Special Dinner in Paris for 8 People on a Saturday Night
I have been reading the boards and appreciate all of the good advice. I had finally selected Chez Josephine Dumonet for a dinner, but was disappointed to learn that it was closed on Saturday night. We will be 8 people, some from Paris, others from London and New York.
Because of the size of our group, I want a place that isn't so loud and bustling that we can't hear each other, but I do want it to have a festive ambiance. I want a place that has at least a few choices on the menu, which rules out many of the bistronomy restaurants with one set menu for each meal. The food should be at least semi-classic, and I love foie gras, so would like a restaurant that usually has it on the menu; I am not such a fan of molecular food. I am looking to spend about €100 per person before wine. So much for my laundry list. Here are the restaurants that I am thinking about. I really appreciate any insights you can give me.
Le Violon D'Ingres
L'Ami Jean (worried it will not be a good set-up for such a large group)
The last three don't qualify as semi-classic. Passage may also be beyond budget at night. Violon sounds ideal -- a very good restaurant, very comfortable, but not fancy. CAJ is quite great, and, while it's very lively, it's not loud in comparison with London or New York restaurants. For a start, it has no music. No, the downside of CAJ is the very limited room -- it usually is elbow to elbow and you can tell waiters have a professionnal requirement to be quite skinny so they can navigate between chairs. Food there is better than at Violon.
100€ for food is a good budget already. You can go slightly upscale. In fact, you could probably fo l'Ami Louis at that price.
"Because of the size of our group, I want a place that isn't so loud and bustling that we can't hear each other"
Because of the size of your group, you will be generating a lot of noise yourselves. Have you thought of places that have a private room?
And Soup has pointed out that quite a few of your choices have a modern take, which may not be what you want.
And many of your choices are very small. a table of 8 persons will occupy about half the room of, say, Le Gaigne, a hush-hush romantic resto - well, until your party arrives, I guess, - with a short menu serving not-that-traditional dishes.
Les Papilles and Le Reminet have a very nice private room. Les Papilles serves very good traditional dishes with good wines.
Astier has an upstairs where bigger parties are steered.
All 3 will be well under your budget.
Roast chicken is 68€ (easily serves four), cote de boeuf is 130€ I think (easily serves ten, but they say two). So I'd say yes, and it's the ideal party to do the real funny thing, which is order one of everything on the menu.
Le Quincy is also a possibility I would seriously consider. L'auberge Bressane. Even La Fontaine de Mars or Chez Georges on Porte Maillot.
Ask gracejoan3 about Violon D'Ingres and their willingness to creat a special occasion for moderate sized groups. In her case it has been a yearly special Thanksgiving dinner. If it is a focus on foie gras, I am sure M.. Constant could creat something outstanding, given your budget.
I was leaning towards L'Ami Louis, but a review in April's Vanity Fair was so bad that I went with my back-up restaurant Le Violon D'Ingres. My husband and I will definitely go to L'Ami Lous a deux another evening, as I had an amazing meal there myself.
Thanks for all the input, and I look forward to sending a report when I return.