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Jun 14, 2010 10:28 AM

First visit to Paris - a number of dilemmas...

Hi all,

I have been trawling through the boards prior to my first trip to Paris at the start of July with my boyfriend but just haven't been able to pin down our choices... feeling a touch overwhelmed!

Arriving in Paris on Saturday to meet my boyfriend who is cycling there (for charity). We've got to plan meals for Saturday night, Sunday and Monday lunch but have a number of points which also complicate the mix:

1. We can't make reservations on Saturday night as we have to go for post-bike marathon drinks first and are not sure what time we'll finish. Where would be a good choice for Saturday night sans reservation? We'll be staying at Mama Shelter so not too far away would be ideal as I think my boyfriend will have weary limbs. Nothing too extravagant - up to 40 euros a head maybe - but good hearty classic cooking would be good.

2. I'm thinking a nice light lunch on Sunday - maybe falafel, my boyfriend's favourite, especially as we'll probably go to marais in the morning. I'd also like to fit in a Berthillon ice-cream as my mum still raves about a strawberry sundae she had there years ago... is it still as good though?

3. For Sunday dinner, we would like to get dressed up and go somewhere for more of an occasion meal. We would probably be happy paying 80-100 euros a head, bit less even better! Style-wise we love trying new foods so something a bit innovative but still along the lines of French food would fit the bill. I'd say we would like a "gastronomic" experience... to give you an idea favourite London restaurants ever were Marcus Wareing at the Berkeley, The Ledbury, The Square. My boyfriend recently ate at Drouant and really enjoyed it (esp starter & pud) so maybe something similar (but not that one). We also like getting extras - amuse bouche, pre-dessert - doesn't everyone! Problem being that it's Sunday night so may limit our choice... We had thought Grande Cascade (it has set menu in evening too I think) but it's quite a way away and maybe not up there food wise.

4. Which leads me to 4th and final dilemma - Monday lunch. Would we be better switching Sunday's gourmet splash-out to a set lunch somewhere fancy? If so where? If not, Monday we would like a proper lunch before catching Eurostar home. Again maybe French classic bistro done immaculately (c40 euros per head). I guess if we switched and did gourmet lunch the latter criteria would fit Sunday's dinner instead...

Sorry for so much detail but judging by other posts that seems to be the order of the day. Hope you can help - all advice most appreciated. Thank you!

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  1. Your Sunday and Monday choices are really not that problematic once you start narrowing your options. But I am worried about your concern for Saturday night. If your "post-bike marathon drinks" involve both the comraderie and fatigue that I envision, I think you might better just go with the flow that evening, probably joining some of your BF's biking budies and mates for something informal and not taxing. Save yourselves and funds for meals you can both really appreciate. IMHO.

    2 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      There's always Au Dernier Metro if you can still move yourself to the 15th.

      mangeur alludes to a known list of those places open on Sunday, which I couldn't find by doing the "Search this board" thing with "Sunday," but it's out there. Very few good places are open then. Soupie and John Talbott have written about this, but I can't find that either.

    2. Senderens is open on Sunday. I celebrated my 30somethingth Sunday birthday there a few weeks ago. I found the food enjoyable and the setting very dreamy, but maybe the cuisine is not as "innovative" as you're looking for. It certainly is not close to Mama Shelter, though it's much more central than La Grande Cascade.

      1 Reply
      1. re: schtroumpfette

        Violon d'Ingres has started Sunday service.

      2. On Saturday, why not eat at your hotel? Maybe not up to Chowhound standards, but decent fare. Also, check out the new/old La Fleche d'or, just down the street.