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Oct 28, 2013 12:11 AM

Birthday dinner, ~100€ total


Will be celebrating my birthday in Paris this weekend. I'd like some suggestions for dinner with possibly specialty seafood (or at least, with seafood options).

Plenty of great suggestions in other threads but can't differentiate too easily between the 20 and 250€ a head restaurants. So, figured I'd be simple and ask :)

Looking for nice french food, indoor setting. I'm not too huge on wine (small bladder) and will probably just have whatever the cocktail de maison is, although I'd love an actual cocktail as opposed to kir.

We live off the rer A, not really concerned with where to eat exactly. Montmartre is the furthest away at approx 30 min subway ride so really any quarter is good.

In proximity of a nice walking place would be nice too. Luxembourg, Notre Dame... Except if I'm too full I may not want to walk anyway.


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  1. Lunch or dinner; Saturday or Sunday?

    6 Replies
      1. re: youareabunny

        Not my rayon.
        Friday lunch Grand Vefour.

        1. re: youareabunny

          When you say 100 E that's for 1 or 2?

          1. re: John Talbott

            Two. 50 a head approximately. A little less, a little more, no biggie.

            1. re: youareabunny

              That's not what you need to celebrate.
              At night, in Paris.

      2. Why don't you do something a little out of Paris and take the RER A line and go to St.Germain en Laye? It's not that far away, you can go in the late afternoon, visit the chateau and walk around in this charming village and end up at a restaurant that most likely is better priced than a Parisian one..I wish I could recommend one, but perhaps others on ths board have some ideas. There is an amazing chocolatier there -pascal LeGac -so don't miss him if you go.

        3 Replies
        1. re: pammi

          If that's not Paris, then I haven't been there. I can definitely add that to the itinerary, thanks!

          1. re: pammi

            Saint Germain en Laye is indeed lovely but is just as expensive as Paris. The one place I would recommend is le Wauthier, but the dinner menu is 62 euros/person (including wine and champagne, however).

            1. re: mbcraw4d

              Thanks, I will look that up. That's not bad, I enjoy wine but problem is I'll be in the restroom 3-5 times so I try to avoid it.

          2. You could take the Opera exit of RER A and try Bistro Volnay, then walk around the Opera/Madeleine/Pl. Vendome area. The next stop, I think is Chatelet- Les Halles which would put you close to Les Pirouettes, which several of us like. The area is pretty torn up with the re- do of Les Halles, but St. Eustache is still there and it is a short walk to the Seine. Neither of these restaurants is devoted to seafood but they will usually have some on their menu.

            2 Replies
              1. re: Laidback

                I will have a look, thanks. I'm pretty flexible so if there are better lunch options I'm all ears.

              2. It's no secret that I'm a fan of La Cagouille. And all they serve is fish! So delicious! My favorite is the Burn-Your-Fingers Mussels, but it's all good! And they're open "tous les jours." It's in the 14me.

                14 Replies
                  1. re: ChefJune

                    Another fan here - La Cagouille is the first name in my mind if I want to eat fish in Paris. It is not obviously celebratory but I've had a consistently excellent experience with good cooking and calm unfussy service, and would be confident of being in good hands for a special occasion.

                    Some of my favourite things are the grilled razor clams, the whole Dover sole, the butter-grilled sardines, the escabeche preparations if they are on and pretty much any kind of small fried fish (eperlans, rouget, ceteaux).

                    They always have a 42-euro menu which includes wine, coffee and a number of their specials, so you will be able to come in under a 100-euro budget provided you don't spring for a big-ticket whole-fish preparation.

                    And if you decide on Sunday lunch instead of dinner, you can stroll through Montparnasse to the Luxembourg gardens.

                    1. re: shakti2

                      I had a look at the website and it sounds great! Thanks for the recommendations. We will probably go here because it's all fish :).

                      1. re: shakti2

                        "La Cagouille ... if I want to eat fish in Paris. It is not obviously celebratory...." We agree that our fish was excellent. But also that it does not feel celebratory. To us, the decor and ambiance was rather 1980s. Nice wine list, tho. -- Jake

                        1. re: Jake Dear

                          I'll be sure to bring my sequined party hat.

                          1. re: Jake Dear

                            ""La Cagouille ... if I want to eat fish in Paris. It is not obviously celebratory...." We agree that our fish was excellent. But also that it does not feel celebratory. To us, the decor and ambiance was rather 1980s. Nice wine list, tho. -- Jake"
                            Jake and Mo have pinned it.
                            Except for Chef June's "Burn-Your-Fingers Mussels," La Cagouille is nothing.except open on weekends.
                            For celebratory seafood hummmm, maybe Petrossian, but their wonderful chef, Rougui Dia has moved to Le Vraymonde and I've not yet been.
                            Hummm, don't go to the Dome, maybe the Bistrot du Dome, or L'Huitrier, which dumped Francois Simon, but who still wrote up it up today

                            1. re: John Talbott

                              I so much agree about La Cagouille. I'd only eat mussels there, if at all these days -- the other plates are not special. Also, I'd eat there only if I could sit on the terrace, otherwise it's a bit depressing. I'd rather go to a modern place where fish may not be the only possibility but one that is offered.

                              1. re: John Talbott


                                That is "suggested menu for lunch" does that mean that there are other choices? Because I don't eat lamb

                                I'm open to birthday lunch because if I eat dinner with wine I'll fall asleep at like 10. So birthday lunch then a nice afternoon and early evening out might be better. Maybe shopping :)

                              2. re: Jake Dear

                                Yes, It's a dump. Curious hounds should stay away :)

                                For youareabunny, I don't know if more or less detail would be helpful or not at this point, but fwiw :

                                La Cagouille has a vaguely maritime interior - tan wood panels, seashells in glass cases - maybe not bang-up-date but at worse I'd say it's like a good-class place in a prosperous town outside Paris. It does attracts a rather older customership at Sunday lunch when I usually go, often with their kids and grand-kids. I myself quite enjoy the family-lunch ambience, even though I'm probably closer in age to some of the grand-kids.

                                On the kitchen, la Cagouille has a large variety of Med and Atlantic fish, and classic preparations to suitably flatter both oily and white. It is not 'modern' in the sense of seasonal market-driven garnishes and sauces - all the favourites I've mentioned arrive unadorned on a white plate.

                                My own benchmarks for fish cookery are Japanese and Cantonese, and I like that la Cagouille shares much of the same spirit ie. presentation of whole fish (heads, tails, bones and all), precise cooking temperatures, a restrained hand with saucing/ garnishing/ accompaniments, not much 'cheffiness' or creativity in evidence.

                                If any of this rings your bell, do give it a go. But in any case, best wishes for the birthday celebrant !

                                1. re: shakti2

                                  Thanks for that! Very informational. Well even though they sound quite different, it's a toss up between cagouille and petrossian. C is a bit easier since it's all fish but P may in fact be easier since there are less fish choices for me. I can take forever to choose with so many possibilities. Can I order everything?

                                  Anyway, I will end up going to both, maybe P because the consensus is C is less celebratory. I will just visit C another time. Maybe next week :)

                                  Unless someone's got more suggestions?!?!

                                  1. re: youareabunny

                                    What about Rech - I seem to recall DrT liked it - it looks very glamorous and is a top seafood place

                                    1. re: PhilD

                                      Glamorous and top? Sounding a bit rich for my blood! I might be more kin to a more expensive dinner except I also want a kitty ^_^

                                      I'll look it up.

                                      1. re: PhilD

                                        "I seem to recall DrT liked it "
                                        I did but am not sure if Jacques Maximin has anything to do with it any more; he was there, then opened his own place down South, then was rumored to be back. Maybe Parnassien knows. And Phil is correct, it is a bit glamorous.
                                        "maybe Petrossian"
                                        While I was the one who introduced Petrossian, I also noted that its "wonderful chef, Rougui Dia has moved to Le Vraymonde" so again I have not been since her departure and cannot assure its continuing wonderfulness.
                                        A new idea (here) is L'Huitrier in the 17th; I go mainly for the bulots and oysters, but the fish is fine too (surely better than La Cagouille.)

                                        1. re: John Talbott

                                          Will look that up. I'm a big fan of oysters