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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:

      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:

                  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.
                              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:

                                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.

                                    2. Hi,
                                      First, congrats for your wedding !
                                      I've been married for 15 years and we have decided 5 years ago, that we would celebrate our wedding anniversaries in high-end restaurants (we are Parisians). So far, we have been to Pré Catelan (very romantic, located in the bois de Boulogne, our local central Park), Les Ambassadeurs at the Crillon (Chef Piège has left but I read good reviews about the new Chef), le Bristol and two other places abroad. My favorite was Les Amabassadeurs, I also loved Pré Catelan and was slightly disappointed by Bristol. You can read my reviews on my foodblog : http://afoodiefroggy.canalblog.com/ar... (plenty of pictures).
                                      Have you considered Thoumieux ? Chef Piège (former Chef of Les Ambassadeurs) has now opened his new gastro restaurant on the first floor. A Foodie friend of mine has been there last week and raved about it. I totally trust his opinion. he told me that it looked like an apartment and that Piège himself was there every night, welcoming clients and giving them good advices. I am a big fan of his cuisine. http://www.thoumieux.fr/

                                      17 Replies
                                      1. re: Foodie Froggy

                                        If this is the place you are talking about, it certainly looks really cool from the picture


                                          1. re: Foodie Froggy

                                            Dapuma is a guys name, i thought everyone knew that ;p

                                            Is that place open on Sunday? that seems to be the problem day for me

                                            So far my new updated thinking based on days open:

                                            Saturday: Hidden Kitchen (but they are not getting back to me - i sent another email today hopefully they will get back to me)
                                            Saturday choice 2: ???
                                            Sunday: ??
                                            Monday: Chez Dumont
                                            Tuesday: Spring

                                            1. re: Dapuma

                                              Ooops, oh my god, really sorry Dapuma.
                                              At Thoumieux, the brasserie is open everyday but the gastro restaurant is open from monday to friday evening only.Maybe you could try for lunch ?
                                              You are not the first one to complain that THK is slow to answer emails. One of my friends sent a request months in advance and they answered it was too early. Then when she got back to them later, they said they were full that night. Big disappointment for her...

                                              1. re: Foodie Froggy

                                                If we make a lunch i think it would be le cinq or guy savoy - however with 4 days in paris and daytime being primetime exploring of the city, i dont want to dedicate a day to lunch...so i just dont see that being an option, and le cinq and guy savoy are just too expensive for dinner when there are so many other amazing options

                                                If i go the Thomieux route, is the primary restaurant going to take reservations for both places? It was really hard to tell which place is which...and i dont speak french (paris places dont seem to have an online presence), however a person at work does, so maybe they can be my translator when making reservations

                                                Right now i need a #2 choice in case HK doesnt follow through, and then a Sunday option - or can shift Spring over to Saturday and take a Tuesday option...all the same thing i think though

                                                1. re: Dapuma

                                                  There really aren't a lot of good restaurants open on Sundays. The best is probably Le Cinq. If you take the three-course lunch special you can be out of there in two hours--maybe even less if you request it. They are well-staffed, well-trained and eager to please.

                                                  1. re: fanoffrance

                                                    La Grande Cascade would be my other candidate for best sunday restaurant (along with l'Ami Louis and Senderens on good days).

                                                    1. re: souphie

                                                      were you saying that l'ami loius and senderens are or not open on sundays?

                                                      Or are you saying that they are hit or miss so they food is always good?

                                                      la grande cascade website is pretty cool, i was trying to look at the menu but it is all in french...is the first menu the lunch menu or regular menu, it looks like they have 3 menus one at 85 one at 135 and one at 185 euros? If it is in the 135-185 range isnt that around the same range as le cinq?

                                                      1. re: Dapuma

                                                        le violon d'Ingres one of the constant cafe's it looks like that is open sunday as well

                                                        how would that stack up with:

                                                        lami louis / senderens / la grande cascade

                                                        1. re: Dapuma

                                                          First it is not a cafe it is a restaurant (all the constant places are different and are different price points this is the top). Also the three places you list are very different so it is not just apples to oranges, but also strawberries and melons. What yardstick are you judging these places by? Are you still trying to slot in the "one amazing dinner"...? From your list (Jan 19) that looks to be the gap.

                                                          1. re: PhilD

                                                            pretty much i am trying to get in the one special dinner

                                                            i am going back and forth with sticking with cafe's the entire trip and just going for one great place - i figured if i was going over 130 euros (per person) i might as well go to le cinq because they are over 130euro and that would certainly be top of the line, then i would probably downgrade another selection

                                                            From my understanding Chez Dumon is around 50-60 euro per person and spring in around 70 euro per person (is that right?) so my new train of though is that if a keep sunday reasonable le cinq might be ok for saturday

                                                            my other line of thought was going to with 4 solid choices...that piere place above thromiex looks very cool, i read about passage 53 which sounds good as well french with a hint of japanese fushion is interesting and we love french asian fushion, -- not really sure about the price difference between passage 53 and the pierre place vs le flormidad for a saturday choice

                                                            then depending on that saturday choice i was thinking either le cinq or Le Violon d'Ingres

                                                            want to get some variety in each nights selection so it isnt the same thing, london i am set on as their web presence is alot stronger, most places in france have nothing to look at to base opinions on -- im probably rambling again so to bottom line it

                                                            Can anyone compare the piere new place above Thoumieux that looks trendy that is a 20 top vs Le Florimond vs Passage 53 included the difference in price and if the "style" of that restaurant will be similar to:

                                                            chez dumont
                                                            each other
                                                            Le Violon d'Ingres

                                                            thanks a bunch

                                                            1. re: Dapuma

                                                              As I have mentioned, I love Passage 53. It's somewhere in the range of 85 or 90 euros a person for dinner. The chef is Japanese but his cooking is not at all fusion.

                                                        2. re: Dapuma

                                                          Senderens and l'Ami Louis are open on sundays. Senderens is hit or miss -- chef is pure genius but execution is too often faulty.

                                                          La Grande Cascade is cool but its high range is Le Cinq's mid range. In fact, his chef used to be the exec chef at Senderens when it was always wonderful.

                                                    2. re: Dapuma

                                                      As I mentioned early, you should be careful about switching Spring to a Saturday in the summer. Although the lobster roll dinner is fine, it is not nearly the same experience as having the Spring tasting menu.

                                                      1. re: Nancy S.

                                                        Thanks for the reminder Nancy - So Hidden Kitchen got back to me but they are not going to be there that weekend (bummer)


                                                        Saturday: Open - considering Chef Piège place above Thomieux just because it looks so cool - however I am open to other ideas - Dont want to take a chance on Le Florimond being closed and being out of luck for this day - however i will be there the last saturday of the month - so does that mean 100% they are open? If i had to choose between the two for a first night in Paris meal...which is going to be more memorable

                                                        Sunday: Open - need some help here!
                                                        Monday: Chez Dumont
                                                        Tuesday: Spring

                                                        1. re: Dapuma

                                                          What about Fréderic Simonin on saturday ? I am going to have lunch there next week, but from what I have read , he is going to have at least one michelin star (some say he will even get two !!).

                                                          1. re: Dapuma

                                                            How about Passage 53 for saturday dinner. I really love Passage 53. If you google "passage 53 paris", you'll find some reviews with pictures from some excellent bloggers. I've been there several times and am most impressed. The service is lovely as well.

                                            2. This is a list of restaurants open on sunday evening : http://exclusive-restaurants.com/en/r...
                                              On that list, I have noticed "58 Tour Eiffel", the brasserie on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower (could be romantic, even though I have no idea how the food is), a dinner-cruise on the Seine, Brasserie Allard, Drouant, the brasserie at Hotel de Crillon, Lasserre and Senderens.

                                              1 Reply
                                              1. re: Foodie Froggy

                                                This being your honeymoon, I highly recommend Lasserre. The food is exquisite, the surroundings are elegant, service is old world, right there yet not 'in your face.' The restaurant has a live pianist during dinner and several times during service you hear a rumble coming from the ceiling and slowly, the ceiling comes apart, revealing a gorgeous floral/seasonal arrangement and the night sky as the roof opens.

                                                Also,l the second floor of the Eiffel Tower is where the food is going on. The lower level is noisy.
                                                The food is delicious and the view of Paris at night is magnificent. We made our reservations months in advance and asked for a seat facing West. At the proper time the shades were raised so diners could watch the sunset. If that isn't romantic, I don't know what is! Congratulations on your wedding.

                                              2. for Chef Piège place above Thomieux does anyone know if they are open on the weekends? I have seen conflicting online information stating they are m-f only and also open on the weekends -- can anyone confirm?

                                                Oak: will Le Florimond take reservations more than a month or two in advance?
                                                For Chez Dumont will they take reservations further in advance as well?

                                                I saw on the other thread Spring will only take reso 1mo in advance and I am finally to the point I am ready to make reso's and i dont want to risk not having a place set up ahead of time, nor do i want to burn up alot of money/time on overseas phone calls (although i may not have an option there) - so trying to get a bit more info before i start calling

                                                i believe i am going to keep it a bit lower priced the rest of the 4 days in france and srping for le cinq on sunday

                                                would le Florimond and chez dumont be similar menus or would we get pretty good variety and styles there?

                                                was thinking about switching it up to:

                                                le Florimond saturday
                                                le cinq sunday
                                                chez dumont monday
                                                frenchie tuesday

                                                am i getting enough different styles in those selection and am i keeping it overall under 100 euro per person per day for dinner (not counting drinks - or at least close) if we go for the gusto at le cinq

                                                5 Replies
                                                1. re: Dapuma

                                                  If you do decide to include Spring in your lineup, I can confirm that you can only secure a reservation one month in advance -- I tried to make a reservation in July and was told to call back.

                                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                                    The upstairs restaurant at Thoumieux is not open on weekends and they don't take reservations more than two weeks in advance. You can call at 8:30 a.m.

                                                    1. re: fanoffrance

                                                      thanks so much, fanof - couldnt figure that one out

                                                      Update so far, pretty much Paris is the only place i dont have everything booked for the trip and amboise

                                                      Saturday: open
                                                      Sunday: open (la grande cascade or le cinq) still deciding
                                                      Monday: Chez Dumonet - booked
                                                      Tuesday: Frenchie - just had fun with the no answer then goes to answering machine and going directly into the answering machine - at 4 cents per try will my phone card run out before i reach them hehe

                                                        1. re: souphie

                                                          Haven't been there yet! I tried to make a reservation for the end of March and was told what date to call back on. I remember I liked Les Ambassadeurs when Piege was the chef there, but you didn't.

                                                    2. Maceo in the 1er is neither a cafe nor "high end," but over the years, we have had quite a number of wonderful, memorable celebratory dinners there. They are not open on Sunday, but otherwise they would fit into your plans very nicely. And the price is very reasonable, especially considering the quality.

                                                      FWIW, if you are projecting for a restaurant called Chez "Dumont," you will have trouble finding what you want. The restaurant everyone talks about on this forum is Chez Dumonet.

                                                      1. Update: I have everything reserved except for Saturday, so what would be different that what i already have booked

                                                        Saturday: Open - need help
                                                        Sunday: Le Cinq (booked)
                                                        Monday: Chez Dumonet (booked)
                                                        Tuesday: Frenchie (booked)
                                                        Wednesday: Le Pavillon De Lys - Amboise (booked)
                                                        Thursday: L'Epicerie - Amboise (booked)

                                                        4 Replies
                                                        1. re: Dapuma

                                                          I'll recommend Passage 53 for Saturday.

                                                          1. re: Dapuma

                                                            to goodcookie: I checked out lassere, we are doing le cinq the following night so we dont want to go quite that expensive / over the top until sunday - but the place does look very cool

                                                            1. re: Dapuma

                                                              how did you manage these reservations do you speak french? Im hoping to book frenchie, but don't speak a lick of french

                                                              1. re: nkmontero

                                                                i kept getting an answer from them but they said the didnt speak english or at least not enough to make a reservation

                                                                luckily someone at work speaks pretty decent french and they made the reservations for me

                                                                they also helped me with the rest of my reservations that i could not make by emails - seems only to be an issue with some places in paris - england and holland were all more than willing to accomodate email

                                                                From all my phone calls and i made at least 40+ calls i could never get a english speaker on the phone and called at the times listed on the forum to make reservations - best thing i can say is post on facebook if anyone you know speaks french and give them your calling card number and see if they can get through tell them the time and day that you want

                                                                maybe try to get Spring instead...they only book 1 month ahead of time and i wanted everything booked well ahead of that time so i passed on them

                                                            2. as for pastry shops.....don't miss Pierre Hermes macaroons--the chocolate and the caramel ones are 'to die for'. we went to the one on Rue Cambon--I think it was #4, near the Tuilleries.

                                                              Jean Paul Hevin has amazing chocolates

                                                              Gaston Lenotre, near Rue Montegueil (sp?) market street--gorgeous and delicious

                                                              I could go on and on but there are very few 'bad' pastries in Paris......enjoy!

                                                              8 Replies
                                                                1. re: goodcookie

                                                                  "...there are very few 'bad' pastries in Paris....."

                                                                  I don't agree. There are, actually, more 'bad' than good. Very few made with fresh and simple ingredients, meant to be sold within a short window after completion, but many with commercial egg matter, fruit product and extraneous flavorings, coloring and stabilizers.

                                                                  1. re: mangeur

                                                                    I absolutely agree with Mangeur -- there's a lot of bad pastry in Paris. Even at the "notable" places, not everything is great (and sometimes nothing is good).

                                                                    1. re: Nancy S.

                                                                      we recently discovered macaroon's as in the usa southwest they are pretty hard to come by, one french pastry shop here had some and on a whim i picked one up, a salted carmel one...it was incredible, so many textures and flavors - so we are very excited to try some top of the line macaroons

                                                                  2. re: goodcookie

                                                                    Is there much of a difference between the two pierre hermes shops?

                                                                    > 72, rue Bonaparte, the "jewelry shop" boutique in the St Germain des Prés area of Paris

                                                                    > 185 Vaugirard, the second boutique in Paris. Its interior is very innovative.

                                                                    The 185 one seems closer to the hotel

                                                                    1. re: Dapuma

                                                                      Not much except the r. Vaugirard shop is roomier. If there is any kind of a line at the Bonaparte one, it is almost impossible to move around or browse.

                                                                      1. re: Dapuma

                                                                        I agree, not much difference, but with the one in the 15th, you're quite near Des Gateaux et du Pain, which is my favorite for viennoiserie.

                                                                        1. re: Nancy S.

                                                                          oh nice that is right by the pierre place, which to eat first macaroon or danish - i think that will be a game time decision heh

                                                                    2. Got all the final bookings made, thanks everyone for all your help

                                                                      Ended up going with a Saturday booking at Le Florimond, since it is close to the hotel and the eiffel tower, which we are going to see on Saturday

                                                                      Passage 53 looked great, but with le cinq the day after and location Le Florimond won out

                                                                      Thanks again everyone!

                                                                      1. oh just a general update i did swap out Saturday for

                                                                        L Ami Jean instead of Le Florimond

                                                                        Thanks again everyone hope this thread helps many other people as well