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Suggestion for client lunch near La Madeleine

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I'm coming up to Paris on Friday, December 16 to take some clients out to lunch and am looking for a good place as close as possible to La Madeleine. Usually we go to Le Tastemonde, but the last time I was rather disappointed so I'm hoping for something better. I haven't been back to Lavinia since it first opened because I was *very* disappointed by my only lunch there. I'm not inclined to try Senderens because I didn't like it when it was Lucas Carton (the food was ok, it was mostly the service and pretention and "good old boy" feel that put me off) but if anyone thinks that I could get a reservation at this late date and that it would be worth it, I'd be willing to open my mind. Budget including wine at lunch of up to 50 or 60 euros per person. Thanks for your help!

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  1. Bar Le Passage - the causal part of Senderens so will lack the pretension, tht said I didn't find it pretentious when I was there - I suspect it ha changed since it was Lucas Carlton.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      From a (mostly negative) review I read of Le Passage, I had the understanding that it was only bar seating, and we would need to be at a table (preferably round). I'm still reluctant to try one of the new Senderens ventures because I have read so much bad press about them, particularly the service... Any other ideas?

    2. L'Absinthe on the very nice Place St Honoré, very near Madeleine. About your budget.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Parigi

        I'm sorry, I should have been more specific. By "near La Madeleine" I mean within a less than 10 minute walk from the church. These are folks who have to get to and from their office as quickly as possible due to demanding work schedules, so if we hope to have 1.5 to 2 hours to lunch together, it needs to be very close by. L'Absinthe is definitely too far, but thanks for the suggestion!

        1. re: mllecathy

          Google map says 10 minute walk. But your call.

          1. re: Parigi

            Nah, Place du Marché is more than ten minutes away from Madeleine. In fact, one side of Madeleine is almost ten minutes away from the other side because of the difficult circulation for pedestrians too.

            1. re: souphie

              Place du Marché is definitely more than a 10-minute walk from Madeleine, I confirm because I used to work right by there! :)

      2. Tante Louise, no question.

        Le Passage, like the rest of Senderens, is only a sad shadow of Senderens' genius. While I think he's the greatest chef alive, I also can't recommend his restaurant. At all. Maybe for desserts. Say after Tante Louise.

        It's all about execution: the recipes are still brilliant, the level of quality is just not there like it was in the first year, when Robert (now heading La Grande Cascade) was still running the kitchen.

        Besides the distance, I would also not recommend any of the bistrots on Place Saint-Honoré, notwithstanding the awesome location.

        Anyway, the response to your question is definitely Tante Louise. You'll thank me later.

        7 Replies
        1. re: souphie

          Ok, unless I hear of another great suggestion (my only hesitation about Tante Louise is that I live in Burgundy, so I eat Burgundian food *all the time* ;) I'm going to book Tante Louise. Thanks, Souphie !

          1. re: mllecathy

            The rognons rock

            1. re: souphie

              Sold! I *love* rognons, especially in the winter and haven't had any yet this season. Merci encore !

              1. re: mllecathy

                Both of Bernie's "aunts" in Paris are good cooks. Two other places close by are the beautiful Goumard for fish and a more casual place with emphasis on wine, Bistro Volnay. A place popular with the business crowd close to Pl. Madelaine is the Royale Madeleine.

                1. re: Laidback

                  I ruled out Goumard because I know at least one of the people I'm taking out is not into fish or seafood, but I definitely want to try it another time. The Bistro Volnay gets pretty terrible (Google) to mediocre (John Talbott) reviews so I wouldn't want to risk it. I get my hair done across the street from the Royale Madeleine and it always seems so staid, and while I like it when there's not a lot of choices on a menu, because I think (ideally) it means the chef concentrates on quality produce and perfecting those few dishes, the Royale's menu is so classic as to almost be boring... I'm difficult, aren't I? ;) But thanks for chiming in with the suggestions!

                  1. re: mllecathy

                    This whole board is 'difficult'. Better to know just what you need than mess around with saying that 'Gee, Laduree will be great' or whatever.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      :-)