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Early Dec Paris Itinerary and Question on Le Comptoir du Relais

Heeney Sep 28, 2013 08:58 PM

Will be in Paris for 5 nights in early Dec and wanted to get feedback on my itinerary and some reservation questions:

Sun Lunch - Not sure
Sun Dinner - Le Comptoir du Relais (question to follow)
Mon Lunch - Les Cocottes
Mon Dinner - L'Atelier Robuchon St Germain
Tue Lunch - maybe L'avant comptoir?
Tue Dinner - Frenchie
Wed Lunch - thinking we will shop at a food market and just eat what we buy
Wed Dinner - Septime
Thur Lunch - Je The...Me (maybe)?
Thur Dinner - Le Chateaubriand

Any feedback is appreciated.

OK, question on Comptoir du Relais: is it still true they only take reservations for the weeknight? Which is better, the weeknight set menu or the weekend? If the weeknight menu is better I'd like to try it. But it seems like almost all my other choices are closed on Sun and Mon.

I see that Frenchie and Septime take reservations online. Do any of the other places take them over email or online, and I just haven't found it?

Thanks in advance.

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  1. PhilD RE: Heeney Sep 28, 2013 09:09 PM

    Yes, reservations only for dinner Monday to Friday, the rest of the time it's first come first seated (including evenings over the summer). The whole set-up not just the menu, dinner is a set menu, the tables have linen tables clothes and the half the number of covers. It's almost a completely different place.

    However, at one stage it was a 9 month wait for a table if not staying at the hotel. If you stay at the hotel they keep some tables back for guests. The waiting time may have shortened but with Yves' TV success I doubt it.

    9 Replies
    1. re: PhilD
      Heeney RE: PhilD Sep 30, 2013 09:09 PM

      Ok. Well they are booked solid through Jan.
      Can you tell me what the difference is between the lunch menu and the no-reservations weekend dinner menu? Are they the same?

      1. re: Heeney
        Delucacheesemonger RE: Heeney Oct 1, 2013 01:51 AM

        You can call either the resto or hotel Relais Saint-Germain, who controls all the reservations, late in the day to see if any cancellations have occurred and space is available.
        l have been to the reserve meal once and the normal many times and actually prefer the latter, as many choices on the menu. The reserve dinners are chef driven and little if any choice so the opportunity to try any dishes is not as good as at the normal meals.

        1. re: Delucacheesemonger
          Heeney RE: Delucacheesemonger Oct 1, 2013 12:56 PM

          Thanks for the info. We will try for the normal menu then.
          Is it the same at lunch and dinner?
          Any particular tricks for getting in? Lunch v dinner time? Wait times?

          1. re: Heeney
            Delucacheesemonger RE: Heeney Oct 1, 2013 01:55 PM

            For either meal, go early, get in line and if you are in the first 40 or so you will be in the first seating. Another neat trick is to be a 'three'. The restaurant has the best table for three l have ever used and it is generally saved for a threesome.

            1. re: Delucacheesemonger
              Heeney RE: Delucacheesemonger Oct 1, 2013 02:12 PM

              And is lunch and dinner the same menu?

              1. re: Heeney
                Delucacheesemonger RE: Heeney Oct 1, 2013 02:18 PM

                Only did lunch on regular menu, but dinner of tablecloth menu.
                thus cannot comment, but as a guess, it would be the same or similar.

            2. re: Heeney
              PhilD RE: Heeney Oct 1, 2013 03:04 PM

              I will try to be clearer:

              Lunch everyday and dinner on Saturday and Sunday is no reservation with a brasserie style menu and lots of different choices from simple snacks to hearty dishes. You arrive, put your name on the list and wait for a table (we has drinks at Avant Comptoir, their wine bar next door). The wait at busy times can be an hour - obviously the longest waits are at traditional meal times.

              Dinner on Monday to Friday is reservation only (this service stops during long holidays and is replaced by the above). Here they have linen table clothes, half the covers, and a far less rushed service. It's a set five course meal including a good cheese basket - the dishes are different and a bit more refined (although some do get onto the specials board of the other format). As DCM says you can score a cancellation if lucky, you get priority if you stay in the hotel, or you book far in advance. Obviously they don't run this format with the no reservation format so that closes late afternoon on weekdays.

              To me they are two quite different restaurant experiences despite the same chef and team.

              1. re: PhilD
                Heeney RE: PhilD Oct 1, 2013 03:17 PM

                Ok. We will look for either a sun dinner or a weekday lunch then.

                1. re: PhilD
                  John Talbott RE: PhilD Oct 2, 2013 12:51 AM

                  "To me they are two quite different restaurant experiences despite the same chef and team."
                  Agreed; a couple I took for lunch hated the "brasserie" type food & presentations.

        2. mangeur RE: Heeney Sep 28, 2013 11:23 PM

          Can you tell us your reasons for choosing Je The...Me? It seems an odd bed-fellow wifh your other selections.

          7 Replies
          1. re: mangeur
            Heeney RE: mangeur Sep 29, 2013 07:00 AM

            We heard that they make nice offal dishes. That one is just one we tossed in as a whim. Should be take it off the list?

            1. re: Heeney
              mangeur RE: Heeney Sep 29, 2013 10:48 AM

              We haven't been back since our initial visit some years back. You know more than we do at this point.

              However, re offal, do you know Ribouldingue? http://www.ribouldingue-restaurant.fr/

              1. re: mangeur
                Delucacheesemonger RE: mangeur Sep 29, 2013 11:05 AM

                Agree with Ribouldingue, and a beautiful room as well.
                Do not know what offal you are looking for, but Chez Denise has lamb brains, tripe, kidneys, liver, and andouillette.

                1. re: Delucacheesemonger
                  John Talbott RE: Delucacheesemonger Sep 29, 2013 12:44 PM

                  Not me Stefan, today's meal at Christophe with brains, foie gra and sweetbreads totally outclassed Ribouldingue; it was great when it opened but went downhill (not what usually happens.)

                  1. re: John Talbott
                    mangeur RE: John Talbott Sep 29, 2013 05:14 PM

                    JT, I can't find a review of your more recent visits to Rigouldingue that have disconvinced you of its excellence. I am at sea since friends have given it recent thumbs up. Can you help us out?

                    As an aside, I do think lustfully about classic rognons at Chez Denise.

                    1. re: mangeur
                      John Talbott RE: mangeur Sep 30, 2013 01:15 AM

                      CH frowns (quite rightly) on self-reference so I'll reply offline.
                      My last visit to Rigouldingue as best I can figure it was in March 2011 after Yuji Kikuchi arrived and I thought it had returned to the level it was when it opened so your friends are correct and the bad visit clouded my memory.

                      1. re: John Talbott
                        mangeur RE: John Talbott Sep 30, 2013 06:42 AM

                        Thanks for this clarification, John.

          2. n
            Nancy S. RE: Heeney Sep 29, 2013 06:07 AM

            Don't count on getting a reservation at Frenchie or Septime using their online systems -- available times are fleeting. I suggest calling to reserve. You'll be able to reserve in English, if that's your preference, at both places.

            2 Replies
            1. re: Nancy S.
              Heeney RE: Nancy S. Sep 29, 2013 06:59 AM

              Ok. I'll plan on calling.
              It looks like Frenchie only reserves 4 weeks out. Correct?

              1. re: Nancy S.
                Heeney RE: Nancy S. Oct 4, 2013 03:57 AM

                Nancy, I managed to get a reservation at Frenchie using the online system. But I am thinking Septime will be harder. It looks like they only open 3 weeks out and it seemed like there were no spots very early this am for the new day that opened.
                How far in advance should I call? What time?

                Also, sounds like Chateaubriand is 2 weeks right? What time do you call there?

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