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matsonjones Mar 11, 2010 11:08 PM

Hello fellow Chowhounders:

Okay - here's what I need help with. Going to Paris next week. Have a dinner date set up for Friday night. Am looking for a restaurant with delicious food, but - would prefer a place that is romantic. Not a "hearts and flowers" super formalized haute place like Taillevant, etc. I love that too, but in this case looking for something a touch darker, sexier - modern in decor is okay as long as it's not hyper minimalist and cold. A place where after dinner you can drink and maybe get a little closer. Cost not an issue. Any input greatly appreciated., and thanks in advance!

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  1. Parigi RE: matsonjones Mar 12, 2010 12:50 AM

    Try Le Restaurant at the historic hotel called L'Hôtel on rue des Beaux Arts. The opulent but intimate interior is more a dinner place. There are - at least - 3 "Le Restaurant" that I know of. Remember this one is in L'Hôtel.

    Another very romantic place is le Chalet des Iles. The food was good without being outstanding. What is outstanding is this: The restaurant sends you a boat to pick you up to transport you to the restaurant, an 100-year old Datcha, on an islet on Bois de Boulogne. Remember: There are two Chalets des Iles. This one is Chalet des Iles Bois de Boulogne, on Chemin Ceinture du Lac Inférieur at Porte de la muette Tel 01 42 88 04 69‎. When I was there, at a neighboring table a young man was proposing and slipping a ring on her fiancée's finger while one of the birds that had been flitting in and out of the house swooped down and stole bites from his bread. I'd say the place is best for lunch because the breathtaking scenery is the major ingredient there.

    9 Replies
    1. re: Parigi
      mangeur RE: Parigi Mar 12, 2010 06:51 PM

      L'Hotel is indeed romantic, modern, darker, intimate and certainly does not take cost into account. Even the narrow street is romantic. Enjoy. ;)

      1. re: mangeur
        hbfoodie7 RE: mangeur Mar 13, 2010 03:59 AM

        Have you enjoyed lunch there as well as dinner? It was on our list for a Saturday lunch for our trip in June.

      2. re: Parigi
        Parigi RE: Parigi Mar 12, 2010 11:52 PM

        Ooooooops, I meant "his fiancée", not "her fiancée". Did not mean to put a same-sex angle in this already drippy romantic locale...

        1. re: Parigi
          hychka RE: Parigi Mar 13, 2010 09:44 AM

          For all this talk about le Chalet des Iles I asked for and received a Sunday at 1:30 PM reservation on May16th, which should be very nice with open windows, etc. Does anyone know if this would be considered lunch or dinner?

          1. re: hychka
            Parigi RE: hychka Mar 13, 2010 10:00 AM

            1:30pm? Lunch.

            1. re: hychka
              hychka RE: hychka Mar 18, 2010 06:32 AM

              Maybe we won't be eating at Le Chalet des Iles after all.

              This morning out of the clear blue sky we received this nasty note from le Chalet des Iles..."Sorry but we are not a booking centre; We are not an hotel, if you want to book a table for a precise date please send us a new email"

              We had asked for a specific date and time and received a confirmation back and now, five days later, this nasty note appears.

              I've asked for an explanation, but I think I know the answer...snotty staff.

              We probably shouldn't eat there now.

              1. re: hychka
                PhilD RE: hychka Mar 18, 2010 01:16 PM

                That is quite weird, that said I generally phone.

                1. re: PhilD
                  hychka RE: PhilD Mar 24, 2010 07:04 PM

                  Received a voicemail (didn't hear the ring) from Chalet des Iles asking me to call back "about the misunderstanding" about our reservations. I'm thinking, "NOOO!"

                  Any advice on how to deal with strange things like this?

                  1. re: hychka
                    PhilD RE: hychka Mar 24, 2010 09:45 PM

                    Doesn't do any harm to call and hear what they say.

          2. John Talbott RE: matsonjones Mar 12, 2010 04:19 AM

            If you'll search for Valentine's Day I think you'll find a lot of suggestions.
            One place I have not been to but gets high grades is the Hotel Amour's Resto where there's a lot of "lipstick red" and "sexy nonchalance of the servers."
            I agree with Parigi that some of the most romantic spots are to be found in the parks, I happened to have a bad meal at the Chalet des Iles in the Bois de Vincenes (no relationship with others) but love the Pre Catalan and Grande Cascade for food and atmosphere.

            John Talbott

            2 Replies
            1. re: John Talbott
              jock RE: John Talbott Mar 12, 2010 07:22 AM

              second pre catlan.

              1. re: jock
                Parigi RE: jock Mar 12, 2010 10:17 AM

                Pré Catelan is a great choice.
                Sorriest for this nitpicking...
                In order to facilitate fellow hounds' research, how about if we spell restaurant names correctly? It is Pré Catelan, with not much to do with the region in Spain.
                (insert emotiicon of me bowing deeply)

                I agree with Schtroumfette re hotel Amour. The music is so deafening there that any declaration of love would have to be screamed out, and you risk having your neighboring table screaming back at you: "SHE. SAID. SHE'D. MARRY. YOU !!!!!!"

            2. s
              schtroumpfette RE: matsonjones Mar 12, 2010 07:44 AM

              Would you be open to going to a sexy bar that has food as an afterthought? I tried Flute l'etoile last weekend and loved it. It's on rue de l'Etoile in the 17th. Yes it's a champagne bar, but there is a menu with nibbles and dessert. Reserve a table so you can stay as long as you like. There are a couple of tables that are basically hidden from view, covered with curtains. I could've stayed there all night. I can't vouch for the food though, since I was only there for atmosphere and strong cocktails. As for Hotel Amour, I'd skip it. As JT hints, there isn't anything remotely sexy about this place.

              1. m
                matsonjones RE: matsonjones Mar 12, 2010 04:22 PM

                Thanks so much everyone thus far! Really appreciating the input.....

                1. souphie RE: matsonjones Mar 18, 2010 07:28 AM

                  Why did no one mention Senderens? It is the most erotic restaurant in town -- it even was voted best before love restaurant the year it opened. And the food and wines are sometimes outstanding, the desserts always are.

                  13 Replies
                  1. re: souphie
                    PhilD RE: souphie Mar 18, 2010 01:15 PM

                    I did on the other sexy thread...

                    1. re: PhilD
                      souphie RE: PhilD Mar 19, 2010 05:12 AM

                      Indeed and you were spot on.

                      1. re: PhilD
                        Parigi RE: PhilD Mar 19, 2010 05:51 AM

                        Where are thee sexy threads, pray tell. Seems I have been stuck in a buncha puritan threads.

                        1. re: Parigi
                          hbfoodie7 RE: Parigi Mar 19, 2010 08:49 AM

                          This thread has been great. Senderens is now a must do for us. Even the website was so sensual!

                          Does anyone know if there is a lunch menu? the only menu I see is a degustation menu for dinner. The bar has a well-priced budget menu but lacks the full effect.

                          1. re: Parigi
                            schtroumpfette RE: Parigi Mar 19, 2010 10:53 AM

                            Parigi, I know, right?! Kick me if you want, but earlier this month I actually bought the Naughty Paris guide (for educational purposes of course). There are a few restos listed that seem shagadelic on paper, but the food might not be noteworthy. As for Senderens, my interest is certainly peaked. "Erotic" food at a non-echangiste establishment? I'm there.

                            1. re: schtroumpfette
                              John Talbott RE: schtroumpfette Mar 19, 2010 12:15 PM

                              Could somebody explain to me how Senderens place is sexy or erotic? I think it's post-modernistic.

                              1. re: John Talbott
                                souphie RE: John Talbott Mar 19, 2010 12:53 PM

                                Regular readers have known why for a while: http://www.julotlespinceaux.com/2007/...

                                1. re: souphie
                                  John Talbott RE: souphie Mar 19, 2010 07:09 PM

                                  Very interesting Soup/Soupie/Julot/Julien, nice pix, beautiful description - but of you and others I still ask - what is a sexy restaurant in Paris?
                                  Is a sexy atmosphere Philippe Starke? or red banquettes? or an Ice House? or lumpy chairs at Passage 53? or couch at Cheri Bibi? or lounge at Les Sauterelles? or flashing Eiffel lights at Le Ciel de Paris? or just Marie greeting you at Spring or a sweet kiss from Colette at Ze Kitchen Galerie?

                                  1. re: John Talbott
                                    souphie RE: John Talbott Mar 20, 2010 04:53 AM

                                    Of course what's sexy is the question to which we all wish we had a definitive answer. I'll let you know as soon as I have it. As I wrote in the linked post, I think, in the case of Senderens, it has to do with the effort to transfigure natural wonders. The red lights, the wooden nymphs, are other elements. My point is that the nature of Senderens' fundamentally has to do with erotism. But I'm not sure I would actually call Senderens sexy.

                                    1. re: John Talbott
                                      Laidback RE: John Talbott Mar 20, 2010 10:59 AM

                                      John, perhaps you and I could have answered this question more cogently about 40 yrs. ago!

                                      1. re: Laidback
                                        John Talbott RE: Laidback Mar 20, 2010 11:43 AM

                                        Well, maybe it's like beauty - in the eye of the beholder - or like pornography or art - you know it when you see it.

                                        Maybe we can agree on what's sexy but defining its antipode - say Quick, Rouge, l'Huitrier or Zinc Caius?

                                      2. re: John Talbott
                                        PhilD RE: John Talbott Mar 24, 2010 09:59 PM

                                        IMO you need to define it in two ways, some people will use it in one way others in the other.

                                        Sexy is short for glamourous, chic, fashionable, and deluxe. It is shorthand for somewhere that is of the moment, it is fashionable, the place to be seen, but with a lot of style and panache. It attracts the in-crowd, people dress to impress, it feels like a special place to go.


                                        Sexy is romantic, it is a place that is intimate, discrete and quiet. It is relaxed and cosy. Often it is quite traditional, with lots of the romantic standards: linen, flowers, candles, gilt, low light, Pre-Raphaelite paintings etc etc. It is somewhere to be alone together in public.

                                        For some they are one and the same, but for many they are different things entirely. I put Thoumieux (and other Costes places) and Senderens in the first category and Pre Catalan and L'Hotel in the second.

                                        1. re: PhilD
                                          souphie RE: PhilD Mar 24, 2010 11:14 PM

                                          There's much more to Senderens that the in-crowd.

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