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Another "first time in Paris" Post

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My wife and I are making our first trip to France this October. We live in New York and dine out quite regularly (Marea,Blue Hill,Gramercy Tavern). We plan to spend 4 days in Paris and 4 days in the Burgundy region

We want do at least one three star Michelin rated restaurant. We are used to Per Se and Jean George pricing, but it appears that some of the Paris three star restaurants can be more expensive. We are thinking Guy Savoy. This will also be my birthday dinner. Guy Savoy a good entry point into Paris three star restaurants? Recs for birthday dinner instead of Guy Savoy?

We are also thinking about dinners @ Fable de la Fontaine, Chez L ami Jean, Chez Josepine-Dumont. What do you guys think about those choices? What would you replace in those choices?

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  1. I wouldn't be disappointed to eat at all four of your choices on a short trip, in fact I would be very happy to. My one suggestion is to do either CLJ or CJ but not both. Whilst they are quite different style restaurants they share a lot of similarities in terms of food style so it maybe better to go for something more now, maybe head for "Spring" (if you book early). This way you get a modern 3 star, a great fish bistro, a good nouveau rustic place, and something brand new.

    6 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Which do you prefer between CLJ and CJD? I was slightly leaning towards CJD (esp to try either their Grand Marnier Souffle or Millefeuille - which one to choose??), but have seen so many raves for CLJ that I'm torn.

      Of the fine dining places, which is your preferred one? And which has the best desserts?

      1. re: PhilD

        PhilD - thanks for the insight. I think you understand what I am trying to do with my choices. Between CLJ and CJ..which one would you go? and why?

        How hard is it to get a reservation at Spring?

        1. re: Sweetbreaddoc

          Food at Chez l'Ami Jean is more modern than Chez Joséphine. It adapts to the day's market, whereas I don't think I ever saw the slightest change in Joséphine's menu. CAJ also has more ups and down. The ups are higher, by and large -- truly exceptional. But the lows are disapointing. Joséphine is more consistent, and more comfortable (way bigger tables, higher ceiling, nicer setting). Also Joséphine has the cheap old Sauternes, an incredible draw for those who are not opposed to sweet wines.

          1. re: souphie

            The only comment I would add to Soups is CAJ turns tables maybe four times a night while CJD is more of a place to linger. Booking times for Spring? Maybe not too long at the moment as it is freshly opened (and Paris closes down from Bastille Day until September), but I would not wait around. I understood it is quite a bit bigger than the 28 covers of the old one so it may not be so crazy to book it going forward.

            1. re: PhilD

              What else would you add to this list?

              1. re: Sweetbreaddoc

                I think you have the main meals covered. I would simply add a few good bakeries, cheese shops, chocolate shops, a few markets and a wine bar or three for early evening drinks. Maybe a bar or cafe for lunch as the urge grabs you, or picnic supplies from the aforementioned shops. Don't miss the grand food halls, my favourite was in Bon Marche in the 7eme (which is also a designer store that puts Barney's to shame).

                No one has tackled Burgundy for you, we tended to stick with Michelin when in that region and had some great meals, but lots of advice on the board for Beaune etc.

      2. oops, Sweetbreaddoc. Went right past your mention of Burgundy. Are you seeking recommendations for there, as well? Maybe a separate thread is a good idea. ;)

        1. although caj is innovative and the service is frenzied professional, cjd is both food and service excellent with the "total experience" superior to caj.