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Jun 22, 2010 09:43 AM

Newb attempting paris reservations

Just called Frenchies and got an answering machine in only French.

Then called Chez Josephine and was told the person didn't speak english. Should i try to get my hotel to book reservations for me or should i try to do it with my crappy french phrases that i've been practising. I freaked a little bit earlier.

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  1. Reserving by telephone is often terrifying for beginners since there is most often tremendous background noise in the restaurant and many international phone connections are poor, either full of static or voice activated, in which both parties step on each others words. And of course there is the dreaded recording that is spit out at machinegun speed. However, it is good to try and you will get the hang of it and it gives one a glimpse of the restaurant personality

    But there is nothing wrong with asking your hotel to make them for you. I often fax or email our deskman and have him make reservations for us several weeks ahead of our arrival.

    4 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      If you plan to return to the same hotel, an upfront tip (20 Euros) when you register will work wonders.

      1. re: Oakglen

        Absolutely. In fact, these small gratuities and services create long lasting bonds.

        1. re: mangeur

          I'm currently in the US so would i just tip once i got there. Would they make reservations for me before i arrive?

          1. re: pungentodor

            Exactly and yes, hotels do expect to help guests with arrangements that need to be made before arrival. I would make the effort to find out the deskperson who did this service for you so that you can "thank" him or her properly and personally when you arrive. In addition, you will have made a good contact for any other needs that will arise during your stay.

    2. Epic fail on the call Chez Josephine says they are closed.

      Frenchies said something i didn't understand, then ok, i said ok, and then he said merci and hung up.

      5 Replies
      1. re: pungentodor

        Uh, are you even sure it was Frenchie you called?
        The staff usually speaks very good English.

        1. re: pungentodor

          I tried Frenchie for days and kept getting the machine. I was so excited when someone finally answered. He told he didn't speak English, I tried in French, but he told me to call back the next day. I give up, my phone bill is higher than my meal would be.

          1. re: Olive74

            When I called (after 2 days of trying and more than 6 calls each day), they did not speak English. So I gave a shot using French, but they were already booked for one night that I asked about in September. I finally managed to book a Tuesday night dinner for 8:30pm. I suggest using Skype or something of the sort to avoid running up your telephone bill (I think it was 5 or 6 cents per minute through Skype).

            1. re: midorimonsta

              How can I say this kindly?
              Frenchie is this year's Spring, Bigarrade, Afaria, Passage 53, etc. In New York or LA, would you expect to get into David Chang's or Suzanne Goin's newest easily the first two years after they opened?
              There are tons of new places that have opened since Frenchie's that have not been trumpeted in the NY Times that are every bit as good but that you cannot brag about eating at first and that will take rez's in English, for example l'Agape, l'Agrume, Bistro Volnay and l'Aromatik.

              John Talbott's Paris and Paris by Mouth

              1. re: midorimonsta

                The last few times I reserved at Frenchie, the wait is about 2 months, a little longer for, say, Friday night.
                If you reserve today, count on a bit of August disruption. You should be able to get a table in late September early October.
                The safest is to call about half an hour before meal time starts. I have gotten an answer 100% of the times I called.
                Last time I ate there (last week) the meal was better than ever even if chef Grégory was depressed about French soccer, who wasn't?
                I am puzzled about some hounds getting a person at the Frenchie number who did not speak English. Normally either chef Grégory himself or waiter/manager would answer the phone; both speak excellent English. I wonder if fellow hounds overseas dial the right numbers, the right prefix. For example, did you dial +331 4039 9619‎?

                A lot of restos have huge buzz because they are built up by celebs who had had a mytsterious acquisition of some credibility. Other restos have huge buzz because… they are indeed very good. It's organic buzz, which is the case of Frenchie.

                On the other hand, I agree that Frenchie may be a wonderful Paris experience; it is not a dîner qua non (wink giggle). Even if you don't get in, the rest of Paris is not a wasteland and you need not commit harakiri.