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May 10, 2010 08:17 PM

Rented Apt - Still Want One Big Night

My fiance and I are recently engaged (!) and we're headed to Paris for a week in late June! This is part celebratory trip and part "work" trip. He is an artist and will be submitting work at the OFFF Paris Festival.
Anyway, we rented an apartment in the 9th for the week so I can take advantage of the open-air markets and the lovely kitchen provided.
I used to live in Paris about 5 years ago, and at the time I was a poor Au Pair, so the idea of an expensive dinner never crossed my mind. We'd like to spend a lot of time cooking our meals, but I also want to show him how lovely the food is in Paris. I know we'll be choosing a lot of the Prix Fixe menus available during lunch, but I was hoping to find one great place for an unforgettable meal.
I know we don't want a fussy-fussy restaurant, but we'd also like to have the option of dressing up if the restaurant calls for it. We're super-open to cozy as well as fun. I heard Savoy is "extra fun" and Chez L'Ami Jean is good as well. Any thoughts on Le Petrelle or La Regalde? What about Passage 53 or Le Voltaire?
Like I said, we want great food, so we're okay with the establishment not being spotless. We'd rather not sacrifice good food for a beautiful restaurant.
We are the kind of people who appreciate a good crepe, stinky cheese, a bottle of wine in the park and a falafel you can hold while strolling along the streets.
Thanks for any advice! Feel free to suggest something other than what I've listed!

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  1. All the places you mention are terrific but for me the new cat's meow is the Regalade St-Honore for its 33 E lunch menu among other things.

    John Talbott's Paris

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott

      I concur, we went for dinner on the 4th and were regaled; so much so that we rebooked for lunch on the 20th. Even though it is brand new, the reservations are filling up so it would not be too early to call for late June.

      Another option in your arrondissement which we just re-tried for the umpteenth time is Carte Blanche on Rue Lamartine; good value, always changing, imaginative menus with an affordable wine list from small producers.

    2. It is great to rent an apartment and have a kitchen, which means you can enjoy the Paris markets. On the other hand, in the choice of one fine dining out, I would choose a more celebratory and really good quality resto, for the kind of meal that one can't reproduce at homeā€¦
      My choice would be either Chez L'Ami Jean or Guy Savoy.
      I have two problemls with GS. (1) Its atmosphere is not exactly the whooping-it-up kind. As much as I admire the effort of starred establishments to deliver on so many levels, I don't like the vibes of having a meal in a worshipping temple. I much prefer the controlled chaos of a place like CAJ. (2) Personally I have never forgiven that a decade ago, back in the smoking years of France, Monsieur Guy did not ask our neighboring diners - a media celebrity with an equally wellknown colleague not married to him - to refrain from smoking their montecristos. In fact Monsieur le chef even sat down to socialize with Mister (Former) Primetime and Madame Primetime.

      1. thanks everyone for your suggestions! i have been writing them all down and making notes! in terms of making reservations for any establishment...should i call, send an email? my french is not very good, so i don't know if i could properly make a reservation on the phone. ugh!

        2 Replies
        1. re: atticaster

          Why not walk over to Le Petrelle and make your dinner reservation in person? Even if you order off the carte, it shouldn't cost you much more than 100 Euros, as long as you take it easy on the wine.

          1. re: Oakglen

            We don't arrive in Paris until June 20, so I didn't know if I would be giving ourselves enough time to secure a reservation. I know it will be mid-summer, so I was worried about not getting a table. But, it is Paris, after all! I'm easy to please, so it would be fine if we didn't get into a super nice restaurant.