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Special birthday dinner in Paris around 150e pp?

d
Doh Mar 16, 2010 11:59 AM

I'll be visiting Paris with extended family in June. It so happens that my wife's birthday will be while we are in Paris and I'd like to take her out for one great meal just the two of us. The tricky part is that it should be dinner (and probably a Monday night), and my preference would be keep the cost around or under 300e for both of us. I have spent a lot of time reading threads here and there is a ton of useful information, but there isn't that much information here (or on restaurant websites) on how much dinners cost.

Could anyone let me know what sort of restaurants we could try in the range of 150e pp for dinner (or alternatively, what is the range of dinner costs at some of the favorite restaurants mentioned here)? We'll be staying in the 5e (Cardinal Lemoine) and are happy with a variety of cuisines (perhaps especially fusion when done well) but one of us is allergic to fish.

thanks very much!

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    Oakglen Mar 17, 2010 07:47 AM

    I think Christophe is open on Mondays, and should fit your budget if you go easy on the wine.

    1. souphie Mar 17, 2010 03:25 PM

      150€ pp for dinner works in most restaurants -- only the top starred places will exceed that budget (assuming you don't focus on lobster, truffles and Romanée-Conti, that is). The question really is what maje a great night for you. Is it a fancy, shiny location (La Grande Cascade?), a generous, traditional meal (Chez Joséphine), some high end bistrot (l'Angle du Faubourg), some cramped gastronomic highlight where you eat on your neighbour's lap (Chez l'Ami Jean), or maybe some hip fusion place like you suggested (Ze Kitchen Galerie). For me it would be a comfortable, delicious and unexpected restaurant like Pasta e Basta in Chinatown. But that's me and how I manage my couple.

      Then monday night does indeed make it tricky -- but let's discuss that later.

      3 Replies
      1. re: souphie
        d
        Doh Mar 17, 2010 09:36 PM

        Thank you both so much for your replies!

        While I think we could be happy at all of the types of places you describe, Souphie, and indeed I am looking forward to a variety of dining experiences while we are in Paris, I think for this kind of birthday splurge I am looking for a place that makes a splash through some combination of memorable setting, service, and food. So, not so much the generous traditional meal or the cramped place, but it could be shiny (and romantic), or it could also be the hip new place where the food blows you away.

        I was actually considering La Grande Cascade, because it seemed to have a great setting and food, but I wasn't sure if there was another equally good idea that would be more convenient for people mostly relying on public transportation.

        Also, for what it's worth, we sometimes like places that let us try a number of different smaller dishes (even if not every one hits 100%).

        1. re: Doh
          souphie Mar 18, 2010 01:16 AM

          Going from the métro to the restaurant (La Grande Cascade) is really not that big an issue -- at worse, it's a 7€ cab ride, and at best, a gorgeous walk in the woods.

          1. re: souphie
            d
            Doh Mar 21, 2010 04:53 PM

            thanks. Google maps flagged it as possibly not having sidewalks and I wasn't sure what that part of the Bois was like at night.

      2. d
        Doh Jun 14, 2010 09:54 AM

        I was wondering if I could also get some advice on dress at La Grande Cascade. This will certainly be our nicest dinner, so while I would ordinarily not hesitate to wear a suit, I am a little hesitant about packing one just for one night. Can I get by with a jacket and tie (but not a suit)? Am I wrong to assume I'd be out of place without a jacket?

        Also, if we want to taxi back to our rental after dinner, are there taxis easily available in the neighborhood?

        As always, thanks!

        5 Replies
        1. re: Doh
          souphie Jun 15, 2010 08:44 AM

          Jacket is needed, not suit or tie. They'll call a cab for you if needed. The city is not that far.

          1. re: souphie
            d
            Doh Jun 30, 2010 05:27 PM

            Souphie,

            I just wanted to report back and thank you-- turned out to be a perfect choice, and the taxi ride home was the icing on the cake as we got to see all the lights of the city from one end to the other!

            1. re: Doh
              p
              parisjo Jul 1, 2010 03:28 PM

              Doh, I would love to hear more about your meal at La Grande Cascade. I've made dinner reservations for my husband's 50th birthday in September and would like to read more about your meal.

              Thanks!

              Jo

              1. re: parisjo
                d
                Doh Jul 1, 2010 06:30 PM

                I am not a true “food blogger” but I’d be happy to share my impressions in a little more detail.

                It was beautiful weather so all the tables were set up outside, which right away made us happy -- to have an elegant meal in a lovely setting with beautiful weather is pretty much my ideal situation. We could have ordered from three set menus or a la carte (it looks like the menu posted on their website now is what we were offered). We decided to get the tasting menu especially because it seemed lucky that despite a couple food allergies between us, there was only one item one of us wouldn’t be able to eat. The menu consisted of four courses (appetizer, fish, pasta, meat), cheese, 2 desserts, and an amuse.

                I thought the food was very good—the flavors were nicely balanced on the plate and I thought the dishes were well executed. Unexpectedly, for me one relatively weak spot was the “famous” cannelloni stuffed with foie gras and truffles and baked with a parmesan gratinee. Individually I am fan of all of those flavors and while there were bites when the dish really came together, there were at least as many when it didn’t quite. My favorite dish may have been the lobster—the flavor of the lobster came through perfectly and, subtly enhanced by honey and butter, deliciously. The desserts were quite impressive as well. The portion sizes were generous considering the number of courses (but it would be hard for me to complain they were too large, considering I was sopping up spare sauce as they carried each plate away).

                Service was overall quite good—gracious, friendly and attentive (if anything it might have been a tiny bit over-attentive). To give you a sense -- my wife couldn’t eat a mini-amuse because of a food allergy; when I ate hers despite having previously turned down the waiter’s offer of seconds he came back to interrogate me as to why I had turned him down, and then had the chef prepare an alternate for her.

                I can’t say whether the meal was “worth” the total tab, but I can say it was a near perfect evening and I am quite happy we went there. I think it would be a great place for a 50th birthday celebration, although I admit that being able to be outside in the gorgeous weather colored our whole evening for the good. If there’s something more specific you’d like to know I’d be happy to try and tell you.

                1. re: Doh
                  p
                  parisjo Jul 2, 2010 04:29 AM

                  Thanks for providing so many details, sounds like you had a wonderful meal in a gorgeous setting. Can't wait for September!

                  Jo

        2. s
          Simon Jul 2, 2010 01:29 PM

          the Monday part may not work and it'd help if you like rabbit...but i'd say Monsieur Lapin...

          http://www.monsieur-lapin.fr/

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