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Lunch at Le Cinq vs. dinners at Josephine Chez Dumonet and La Regalade (St. Honore)

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htaylor Sep 24, 2010 11:45 AM

My husband and I are visiting Paris and Amsterdam in late October to celebrate our 5th Anniversary and his 40th birthday. I've done extensive research on this board and various other food blogs and guides to select our meals while there. My last decision is this: is Le Cinq for lunch on our anniversary worth giving up dinners at Josephine Chez Dumonet and La Regalade. And, if you recommend the dinners, do we (1) go with the original La Regalade or the new St. Honore location and (2) which should we book for our anniversary celebration on Friday?

Thanks much for your input!

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  1. John Talbott RE: htaylor Sep 24, 2010 11:55 AM

    "is Le Cinq for lunch on our anniversary worth giving up dinners at Josephine Chez Dumonet and La Regalade." That's a question for Tom and Ray the car boys.
    "do we (1) go with the original La Regalade or the new St. Honore location"
    Totally different, funnily enuf. The new is more like a fancy resto in the 1st (which oddly enough it is) albeit with 15th prices; the old original is the old original, engraved in Camdeborde stone; jammed, bistro, lively, etc.
    "5th Anniversary" - ah so young. Maybe I don't understand the options, but why not stick with le Cinq?

    3 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott
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      htaylor RE: John Talbott Sep 28, 2010 08:38 AM

      Thanks for the thoughts. The choice was really based on budget alone. We've decided on lunch (on a Friday) at Le Cinq, and perhaps dinner our last night in town at Josephine's. I see that Le Cinq is open 12-2:30 for lunch. Will our experience there differ at all based on what time we make our reservation during that time? Should we make a reservation on the early or late side of that?
      Also, how far in advance should we book for a Wednesday night dinner at Josephine's?

      1. re: htaylor
        John Talbott RE: htaylor Sep 28, 2010 10:18 AM

        Well, see, I'm an old guy and if I try two meals in a day, I gotta eat lunch the second they open and dinner the second they take their last order.

        As for how far in advance, for dinner ASAP, for lunch same day.

        1. re: John Talbott
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          htaylor RE: John Talbott Sep 29, 2010 11:13 AM

          John, your responses are so helpful, to my questions here, and on this board in general. So, thank you. To pay it forward, I'll be sure to post reviews when I return at the end of October. We'll be dining at Le Cinq, Les Papilles, and Josephine's for sure.

    2. Delucacheesemonger RE: htaylor Sep 24, 2010 12:16 PM

      Why the choice. Definitely apples and oranges. Was at Dumonet last Friday and will be at Le Cinq in a week or so. As different as it can get. Both great but in vastly different ways. Le Cinq will cost you a bit more, not too much, while Dumonet is a bistro, and a fine one, Cinq is being treated like a prince/princess. If l had to choose, Le Cinq is the rarer experience. As l have said before, the flowers alone make it the experience to choose. The fact that a table for two is the size of a ping-pong table and the staff, especially Olivier, make you feel like royalty, is just gravy. One of major pluses of Dumonet is the sweet wine carte to go with the foie gras. We had a bottle of 1975 Croix du Mont with their perfect foie and nothing else mattered. Regalade is wonderful as well, so try to do as many as you can.

      2 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
        mdietrich RE: Delucacheesemonger Sep 24, 2010 01:24 PM

        how is the foie gras prepared at Dumonet ?

        1. re: mdietrich
          souphie RE: mdietrich Sep 24, 2010 01:29 PM

          In the most classical way -- duck foie gras, probably with a little bit of cognac and stuff. Big terrine, yellow fat, big slices.

      2. souphie RE: htaylor Sep 24, 2010 01:27 PM

        Yes, lunch at le Cinq is definitely worth giving up dinner (ca 130€) at Joséphine (ca 70€) et La Régalade (ca 50€). That's the whole point about fine dining: it is much better value than the bistrots. Bistrots are for rich people.

        1 Reply
        1. re: souphie
          John Talbott RE: souphie Sep 25, 2010 12:11 AM

          "Bistrots are for rich people."
          And hipsters.

        2. d
          DaisyM RE: htaylor Sep 26, 2010 09:53 AM

          We celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary at Le Cinq for lunch and it was incredible. But if there is any way, you should also have a dinner at Josephine's another night. It is so much fun being there and the grand marnier souffle is just wonderful. Those were the two most memorable meals we had in Paris. Oh, and happy anniversary!

          1. mangeur RE: htaylor Sep 27, 2010 01:21 PM

            FWIW, I visited LRSH in August with my husband. At that time, his judgment was that the food was not good enough to warrant returning since the service was cold. I thought that the food merited a return even though service sucked, so I went back last week with my son and daughter-in-law. The service was annoyingly absent and the food ranged from ordinary to disappointing. Even the rice pudding was awful: stiff and gluey. We all left fairly disgruntled. I don't plan to return.

            6 Replies
            1. re: mangeur
              John Talbott RE: mangeur Sep 27, 2010 01:27 PM

              Sorry about that Mangeur, really sorry; Colette and I have had totally different service and food experiences but that's probably because my wife is such an important person.

              1. re: John Talbott
                mangeur RE: John Talbott Sep 28, 2010 10:39 AM

                Do you mean by that that she was served the terrine before her entree? Wow! That's cool. We were greeted, seated, drink order taken and brought bread and cornichons. 20 minutes later, my d-i-l asked if the terrine was being served that evening. The waitress blinked and pulled an almost empty terrine from another table and plunked in on ours without a word. Before we had each taken a morsel, the waiter brought our entrees.

                1. re: mangeur
                  John Talbott RE: mangeur Sep 28, 2010 10:59 AM

                  I feel your pain but I've always been served the terrine before the entree; granted it's often dropped from 6 inches to the table but with the divine bread I forgive them the clatter. But then, I'm old and deaf.

                  1. re: John Talbott
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                    parisjo RE: John Talbott Sep 28, 2010 11:21 AM

                    We had a sublime dinner at LRSH last night. Here's my blog entry:

                    We had dinner here last night and it was as wonderful as I had read it would be. I really don't know how the chef offers such wonderful meals at such a great price point (33 euros for 3 courses). He is certainly indicative of the new trend in Paris to turn out great food with fresh ingredients in a comfortable atmosphere.

                    The restaurant is minimally yet tastefully decorated and seats about 30 people. The tables are very close together but we were lucky to have a very nice couple from Texas next to us and we chatted throughout the whole meal. We were seated right by the window on rue St Honoure, so we didn't have anyone on the other side and could enjoy the people watching outside as well.

                    The menu is 33 euros for 3 courses and includes a starter of terrine and tiny pickles with wonderful bread as you make your dinner choices. We started with a cream of mushroom soup with foie gras for Den and a vegetable millefuille for me. Mine was very good, with thin homemade noodles filled with still crunchy veggies in a light tomato sauce. Den's was pure food ecstasy, a rich cream broth infused with earthy mushroom flavours poured over a very generous mound of foie gras. Each bite of foie gras melted from the heat of the broth and Den actually moaned out loud a few times. The lady next to me has the same dish and she was making the same noises as my hubby!

                    Den chose the pork belly over lentils for his main dish and I had pigeon with (you guessed it) foie gras and mushrooms. Den's meat was crispy on the outside (the kind of crispy that makes you happy) and tender and very flavourful on the inside. My dish (which had a 14 euro supplement) was a thing of beauty ~ the meat was moist and very rare, the foie gras had been pan fried to perfection and melted in your mouth and the mushrooms were meaty and earthy and just a wonderful reflection of fall flavours. This was the first time I had pigeon, but I don't think it will be the last. We shared a little crock of creamy mashed potatoes.

                    Oh, I forgot to mention the wine. We were happy to see that there were many wines at modest prices and we chose a red wine from Languedoc called Domaine La Tour Vieille 2006 Collioure Puig Criol for 34 euros. I love wine but don't have the language skills to really describe it properly, so suffice it to say that it went really well with our meal and there wasn't a drop left at the end!

                    Dessert was roasted figs in a balsamic reduction with warm chevre for me and the Grand Marnier souffle for Den. My figs were delicious and the combination of the chevre, the balsamic sauce and the still firm figs was just perfect ~ not too sweet and a nice light end to my heavy meal. Den's souffle was light and airy and full of Grand Marnier goodness. The first attempt at the souffle fell flat (gee, I have a way with words, don't I!) and the waiter came to tell us that the chef was making a new one and would we mind waiting. They gave us a third dessert as a reward for our patience, two glasses full of something that looked and tasted like custard with fresh raspberries on top. It was delicious and just slid down our throats. We shared it with our new friends next to us.

                    We finished off with 2 espressos and they came with little madeleines, which I couldn't manage, but Den took one for the team and ate both! Dinner was 126 euros including a bottle of sparkling mineral water, our wine, coffees and all those sublime courses. We found this unbelievable value (we could have come through at just 100 euros if we had skipped the water, the coffee and the supplement for my main course). 100 euros for 3 courses with a good bottle of wine ~ who says you can't eat very well in Paris for a reasonable price?

                    We were there for over three hours, enjoyed chatting with our table mate and felt very lucky that I had managed to book this reservation for us. The waiters turned away about 6 couples in the time we were there. We walked slowly home on a beautiful fall evening, thankful for the 30 minute walk to digest our rich, delicious meal. This one is going on my "keeper" list and I know we will come back again during another trip.

                    1. re: parisjo
                      mangeur RE: parisjo Sep 28, 2010 12:01 PM

                      I am glad that you so enjoyed LRSH. I will admit that since my husband pays the tabs at restaurants, I have little frame of reference re price/value. It is important to me that the food sings wherever we eat regardless of cost. When it doesn't, I feel cheated even though it is seemingly inexpensive. I realize too that I am quite demanding. Or to ape JT's self-references, I have become a cranky old bat! But we eat well. :)

                      1. re: mangeur
                        John Talbott RE: mangeur Sep 28, 2010 12:18 PM

                        "I am glad that you so enjoyed LRSH. I will admit that since my husband pays the tabs at restaurants, I have little frame of reference re price/value." Ohhhh ohhhh, ohhhh, a SF antifeminist?
                        "Or to ape JT's self-references, I have become a cranky old bat! " I'm never an old bat, just grouchy, cranky and impossible. But I scored today at the MiniPalais. Lost all semblance of age-ism.

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