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Sep 9, 2012 08:39 PM

Short Trip to Paris - Please Help Review my Plans

This is my first trip back to Paris in a couple of years, and it's a quick girls' getaway.

Although I want good food, I don't want to pay astronomical prices because I won't be with my DH.

All the places I've booked so far hit on the key things I want to eat but I want to check with the foodies to see if there is a better alternate choice:

-Le Cigale Recaimer - for souffle
-L'Atelier Etoile de Joël Robuchon - my homage to Michelin (been to the one in St.Germaine years ago)
-Gourmard - seafood
-Market - because I love JG Vongerichten
-La Fountain de Mars - foie gras, duck (recommended by the concierge)

I wanted to get into Yam'tcha but couldn't unfortunately.

Are these good choices? Also, I really would like good duck - based on what I found on the Internet, La Tour D'Argent seems like a classic but I won't feel that paying 140-euros for duck is worth it if the reviews are fabulous. I considered doing lunch there in lieu of La Fountain de Mars.

Is La Tour D'Argent worth the experience or just overrated for the ambiance?

Your insights are greatly appreciated!

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  1. " I considered doing lunch there in lieu of La Fountain de Mars.
    Is La Tour D'Argent worth the experience or just overrated for the ambiance?"

    Well the day in the summer of 2010 a friend and I at there after not having been in 50 years, it was indeed dazzling and expensive except for the "menu" at lunch which did have the duck although 208 E with a bottle of wine is still pretty pricey to me. But as my pal pointed out "we were paying for an "experience," an enormous staff, a monument to French cuisine, a superb view, a fine culinary theater piece and good ingredients. Was it worth it? Hard call.

    4 Replies
    1. re: John Talbott

      Good to hear La Tour is back on form. As you say tricky call on the value, it is unique and if good it is worth it if you ave the cash, but maybe better, more "on trend" places which deliver better food if stretching the budget. Note it is a dress up place - very formal.

      La Fontaine de Mars is a concierges favourite, it is safe, indeed very very safe, but nothing special. If you crave the company of your fellow countrymen you will feel at home. Les Fables de la Fontaine on the opposite side of the square is better, and Chez L'ami Jean a few hundred metres down the road is even better.

      Market - never read a good review - please report back. I thought JGV was pretty average when I trie his place in Hong Kong - maybe he doesn't travel.

      1. re: PhilD

        The reason I like Market (and have been several times since we used to live in London and NYC) is that there are a couple of dishes that you can no longer get anywhere else since JGV's Vong restaurants closed down. Vong was where DH and I had our first V-day dinner almost 18 years ago. Before it closed in NYC, the quality had gone down dramatically from when it first opened but it was always a fun and nostalgic place for us to go.

        At Market, the Black Plate with a mix of appetizers - very Asian-influenced but the absolute favorite for me is the Lobster Daikon Roll. I have never seen a decent review written of it anywhere either. It's pretty interesting for people-watching though - Linda Evangelista was there when we had dinner there once.

        Jean-Georges in NYC is by far my favorite of his restaurants - one of the newer ones, ABC Cafe, which is farm-to-table is quite good.

        1. re: cqt

          Are you referring to Market in Paris? The only meal I had there was revolting, without exaggeration.

      2. re: John Talbott

        You guys have certainly made me reconsider my plans!!! I will consult my travel companion and see if she would be willing to switch.


      3. The lunch menu at La Tour D'Argent (about €70) does include a duck dish, but not the signature pressed duck in two services (breast in the famous gamey sauce, followed by the legs). This was available at a supplement to the lunch menu (I think €25) a few years ago. I'm not sure if this is still the case. The view is great, the room is beautiful and the experience was enjoyable but pricey. I'm glad we went (once), but won't be going back. No way I'd pay €140 for the dish a la carte.

        7 Replies
        1. re: BrianGilligan

          Here's the current luncheon menu 68euro. Yes it's dressy. Well worth the 3 hr. experience.
          The wine list is heroic and requires a strong arm. I requested a village blanc Bourgone recommendation and we drank a most wonderful 10 yr old Vire Clesse for 65 euro.

          1. re: UPDoc

            Also, if you go don't let them hustle you onto the elevator without checking out the table that is supposedly where Tsar Alexander II of Russia, King Wilhelm I of Prussia and Otto Von Bismarck plotted the future of Europe on June 7, 1867 and ate of course.
            Even if it's not true, it's an impressive place setting.

            1. re: John Talbott

              Also, if you go, request a tour of the legendary wine cellars. (Possibly the best in the world).

              1. re: John Talbott

                John, wasn't the dinner at the Cafe Anglais? Or do you mean the Tour d'Argent has the table they sat at?

                1. re: mr_gimlet

                  I would seriously consider replacing MARKET with something else. Nothing special at all.

                  1. re: theskyflyer

                    Agreed. JG restaurants are terrific, but if one is a traveler, and can experience that cuisine somewhere else (in this case JG has restaurants all over the world) then one is better off focusing on those places unique to an area.

                  2. re: mr_gimlet

                    "John, wasn't the dinner at the Cafe Anglais? Or do you mean the Tour d'Argent has the table they sat at?"
                    Mr Gimlet you are quite correct, the table restored at the Tour d'Argent is where "Alexander II, Czar of All the Russias, his son and namesake the Tsarevitch, the King of Prussia, Wilhelm I and the Prince of Bismarck" dined that very same year where they most surely discussed only the foie gras. Ref: