Paris dining with a group of 7?
I'll be in Paris next week and need to arrange a few dinners for a group of 7 adults. I've found that this can be quite difficult. The nights will most likely be Saturday, and Wednesday evening.
My biggest concern is that some of the diners can be picky, and while I enjoy (actually love) the idea of Prix-Fixe dinners this may be a problem for them which is why I'm second guessing my first pick, Les Papilles which I hear is good for a group.
Ideally, we would go some place lively/fun, bistro affordable, with good wine options and a la carte menu selections.
Some other spots I was considering, but have no idea if they can accommodate a group of 7 would be:
Les Fines Gueules
Any ideas or feedback are much appreciated.
You might consider Neva Cuisine. I seem to think that they have a private room, but if not they should be able to easily seat you in the main dining room. It is large and airy and could absorb a large table without having it dominate. The food is very approachable for even the most timid diner and the room is formal enough to make older/conservative diners comfortable. Attentive service.
Thank you everybody for your comments. The more I think about it the more I agree that perhaps I'm making too much of my group being "picky". Perhaps this wont be the problem that I was worried about.
Having said that, I still need to find a place that can accommodate a party of my size. Sadly, Les Papilles is closed for the holidays! I'll be in town 5/5-5/11 - does this fall under the holidays? I was unaware.
I'll need to look into some of the restaurants recommended - any further advice is still appreciated.
A group of 7 ( or is it 8 including you) isn't big in Paris. It is a few couples getting together or an extended family with grand parents kids etc, or a team from th office. L'am Jean for example will be OK with ALC ordering or go for a set with choices at each course.
I think there is also lots of confusion on prix-fixe menus. They are usual two or three courses usually with two or three options in each courses, sometimes more. Generally they are good value and deliver a meal for less than the similar ALC options and usually offer soecials not on the ALC i.e. a dish cooked for "the men". Some paces are more limited like Les Pappilles are no choice but these are the exception. On the other and Degustation multi course 5 to 12 course meals are fixed with little choice but they may substitute - these will not be cheap - they show off the capability of the kitchen.
Take a look at Neva Cuisine. We had dinner for 8 there last month. The menu was 29.50 for 2 courses or 37 for 3 with about 4-5 choices per course. You can also order a la carte.
You know that L'Avant Comptoir is just a stand up wine bar right? They don't take reservations and the times I've walked by 2 people could barely squeeze in let alone 7.
I think either Au Passage or Chez L'Ami Jean could work. Dinner at Au Passage is tapas/small plates. I've only had lunch there which was very good (but don't recommend for your group as it's mostly no choice at lunch).
I haven't been to Les Fines Gueules.
In the 2nd is Bistro Volnay. They offer a 3 course for 38 with several choices per course.
If you're considering small plates, you might also want to look into Dans Les Landes. Our group considered that as well but it wasn't open on the only day all of us could get together.
All good advice.
But I have the same concern as Mangeur. I don't know if you are with 7 picky eaters or 1.
All your picks are good. Les Fines Gueules is the somewhat weaker one on the list.
Au Passage may not have a lot of dishes to choose from, in case your picky eaters are really picky.
My advice is that if you are burdened with the responsibility to pick restaurants, and if yo tailor your list to suit 7 picky eaters, you will come up with only forgettable brasseries, for which you do not need this board. Your dining companions are in Paris for £*¨# sake. They are lucky enough for someone to organize the resto reservations. They should shut up and enjoy your restaurants.
Thank you for the Neva Cuisine recommend. This was on my radar, but after looking closer agree that it may be perfect. I'd say this is tops on my list, along with L'ami Jean (although I cant seem to get through to them on the phone for some strange reason).
Also, thanks for the note on L'Avant Comptoir. I was skeptical when a friend had mentioned it as somewhere good for a group! Perhaps he meant as a pre-drink.
My girlfriend and I were able to book reservations, for ourselves, at both Frenchie at Chateaubriand which we are both very excited about.