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Proposal in Paris

Hi Everyone,

I've been doing a ton of reading of old posts and there has been a ton of great recommendations for Paris restaurants. I will be in Paris from May 17th-21st. I am planning to propose while in Paris. As of now, my plan is to put together a little picnic and propose on Monday the 20th, either on the west point of Île de la Cité or possibly Port Debilly. Any other recommendations for good spots would be greatly appreciated as well! I'm pretty set on the picnic plan, but if there are any back up options anyone could recommend if the weather doesn't cooperate, I am definitely all ears. My family spent four years as expats living in Switzerland when I was a teenager, so I have been to Paris a few times but my priorities have definitely changed for this trip. ;) Also, any good recommendations for picking up picnic supplies? I was hoping to stop at a few places along the way, such as Fromagerie Quatrehomme, but it seems like a lot is closed on Monday. Right now, I think we will get everything at La Grande Épicerie.

I'm also looking for a recommendation for dinner that evening (May 20th). We are eating at Chez L'Ami Jean and Comptoir De La Gastronomie earlier in the week. I am thinking for Monday night, I would like a fun restaurant on the smaller side where we can celebrate. Possibly something with smaller plates or a prixe fixe menu (perhaps something similar to Girl & The Goat here in Chicago). Right now, one of the options I am considering is Verjus.

Just for reference, we are staying in the 8th. Verjus would be a good price point reference as well I think. Really just looking for a place with great food, wine, and where we can celebrate. Any help would be greatly appreciated!!!


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  1. Given the following: (a) I live in Chicago, (b) I proposed to my now wife in Paris in mid-May in 2011, (c) I proposed on the western point of Ile de la Cite, (d) we followed that up with a picnic lunch in Luxembourg, I feel a definite affinity to your post.

    I'm not as versed on Paris as some are here, but I'll put my thinking cap on. I can't find my old proposal thread (I made almost this exact thread back in 2011), but I know that people here helped us pick great places for bread, cheese, etc. for the picnic. I'll do some digging and report back.

    Congrats in advance though! We have our proposal pictures hanging up all throughout our apartment, and people still love hearing the story.

    1. I have not paid attention to what day I have shopped at my favorite charcutier (Oteiza on 18 Blvd St. Michel (5) or Laurent Dubois Fromagier in Place Maubert (also 5). My palate just finds their wares to be the best -- not only in Paris, but maybe anywhere. Check them out if you can. You'll be very glad.

      My favorite restaurants tend toward the traditional, so I'll let others expound on that dinner. Not sure there's anything in Paris quite like Girl and Goat. I was thinking you might enjoy Juveniles -- small place and plates, convivial ambiance.

      1 Reply
      1. re: ChefJune

        I am very fond of Juveniles but it is very utilitarian and not at all romantic.

      2. Congrats! We just had dinner at Verjus this Monday. I think it would be a lovely place for a celebration. Intimate, with quite good unobtrusive service and quite good unfussy food. My only hesitation, and this was not at all a problem for us, is that it is like a brief visit to the USA in the middle of a trip to Paris (not at all in a bad way). Completely American clientele when I was there. If you want something that feels more local it won't do.

        1. The other day the cops were clearing out would-be picnickers on the Pont Debilly and telling them to go to the Champ de Mars or Pont des Arts... dunno if this is policy or just a one-off thing.

          The little park off the pont Sully and the quai on the eastern tip of the Ile St Louis is great for picnics. A little off the beaten path so more intimate... and, if you find the right spot, a view of Notre Dame's backsides. Since it's Monday, I'd just make do with shopping for your picnic goodies at the food section of a convenient Monoprix... one on the rue de Rennes in the 6th, another on the boulevard St Michel across from the old Cluny ruins, and still another on the rue St Antoine near St Paul in the 4th.

          For a celebratory dinner, maybe the light and airy Macéo on the rue des Petits Champs.

          Not a big fan of Verjus.

          1. Congratulations in advance! If you're going onto the Ile st Louis there are several good little shops for picnic supplies in the Main Street, and my memory is that they don't all close on the same day, so some may be open Monday. Same applies to the clutch of small shops around the St Paul Metro stop. The strawberries from Brittany (Plougastel) should be in!

            1. Wishing you all the best!

              1. Excellent, thank you all for the recommendations and well wishes so far!

                To expand on my Girl and The Goat comment, really just looking for a place with that kind of atmosphere. A fun, trendy place where you can celebrate and enjoy some good food and drink. We are two easy going people, so not necessarily looking for an "intimate" dinner in a dark setting haha. Hopefully that gives a better idea of our personalities/what I believe we would enjoy. The recommendations so far have been great! Still on the fence about Verjus. Set up reservations right now, but still 50/50 on it.

                Thinking the picnic spot will definitely be either Île de la Cité or Ile St Louis. A little worried about potential rain, especially looking at the recent weather. Any one have ideas for contingency plans if the weather doesn't cooperate and we are hit by rain?

                Thanks again!

                1 Reply
                1. re: WindyCityChow

                  Maceo is not dark, but it does have a "romantic" air about it. And the food is delicious.

                2. The tip of the Île de la Cité can be tranquil one day and populated by homeless guys the next. It's a bit of a crap shoot. There are stone benches on the left bank quai facing the side of Notre Dame that would be quieter and provide a great view. If you opt for this location, you'll be just a short walk from a fine cheese shop at the Maubert Mutualité metro stop, Cremerie des Carmes. A pattiserie, boulangerie and wine shop are adjacent, so you could get everything you need. For dinner, how about something near the Canal St. Martin? It's a bit of a schlep from where you're staying, but a stroll along the canal might be a nice way to cap the day. Philou would be a possibility, particularly if the whether is nice and you could eat on the terrace.

                  1. We are planning to go to the restaurant on an island in the Bois de Boulogne, Chalet something, it looks and sounds very romantic.

                    1. Sorry I'm late in responding; I'd assumed this thread was about Le Cinq versus Gagnaire; but no - a picnic. How charming. Hummmm, So if I were to propose again, which is possible after 53 years, I think I'd schlep some folding chairs out to Versailles or St Cloud and look out over the meadows like Mel Brooks and feel "good to be the King."