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June 2011 Honeymoon dinner - Paris

Hello, AZ USA CH'r and was hoping to get some advice here. Going to be going to London - Paris - Amsterdam for the honeymoon and want to do one incredible dinner in each city. If i could get a top 3 from a few people that would be great, i dont know exactly where we are staying yet but i think somewhere around the Arc de Triumph, however it isnt neccisary that it is close by, however if a few places are equal we may choose the closer one. Cost is not an object for this meal, just an amazing dinner. We love traditional French food so we would like it to be french cuisne modern or traditional would be acceptable

Also is there a top 1 or 2 cafe's that we should go to, for relaxing and having drinks on the patio?

Wahat would the top few pastry shops be that we should check out?

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  1. Congratulations on the marriage! Let me wish you happiness and long life!

    Have you searched any of these topics and formed an opinion based on previous chowhound france reports and threads you'd like verified?

    2 Replies
    1. re: hychka

      Reading through Frommer's 2011 London and Paris for starting points...CH usually better than a guide book so wanted to get more info before i made a short list

      1. re: Dapuma

        Try inserting "michelin" in the search window above. There will be much info on the better restaurants in Paris, be they established, up and coming or waning. Develop a short list from your reading and I'm sure you will get reactions and alternatives from "the regulars." The group doesn't do well with general questions...specifics, they can chew into.

        Again, congratulations and good luck!

    2. We enjoyed a spectacular dining experience at the Hidden Kitchen in Paris, about a block walk from the Louvre metro station. See:
      http://hkmenus.wordpress.com/faq/

      18 Replies
      1. re: Bruce in SLO

        This is a brilliant idea for a singular evening if you can mesh schedules with them.

        1. re: mangeur

          Re Hidden Kitichen: We agree. But if you want to be assured of a spot, reserve at least 6 months in advance. (It's also a good people-meeting experience.)

          1. re: Jake Dear

            Last week I made a reservation for March!

            1. re: Nancy S.

              That actually sounds very cool - What does that end up costing? Does it just depend on what they are making? We are planning the trip now so i we should make the 6 month window...just barely heh

              There is a Joel Roubechon L'Altier in Las Vegas, which is not very far from me in AZ - does anyone know if there is really much difference between the one in Paris and the one in Vegas? Is Joel actually in the kitchen in Paris?

              Le Cinq looks very cool on the website, there is no priicng on their gourmet tasting and it doesnt say anything about wine parings...anyone know what the ballpark cost is on that...around 350-500 usd per couple like most of places in that category?

              wow just saw Guy Savoy...has the coolest website - who has a movie when you enter their website for a restaurant heh (i judge by website if it is close) wow is it expensive 400 per person + drinks - can food taste that good?

              is it worth having dinner on the eiffel tower overlooking the city?

              for guy savoy do they always offer than lunch special on their main page, or is it a seasonal thing right now? Is the lunch service alot different than the dinner service or is it just charging per time fo day

              1. re: Dapuma

                Lasserre would be a good choice in Paris; it's more traditional than some of the others and they have several menus to chose from. If you must stay near the Arc de Triomphe, the Hotel Raphael has several suites with great views of the Tour Eiffel. Drinks on the terrasse at Fouquet's would be memorable, as would the tab.

                1. re: Oakglen

                  <Drinks on the terrasse at Fouquet's would be memorable>

                  but please don't eat the food. Ugh.

                2. re: Dapuma

                  To find the prices of the top end restaurants, you need to hit viamichelin.com. Under the restaurant details it will list prices for set menus and a la acarte along with contact details and opening hours.

                  Le Cinq - the food alone (unless we are talking lunch) will hit USD500 per couple on the cheapest set menu at dinner. Say another 150-200pp for wine (of course the sky is the limit)

                  Lunch at these places is always a much better proposition. There are a number of regular names on this board - do a search for Michelin lunch - of which Le Cinq and Guy Savoy appear regularly. Sometimes the food is 'simpler', sometimes it is just scaled back on the luxury. All are very good value compared to evenings.

                  1. re: mr_gimlet

                    Agree with the comment about Le Cinq, which I mentioned you try on your London post. Food alone 500 USD for dinner. We paid $800 for two and we ordered one of the cheapest bottles of wine on the menu. That being said, the wine was fantastic and the food and experience was out of this world!

                    1. re: jenniferjones

                      Is there a better website to see more of le cinq?

                      the offical website is not very good

                      i think guy savoy has the lead based on the website, but think we might end up doing lunch there due to the pricing - looked like the dinner at guy savoy would be 800 just for food per couple

                      1. re: Dapuma

                        Nope, thats your lot at Le Cinq. Consider yourself lucky they have a website at all.

                        French restaurant websites are quite different to what many other countries do. 50% have no on-line presence at all, 30% have a placeholder website with a phone number and (if you're lucky) opening hours, 10% have an OK website with some menus, wine etc and 10% are very good like the Guy Savoy one.

                        Le Cinq and Guy Savoy are very different restaurant environments. I like the ridiculous flamboyance of the palace restaurants like Le Cinq.

                        1. re: mr_gimlet

                          The Saudis have very deep pockets; who else can afford those great floral displays! I just wish I could afford to stay there these days.

                            1. re: Parigi

                              I think it is a reference to Four Seasons being almost half owned by Kingdom Holdings, which is in turn owned by Prince Al-Waleed bin Talal. He also owns the Savoy and has funded a major renovation.

                  2. re: Dapuma

                    Been to Atelier in Las Vegas and Tokyo, find Paris, for me, my favorite. Can order what you want with little production,

                    1. re: Dapuma

                      Hi: Regarding dinner on the Eiffel Tower--go for it. If you do, ask for a window facing west. The sunset over Paris, sitting atop the Eiffel is something I will never forget. The food was delicious, service impeccable and yes, it was expensive, but once in a lifetime experiences are worth every penny.

                      1. re: Dapuma

                        I just had lunch at the Jules Verne at the Eiffel Tower and can heartily recommend it. The food was superb. I can't imagine how lovely it would be at night with all the lights of Paris spread out around you.

                      2. re: Nancy S.

                        We love Hidden Kitchen and recommend it highly.

                        Write to Laura and Branden @ HK Reservation <hkreservations@gmail.com>

                        1. re: hychka

                          The 82E lunch menu at Le Cinq is a fabulous value. 3 courses plus a parade of extras. Delicious food, unbeatable ambiance and service. Wine, bottled water and coffee will cost you extra but the quality of the food is primo and very well balanced and creative even if the chocies are more limited than a la carte. At Guy Savoy, even though the lunch special allows you most of the choices off the full carte, I wasn't anywhere near as impressed with the food. And personally, I don't love the clubby, cave like atmopshere and much prefer the elegant, light and warm palatial feeling of Le Cinq.

                          Rostang offersa great value in their Club Menu at lunch: 95E for 3 courses (plus the parade of extras) including water, wine and coffee. Very generous place with yummy food but not as refined or balanced flavors/textures as at Le Cinq.

                          For traditonal French food, my top vote would be for Chez Josephine Dumonet. Foie gras to die for, the best beef bourguignon, amazing duck confit, a very decent cassoulet, great steak tartare, and fresh made to order delicious millefueille. Very friendly service, great fun, classic French bistro. Huge portions so go for half portions or share an entree and dessert and order 2 mains. No where near the price of Le Cinq or Savoy for dinner although no cheap. Worth every penny.

                3. trip is finally booked (woo)

                  going to be staying here:

                  DUQUESNE EIFFEL HOTEL FRANCE
                  23, avenue Duquesne 75007 Paris

                  Are there any great cafe's close that we should check out?

                  Also what about a great pastry shop or two?

                  I sent an email over to HK, does anyone know about how long they generally take to respond?

                  Going to go with Guy Savoy for lunch at some point and Hidden Kitchen for dinner (hopefully) and that are the only two things that we have planned food wise for sure

                  Also going to be in Amboise for two days

                  Is there a good couple places to research there?

                  10 Replies
                  1. re: Dapuma

                    There is a decent bistro just down the street at #37 with a small terrasse; the only high-end cafe in that part of the 7th would be Cafe Constant. Le Florimond, a tiny bistro, is a personal favorite, reservations required. Avoid the many cafes near the Ecole Militaire metro station.

                    1. re: Oakglen

                      Does anyone know how long HK usually takes to respond back? Didnt want to blow them up, however if it is a 6mo reservation ahead of time didnt want to miss out either

                      Checked out the Le Florimond website, is there an English translation on there at all? Do they have a patio to sit outside and people watch, or is that not the right area for it? What would be a good patio cafe for people watching or just "soaking in" Paris? That is something we certainly are interested in - is there a "best" or few "top" places for that along with a good drink / food

                      Pierre Hermé seems to be the top pastry shop in Paris or one of the top and their catalogue seems amazing...is there any other one that we must try? Hugo and Victor seems like it has some amazing chocolates, is that all they do?

                      Chez Dumount sounds very good - might have to make that a go

                      1. re: Dapuma

                        Hugo and Victor is an excellent patisserie. I love all their tarts and other pastries. I also love Le Pain du Sucre in the 3rd for pastries, as well as Des Gateaux et du Pain in the 15th. Regards to HK, sometimes it takes a bit to get a reply if the team is away.

                        1. re: Dapuma

                          If there's a top pastry shop in Paris, I don't think it is Pierre Hermé. Jacques Génin or Le Pain de Sucre would deserve the title though. Des Gâteaux et du Pain are close to Pierre Hermé in their methods: excellent viennoiseries but "creations" showing some overindulgence in sugar, gelatine and texturants.

                          1. re: Ptipois

                            I agree that the viennoiseries at Des Gateaux et du Pain are their strength. I do like some of their pastries which are not too overwhelmingly complicated. For example, there was a lovely tart last summer with white peach with a hint of verbena.

                            1. re: Ptipois

                              Des Gateaux et du Pain's quiche rock too. But I guess they are, in a way, among their viennoiseries. So, to sum up: what they say.

                            2. re: Dapuma

                              Le Florimond has a few tables outside, but the street is very busy and not a good choice for "people watching". Forget about the website menu, like most fine restaurants, the menu changes daily, depending on the season etc. The wait staff has good command of English and are friendly. Give it a try.
                              For people watching, try Cafe de L'Esplanade, just one metro stop away.

                              1. re: Oakglen

                                Ok i am back to square one now

                                With our schedule we cannot do a lunch at guy savoy, there just wont be time to dedicate for 4 hours and dinner is outrageous, i did say no price object but perhaps i was mistaken

                                Hidden Kitchen is not responding to my emails...so i am back to square one

                                going to arrive on a Saturday so would like to do a nice dinner that evening, then will be there sunday monday tuesday

                                I belive we will add chez dumont to the list of places to check out, however i know alot of nicer places dont have sunday and monday hours so some help figuring out places to go again would be appreciated, i had been focusing on london and amsterdam first

                                Also Amboise, will be there wed and thurs...will be there two evenings, is there any place there that is special

                            3. re: Oakglen

                              ate at Cafe Constant on a trip last June; very nice; also ate at another of Christian Constant's places on the same block. BTW: look for Bourdain's episode from last summer/fall in Paris

                            4. re: Dapuma

                              It's a bit redundant to list Paris cafes to go to as you have merely to step out of your hotel and walk down a street and sit in one that takes your fancy! We did that for 10 days and were never disappointed.

                            5. I cant help your cause as far as restaurants go, but when in paris, you have to try the chocolates at jean-paul hevin.
                              http://www.jphevin.com/
                              they make these dark chocolate rounds with nuts and fruits (figs!) that are out of this world.

                              Navigating the restaurants in Paris is a daunting task, not unlike Italy or London. I know its the honeymoon, when reading reviews, keep in mind that a great dining experience means different things to different people.

                              Read up, here, yelp, zagats, trip advisor, michelin and make an educated decision without stressing about it. Include your fiance in the discussions so that its a mutual decision. Be happy to be in Europe with your loved one. The rest is just gravy, as they say.

                              1. have a look at this french website translated in english they have a good selection for romantic spot:
                                http://www.mybestaddressbook.com/en/m...

                                6 Replies
                                1. re: mimicavasso

                                  thanks that is great

                                  Chez Dumont is not open on the weekends right?

                                  Will be in Paris Saturday Sunday Monday Tuesday - so was trying to figure out what restrictions i will have

                                  I have 2 of 4 slots so far :)

                                  going with Chez Dumont and also Le Florimond based on oakglen's suggestion

                                  Oak, hopefully you can help me with what days dinner service is being done by Le Florimond - the website is all french so i couldnt figure it out

                                  Is Spring worth going to? I saw some good reviews posted on the board - how would it compare with Le Cinq?

                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                    Spring is worth going to. It's not at all like Le Cinq in terms of level of preparation and finesse, but it is an excellent example of innovative cuisine. Tuesday may be your only night to go, though, since it's closed on Sundays and Mondays and last year's Saturday night menu was lobster rolls.

                                    1. re: Dapuma

                                      Le Florimond is usually open on
                                      saturday evening but not Sunday. Reservations essential.

                                      1. re: Oakglen

                                        seems like i cannot book most reservations through websites in paris, so i will have to get a calling card and book overseas...will i have an issue with no one able to take the reservation because i dont speak french?

                                        Oakglen is le florimond open mondays and tuesday?

                                        Still looking for Saturday night special dinner, however i hope HK gets back to me at some point

                                        1. re: Oakglen

                                          Unless they have changed, Le Florimond is closed on the 1st and 3rd Saturday evening of the month. Pascal recently opened a takeaway boutique several doors down towards Ecole Militaire where you can buy jars of his or his parents products. I tried the chou farci last November while we were staying in an apt. and it was very good.

                                          1. re: Laidback

                                            Laidback, I have never had a Saturday dinner at Le Florimond, but their card says it is open on Saterday evenings. If we book a family run bistro on the weekend we always have a fall-back option; you just never know about bistro scheduling. Le Florimond is open on Mon. & Tues. But once again, the hotel Duquesne front desk should reconfirm reservations that day.