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ellenesk

Concierge screwed up, no res for next Thursday

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Had requested a table at l'ami louis through my hotel several months ago. Called to find out they never made one. They are suggesting Benoit, any thoughts?

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Had requested a table at l'ami louis through my hotel several months ago.  Called to find out they never made one.  They are suggesting Benoit, any thoughts?

My very personal take on it: Ok but too expensive, like l'Ami Louis.
2.5 - Benoit, 20, rue St-Martin in the 4th, 01.42.72.25.76 is open every day and one can easily dispense 80-90 E a la carte without wine, but it also has a multi-choiced 39 E lunch menu. However, as one might expect of a place like l’Ami Louis, i.e., which is much beloved by Americans, it serves portion sizes way outside the French bell-curve – hello “Super Size Me.” Lordy, it’s been a long time since I’ve graced its space, but it hasn’t changed a bit; oh sure, it’s pricier, the staff are less brusque and more friendly indeed terrific, the drapes are cleaner and there is clear evidence that Alain Ducasse, the St Jude of culinary lost causes, has placed his gentle hand on it. “Ok, Ok, get to the point Dad.” Is there a point? Not really. If you loved it 5, 10, 20, 30 years ago, you’ll love it now. If you’ve moved your vision on to other horizons, it will not cause you much great distress either. The good news: it looks exactly the same; the bad news: it is pretty much the same except it’s pricier. For numerous reasons, basic French/Scots’ genes, primordial principles and a challenge from a French food buddy that I couldn’t manage more than one dish, I ordered the 39 E menu rather than the 20+ entrees and 40+ mains; hey, if Ducasse can’t do ordinary stuff, why stretch to sample the rest? Surprises and deceptions, bien sur. The amuse(s) bouches were very good, freshly prepared and warm, a nice start. I chose an entrée of queue of beef, which paled in comparison with yesterday’s more bourgeois pate de campagne (they also offered a jambon sur l’os and a veggie dish) and it was much, much, too much to eat even if it were good (which it was not, having the taste of a too old dish towel). Then I had a very successfully prepared pheasant hen, moist and well seasoned (e.g. not too much of anything, including salt) with wonderful cabbage. (They also had morue and black sausages.) Finally, forced to choose between crepes Suzettes and chocky mousse, I went with the calories and the orange was wonderfully intense but the crepes pretty ordinary (the late lamented Bistro Cote Mer did’em better). Oh - the clients – 1/3 were “tourists,” now don’t get your back up just yet, they were in from Marne la Vallee or such; 1/3 were local habituees/convivs and 1/3 were Amuricans, speaking flawless English (nasty aren’t I?). What else, oh yes, the madeleine was warm & yummy and the bill for the “menu” and two glasses of basic red wine runs to only 52 E, (but no bottled water or coffee - mind you). Go back? Sorry, you - not me.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Like Julot, I would probably apt for a more authentic bistro like L'Ami Jean, Paul Bert, etc over Benoit.

I was a bit disapointed with a recent dinner there, not so much for the food which was very good but no better than any of my favorite bistros which are 1/2 the price. The decor is beautiful and probably worth the expense. Unfortunately on the evening I went, we were surrounded by a group of loud, badly dressed tourists (too bad they didn't read this thread) which unfortunately took away from the experience, so perhaps my take isn't fair. Someone had even thrown up in the bathroom :huh: , which isn't really something you expect to find in a one-star.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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Thanks, have made a reservation l'ami jean at everyones suggestion.

I appreciate the prompt response.

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Wanted to thank all for the l'ami jean recommendation. We had a really great meal there. Wonderful sweetbreads. My one funny experience was when we called for a reservation we were told the table would need to be vacated by 9:00pm. Due to the taxi strike, we arrived very late and were told the same thing. My dining companion, who arrived even later than I and was Parisian, spoke to the host, and magiacally our table was available all night. Early seating was clearly American, the later clearly Parisian No matter, a wonderful dining exeperience, and I look forward to returning

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