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May 1, 2012 10:06 AM

Upcoming Paris trip: need some input on this planned itinerary

My husband and I will be in Paris at the end of May for a 15th Anniversary trip and are staying at the Hilton Arc de Triomphe. We are both pretty adventurous diners. I've been to Paris, he hasn't. He speaks some French (learning it currently through Rosetta Stone), I speak very little beyond the social niceties. After combing through this and a bunch of other sites, I've narrowed our plans down but would appreciate your help on a few of our meals.

Friday May 18 Lunch: We are on the wait list at Le Jules Verne (this is a place my husband would really like to go). If that doesn't work out, we have a recommendation to head to le Dernier metro, on bd de Grenelle, described to us as a top authentic, simple bistro, that serves all day, which should work well with us being jetlagged.

Friday May 18 Dinner: Le Relais de l'Entrecote (doesn’t take reservations). I know this is a bit typical and touristy but many of my friends recommend it and my husband is looking forward to steak and frites for one of our meals.

Saturday May 19 Lunch we'll browse through markets (not sure which ones yet) and put together a picnic lunch.

Saturday May 19 Dinner CONSIDERING: Les Saisons, Neva, or Le Chemise (see descriptions below)

Sunday May 20 Lunch 13:00: Le Cinq (reservation confirmed)

Sunday May 20 Dinner nothing planned for dinner, probably felafel or crepes, nothing heavy

Monday May 21 13:30 Saturne (reservation confirmed)

Then we head off to Spain and Lyon, returning to Paris to stay in Montmartre area:

Monday May 28 Dinner CONSIDERING: Le Petit Canard, Neva, Le Chemise (these all appear to be open on Mondays based on the research I've done (below))

Tuesday May 29 Lunch Guy Savoy, L'Arpege or Pierre Gagnaire? This will probably come down to where we can get a reservation, but if there are factors we ought to consider, please let me know. I'm hoping all of these options will be able to store our luggage, because we have a flight at 7:50pm from CDG. The plan is to try to get in at 12:00 and let them know of our time constraints. I also wonder if someone can explain the 110E lunch special at Guy Savoy- is it something you request in advance when booking? Is it only available to one table per lunch or am I misreading their website?

Here's a rundown of our research on the lesser known places. Your input, especially on our May 19 and May 28 dinners would be appreciated:

Les Saisons
Recently opened neighborhood bistro, reasonably priced
52 Rue Lamartine 75010 Paris, France
01 48 78 15 18
Open Tues-Sat
Lunch : 12pm to 14:30
Evening : 10:45 p.m. 7:15 p.m
Reservations: (Is available both Friday and Saturday night right now

Neva Cuisine
Contemporary French/Nordic cooking in a polished, airy room at reasonable prices
2 rue de Berne, 75008
01 45 22 18 91
Closed: Sunday and closed Saturday lunch OPEN Monday
Reservations: Book a day or two in advance

Le Chemise
"Innovative food" an alternative to Frenchie?
42, rue de Malte in the 11th
(from their Facebook page) As of May 2, 2012 Open every evening from 18.30 - except Sundays. Closed for lunch.
(Metro: Republique or Oberkampf

Le Relais de l'Entrecote
All my friend say this is where to go for steak frites
15 Rue Marbeuf 75008 (also 2 locations in 6e
)Tue-Sun 12 pm - 10:30 pm
No reservations

Molecular gastronomy techniques Highly recommended by Chowhounds
17 Rue Notre-Dame des Victoires 75002
01 42 60 31 90
Open M-F Lunch & Dinner
Reservations: (available for Saturday night, not open/available Monday the 28th

Le Petit Canard
Duck, duck and more duck from the owner's farm. "Not to be missed" according to one of my chef friends.
19 Rue Henri Monnier, 75009 Paris
(just off the Place Pigalle in Montmartre
)Open every evening at 7pm
and Mon/Fri from 12 to 3pm
Reservations: 01 49 70 07 95

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  1. I'd also appreciate one bit of practical advice: while I am not allergic, I don't tolerate bell peppers well. Peppercorn and chili peppers are fine but even a bit of bell pepper in a meal will have me regretting it for hours. How are bell peppers described on menus and what's the best way for me to convey the need to avoid them without raising false and troublesome worries with restaurant staff about food allergies?

    1. To followup my own question regarding Guy Savoy... I filled out the web form at and in the comment box on the form requested the internet lunch special. I received an email confirmation today confirming our reservation and the €110 internet lunch special.

      7 Replies
      1. re: Chris VR

        Looks like a great itinerary to me. Reservations at some wonderful places and plenty of spaces to play things by ear. Guy Savoy is wonderful place and the internet special allows you to choose off the carte without restriction. They claim it's 1/2 portions but it really isn't. And it's great fun and delicious if not particularly challenging food. Gagnaire would be more challenging and perhaps better food (though not always) but not as much fun.

        1. re: plafield

          Ooh I hadn't realized the internet special let you order that way. Even more excited now. Thanks for the feedback!

          1. re: Chris VR

            Pardon....where is this internet special you speak of? :-)

            1. re: AJinLA

              If you go to you'll see a box on the left that says:

              "Each day for lunch, Guy Savoy reserves one table for guests wishing to discover – or rediscover – the delights of a French gourmet restaurant, but who hesitate. From our full lunch menu, guests can choose a starter, a main dish and a dessert for the fixed price of € 110. Our sommelier will offer wines by the glass from € 10.

              This special is only on offer to web surfers. Please arrive by noon. "

              (If you speak French better than I do, it's also on their regular website at in French.)

                1. re: Chris VR

                  Google translates all the French web sites into English for me!

                  1. re: Beulah

                    True, but websites that offer an English translation (and many do) always do a better job than Google Translate. Here's Google Translate's version of the above text. Not as bad as some of these Google translations can be but still awkward:

                    "The RESTAURANT GUY SAVOY
                    reserve a table at lunch every day for guests wishing to discover (or rediscover) a gourmet restaurant ... But hesitate!
                    We open our entire lunch menu to choose for a starter, main course and dessert, for the lump sum of € 110; our sommelier will offer their wines by the glass from € 10. This idea is broadcast to Internet only! Desired arrival: 12:00 "

        2. As a curmudgeon many of your choices would not be mine, but Le Cinq and Saturne would be, the comte at Saturne is just plain great. You might consider Severo also for steak frites. Le Cinq also has a broad selection of Ravaneau chablis at not too high a price. Please report back on Neva, it is on my radar as well.

          2 Replies
          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            Thanks- I've added Severo to my trip planning Google map, which is full enough for 20 trips at this point :)

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