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Database for booking.. michelin starred restaurants in Paris

I m planning a trip in Paris and so I came up to this idea because I think it would help lots of us.
I would like to make some reservations(lunch) in PIerre Gagnaire and then one between L.arpege, L astrance, Epicure or ledoyen, depending on availability a day or two before the meal.

1.So I would like to know which of these require a credit card for booking. (booking in many restaurants that require a card might be dangerous in case the trip is cancelled, and you have to pay for each meal)

2.How full are the restaurants, so if a reservation is obligatory.(lunch or dinner)

Please write the info about any of the high end restaurants of Paris that you know something.

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  1. Do any deduct fee if you cancel? Don't believe they do - hopefully you are not going to book all three then choose on the day! You will need to be lucky to book at such short notice.

    1 Reply
    1. re: PhilD

      "hopefully you are not going to book all three then choose on the day!"
      There are those though Phil who, say when skiing book at three places on three chair-lift tops and think nothing of blowing away the two that don't fit into their current GPS location. Thankfully, several of them are now in Allenwood.

    2. I m not thinking of booking all three and choose last day, but book at PIerre Gagnaire who has 100 euros of gaurantee from the credit card, and then book one that needs no credit card and go to this one too. I dont feel comfortable booking many meals which are practical prepaid. If I cancel my trip I ll still have to pay any of them that have asked for a credit card.

      I have seen this policy in Gordon Ramsay's flagship in London and in The fat duck.

      1. (not really an answer)

        1. Always book in advance, 1 month, 1 week, 1 day...

        2. 1 month in advance is usually the maximum for most places (gagnaire and l'ambroisie); I've been lucky to get a table at a couple of places a day before by walking in and asking (mostly for lunch) (Passage 53 and Le Cinq)

        3. I've had places that asked a CC (gagnaire) some did not (I did not made the reservation at L'Ambroisie, so I don't know), just be prepared.

        4. Except L'Atelier Robuchon, I never seen a full house at the stared places I went to in Paris (gagnaire, Le Cinq, passage 53, L'Ambroisie,...)

        5. I you reserve in advance at a restaurant and they ask for a CC and you cancel your trip, just call/email the restaurant to cancel the reservation AS SOON AS POSSIBLE; they will not (should not) charge you; normally, they will charge you for a no-show.


        1 Reply
        1. re: Maximilien

          I sometimes see empty tables. But empty because they phase the tables or empty because they are empty? Also if not booked a walk in may cause a three star to struggle to adjust given the choreography involved.

        2. "the trip is cancelled"
          If the trip is cancelled, most rational folks will understand.

          But, since, because, of my side job, I listen to the stories of, which leads me to walk in the mocassins of, owner-chefs, it is really bad news when a small or medium sized place has a 10 or 20 or 30 % no show or cancel-at-the-last-minute rate. Plus it's rude, but that's the geezer not hipster in me speaking out.

          3 Replies
          1. re: John Talbott

            I can unterstand how this is important for a restaurant with small capacity. Even Gordon Ramsay at royal hospital road has only a few tables and does only one sitting per lunch or dinner so if you dont show up the table is left empty for the day.

            I remember when I booked at Paul Bocuse , Lauberge du pont de collonges that they asked for my hotel but no credit card, they do one sitting too per meal.

            1. re: Giannis

              Bocuse is a bit of a time warp when asking for a credit card to book a table was poor etiquette. Besides, the restaurant is probably the biggest of all the 3 stars; can sit more than 150, compare to L'Ambroisie or P. Gagnaire's no more than 50; it is more like a food factory though a very good one. I agree with the above is that if one cancel the day before, one's credit card should not be charged. That is the policy the last time I reserved at Le Grand Vefour, L'Astrance and L'Epicure.

            2. re: John Talbott

              People moan about the cost of a meal at a 3*. But when these restaurants have to absorb the costs of spoilage or excess and unservable product resulting from boors with a misplaced sense of entitlement, it's strictly economics that someone has to pay for it. I'd rather the offender be charged than I.

              Is this geezer-talk or simple old fashioned good manners?

            3. We have recently reserved at Yam'Tcha for dinner and at La Tour d'Argent for lunch next month when we will be in Paris. They are both 1 star, and both required a CC when reserving.

              Yam'Tcha has a "no show" policy that will bill your CC for 60 euros per person if you do not show up. They do not charge you up front.

              La Tour d'Argent charges your CC for 200 euros as soon as you reserve. If you are a "no show" or cancel less than 48 hours before, they will charge you 200 euros per person. If you consume less than the 200 euros initially billed, then they will credit your CC for the amount not used. If you cancel 48 hours or more before, they will refund your CC the total amount.

              Our hotel (Le Pavillon de la Reine) made the reservations for us, and gave us these details. I fully agree with the "no show policy", but was a little shocked to be billed up front for the meal. The hotel said they have a very strict reservation policy. I'll say!

              That being said, we have reservations made at Troisgros, 3 star, (Roanne) without any guarantees. Each restaurant has their own policy.

              1. Although not a fan of the reverential temples of gastronomy, I sometimes have to take clients there for expense-account meals. We have a sort of company concierge for making the bookings so I'm not sure about the credit card thingey ... but we don't usually book very far in advance... usually just a few days, a week at most. L'Ambroisie is however very difficult but not impossible at short notice. BTW, judging from the feedback from my little unscientific sample of cossetted plutocrats, Epicure, Ledoyen, Guy Savoy and Le Cinq (two stars) are the most liked.

                If you are staying at a good hotel, I'd ask the concierge to make the reservations... some of them can work wonders.

                7 Replies
                1. re: Parnassien

                  Am I the only one who's shocked by La Tour d'Argent's credit card policy? To me it is reason enough for never setting foot there.
                  I agree about charging no-shows, but the less-than-48-hour cancel? Seriously?

                  And it is not like they should have problems filling the room. The no-show policy for Yam' Tcha is perfectly fair, since it is a tiny, hard-to-book dining-room.

                  There are plenty of excellent gastro restaurants in Paris. Hope they don't take that habit in the future.

                  1. re: Ptipois

                    It is surely a reason not to book at L tour d argent for me too.

                    I saw on the confirmation email that when I booked to Gordon Ramsay RHR, they did actually mentioned about the 48h notice thing. So for me now this is well reasoned. No problem if you can cancel with more than 48h notice without paying any amount of money.

                    1. re: Ptipois

                      I assume they have their reasons give the location and fame and the that their clientele are probably more touristy and fickle than us food fanatics.

                      In the US they noow "sell tickets" for meals at top places like Alinea. You pay the cost f the set-meal up-front for a seat at a time and date - with the full cost from your card at the time of booking. There are no refunds if you can't go you need to trade on ebay or on their facebook site.

                      Its really no different than buying tickets and going to the Theatre or a sports match so it didn't really worry me.

                      1. re: PhilD

                        Same at Momofuko Ko in NY, Shola Studio Kitchen in Philadelphia and places in L.A.. While l am not thrilled with it, l feel we are paying for the boors who never showed for a reservation and the restaurant therefore had empty tables.
                        Hard to fault the restaurants. This is another reason why so many places both here and in the states have a no reservation policy.

                    2. re: Parnassien

                      The reason I reserved at La Tour d'Argent is because of the strong recs from this board. It was never a restaurant that I would have considered, until reading the comments here. I always held the opinion that it was old-fashioned and touristy with unremarkable food. It seems that things have changed.

                      To all the CHs who have recommended LTA, can you come forward and comment on the reservation process - this was never pointed out in the reviews (at least I never read this).
                      Obviously, many are not shocked by it.

                      Any finally, and most important, is the food and the experience worth the hassle?

                      1. re: francaise

                        I cannot answer the last query; it's too subjective
                        I ate there July 24, 2010 after the younger André Terrail took over its reins and Laurent Delarbre was at the piano. I rated it a 5.5/10 and said "there was no wow, no geewhiz, no razzle-dazzle; it was "perfect" food."
                        I had no hassles making a reservation, nor credit card nonsense and the view was as spectacular as when I ate there the last time - 57 years before.
                        Only French was spoken by the customers but I understand now is different.
                        I suspect my comments are not of much help.

                        1. re: John Talbott

                          Actually, John your comments are very helpful. And, also since there have not been any positive comments posted from others that recommended LTA, I am beginning to wonder if "it's on the way back" is just being repeated and passed on without any personal experience. Reading your 2010 notes, tells me that the view may be more memorable than the food. I do understand it has a significant history in Paris, but in the end, I am not really seeking perfect food. So, I thank-you for your reply, and I am going to cancel. Being charged for the meal at the point of reservation still rankles me. There are so many more options!

                    3. "which of these require a credit card for booking"
                      It is disgusting, dishonest and discourteous to no-show. Today, I'll name it, at Spring, which can seat 26 12 of my compatriots, American and French, were no shows after reserving and confirming.
                      I thought when I started reading this thread that charging one's CC was over-the-top but I now think it should be routine and a broken patella the least of penalties.