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Feb 22, 2011 10:47 AM

Romantic meal in Paris - Le Petrelle or Cristal Rooms baccarat

Hi all

I am taking my girlfriend to Paris this coming weekend as suprise for her 21st birthday and wanted to spoil her with a romantic meal (I appreciate that "romantic" is subjective). I've narrowed it down to these two based on reviews and price.

I've read decent reviews for both - from what I can see Cristal would be more expensive, I just wondered if it was worth the extra. We're not really foodies so I'm looking more from the point of taking her somewhere which is pretty unqiue and special in terms of atmosphere compared to our usual dining experiences in London.

Any advice would be great

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  1. I'd skip the Cristal Room, since it's often pretty empty. Le Petrelle is quite charming and the food's really good, too.

    1 Reply
    1. re: andaba

      -- Hope neither you nor your GF is allergic to cats. Pétrelle has a well-fed cute-as-hell big tabby.

    2. I was at Cristal during its heyday, so didn't experience the emptiness that andaba mentions, but it is an incredibly beautiful place and very romantic in a luxurious, opulent sort of a way. Emptiness might be a virtue if you want to feel like you're having a private dinner in a beautiful place. I would guess the emptiness might be due to the fact that while the food is/was good, it was not extraordinary--especially at the prices they charge--so that once you've experienced the decor, you'd probably not return for the food.

      Our experience at Le Petrelle was disappointing. Service was miserable. Almost non-existant and we had to wait long periods for everything including the bill even after we'd asked 2 or 3 times. That might not bother you if you want to spend a loooong, quiet, romantic evening. Here, too, we did not find the food exceptional. The place is romantic in a very quirky, Bohemian sort of way.

      I hope this helps you decide. Have a wonderful dinner wherever you go.

      4 Replies
      1. re: JmVikmanis

        Thanks for the advice.
        I'm not sure with the cat thing- I know she's not allergic but I don't think she is the biggest fan of them so may be a mood killer!

        I think something Romantic and luxurious would be quite nice for a one off occasion.

        From what I understand the Cristal room is quite a small restaurant anyway. So I don't think it would matter to us whether the place was full.

        How much extra would It be? From what I can gather, Le Petrelle lookes like being around €130 for the 2 of us, how much would Cristal Rooms set me back? Would it likely be over the €200 mark- bearing in mind neither of us are drinkers.

        The only other options I can see within that budget which caught my eye was La Grand Cascade- would that be a better option/one to consider?

        1. re: burningcondors

          I wonder about Pétrelle too. It seems slightly under the radar. What's the cooking like?

          1. re: johannabanana

            I love it, but it's a pure ingredient play: steak, fish, sweetbread etc all served with the smae vegetables of the day. This is the cooking I like, but it's very homey and, again, focused on remarkable ingredients and very simple preparations.

            Check it out at
            (the reality is much darket, but it's hard to show in a photography and I wanted to show the food).

            Those who think restaurants should be innovative won't like it.

            1. re: souphie

              Thank you -- Pétrelle sounds just right, to me at least.