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Jul 17, 2012 07:39 PM

Paris - nice but not too snooty anniversary dinner

Hey, Chowhounders, I would like to ask for your help/input. The husband and I are going to Paris in late September for our 20th anniversary, and we are looking for someplace to have a memorable dinner for the occasion. The salient points are these:

- neither of us eats red meat (but poultry and fish are fine)
- I am allergic to shellfish (but have no problem with non-shelled fish)
- we can definitely afford a nice dinner (we wouldn't be going to Paris for 2 1/2 weeks if we couldn't!), but don't want to get into the realm of 200 euros a person.
- we are big city east coasters, and have fairly refined palates
- we are into the organic/farm-to-table thing
- we aren't bringing formal clothes with us (just a few skirts for me, and probably some Dockers and a pair of black trousers for my husband)
- we dislike exemely snooty places, and would always opt for hip, or some other kind of upscale modern vibe, over a traditional/conservative kind of place
- if it's touristy, we will walk right on by

As a geographic note, we're staying in Saint Germain-des-Pres and will not have a car. We have no objection to taking the metro far and wide, though! So: is there any place in Paris that fits these parameters, or even comes close, that anyone can recommend? A million thanks in advance for any advice — I always get *great* guidance here at Chowhound!

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  1. Agape Substance. Ask for the table at the pass.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Nancy S.

      Isn't Agape substance a choice of fixed menus? So may not suit a non red meat non shellfish eater.

      1. re: PhilD

        It is a fixed menu but they make accommodations.

        1. re: Nancy S.

          Understood but there are accommodations and accommodations, red meat and shellfish could really limit them and could that not detract from the experience? After all isn't the strength of the place these tightly constructed menus?

    2. If it is hip, it will be touristy.

      9 Replies
      1. re: beaulieu

        In paris not necessarily.
        However, the problem is: if it is hip, the food is probably not very good.

        1. re: Parigi

          Bad food at Saturne? Le Galopin? Pan? Chatomat? Not hip? Or am I just out of the loop?

          1. re: mangeur

            Sorrest I wouldn't call them hip, except Pan.
            Now Pan is hip and has bad food.
            Le Galopin? What's so hip, or so good, about it?
            Saturne? Modern yes. Hip? Off Fashion Week, it is not oppressively hip. It would be a great anniversary spot - was our anniversary spot - but it is seafood-focused, often shellfish-focused.
            Le Chatomat is on a hip street, so it's hip, and the food good but not cross-town-schlep worthy, much less anniversary material.

            I thought hip was all the restaurants - without name - so full that the crowds spill out and nad merge in the middle of the street with the crowds spilling out from the restaurants across the street, - again without name, - on Cour des Petites Ecuries, for example.

            The only hip place that has good food that I can think of is Dans Les Landes. Saw a great fun birthday party there not long ago. But not sure about an anniversary celebration.

            Each city has its own restaurant anthropology. In Paris, many hip places tend to have indifferent food AND are snooty. Food is just not their focus, not their motivation.

            1. re: Parigi

              Thanks for all of the suggestions so far. As a clarification, when I said hip, I guess I really meant modern/upscale moe than "trendy place with a lot of buzz."

              1. re: Fjordstone

                That changes everything. I'd go for Saturne, and at reservation specify the allergy issue.
                At Saturne people dress casual chic (read: Paris casual chic). What are dockers?

                1. re: Parigi

                  Dockers are a brand of casual canvas slacks, often seen in light brown or a sort of khaki color. Thanks, I will look into Saturne!

                  1. re: Parigi

                    A more appropriate question is 'Why are Dockers?'.

                    1. re: dietndesire

                      Ha! Well, because jeans are a lot heavier to carry around in a suitcase.

                      1. re: Fjordstone

                        ..and because although they are as casual as jeans, they go many places where jeans are not appropriate attire.

          1. re: ChefJune

            Many thanks, ChefJune, I will take a look at Maceo!