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Cotes de Boeuf, L'Ami Louis, Price

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As long as l am posting about food prices in Paris, here is another discussed issue. A Cotes de Boeuf at L'Ami Louis for two costs 136 Euros or $ 180. This is not a measly sum by any means. You can get a cotes de boeuf for two at many restaurants in Paris for 50 euros and up. My thought has always been, Louis is not inherently more expensive, the raw product is considerately more expensive. To demonstrate, Louis gets his meat from Desnoyers, one of the top Parisian butchers and pays a chunk for that chunk of meat. Meat BTY you could not walk in and buy without developing a long and trusting relationship with the butcher.
Also those other cotes de boeuf whether 50 euros or 90 euros do not come close to L'Ami Louis' in quality. Places like Severo, Chez J Dumonet, Chez Denise all serve good food but their CdB is not close to Louis due to the meat cooked.
The purpose of this tirade is that for lunch today l was with friends and served was a cotes de boeuf from another high level Parisian butcher. It was from a Norman steer and while a little smaller than the cotes from Louis cost retail 115 euros, again to cook yourself. My point is that L'Ami Louis is a bargain, granted not on the wine but certainly on the food.
OTOH the cepes l had for lunch were the cepes one dreams of and rarely if ever gets, they were a wow !

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  1. "Meat BTY you could not walk in and buy without developing a long and trusting relationship with the butcher."

    You bring up an important point, that the public gets what is left after restaurants cream off the finest product. And that there is status ranking among restaurants that determines which ones get the better quality. So Louis' beef and CAJ's beef and your beef and my beef, even if all sourced from Desnoyers, will be totally different qualities.

    6 Replies
    1. re: mangeur

      Sorry my friend, but I'm not convinced, if you want to, let's hold a test off of L'Ami vs. Jeu de Quilles, next door to Hugo at half the price, at your expense for my wife and your SO.
      Amities, John

      1. re: John Talbott

        To whom are you replying?

        1. re: mangeur

          Sorry Margaret, I was replying to Dean and Deluca Cheese Person who is/was actually Steve Jenkins,. the only man who encouraged me to jump his line and my bet holds - Cheese Person pays for all 4 meals because as is stated farther down, L'Ami's prices are out of my league.

        2. re: John Talbott

          As it is from the same butcher and next door to Desnoyers, could be same beef or better. That sounds like a worthy comparison. Let's do it, at my expense for your wife and my SO, and at your expense for you and me.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger

            What about CAJ? I think he's using Desnoyer. Had it there this summer for lunch and it was epic. I think it was 90 euro, and I don't think any two diners would need any larger a portion. I couldn't eat for the rest of the day. Apart from the food, is the dining experience still as tedious as people say at Ami Louis?

            1. re: Busk

              Regarding tedious, depends on the day, go for lunch on a non busy day, everyone's a pussycat.
              Regarding the Desnoyer CdB at CLAJ, yes it is 90 euros but 2/3 the size of Louis and cooked without char. Louis has a perfect char no one else in Paris has, similar to American BBQ char. It also serves three to four while listed for 2.
              Some years back when Souphie was posting on this board we went to CLAJ with a Simmenthal CdB from Nivernnaise, and Jego cooked both his and ours together for a CdB off, they were both very good, but again neither the size or ummmph of the Louis one. Of course, l could be biased.

      2. speaking of the wine at L'Ami Louis, has anyone tried the St.Emilion from the chateau purchased by the bistro's owner, in part to give his restaurant a direct source ? cheers.

        1. Has everyone read Ptitpois' blog post yesterday on l'Ami Louis? With all due respect to DCM there are conflicting opinions. http://www.ptipois.com/archives/2012/...

          2 Replies
          1. re: Laidback

            To sum it up for anyone who'd lack the time to read my post, everything that comes both from Desnoyer and the rĂ´tissoire is bound to be excellent, but aside from that L'Ami Louis is a way overpriced caricature of an old French bistrot. The snails are particularly horrendous. The chicken is good too but overcooked and nothing to write home about for anyone who knows how to roast a chicken. A. A. Gill is spot on. And I think food is not always a matter of size.

            1. re: Ptipois

              I am now replying to PP. No, it is you who are so spot on. L'Ami Louis was great and reasonable in 1968 but is ridiculous now.