Saturday night engagement dinner
First time posting, hope you can help. I'm planning to propose to my girlfriend in Paris in February and am looking for a restaurant for dinner. I think my budget will be around 200eurospp. I've looked at numerous websites and am just completely unsure!! L'astrance would have been perfect but it looks to be closed on a Sat night.
Any suggestions?? I would really appreciate it!
I'm with Phil, it's a very personal decision, and it boils down to what places seems convenient for you. Me, I think I would chose and excellent pizzeria, something relaxed and good but not too cramped and rushed. There are casual, affordable places with excellent food, but they tend to be pretty cramped, some more than others, so you often don't have much privacy. I would consider le Pétrelle too but it is very "bo-bo" and as Phil says, it will be strange if it isn't your style. In the high end dining, quite a few restaurants are less formal, but that does not make them less expensive (Savoy, Arpège...). Also, most high end places have waiting staff that know how to adapt to your mood. If you feel relaxed and joking at Le Cinq or Le Meurice, they will be there for you, eventhough the rooms will remain as highly luxurious as they are. Senderens I think is another interesting possibility, a profoundly erotic restaurants with food that is wonderful when they're on, very common when they're not. La Grande Cascade is high end that fits your budget no problem and is very spectacular. Taillevent may be borderline for you budget, but is all you expect from fine dining in Paris -- the whole being inside the postcard experience.
My advice would be for you to read blogs and see pictures so you make up your own mind. See for instance my pics at picasaweb.google.fr
Putting myself in your shoes, I think I'd want a place where I could talk easily (ergo, no close up tables), that was "romantic" (therefore, no rush-rush service or un-nap'd tables) and was located in a beautiful setting. I agree wth Soup that the Grande Cascade would fit the bill best.
Thanks for all the advice! I'll definitely do some more research and consider all your wonderful suggestions. Thanks you all for being so helpful. I have one more question, we are there for a three nights so thinking about the other nights...I've heard someone talk about Le Chiberta as a reasonable and good quality place to eat...any one have an experience of it?
My one tip with this is to pick somewhere that fits your style. The last thing you want is an uncomfortable meal in a very formal place if you yourselves are hip and casual. For example La Tour D'Argent that "ernurse" enjoyed was very, very formal and when I went, jacket and tie was required, it is fantastic if that is you, but may be odd if it is not. Equally if you want formal you don't want to be in a bustling bistro or casual/hip/fashionable place.
Tell us more about your style (likes/dislikes) and it will help with recommendations.
Thanks guys. Well we are both pretty casual and 'fashionable' I suppose!! I think Uber formal would be a bit much for us, not that into plush decor and the 'royal' service. Rather a less formal but high quality food establishment (does this exist?) I was planning to propose before dinner and then to celebrate at a romantic restaurant with excellent food. Neither of us are massive fish fans so a purely seafood place would be out of the question.
Once again a big thank you for any advice!!
"less formal but high quality food establishment"
Hmm. Plus you would not want too noisy a place like chez L'Ami Jean. Although it serves excellent food, it is so noisy that your next-table neighbors would have to help you shout out your proposal in unison in order for your fiancée to hear.
A quiet, romantic bistro with very good food, open Saturday night? I vote Frenchie.
Last tip: there's formal and formal. In the better places, do expect that you will be eating among people who probably have a jacket on (and no self-brought mineral water bottle dangling from hip). When French men wear a jacket to dinner, they don't even consider that formal. It is just part of going out and its enjoyment.
And congratulations !
Not sure what others have to say about this resturant, but just this october my boyfriend proposed to me after taking me to dinner at La Tour D'Argent. He said he picked it for the view, and the history of the resturant and the reviews. The resturant overlooks the seine and the back of notre dame. We both thoroughly enjoyed our meal, we found the wait staff to be very attentive and friently and filled in with english when our french was limited. We had the duck and it was fantastic. With champagne apertifs, a demi bottle of wine, appetizers, duck and dessert the price was 330 euros total. (of course you could spend more than we did!). Overall it was a great expereience. We have the postcard with the number of the duck that was served to us as a keepsake and it will always be part of our engagement story. (he proposed after dinner, not in the resturant, if that makes a differnece to you). Anyways, just thought I'd put that out there since it just happened to me.
P.S. it is open saturday nights and you can make reservations online.