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May 30, 2012 05:28 AM

First of Many Paris Threads for Upcoming Trip

Greetings from a NYC Chowhounder.

I am planning a honeymoon trip to Paris in September, my first (honeymoon and trip to Paris). In New York, nearly every restaurant that one wants to go to takes reservations no more than one month in advance. So, if you want to eat in September, you have to do something about it in August. I haven't been able to find a rule of thumb for Paris. Our hope is to do one of the 3-star places and then a bunch of other well-regarded restaurants. When are we going to have to start making reservations?

Thanks so much for any and all help. I promise to write a trip report upon my return and to offer comparisons to the top restaurants in the United States.

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  1. August is the vacation month in France, lot of restaurants in the Capital will be more or less closed a couple of weeks during the month and will not even answer to phone/emails.

    You better start making a list of places you'd like to try (peruse the exiting threads) and start calling/emailing soon.


    1 Reply
    1. re: Maximilien

      Thank you Max, I appreciate it. With only three weeks before our wedding, I was hoping to hear that I could comfortably wait until July to worry about identifying places and making reservations. Guess its time to multitask.

    2. Welcome to the French board, l read you a lot on NY board. We have the same favorite food, as does Sistereuropa.

      If for example, a good example, you want to go to Guy Savoy, their internet special for @ 110 euros eating off the regular menu, is a great lunch deal. Can only be done off the net and advance is the way to go to get the special as they are quite limited. Also res for Atelier du Robuchon off St Germain, a **, is also internet available. Read all posts on L'Ami Louis, my fav resto here, some of us like it some do not.

      8 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger

        Thank you very much, I appreciate it. I will be sure to look into L'Ami Louis.

        Given our lack of French, the opportunity to make reservations over the internet will be most helpful.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger

          OMG, Wye River no less!! My people!

          nmprisons, I share your anxiety on making reservations over the phone and I speak passable French (and understand even more). Are you staying in a hotel or an apartment? If it's a hotel, it's my understanding that people often get the hotel to make the reservations for them. Others can confirm as I usually stay in an apartment.
          Congrats and good luck! Will look forward to your reports.

          1. re: sistereurope

            I hadn't thought of that, thank you! We haven't chosen accommodations yet, but I have been going back and forth between apartments (which seem cheaper) and hotels. I hadn't considered the added benefit of having the hotel make restaurant reservations. That might very well tip the scales.

            Do you agree with Max that I will need to get on this ASAP if there is any hope of securing good reservations for September?

            As for the Wye River, I crab there a few times a year. Best tasting crabs in the world.

            1. re: nmprisons

              Re reservations: some are a few days, some a few weeks, some months. Most are pretty standard without the "60 days in advance on the day" type rule. A lot do close for August so this limits the window. My advice is to start early , lots will speak English, so it isn't the ordeal it is made out to be. A concierge is easiest as they are in the same time zone.

              1. re: nmprisons

                Apartments are cheaper and in my opinion better. There's a fridge, and we save money by having morning coffee in the apartment, as well as breakfast (pastries/tartines)...that way we have more $ to spend on lunch and dinner. And wine...

                That still leaves your reservation issue. I've never been in September so I'm not sure how busy things are...we usually reserve about 1-2 weeks out when we go in October. Perhaps you can double check the places you're thinking about to see if they're open in August? It seems pretty early to me to make them anytime soon. If it were me I'd focus on the 3 star place first, and worry about the others later. I'll let the experts weigh in on the best of the 3 stars and the best timing (and method) to secure the reservation.

                (had MD crabs over the weekend. Not sure if they were WR, but they were mighty good!)

                1. re: nmprisons

                  My husband and I chose the apartment route for our trip recently, and I honestly can't go back to staying at hotels. Even if you're not going to be doing much cooking, there are so many other advantages. We ate a whole lot of cheese (as one should when in Paris!) and having a nice-sized fridge, plates, knife and fork was very convenient. Of course we also cooked fresh produce from the march├ęs volants - and I'm not tooting my own horn here, but that meal was the best we had in Paris, simply because the produce is just that ridiculously good.

                  On top of that, if you're going to stay for a considerable amount of time, you might need to do laundry. If so, finding an apartment with a washing machine would be so much easier and more convenient than a) getting the hotel to do it for you for an astronomical price, or b) wasting time sitting at a laundromat.

                  I made all my reservations either by email (I booked Le Cinq and Les Ambassadeurs this way) or by calling them and speaking in English, and had no problems whatsoever, so don't let that be the difference between staying at an apartment or a hotel.

                  1. re: karina_h

                    Completely agree with you. The markets are perhaps the best part of the travel experience in France.
                    Having a kitchen changes the nature of the travel. You are no longer a tourist.

              2. re: Delucacheesemonger

                We had the 110 lunch special at Guy Savoy this week and it's a total bargain. If you were considering it, that's a great way to go.