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Jan 29, 2012 09:07 PM

Feedback on Paris restaurants

Hi all,

My husband and I will be in Paris for three days at the end of March (arriving Thursday evening from London and leaving first thing Monday morning). We're trying to keep the trip affordable, probably no more than 60 euros per meal (we can skip wine if needed). Could you please let me know your thoughts on our plans?

Thursday night: 2nd seating at Le Chateaubriand--how difficult will it be to get a seat? Should I try to make a reservation for Friday night instead?
Friday lunch: baguette and cheese. Poilane?
Friday dinner: Frenchie's or L'Ardoise. Not sure we can get a reservation at Frenchie's given how hard it sounds. Also, would probably choose LC over either of these if there's a chance we won't get seated during the second seating
Saturday lunch: market wandering
Saturday dinner: Chez l'Ami Jean
Sunday lunch: Breizh cafe
Sunday dinner: Chez Hamadi

I'm worried that Frenchie's/L'Ardoise/CAJ will be too similar. Is this just my imagination? Are there other restaurants (within my price range, or preferably well below) that we should go to instead?

Thanks so much!!

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  1. Frenchie and CLJ are very different - Frenchie is slighly more modern and has wider influences, whilst CLJ is modern traditional French (if that makes any sense).

    4 Replies
    1. re: PhilD

      Thanks! So, does that mean that L'Ardoise and CLJ would be similar (in style, if not quality)?

      1. re: katewh

        L' Ardoise is a fine bistro totally without ambiance and focused on a clientele interested in a "quick in, quick out" experience. Multiple turns makes their formula of quality at a reasonable price a profitable experience. A late lunch works for us.

        1. re: Oakglen

          Thanks so much Oakglen. While I love food and a good value, I think I would like something more atmospheric, so that's good to know about L'Ardoise. I had some trouble finding lengthy discussion of the restaurant, so perhaps that should have been the first sign...
          On a different note, thanks to PhilD's guidance on this post,, I think I will aim to incorporate more types of experiences. Am I right to assume that Le Chateaubriand would be an example of "Go radical"? If so, perhaps we'll swap out Frenchie's for Balzar or Chez Denise...would love to get a traditional-traditional experience

        2. re: katewh

          We went to L'Ardoise because we were tired and wanted a quick meal and our hotel was just down the street. It's good for that purpose but shouldn't be on anyone's short list.

      2. Cafe l'Ami Jean is not a place I will return to when I visit Paris. Their service is excellent (though I did get a sense that they wanted to turn over tables quickly), the ambiance is warm, authentic and inviting but the food just didn't speak to me. That said, despite the ambiance, eating there isn't in reality very comfortable. The tables are microscopic, so much so they literally hang things off the edge for extra real estate, and you're not just elbow to elbow with your neighbor, you're practically sitting on their lap. To each their own, but I do not understand the raves about this place. Breizh cafe is interesting and they're very nice to those who do not speak French as well, give it a try, but remember it's very low key and not the meal of a lifetime. Make sure to get a dessert crepe an ask for an extra scoop of ice cream - one isn't enough!