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Apr 11, 2010 03:18 PM

3 Star Michelin Restaurant Recommendation?

As a first time poster, I wanted to ask for your expert advise on which 3 star Michelin restaurant to try during our upcoming visit to Paris.

We've been curious about the Parisian 3 star Michelin experience...the whole package..service and food, and wanted to try one out during this upcoming visit. Our only 3 star Michelin experience was during a recent trip to Las Vegas, at Joel Robuchon....which was amazing!!

A few years back, we dined at Lasserre and loved it...just to give some dining background.

So far, we've settled on Le Cinq for lunch.
So we're looking for another dining recommendation, a 3 star, please, ..that won't break the bank (most likely a lunch option...though if incredible and reasonable, we might consider it a diner option)...and different enought from Le Cinq.

Thank you, in advance, for your help and recommendations!!

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  1. Welcome to the France Board, whichway2! This question has been addressed in various forms of late. Here are some recent threads on Michelin 3* that might be helpful:

    I'd recommend L'Astrance (lunch menu the same as dinner, both having less expensive options available) and L'Arpège (lunch menu available) as Michelin 3*s that would provide a contrasting experience to Le Cinq.

    Please come back to the Board after your trip and let us know how your meals were. :)

    8 Replies
    1. re: shortstop

      In respect to the OP's question, what are the strengths of the 3* Michelin restaurants (examples: Le Cinq, L'Astrance, L'Arpège, and Ledoyen)? And if no one minds answering, how much are each approximately, sans vin, for lunch? I'm inclined to go to once since it's my first trip to Paris late next month.


      1. re: chocokitty

        <<I'm inclined to go to once since it's my first trip to Paris late next month.>>

        Go. :) If you love dining, it's really a special experience. Here's a recent post from souphie comparing Ledoyen, L'Astrance and L'Arpege:

        1. re: chocokitty

          The most comprehensive and up to date answer to cost questions is on -- it mentions the ALC range, and the prixfixe deals.

          As I wrote quite a few times, three stars means a restaurant is unique, so indeed they are pretty different from one another. The best thing to do (pending the publication of my guide, of course :D) is to browse this board and also the blogs, which provide you detailed meal stories and pictures. That should help you to make up your own mind about which place is most attractive to you. As you read different authors, you start having a sense of what you have in common in them.

          Some of the 3*** heavy bloggers include Refined Palate, Wandering Epicures, ChuckEats, FoodSnob and yours truly -

          1. re: souphie

            Thanks so much for your kind feedback....Souphie, your pictures were great!!
            So, in addition to lunch at Le Cinq, we've narrowed down our other big splurge to lunch...we think, at either L'Arpege or Pierre Gagnaire...we think.

            1. re: whichway2

              Two very interesting restaurants. I have new pictures of L'Arpège from last week, they start here:

              Gagnaire is more luxurious, for a similar price.

              1. re: whichway2

                I would go with L'Arpège over Gagnaire.

                Gagnaire is really hit or miss. Beautiful room and what one would expect in 3* service, however my dinner there, albeit two years ago, was simply not tasty. I sat there chuckling to myself in disbelief - here I was at Pierre Gagnaire, one of the pantheons of modern cuisine having such a unflavorful meal. Friends whose food taste I trust had similar experiences more recently. That said, FoodSnob very much enjoyed his recent meal there:


                L'Arpège, although minimal in terms of setting and more relaxed service than a typical 3* (yet always incredibly warm and gracious), consistently brings the flavor. And for a splurge, provides a much better chance of a hit than a miss.


                Just went back and read your original post, that you are looking for the whole 3* package in terms of service, etc. in that case, Gagnaire more closely fills the bill.

                Look forward to hearing where you end up and how it was!

                1. re: shortstop

                  Souphie and Shortstop,
                  Many thanks for all of your kind assistance!!
                  I'm going to have the husband make the final call...I'm sure it'll be incredible either way.
                  And, am loving the new dangerous, though, when looking right before lunchtime.
                  Thanks again!!

                  1. re: shortstop

                    I was wondering what everyone thought of le bristol? my husband and I also looking for a michelin three star...phoning l'astrance tomorrow morning hoping for a reservation!