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Nov 10, 2010 11:00 AM

Anniversary trip to Paris

My wife and I are heading to Paris - staying near the Musee de l'Orangerie. Arriving Dec. 7 and leaving Dec. 15.
We haven't been to Paris for 27 years and are looking for a couple of great dinner experiences as well as other fabulous (but perhaps less expensive) Bistro or other moderate restaurants. We are looking forward to foie gras, escargot, and oysters, as well as cassoulet, canard a l'orange, coq au vin, boeuf bourguignon, blanquette de veau, etc. We are also very adventurous eaters as well.

We would very much appreciate some insight into restaurants, as well as time of evening to make reservations. We will probably contact the hotel in the next week or so to ask them to make reservations for us.

Any other tips or advice would be most appreciated.

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  1. Congratulations.

    "staying near the Musee de l'Orangerie"

    That is near Place de la Concorde, singularly lacking in eateries.
    However, it is a short and lovely walk across the Seine to Aux Fins Gourmets which serves your kind of somewhat old-fashioned bistro food in old-fashioned interior and vibes.
    For more modern bistro food without breaking your bank, you can do a short walk to a different direction - east - to Palais Royal to La Régalade St Honoré.
    Aux Fins Gourmets, reserve 1 week in advance.
    For La Régalade SH, reserve 1 week in advance for lunch, or 2 weeks at least for dinner.
    Bon voyage.

    1. Violon d'Ingres by chef Christian Constant on rue St. Dominique in the 7th makes some nice classics (in addition to excellent more innovative preparations) including a fine cassoulet and souffle.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Nancy S.

        Thanks so much for the tips. We are assembling our list!
        A couple of more inquiries, if I may: First, there is a lot of discussion here about L'Ambroisie. Is this a place to take my wife for our 25th anniversary celebration? We would like to find a romantic place, and, of course, the food and wine is of utmost importance. Second, a friend (living here in DC) from Alsace says she eats at le Coupe Chou whenever she is in Paris, but hasn't been there for awhile. I haven't seen much discussion about it and am curious if anyone has any thoughts.

        Again, many thanks for your input Nancy S and Parigi. We are looking forward to this and will certainly post our comments when we return.

        1. re: DCRandy

          "Coupe Chou"

          I used to go and liked it. But in recent years all the bad reviews scared me away.

          Ambroisie. Wonderful starred food of course, celebratory certes, but I perhaps too fussy to be romantic ?

          1. re: DCRandy

            L'Ambroisie is about as fine as it gets, but you must be prepared to of the most expensive restaurants around.

            My advice is to pass on Coupe Chou; we have friends who insist on meeting us there every time they come to Paris, but they wind up just ordering salads. not my idea of a romantic place for a big anniversary. If money is no object, look to the dining rooms of the palace hotels, then perhaps places like La Grande Cascade or Pré Catalan. Romance is an elusive and personal thing, but all of these places should qualify food and wine wise. If finances must be considered then post again with your budget. the Orangerie is with in easy walking distance of Les Ambassadeurs, Le Meurice, Carré des Feuillants, l'Espadon(Ritz), all multi- starred but budget busters.

            1. re: DCRandy

              I think you should stick to L'Ambroisie if the food and wine are "of utmost importance" for you (and if you're prepared to pay 400 euros per person). In my opinion their food is the best in Paris. As for wine, some here on Chowhound feel that their wine list is not among the most impressive. I'm no expert--I just ask for wine by the glass and have always been happy with what they served me. Obviously their list is not as extensive as you'd find at a palace hotel, but that may have more to do with quantity and breadth than with quality. The atmosphere is quiet: subdued conversation, not much hustle-bustle, and no music. There's lots of room between tables (about 6 tables per room) and lovely 17th-century decor with high ceilings. I've never been there after dark, so I can't say what the evening lighting is like.

              1. re: fanoffrance

                Thanks for your suggestions. Here is how our dining is shaping up (provided we can get reservations, of course):
                L'Ambroisie for our celebratory dinner, then also be sure to enjoy Violon d'Iingres, Aux Fins Gourmets, and La Relagade. Does anyone have any ideas of a lunch place for fresh oysters?
                We have also heard there are great Vietnamese restaurants in Paris. Any ideas or parts of town to visit? We will probably hit these for lunch.
                Many thanks for your input everyone.

                1. re: DCRandy

                  "La Relagade"

                  You probably know there are two Régalade, one more central near Palais Royal, the other in the 15th. I just don't want you to reserve at A but end up going to B.
                  You may find La Régalade St Honoré - which is the more central one - more confortable.

                  Oysters. There are quite a few current threads. Try search.

                  1. re: DCRandy

                    Huiterie Régis in the 6th for oysters

            2. For excellent food and unforgettable service, you may want to try Le Meurice. We did lunch there (a 3.5 hour affair) and it's not one that we'll soon forget. We opted for the prix fixe menu and had no complaints though there were many other tempting selections. In my opinion, it's one of the best dining environments I've experienced in Paris. It manages to be both grand and intimate at the same time. Perhaps a good choice for part of your celebratory trip? Congrats and enjoy.