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Nov 10, 2009 01:12 PM

need 2 or 3 star rec for Sisters bday in Paris

I am going to Paris with my family around xmas. My sisters birthday is the 26th so we would like to go out for a fantastic meal that night. Originally I was thinking of goign to Les Ambassadeurs but I heard the chef (piege) left earlier this year. My parents and I have been to taillevent and Guy Savoy in the past. We loved them both but would like to try a different place. We were thinking there might be some issues with what will be open so were leaning towards the places in hotels (le cinq, le bristol, and le meurice. Pierre gagnaire is too adventurous for my sister. I would love L'arpege but the focus on seafood could also be problematic for my sister. So I have been considering the aforementioned 3 in hotels along with L'ambroisie and Le Grand Vefour. Do people have any thoughts on these restaurants or others that I should consider. We want great food but also a great room as well because my mother and sister will very much enjoy the room aspect (its my sisters 30th birthday. Thanks for any help.

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  1. I don't recommend le Grand Véfour and I don't think l'Ambroisie will be open on the 26th, which is a saturday (and as they are closed on the 24 and the 25, they probably won't reopen for one day). Le Meurice is closed on sat/sun. So is l'Arpège but it does not have a focus on seafood, only on vegetables, and they'll happily make you a seafood free meal... on any given weekday when they're open (including Xmas day).

    Of course le Cinq has my preference and I wrote about it enough already. Le Bristol is very special though in my opinion less good and more expensive (unless you go ALC at Le Cinq).

    Your other options include La Grande Cascade and Lasserre. Both have very explicit websites that give a fair idea of the places and their food. Both are spectacular and excellent (One has an opening roof, the other is a luxury glasshouse in the woods).

    7 Replies
    1. re: souphie

      Souphie, thank you for your thoughts. Any reason why you would not recommend Grand Vefour? My main concern with Le Cinq is that it will be all Americans and be very cliche. Are my assumptions about it wrong?

      1. re: samurai221

        I also saw that you list one of your favorite restaurants as Michel Rostang, would that be a good option as well for this meal?

        1. re: samurai221

          While l am not the esteemed Souphie, thought l would chime in as well. On my visits to Le Cinq just this year, saw no Americans, though the tables are so far apart you could not hear them anyway, Olivier, one of the captains, treated us like royalty. Loved the food at Michel Rostang but seemed like a men's club atmosphere, not all in a bad way, just very few women were seen. While LGF has lost a star and the lunch menu is unchanged for years and is not great food, the cheese course is fabulous, wines are very interesting and mostly the room is drop dead period piece. Just to walk through the victoires park is enough to be blessed and the staff are friendly warm and helpful, as well as fun.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            The 3 course prix-fixed lunch at Le Grande Vefour does changes periodically; much more so than the regular menu which has hardly changed in the past 3 or 4 years. I've had 3 lunches there in the past 3 years and each time the menu is different; there are three choices for each course. I agree with all the above that the food is not up to the standards of the other top restaurants. But given the beautiful historic room, the location looking out the Palais Royal, very good service, throw in a great cheese course on the prix-fixed lunch plus all the other goodies, I think it is not a bad way to spend an afternoon.

        2. re: samurai221

          Like DCM says. Le Cinq is just one of the best in town in every regard. Of course it is the palace model, but the service is friendly, the restaurant is generous, the room is warmer than competitors (Meurice, Crillon are very Versailles like), the food is always excellent and often wonderful. Le Véfour is even more cliché. This is where Mrs Soprano has dinner when she travels to Paris. And the food is not particularly good.

          1. re: souphie

            "This is where Mrs Soprano has dinner when she travels to Paris."
            Thank you for this. I let the beauty of the room distract me from the main purpose!!

            1. re: hbfoodie7

              "This is where Mrs Soprano has dinner when she travels to Paris."

              Not on topic at all, but that episode of the Sopranos is the one that convinced hubby and I to go to Paris for the first time ~ the scene on Pont Alexandre III did it for us.......and life has never been the same (6 trips in 3 years with # 7 coming up in October).


      2. Samurai, we would all like to know where you ended up celebrating your sister's birthday!

        1 Reply
        1. re: ChefJune

          I apologize but I just saw this post. We ended up going to La Table Joel Robuchon and it was quite honestly one of the best meals of all our lives. a year later and I can still remember some of the food. the staff was really awesome too. Very attentive, but not overly formal and serious, very relaxed smiling and happy that we were enjoying ourselves so much.