seven courses and a cheese plate. Was fantastic. I would go again any time. If you don't like sitting in close quarters with strangers, may not be for you, but the food shines and for a great price. And plenty of native French speakers.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: ezsober

                      Apparently I had the only great meal at La Gazzetta on this board. But it was wonderful, especially the tartare and the roasted carrots. And the dessert strawberry dessert with (I think) a goat's cheese ice cream.

                      We were there a month ago. My friends had the five-course menu, but my two favorite dishes were the extra two on the seven courses.

                      Services was cooler than it might have been but competent and helpful.

                      I have not been to L'Ami Jean, so I cannot comment, except to say that I would happily return to La Gazzetta again.

                    2. l'ami jean gets my vote, too. although I didn't have as bad of an experience at la Gazetta as some here seem to have - i had the tasting menu and quite enjoyed it. I was there with a mix of visitors and some local foodie friends and all of us were content with our meal.

                      If you're visiting Paris, L'ami jean seems a better experience and the food is nice. However - is it just me or have their prices gone up? I hadn't eaten there in quite some time and went back last weekend and it seemed like everything was pricier. The menu option was the chef's "Carte Blanche" tasting menu at 60 Euros (I could be mistaken - might have been 70). You get what you get and as many courses as the chef sees fit. We got 5 courses, but I think the chef cut us off after the foie & sweetbreads course because it was so huge that we barely made a dent in it. (he came out to see if it was ok - which it was - just really & big). I think that's an odd course to stop on. (in full disclosure we had warned the server that we wanted to try the tasting menu but needed to get out in 2.5 hours & asked him if it was possible so it could have been a time issue as well.) After the unfinished foie, he immediately sent out the riz au lait and two verrines of tasty dessert product!

                      I saw other diners around us also getting the tasting menu and it looked like they were getting different things than we were - so it really does seem to be as he sees fit.

                      I like L'Ami Jean - it's busy, bustling and the food is good. I do have to say though, sometimes I get a bit tired of the jokey-jokey thing with the servers. Don't get me wrong - it's great to have friendly, fun staff who aren't snobby or stand-offish. But every course started with some joke along the lines of "it's not good but it's fine" and finished with an admonishment that I hadn't eaten everything on my plate.

                      Neither would be my top choice for one meal in Paris, but between the two l'Ami Jean is my rec. Three of us got out of there with the tasting menu, a champagne starter and a bottle of wine for about 100 Euros each.

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: forestcollins

                        "Neither would be my top choice for one meal in Paris, "

                        Forest, I knew there was a reason I respected yr opinion. Spot-on.