Le Cinq, Taillevent, L'Arperge, Ledoyen, oh my!
Heading to Paris in September for my honeymoon, and need help deciding on which one of these splurge restaurants to go to. We have been to Paris multiple times, and we're food lovers (hate the term foodie). We used to go to L'Atelier Robuchon every year but now want to go somewhere new. Current plans call for visits to Frenchie, Chateaubriand, Spring, and L'Ami Jean / Les Coccettes, during this trip and we're looking for a dress up splurge meal - strictly dinner. Though we favor modern ambiance, we're experienced in NYC fine dining, so formal ambiance is not a deterrent; we consider it charming!
So in terms of food, which of the above big four would you recommend? I love wine but my wife doesn't - only cocktails for her - so that may be a consideration. Thank you!
Souphie, as always, hit it perfectly. My experience has been a bit different. Taillevent and L'Arpege were not close to perfect on my visits, enough that l have not returned. The food at Ledoyen was really excellent but the place was less than stellar in service and ambiance.
Le Cinc just shines, almost in every way and almost every time. l go often and have not been disappointed.
While it is not what you stated the lunches at Ledoyen and Le Cinq are a huge reduction from dinner and just as nice.
Do remember YMMV.
Ledoyen has the best food and the historical, spectacular setting. Le Cinq has the best overall experience, the "everything you can wish for" factor. L'Arpège is less formal, more expensive, more personal, can be wonderful, almost always an inspiration for cooks (it's food you can do at home, unlike the others). Taillevent is like Gusteau's in Ratatouille -- flawless, formal, very professional, good stuff.
I did lunch at Ledoyen a couple months ago. They had a pate en croute and veal liver on the lunch menu that were underwhelming for Ledoyen. Someone who went more recently made it sound like they swapped these out.
Everything else was great, but I think we paid more than 88 euro for the menu. Also, the recommended white CDP was marked up over 4x retail. I will add that it was excellent, and there were better deals on the wine list.
What can I say? Still a great meal. I supplimented the lunch menu with sweetbreads to share. Heh heh, heh...