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Aug 24, 2012 10:09 AM

Chowhound Wedding...

First, full disclosure... I met my fiance through Chowhound when I was looking for a dining companion on my solo trip last December. We shared a wonderful lunch at Spring and then, the following night, dinner at Chez l'Ami Jean. He lives in Seattle, I live in Washington, DC. We were engaged in Paris in May and will marry this December--in Paris of course:-) I went to Paris for food, music, art, and some Christmas spirit and I found a life partner!

But, this is about food, not about love, so here is my question: We have about 45 guests coming in for the wedding. I was hoping to get reservations so that my fiance and I could dine with new arrivals each night. The first night it would mean 10-12; the second night 14-16; the third night probably 20.

Will the charming restaurants I've learned about on these pages and have grown to know and love through my visits the past 5 Decembers be able to accommodate these numbers? I don't mind splitting people up into tables of 4, 6, 8 but I don't want to be in a back room...

Here's what I was thinking/wishing:
Wednesday (10-12): Les Papilles
Thursday (14-16): Mon Vieil Ami (after a concert at Sainte Chapelle)
Friday (20): Cafe Constant or Chez l'Ami Jean (after an evening visit to the Eiffel Tower)
Other ideas: Fish; Verjus (because of Seattle connection)

Do you think any of these will be possible? Or do the Hounds have any other suggestions for me? Guests are staying mostly in the 6th. Prefer walkable except the night we'll go to the Eiffel Tower and we can stay in the 7th.

Thanks for any thoughts, suggestions, ideas you have!

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  1. Congratulatiions! What a beautiful story.
    Your list is mostly a good one.
    For Thursday, would you consider taking over a communal table at Dans Les Landes? The nubmer is about right, and the food great.
    Last time we were there, we saw a bday party there that was gobs of fun: champagne with unending array of tapas. One guest who arrived late and hungry, not knowing that we at one little corner of the communal table actually did not belong to the bday party, just grabbed something off our plate and plopped it in her mouth. Simultaneously I exclaimed: what are you doing? and DH said to the by-now-blanching lady: "isn't it deliciously though?"
    After that we strangers became one big party. The party girl sent us coupes of bubblies and we toasted her.

    Judging from the increasing number of guests, do I understand your wedding will be Saturday?
    In that case, would you consider switching Chez L'Ami Jean and Verjus or Fish, for two considerations?
    1. Foodwise you should go crescendo, hence chez l'Ami Jean after either of those two.
    2. And would you consider a Friday lunch instead of dinner? Chez l'Ami Jean would be less hectic (and also would be less expensive, as the new dinner will be a 90 euro multicourse) at lunch. And also you may not want a big social event that night, cutting so close to D Day.

    I repeat: what a beautiful story. Of course this board is about love. Food is love.

    1 Reply
    1. re: Parigi

      Thanks Parigi! You're absolutely right--food IS love! In fact, it's the only love I was looking for--imagine my surprise! And how lucky I am that he loves food as much as I do, but he loves me more:-)

      Our wedding is actually Sunday but his parents want to host something Saturday night. Since these dinners are for new arrivals I was thinking lunch might be tough since they'll be flying overnight from the US and might still be feeling sluggish at lunch. Love the Dans Les Landes idea--and story! And important point to consider about Chez l'Ami Jean being 90 euros which might be more than some want to spend...

    2. Well, here are a couple of thoughts.
      "I don't want to be in a back room" is a problem; either you buy the place out, as a bunch of us have done at the original Spring or Jeu de Quilles or you do go to a "back room" or upstairs or downstairs' one at places such as Les Papilles, the "new" Spring, Le Petit Colombier, Terminus Nord, Maceo, Mediteranee or the Bastide Odeon.
      Second, check out the Michelin and Zagat's for their listings of Salons Particuliers/Private rooms.
      Third, Google a bit and you'll find some threads elsewhere on Eating in Groups etc.

      6 Replies
      1. re: John Talbott

        In 2007, the now deunct magazine Newzy published this list:
        Les Saveurs de Flora (gone)
        La Fontaine Gaillon
        Guy Savoy
        Pierre Gagnaire
        Au Petite Riche
        La Chinoiserie
        Tante Marguerite
        Le Fouquet’s
        La Table du Lancaster
        Michel Rostang
        Le Chiberta

        1. re: John Talbott

          ""I don't want to be in a back room" is a problem"

          Indeed. Your party - I am sure they have the most scintillating conversation - will be jovial and festive. It is not fair for them to be in the same room as the rest of the diners. No one outside your party will be able to have a conversation. While you have a good time, the rest of the clientele must stop conversation and be forced to listen to you . That is why restaurants do not want to put a party as big as yours with the "general population".
          Well, indeed you can always charter the entire resto.
          Or rserve a communal table in a place like Dans Les Landes that is already always festive.

          1. re: Parigi

            John--thanks for the ideas and confirming that is isn't unheard of to charter a restaurant--and for digging up the list! We had wanted to charter Spring for Saturday night when the Groom's parents will host everyone but the capacity is only 40 (up+down) and I think we'll be 50...

            Parigi--I was actually concerned about the effect of a large group of us on the general ambiance so I guess chartering (or going communal)-especially for Thurs and Friday nights might be necessary.

            Thanks to you both!

            1. re: foreverparis

              Well, there are also a couple of bar stools at Spring and there may be a table in the sub basement - ask.

              1. re: foreverparis

                Maceo's private rooms upstairs are really beautiful for such a festive event, and the food is really delicious. I think you'd be really happy with a dinner there. I think it would be perfect for Saturday night.

                And congratulations on your upcoming wedding. Sounds like a movie script to have met your future husband in Paris like that!

                1. re: ChefJune

                  @ChefJune--thanks so much! Maceo (which was also on John's list) looks like a good possibility...

                  @ John--thanks for the idea but we don't really want to be split on two levels which would be our only option at Spring--even with the bar stools... I'm working my way though your list though!

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              1. Congratulations! what a wonderful story, and I wonder if you are the first Chowhound-born love match?