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May 11, 2012 09:34 PM

Les Ambassadeurs or Le Grand Vefour for 30th anniversary in Paris?

In Paris for 3 nights for our anniversary. Want one night to be extra special. For the two other dinners, considering Le Voltaire, Le Duc (or is the decor so awful?), maybe Terroir Parisian? Open to suggestions!

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  1. Voltaire has a traditional, comfort menu, pricey but good. Le Grand Vefour is also traditional, and a great buy if you stick to the prix-fixe menu. So a third choice could be a more adventurous bistro, like those favored on this site or by Dr. Talbott.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Oakglen

      Who is Dr. Talbott? I agree about the third choice, just cannot decide!

    2. Le Grand Vefour is smaller and more intimate than Les Ambassadeurs. I don't know if they have a prix fixe for dinner but the prix fixe lunch at Grand Vefour is a great value. Both restos serve traditional fare. I would choose based on atmosphere.

      1. I throw my hat into le Grand Véfour ring. It's infused with such history and and has such a glorious setting that it seems almost custom-made for a landmark celebration. While I like the cuisine and the ritzy "cadre" of Les Ambassadeurs, the ambience is a little too staid and formal for celebratory moments.

        Le Voltaire is very much part of the Paris social scene. And I notice that they can be a wee bit haughty with tourists. And yes, a bit too pricey to qualify as value for money.

        If you are into wine, a romantic alternative might be the cave of La Truffière on the rue Blainville off the place Contrescarpe in the 5th. Also very pricey but with a Michelin star, one the best wine cellars in Paris, and a menu featuring truffles, probably worth it. Terroir Parisien is one of my favourites (for the moment) but it is very sleek and design-y rather than cutsey so, if you are looking for picturesque, might not suit you. Food is fab and not overly fussy or clichéd.

        8 Replies
        1. re: Parnassien

          Thank you! I will look into your suggestions. Still having a hard time letting go of Les Ambassadeurs... how often do you get to dine in that kind of room? However, staid is definitely not what I'm looking for. We're not really looking for "value". Sounds crazy but this is one of those life's special moments. Looking for really special and out of the ordinary.

          1. re: helen185

            Helen, Les Ambassadeurs will provide you with an unforgettable evening. Food, service and ambiance are exceptional. (As will be the bill.) Go for it.

            1. re: Leper

              Thinking more and more that we will have to do both Le Grand Vefour and Les Ambassadeurs!

              1. re: helen185

                Why not? In another 30 years, will you be able to account for the money you saved by doing only one of the two?

                  1. re: helen185

                    Thus the bumper sticker recently seen

                    " l cannot afford this car, but my children can."

                    Les Ambassadeurs on a good day will equal Le Cinq, on a bad day is less. Beautiful room and chef can do things with polenta and also cepes that are very memorable, tables quite large and for lunch good bargain. OTOH Grand Vefours has dropped a bit in recent years, but room still best in town as well as cheese tray, ask for Colette's table and have superb service even if food not at the top.
                    As Parnessian mentioned the wine at Truffliere near Rue Mouffetard is stellar and the pairings may have been best ever.

                    1. re: Delucacheesemonger

                      I looked at Truffliere and thought the cave room was kitschy. I also considered Le Cinq, but call me a fool, I just can't get over having the experience of eating in the atmosphere of that room of Les Ambassadeurs! Please don't tell me there's such a thing as a bad day at those prices.

                      1. re: helen185

                        Bad in this case means slightly less than perfect. Just fix your mind on the chandeliers and ormolu and you won't even notice.

                        And the cave at La Truffière is kitschy?!! I was sure the French word "kitsch" meant the same as the English "kitsch" but I guess not. It's a simple and atmospheric vaulted cave without an ounce of "kitsch" (French meaning) and ostentation. And suggested as an alternative to le Voltaire, not Les Ambassadeurs.