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pierre45

Les Racines in the 2nd (not the one in the 6th)

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Having heard so many positive feedback about Racines,I called them recently for a dinner reservation as a solo diner.I was told they they were full .I told them that i was looking forward to dining at Racines and could i come any day next week .they said sorry.I replied do you mean you're always full for solo diners.The answer was yes in a very superior tone.

This is the 1st time ever that i have had such an experience in a parisian restaurant. I will let you figure out as to what this means.

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just book for two and turn up as a one, then you can see for yourself if this is the norm and what the restaurant is like - or talk to the manager and get clarification from them.


"Experience is something you gain just after you needed it" ....A Wise man

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just book for two and turn up as a one, then you can see for yourself if this is the norm and what the restaurant is like - or talk to the manager and get clarification from them.

Well, Pierre45, I and a chef talked about this strategy today and I realized that's really not fair to any chef, especially in a place (like Les Racines that has very few covers). I must admit I did it in Paris before I realized I should be honest and to date I've never been refused admittance as a solo dinner (knock wood).

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I don't condone the practice, but have to say that this doesn't really surprise me, especially in Paris where they don't really turn tables all too much. Racines is a pretty small place, which serves very expensive ingredients for a fairly reasonable price, so every cover counts. I am in the States as I write and went to a great place in Philly the other night where we had trouble reserving on a Sunday night for 6pm! We had to eat in the bar area because the place was packed. So imagine how many times they turn their tables, easily 3.

In Paris, you would be very lucky to get 2 services as people don’t even think about eating before 20h.

And Racines doesn’t really strike me as the kind of place where the customer is king and so you gotta play by their rules.


www.parisnotebook.wordpress.com

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I will add to Felice's post that Racines is not a place for solo dining. It is a place for company and people go there at least by parties of two. There is a lot of social interaction going there and, frequently, from table to table, that is the soul of the place and the chef, however roughly he puts it, knows that. I would not consider dining solo there. However it might not be impossible to lunch solo (which I would equally find pointless), since booking for lunch is easier.

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I will add to Felice's post that Racines is not a place for solo dining. It is a place for company and people go there at least by parties of two. There is a lot of social interaction going there and, frequently, from table to table, that is the soul of the place and the chef, however roughly he puts it, knows that. I would not consider dining solo there. However it might not be impossible to lunch solo (which I would equally find pointless), since booking for lunch is easier.

Although to counter-balance yours and Phyllis's comments, he had even fewer tables at Caves Miard/Cremerie and had no hesitation about taking my reservation for 1 and on my arrival, found a table where I didn't compromise his ability to fill all the other chairs. As I recall, he actively moved chairs and tables as the customers came and went. My memory of the seating possibilities at Racines is a bit hazy, tho, since I was preoccupied with my two captivating eating partners.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Although to counter-balance yours and Phyllis's comments, he had even fewer tables at Caves Miard/Cremerie and had no hesitation about taking my reservation for 1 and on my arrival, found a table where I didn't compromise his ability to fill all the other chairs.  As I recall, he actively moved chairs and tables as the customers came and went.  My memory of the seating possibilities at Racines is a bit hazy, tho, since I was preoccupied with my two captivating eating partners.

Of course. But La Crèmerie was a different place with different management needs. I do not think the core of the matter is who manages the place (i.e. Pierre at Racines, formerly at La Crèmerie) but what the place actually is.

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All the points raised about the lost revenue and smallnes are valid and i have always been surprised about the welcome reception given to solo diners in Paris in most places.I also have enjoyed the interaction that takes place in restaurants where that's the norm and i have to say i contributed greatly despite beeing by myself.I don't sit in a corner and read a book.

Incidentally i implied to Racine that i welcome seating with others.My impression is that success has gone to their heads as they were very dissmissive.Of course all the interaction was in French

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I would think that Racines is trying to come to grips with huge numbers of English-speaking/accented diners who read the full-page-with-recipes credit in October Food and Wine magazine. These write-ups are taxing for the big guys, to say nothing of the whammy they blow on tiny store-fronts like Racines. I think, Pierre, that your call, while not to be condoned, was simply ill-timed.


eGullet member #80.

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I would think that Racines is trying to come to grips with huge numbers of English-speaking/accented diners who read the full-page-with-recipes credit in October Food and Wine magazine.  These write-ups are taxing for the big guys, to say nothing of the whammy they blow on tiny store-fronts like Racines.  I think, Pierre, that your call, while not to be condoned, was simply ill-timed.

I think you may be perfectly right, Margaret. I had no idea there was a full Food and Wine article. Though at first the chef might enjoy this kind of publicity, it can severely disturb a small, fragile place like that, until the buzz goes down.

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