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Feb 10, 2014 04:51 AM

Degustation dinner in Paris

Hi all,

I'm planning a weekend in Paris which will include one fancy tasting menu, however I want it to not be insanely expensive (130-160 EU PP is okay).

Two options I read good things about are Jean-François Piège @ Thoumieux and Les Tablettes de Jean-Louis Nomicos. Both have a number of tasting menus at around 120-140 EU.

From the two, which one do you prefer? and of course if you've been to a better restaurant at the same price range - do tell :)


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  1. Definitely Les Tablettes de Jean-Louis Nomicos. If you want to eat food rather than foams, pastes and squishy things, that's the way to go.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Ptipois

        So you're saying JFP is more into molecular gastronomy than actual tasty food? :)
        By the way, in this price range do you have any personal fav other than Les Tablettes de Jean-Louis Nomicos?

        1. re: euro_knick

          It could be interpreted as such, but that is not even the issue. There is definitely a texture issue with JFP, and therefore of taste.
          He is basically a very good chef, but he persists in adopting styles and gimmicks that are not relevant to his true talent. That is why IMO he always fared much better in bistrot and traditional cooking (as when he took over Aux Lyonnais for a brief period) than in trendy cooking. Alas, he would not agree with that.

      2. I'd suggest Passage 53 and David Toutain.

        3 Replies
        1. re: Nancy S.

          I read mixed reviews on Passage 53, some were raving fans, some said the flavors were mild, too mild. I guess you belong to the first group.
          Are they within the same price range as JLN / JFP?

          Toutain looks really affordable at 98 EU, did you feel it had the WOW factor I'm so impudently looking for?

          1. re: euro_knick

            Well, as Mme. Mangeur brilliant suggests, that depends on what you consider a wow factor. I think both Passage 53 have that, for me. But I tend to like impeccably prepared and nuanced dishes that use well-sourced ingredients. Both Passage 53 and David Toutain fit in this category. Also, I prize the calm and serious atmosphere of Passage 53 as well as the more engaging and charming approach of David Toutain. I do imagine, though, that my favorites and "best" for this or that would differ from the typical poster on this board.

            1. re: euro_knick

              "did you feel it had the WOW factor"

              I certainly did, if I may interfere...

          2. Les Tablettes was our #2 restaurant during our Fall visit.

            5 Replies
              1. re: euro_knick

                Laidback Oct 30, 2013 10:05 PM

                1. re: euro_knick

                  If pressed, I would say the place I most enjoyed was Hugo Desnoyer's butcher shop/bistro. But I don't think it meets Euro-knick's specs for this thread. The high, communal tables and inelegant surroundings are more than compensated by his gentility, generosity and the superb quality of the meats...a carnivore's delight, but not really in the Michelin degustation universe.

                2. re: Laidback

                  In all fairness, it should be noted that David Toutain wasn't yet open when Laidback was here.

                  (Waving very chic French pom-poms) I'm joining Rio Yeti and Nancy S on the David Toutain cheerleading squad.

                  1. re: Parnassien

                    (Waving very chic French pom-poms) I'm joining Rio Yeti and Nancy S on the David Toutain cheerleading squad.

                    Best Paris chow post of the year so far...thanks. :)

                3. Thanks a lot for all the informative replies!

                  Seems that now my dilemma isn't between Piège and Nomicos, but between Nomicos and Toutain.

                  Any thoughts about the characteristics of each of the two? In terms of tasting menus, food style/trend, length of the meal (I don't mind sitting for 3.5-4 hours if it's truly worth it)
                  Thanks again dear Chowhounders.

                  1 Reply
                  1. re: euro_knick

                    There might be an easy answer. David Toutain is closed on Sat + Sun. So for a weekend trip it's only an option if you are here and ready for a long dégustation on Fri night.

                    David Toutain pushes the envelope and has a more enjoyable buzz and sense of excitement because it's the hot table of the moment. Jean-Louis Nomicos has a more classical core to his cuisine and the ambiance is a bit more restrained. Personally, I'd toss a coin because there is no way to forecast the level of enjoyment/ quality/ appreciation on the night of your meal.