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PLEASE, WE NEED YOUR HELP! OLDER COUPLE HAVING TROUBLE WITH RESTAURANTS DURING CHRISTMAS WEEK

e
enofile Dec 6, 2010 03:49 PM

Wow, I have never had so much difficulty with finding appropriate restaurants in Paris! The attractive places seem to be either closed for the holiday, under scrutiny for being too popular, or taken over by new management which has destroyed the restaurant's cache and dining pleasure.

Our first night I booked D' Chez Eux which I have since learned has new owners. Sophie, an erudite contributor to this post, disliked it with a passion! Where else to eat for Christmas Day
dinner?

I was going to book Il Vino d' Enrico Bernardo in the 7th for the 26th because it sounded so darn unique. Any ideas?

We are going to Le Paris at the Lutetia as we have fond memories and became engaged here years ago.

I have reservations at L'Angle du Faubourg because many of you wrote about this restaurant with a glowing analysis and they seem to relate to patrons with some warmth.

For the rest of my choices, and really I have no parameters other then good food and a Parisian experience. I have in mind the following:
Desvouges
August
Le Gaigne
Restaurant du Marche
Dominique Bouchet
La Fourchette de Printemps
Jean
La Truffiere

We truly do need assistance since making a wrong choice for a meal can be a devastating experience in Paris when it is cold and freezing outside. We aren't as hearty as we used to be. New Year's Eve we plan to attend a concert at Eglise St-Germain des-Pres and eat and drink in the apartment we have rented in the 6th. Thank you so much for any aid and recommendations. Salut!

  1. Parigi Dec 7, 2010 12:16 AM

    Of your list:
    Desvouges
    August
    Le Gaigne
    Restaurant du Marche
    Dominique Bouchet
    La Fourchette de Printemps
    Jean
    La Truffiere

    1. I have not even heard of Desvouges, August.
    2. I have had good meals at Le Gaigne and Jean (I suppose you mean Jean on rue St Lazare and not chez l'Ami Jean; well, both good).
    3. Restaurant du Marché. There are many restos with a similar name. Do you mean the one on marché Ste Catherine? The appeal of the bistro is its location and its terrasse in the summer. It is not bad but is really not great.
    4. As for their openings, I only know Le Gaigne is open because it does a special menu for xmas and new year. Regarding the other restos, you will have to call them individually to find out if they are open.
    5. And with your all-caps title, I feel as though I were replying under pressure of being yelled at. :-(

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parigi
      e
      enofile Dec 7, 2010 04:30 AM

      As I am nearing 70 and not versed in technology etiquette, I do apologize. I did not know that capitalization meant screaming. I am very sorry to anyone I may have offended,

    2. g
      grace3 Dec 7, 2010 01:23 AM

      I just returned from 5 weeks in Paris. I checked out some places fro people for Christmas. I have been there for Christmas myself.

      If I were going to be in Paris for Christmas I would go to Bar Vendome at the Ritz. I did check (for friends) and they will be serving in the Bar Vendome. It happens to be a place that I am fond of anyway.
      Enjoy......

      2 Replies
      1. re: grace3
        e
        enofile Dec 7, 2010 04:32 AM

        Thank you so much for your suggestion. Other restaurants during the week are also rather difficult to book.

        1. re: grace3
          o
          Oakglen Dec 7, 2010 06:02 AM

          Hi grace3, you might want to list your other favorites that you wrote up on another board. I happen to agree with them all. The one thing we know for sure about this time of the year is that the Luxe hotels and brasseries will be open; as to the bistros, it would be wise to have fall-back options, just in case. The word "open" has a flexible meaning at holiday times.

        2. p
          Ptipois Dec 7, 2010 02:05 AM

          Just don't go to Desvouges. Terrible food.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Ptipois
            e
            enofile Dec 7, 2010 04:33 AM

            Thank you for letting me know.

            1. re: enofile
              n
              Nancy S. Dec 7, 2010 05:33 AM

              You might like Au Gourmand on rue Moliere in the 1st. It is run by two charming men and the atmosphere is lovely. They speak excellent English, so you could call to see if they are open.

          2. capeanne Dec 7, 2010 06:25 AM

            Of your list we have been to August once and liked it. Its a contemporary room ( in the 7th) and the food is a bit edgy ( not at all traditional). We have been to Dominique Bouchet 5 or 6 times over the past few years and we are very fond of it and a restaurant that is quite similar in atmosphere , style and price ..L'Arome ...I think both of those would please you and I consider them to be non touristy ( altho we all are tourists) with interesting and good food, welcoming atmosphere that while not formal is not so casual either...very Parisian Of the 3 I know my choices in order would be : DB. L'Arome, August

            1 Reply
            1. re: capeanne
              e
              enofile Dec 7, 2010 08:21 AM

              I really appreciate all your help and assistance. I remember in "times gone by" where we could just walk into any bistro or restaurant in Paris without a reservation and have one of the great meals of our lives. It was rare to hear English being spoken and it was great fun attempting to communicate in our lousy French. Even Paris has become more structured and less sybaritic, and thus we should make reservations prior to our visit. Thanks again

            2. menton1 Dec 8, 2010 03:03 PM

              Relax, enofile. Paris is still one of the great places to dine in the world. And really, it's only a meal! The wrong choice should never be "devastating", just a chalk up and move on. The odds are still strongly against having multiple bad experiences on consecutive days at Paris restaurants!

              Also, people don't always agree on even the top restaurants here. One person may hate what was another's best meal of their lives. Just relax, and enjoy the most beautiful city in the world!

              4 Replies
              1. re: menton1
                Laidback Dec 9, 2010 02:43 PM

                " people don't always agree on even the top restaurants here. One person may hate what was another's best meal of their lives."

                I must agree with Menton; for example, Ptipois who has excellent credibility doesn't like Desvouges but Alec Lobrano loves it. She and John Talbot didn't care for Auguste, but I went right after it opened, before it got its star, and had a superb pork chop and excellent foie gras.

                I've never tried Il Vino, Desvouges or La Truffiere but enjoyed all the others on your list. Have fun!

                1. re: Laidback
                  p
                  Ptipois Dec 9, 2010 07:21 PM

                  Concerning most places it is a matter of taste and the relativity of experiences. (For instance Auguste has a good chef even if it sometimes fails to deliver).
                  Concerning Desvouges it was not a matter of taste. The food was just plain revolting. A rather rare occurrence in Paris where new experiences can be so-so, but that was unequivocal. So there is some mystery at work.

                  1. re: Ptipois
                    Laidback Dec 10, 2010 06:58 AM

                    Your opinion weighs a ton in my book, so Desvouges is off my list.

                    1. re: Laidback
                      p
                      Ptipois Dec 10, 2010 10:46 AM

                      Yes, I know, that's a heavy responsibility. It's always possible that everybody was having a bad day, but then it would have been a spectacularly bad day. It took me some 14 hours to digest the meal and I had no intention of ever writing a review (bad places are best left alone). But hm, Alec liked it and Philippe (Toinard) liked it too. That brings a bit of doubt or rather of amazement into the picture but since I am certainly not going there again to check and certainly not going to risk being responsible for another person's terrible meal, you understand that I have to stand by my experience.

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