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Oct 15, 2011 04:43 AM

Spring & Les Papilles - which for lunch?

We're off to Paris in a few weeks (from Wed -Fri) and I have finally tied down restaurant choices, I think! We are there for 2 nights and three full days, we are hoping to revisit Chez L'ami Jean for dinner again and I have also decided on Spring and Les Papilles. Now the problem is trying to decide which to book for dinner and for lunch. Any thoughts on which would be better for dinner or lunch? Another issue is that I notice on Spring's blog that it is not open for lunch on Fridays but in a few other reviews on here people have mentioned it's open Wed-Fri. And how hard exactly is it to get a booking for Spring?

L'ami Jean
27 Rue Malar, Paris, Île-de-France 75007, FR

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  1. Spring is now open for lunch Wednesday to Friday. Reservations are hard to get (they've started to take bookings only 1 month in advance) but you may be able to score a cancellation.
    I would do Spring for lunch if you can get in (I think it's better value at lunch, dinner is now about 74 euros per person before wine) and Les Papilles for dinner (again, make reservations, but a week or 2 in advance should be fine). Les Papilles also serves a no choice menu, very good value at 33 euros for 4 courses and you can choose the bottle of wine you like at cost + 7 euro corkage fee.

    Have a wonderful trip!


    1. I would do Les Papilles for lunch, Spring for dinner. I think the food at Les Papilles is fairly similar from lunch to dinner, which is not the case at a lot of places. Plus, you can walk down the street after lunch at Les Papilles and go to Franck Kestener's chocolate shop -- it's outstanding -- then stroll over to the Luxembourg Gardens. Spring is outstanding and a dinner would be the right way to appreciate what that kitchen can turn out. At lunch, I don't think you'll see the full abilities of Spring. Lunch would be good -- don't get me wrong -- but I think they are less constrained at dinner.

      1. Spring lunch is much better value than its dinner.
        Yes it is hard to get a reservation, but you know what they say in motown: "you don't ask, you don't get." :-)
        Considering that for your 3 day stay, your other two meals are chez l'Ami Jean and Spring, I can't help but think Les Papilles, which I like a great deak, is not quite in that league. You may want to schedule Les Papilles on your first day, so that your Paris dining experience goes crescendo instead of decrescendo.
        And the dishes at Les Papilles are very copious. I would pace accordingly. :-)

        1. Thanks for your thoughts everyone. Think we will do Les Papilles on Weds night (Thanks for idea Parigi), then CLJ for dinner on Thursday night and Spring for lunch on Friday, if we can secure bookings. If not, it's back to the drawing board. I also have Chez Denise, Chez Josephine Dummonet (although have read some non glowing reviews on this one) Frenchie and Helene Darroze on the shortlist. Any thoughts on these? Helene Darroze doesn't seen to feature much on Chow boards.

          Parisjo, thanks for posting prices for each of the options, good to know.

          Glutton thanks for the recommendation for the chocolate shop, I will make a note of it.

          1. You might want to try a place where English is not the predominant language as it is at Les Papilles and Spring. H Darroze is rarely mentioned as many of the board are not thrilled with it's lack of generosity and high prices. Frenchie is a tough ticket and IMHO not worth the difficulty.
            Either of Trochet places, Le Grand Pan, with reservations, or Cantine de Trochet , no reservations, are usually American lacking and La Regalade in the 14th is a super bistro as well. Chez Denise has always been a welcoming place with gargantuan portions. As has been said here before, two meals a day for me is too daunting. Think about snacks, picnics, etc for your second meal. Or places for a cup of chocolate and a pastry as Genin, or a few cheeses at a great shop like Alleosse or Dubois, or bread from a place like Au Pains et Les Idees.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Delucacheesemonger

              Cher DCM, you surely mean Troquet, not Trochet.