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4 hours enough time for l'Arpège Lunch?

Gigihsu Jul 17, 2013 04:19 AM

We have a reservation for lunch at l'Arpège, and need to go to Gare du Nord afterwards to catch a train. I began to read on blogs about dining at l'Arpège, and some people wrote it took 5 or 6 hours for lunch! We had planned to spend about 3.5 - 4 hours for lunch. Will it be too rushed? Should I cancel my reservation? Does lunch at 3-star restaurants all take that long?

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  1. John Talbott RE: Gigihsu Jul 17, 2013 04:42 AM

    The last lunch I was there I was out by 3:30 PM.
    Certainly if you have, as I did, a Minister at an adjacent table meeting with a vendor, two Scotches, much wine and a digestif, it might be longer but I certainly wouldn't cancel it.

    1 Reply
    1. re: John Talbott
      Ptipois RE: John Talbott Jul 17, 2013 05:18 AM

      If you're downstairs in the vaulted cellar with the chef and his pals, I think you never come out again.

    2. Delucacheesemonger RE: Gigihsu Jul 17, 2013 06:29 AM

      As l was not blessed to be with chef and pals, was out too fast and regretfully will not return, never got a protein, they forgot to get my wine, and sat for 30 minutes without acknowledgment from staff when entering.
      Meal took 2.5 hours.

      9 Replies
      1. re: Delucacheesemonger
        John Talbott RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 17, 2013 07:34 AM

        Interesting you all should mention this; Passard sends more time schmoozing than cooking, at least when I've been.

        1. re: John Talbott
          Delucacheesemonger RE: John Talbott Jul 17, 2013 07:51 AM

          Oh, he schmoozed and took pictures with us, but we never got protein, second wine, or adequate service.

          1. re: Delucacheesemonger
            davidne1 RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 17, 2013 08:29 AM

            did you ask him for your protein and wine and mention the service to him whilst you were having photos taken with him?

            1. re: davidne1
              Delucacheesemonger RE: davidne1 Jul 17, 2013 09:33 AM

              He was first, crap came later.

            2. re: Delucacheesemonger
              Ptipois RE: Delucacheesemonger Jul 17, 2013 10:41 AM

              Never getting protein is perfectly normal, the average L'Arpège experience. You have to order à la carte to get some.

              Or you may also get the special Arpège sadomasochistic treatment: in the midst of your vegetable-based tasting menu, the chef sends some roasted meat (chicken in hay, leg of venison, etc.) into the dining-room and the waiter innocently asks you if you would like to taste. You want to say yes but your voice gets stuck in your throat from anxiety and protein-deprivation. Only your battered dog's eyes convey the message. But of course they know the answer and you get a sliver, just a tiny sliver, enough to cover a toothpick. They love to do that. Happened to me twice.

              1. re: Ptipois
                souphie RE: Ptipois Jul 19, 2013 06:22 AM

                Let them roast in hell. Talent doesn't excuse everything.

                1. re: souphie
                  johannabanana RE: souphie Jul 19, 2013 01:15 PM

                  4 hours is plenty of time.

                  When I recall my husband's and my lunches at l'Arpège (six of them since 2010), every lunch featured protein: turkey, chicken, pigeon, lamb, salmon, lobster, monkfish (the latter almost every time).... Perhaps protein has featured more in recent years than it did when Delucacheesemonger ate lunch there. As Ptipois says, the protein portions in the lunch menu are often very small, and I don't think we've ever received more than 3 protein courses (not counting the egg dishes). Certainly, you feel jealous when somebody orders, say, the lobster à la carte and you glimpse it going past in all its more substantial glory.

                  Passard does schmooze a lot but I doubt this impacts the cooking! The kitchen can operate very well without him -- our very best lunch at l'Arpège was on Bastille Day a couple of years ago when he was most definitely absent. The person really in control of your lunch is the maîtresse d'hôtel, Hélène Cousin the last time we went. (I actually preferred Nadia Socheleau, who seemed to have taken over for a spell but then moved to the Jardin des Plumes in Giverny -- a restaurant worth trying perhaps?)

                  Our last lunch at l'Arpège was disappointing. Next time we go there we'll probably order à la carte -- do you know if the à la carte at l'Arpège is cheaper at lunch than at dinner souphie?

                  1. re: johannabanana
                    souphie RE: johannabanana Jul 20, 2013 01:03 AM

                    It is not. Unless, that is, you're a friend of the house.

                    1. re: souphie
                      johannabanana RE: souphie Jul 20, 2013 10:58 AM

                      Thanks for the info souphie. Maybe we'll give Ledoyen's lunch menu a go in that case.

        2. Giannis RE: Gigihsu Sep 26, 2013 05:01 PM

          I m thinking of going as a single dinner for the lunch menu at 130euros. Will it be akward to eat there alone? I mean will they let me eat alone for 3-4 hours? Never had a meal as single dinner.

          Also do they offer wines by glass? Or is it ok if I dont take any wine at all?

          Excuse me for my many questions but I have one more. Do you think 1 and a half months before meal is ok to find a table available?

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