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Jan 19, 2014 11:00 AM

L'Ambroisie reservation and other questions

Can I call their reservations number and communicate well enough to set up a reservation if I only speak English, with weak French speaking skills (Je parle fran├žais comme une vache espagnole) and even weaker understanding of spoken French should the reply be other than ''oui" or "non"?

I'm pretty sure I could understand their reply if they speak very slowly and repeat it enough times, but they have a reputation for being standoffish, if not downright rude, to non-native speakers.

Or should I try to get my hotel (which I don't have yet) to make the reservation in advance? Or any other ideas?

Also, how hard a ticket is this for a mid-June mid-week dinner? Or lunch?

And is it jacket-and-tie or just jacket?


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  1. Having your hotel make reservation could be the best idea if your french is not up to date (or good enough) to limit the risks of mistake in the reservation.

    But I'm certain they will be able to manage your english (and you their french).

    We went there last May for dinner and the restaurant was not full (tuesday).

    It IS a jacket and tie kind of place; I would even dress up for lunch.

    1. Agree with Maximilien - have your hotel make the reservation. We ate there on our honeymoon (10 years ago) and had a very nice meal, but I was happy that my husband speaks fluent French. Don't remember having to dress up especially, but did make some effort and felt fine. Definitely has a certain aspect of stuffiness to it (as an american). Book your hotel, ask them to book the restaurant.

      4 Replies
      1. re: LulusMom

        When you ask your hotel to make some reservations in advance for you, do you tip the concierge when you're there? If so, how much is appropriate for making a couple of reservations?

        1. re: ccferg

          Actually I usually stay at places that don't have a concierge, and ask when making my own reservation for the hotel. But if I did stay at a place with a concierge I would most definitely tip them for making the reservation.

          1. re: LulusMom

            I'll be staying at a relatively small hotel in Paris in March and I'm not sure they do have a concierge. But you've found hotels that don't are OK with making reservations for you? And if there's no concierge, do you compensate anyone for doing that? (Btw, I'm known as Lulu's Mom in my neighborhood; my dog is a Lulu.)

            1. re: ccferg

              Yes, the place I normally stay is very small, in the Marais and they have absolutely no problem making the reservations for me (and confirming them for me once I get there). It is just one person behind a desk for checking in, etc. but if you ask nicely they never seem to mind at all.

              I had a dog named Daisy for 17 years, and was always known to the neighbors as Daisy's mom. Now I am Lulu's mom - funny how that happens!

      2. Forget the tie unless you actually want to wear one. Take the jacket just so you're sure to fit in and because it's supposed to be a special moment. But to be honest, at lunch at least, I've always seen people wearing a shirt and jeans but no jacket there.

        It can indeed feel like it's stuffy at first, but once you interact a bit with the waiters and the sommelier, you quickly find out that they're very nice. Never heard any of them speak English though, so not sure about their foreign language skills..