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Mar 18, 2011 11:43 AM

Passage 53 v Le Florimond

Ok I am having a second guessing attack (horray for Nancy heh)

For our first night in Paris i have booked Le Florimond because we are staying in the 7th and we are going to see the eifel tower the first day, so it is close by

Secondly we are going to Le Cinq the next day - monday chez dumonet - tues frenchie

So is it worth the extra effort to get over to Passage 53 or is my first impulse correct and keep it simple the first night there with Le Florimond

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  1. I don't know Passage 53 but from what I see it is pretty subtle cooking. I wouldn't go jetlagged. Then again, I wouldn't go to Florimond at all, especially when in the neighborhood (which means Au Dernier Métro, Chez l'Ami Jean, Bellota Bellota, l'Auberge Bressane, La Fontaine de Mars are all within walking distance).

    1 Reply
    1. re: souphie

      Love Le Florimond...haven't been in several years..has it gone Laurent still there?
      Love your new website and we'll be renting an apt. in the 7th for a couple months next year (Sept/Oct) and would love to meet for champagne and you can be my gourmand for hire!
      Wishing you all the best Julien..

    2. Passage 53 is very good, but it's a fixed set menu (no choices); if there are things you don't like it might be difficult for you to enjoy it.

      Also, it just got its second star, so it's probably booked solid.

      20 Replies
      1. re: Maximilien

        taking the train from london so no jet lag and not going until june so i figure i have time to change

        Souphie CAJ scares me with too many bad reviews, although the good ones say it is not to be missed...with 4 days in the city i dont want to have a "bad experience" - but i do love foie - difficult to decide -

        let me ask throw one more idea then passage 53 v CAJ

        1. re: Dapuma

          Most recently, I took my son and daughter-in-law to CAJ. He isn't picky, but..., and she could happily eat vegetarian. After 5 days in Paris, where they raved about our dinners, they went ballistic over their CAJ choices.

          As I look at my notes, we enjoyed among us: Polenta with cepes, Moules, Lobster, Dove, Fish (sorry, I had the dove and didn't annotate what the fish was but an exclamation point suggested that it was a hit.), Riz au lait, Chco-vanil. An old favorite red Baume de Venise.

          They, and I, loved this evening. What's not to like? I didn't note the tab, so it must have been within expectation.

          1. re: Dapuma

            I've had bad experiences at CAJ. Not many. They never happened ordering ALC from the specials. If you read carefully, a lot of the bad experiences have to do with inappropriate expectations and/or attitude. If there's something you don't like, you should just complain. But again, less and less common. Just skip Desnoyer's cote de boeuf (but don't miss his wagyu if he has some).

            I'd probably chose CAJ over any restaurant in town. I would only hesitate with fine dining restaurants or l'Ami Louis. In fact, on friday, I'm having not one but two feasts there. That's right, lunch AND dinner. I may also stay in the afternoon for a nap.

            1. re: souphie

              I have had the set menu many times and always liked it very much. Also had the menu proposed by the chef for parties of more than 6 persons and liked it too (I call it the menu Famille Nombreuse). But the times when I went wild over the food were when we had the game menu and the à la carte meal I had with Soup and DCM. So what not to like?

            2. re: Dapuma

              They are two entirely different styles of cuisine, so I think it would depend on which type you prefer.

              1. re: Nancy S.

                i would like something completely different from chez dumonet / le cinq / frenchie

                i looked at l'ami louis and the foie and chicken look pretty awesome based on some reviews - why does their foie look almost uncooked? Regardless that looks like a pretty intense meal that could be split between two under 200 euro

                i have never seen that before - i am refering to this picture:

                that looks like a very heavy meal to have then get up and move around the next day with le cinq the night after - is that possible?

                caj is in the same neighborhood so that certainly makes me rethink that option - is caj different enough from everything to warrant it a go? also i have been trying to mix up the tasting menu v ala carte ordering because i prefer tasting and the mrs prefers ala carte

                one other thing is that we both love foie gras

                1. re: Dapuma

                  I'm not sure what you mean by completely different, so let's try to be specific. Dumonet is traditional and (very generous). Le Cinq is fine dining, not old style but not molecular either. Frenchie is modern bistrot. CAJ is different in the sense that it is "bistronomique" or "discount" fine dining, ie fine dining ingredients and techniques in a casual setting. What is not different, is that it is a lot of food.

                  L'Ami Louis is a lot of food indeed. But it is pretty good food, so I would not rule out another big meal the next day. Not the same day, though. Also, it all depends on what you order and how much you eat and how you digest it and how much you drink. For me, a cote de boeuf or chicken is never too much food but veal can be, for instance. And I have to be careful with bread and wine.

                  Their foie gras is textbook foie gras. I don't think it looks raw. My pic looks like luxeat's ( The one at Joséphine is of the same vein (, also Le Pétrelle ( They're all excellent, better some days than others.

                  At CAJ, Jégo doesn't really do foie gras en terrine. What he does is a whole foie gras roasted on order, flambé. It's a very different experience.

                  1. re: souphie

                    thanks sophie - those are some amazing pics, i have never had foie not with a flambe on it, so that will be a new experience :)

                    since i will get a similar foie at chez dumonet that can rule out L'ALouis plus it was pretty far away - i wonder if i can get sick of eating foie gras...i dont think so but i may test my limits on this trip heh

                    so that goes back to location, and staying in the 7th i think will be better for our first night in paris...seems like if ordering off the CAJ specials would be a better option than Le Florimond?

                    does CAJ have set seating times like Chez Dumonet? If so does anyone know them off hand? Do they speak english to take a reso or should i recruit my french speaking friend to help me again - thx

                    1. re: Dapuma

                      "i wonder if i can get sick of eating foie gras..."


                      "ordering off the CAJ specials would be a better option than Le Florimond?


                      "does CAJ have set seating times like Chez Dumonet? If so does anyone know them off hand? Do they speak english"

                      Yes. 7:30pm. Then around 10 to 10:15pm. Yes.
                      But as a rule wherever I go in the world I try to learn enough of the local language to say: "excuse me, do you speak English?" It seems better than just to start a conversation in English. But that's just I...
                      Lastly, Souphie is not Sophie until he gets this sex change toward which quite a few hounds seem to be urging him...

                      1. re: Parigi

                        "...But as a rule wherever I go in the world I try to learn enough of the local language to say: "excuse me, do you speak English?" "

                        Agreed. My variation is to ask in their language, rather, "do you understand English"", since more people seem willing to admit to understanding than to speaking.

                        1. re: Parigi

                          haha sorry about that :)

                          that is a good idea about speaking versus understanding, didnt think about that subtle difference - the mrs has two years of french in high school and looks alot better than me so i will let her speak for us and flash a smile - i just do the planning :)

                    2. re: Dapuma

                      FWIW, in October, we ate at Passage 53, Spring, Grande Cascade, Le Comptoir du Relais (lunch), Senderens, and CAJ, and Passage was the weakest meal, for me at least.

                      Wasn't the execution, and the service was perfectly lovely. The room itself was way cool. There was just something cold and clinical about the food, and in a couple of cases, the experiment seemed to be more about a visual/gastronomical wink than gustatory payoff.

                      Just one opinion, and I've only been once.

                        1. re: souphie

                          I guess it felt a little overpriced for what it was, but tasty.

                          Best meal that trip was Comptoir.

                          1. re: Jolyon Helterman

                            Well then it wasn't good -- when it is, ir is truly wonderful.

                            1. re: souphie

                              I'm glad I went—will go back, then. Thanks.

                              1. re: Jolyon Helterman

                                I'm not saying it WILL be wonderful. I'm saying it should be, it used to be. But if the kitchen team hasn't upped their game, then we are indeed left with ideas of dishes that could be great. I'm just saying, a new visit is in order in the name of what an absolute genius Senderens is.

                                1. re: souphie

                                  are they pretty easy to contact via phone, i have been busy at work and not had a chance to call them for a reservation

                                  What time is there reservation staff there, would 3PM Paris time be acceptable or should it be later in the day

                                  1. re: Dapuma

                                    The safest is to call shortly before meal time, which means noon or 7pm, when the staff is sure to be there.
                                    (Strange, was sure I had sent this msg)

                  2. re: Dapuma

                    Don't worry about CAJ - it's on song these days.

                    Only slight b-mol in a recent meal was when we took a full bottle of txokali as the white wine - this is best taken is small quantities but we passed on to something more palatable fairly quickly, this time a red from the French side.

                    Look - the food is great whatever you go for and the athmosphere is always animated so you will have a memorable evening.

                    Life is to short not to have eaten here.