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hughw

"Bargain" Two Star & Three Star Paris Lunches

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Perhaps, this topic has already been explored. If that's the case, I would appreciate it if someone can point me to the appropriate thread. Or John, feel free to merge it into another tread.

Obviously, a bargain is in the eye of the beholder and a 100 euro lunch menu at a restaurant that charges 250-300 euros at dinner is certainly a bargain. But for the purpose of this thread, I'm curious about whuch two and three star restaurants, if any, in Paris serve a lunch menu at 75 euro or less that gives the diner a memorable meal and more than a glimpse of what they're missing on the more expensive menu. Feel free to chime in even if you want to suggest a resto that exceeds 75 euro by a small amount, or if you have a one star resto at a bargain price that provides a glorious meal. I should say we dined at Benoit (don't laugh) two years ago and had their set lunch menu. As I recall, it was around 36 euros, and we weren't impressed. While it was certainly a pleasant meal, there was nothing memorable about it and was certainly no better than (and less interesting than) the meals we've had at La Cerisaie and l'ami Jean.

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Can you believe those machines erased my response the first time?

Anyway, as you rightly suspect, many lunch menus are subpar, such as Bristol or Meurice.

The lunch menus which I know are as good as the regular stuff include:

- La Table de Joël Robuchon, 55€ including wine, coffee, water and dessert.

- Gérard Besson, 56€ for masterful ancient simple cuisine

- Lasserre, 75€, for excellent food and a true sojourn in old fashioned art de vivre à la française

- Michel Rostang, 78€, food lover feast

- Ledoyen, 88€, old style three stars (i.e. aiming for the best, which few people do these days)

- Guy Savoy has a 100€ Internet menu (only if you reserve online, one table per day) that gives you access to the whole menu almost (no caviar for you) and mostly to the uniquely exquisite experience that is a meal there.

- Gagnaire, not sure how much these days, to experience the genius (I prefer to have my Gagnaire on DVDs

- Last but not least, the incredible Alain Passard offers the incredible bargain of a 135€ menu at l'Arpège, to which you need to add ridiculously priced wines. It's always better than l'Ambroisie, which is probably its natural competitor in the "extraordinary food" category and has no prix fixe menu whatsoever.

There are two special cases:

- Le Cinq, at 85€, is excellent and gives you access to the whole experience, which is pretty unique (including wonderful service and some compartively cheap wines)

- Les Ambassadeurs used to be great value at 75€ but word on the street is, they're firing Piège.

FWIW, I find that there is almost no good value to be found between those top restaurants at one end and the bistronomiques like l'Ami Jean and La Régalade at the other end. Indeed that means you Benoit, Gaya, Vin sur Vin (Beuark). The only exceptions I would make of middle range restaurants where I don't feel I'm wasting my money are l'Ami Louis and mostly Ramsay's Véranda in Versailles.


Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)

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FWIW - we did the 100 euro lunch at Guy Savoy and the hotel concierge staff arranged it for us (thanks Fresh_A and friends :smile: ). There were both caviar and truffle elements in the meal (that is not of great importance to me but I thought I'd mention it). We did let the maitre 'd do our meal - and perhaps we got smaller portions than normal. Who knows? It was more than enough food for us. Also - we probably spent at least as much or more on wine. So that 100 euro lunch can quickly turn into a 200 euro lunch - more or less. Still - IMO - an excellent value and great food. Robyn

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I went to the Guy Savoy website searching for the 100 euro internet reservation. I couldn't find it anywhere. Is it still being offered?

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I went to Savoy's website and found out that, until tonight, there is a 200€ tasting menu including beverage (champagne for starter, one glass per course) that works not only for lunch but also for dinner at 10pm (Savoy was always one of the few fine dining establishments to serve very late). See there: http://www.guysavoy.com/popup_fr.html

Now is this the death of the 100€ lunch? I don't know.

In any case, this appears as a pop-up, just like the 100€ deal did. It might be that you have your browser's settings on "don't save me money" :biggrin:


Edited by julot-les-pinceaux (log)

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I've just checked L'Arpege's website and there looks to be special offer advertised - 6 courses & 3 glasses of wine for 100 euros - from 25th Nov to 3rd December. Wow....

http://www.alain-passard.com/

I had lunch there last year and it was one of the best and most memorable meals I've had. Can't recommend it highly enough.

Speaking of Paris, I'm probably going to be back in Europe next Easter and am thinking of booking a couple of 3 stars for lunch. From the discussion here it seems like Guy Savoy & Le Cinq are the ones to try?!

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Just got back from lunch at l'Arpege. Very generous on food and pourings. We got the 6 course pluss 3 glasses of wine at €100 but ended up having at least 15 small plates of vegetables and all the wine we could drink. It all went pretty fast, as we had hardly finished one plate before the next was in front of us, but it was no problem as the food kept coming. Hardly any meat and no seafood, but extremly seasonal vegetables and all -09 wine. Absoulutely recomennded, but dont expect flying raviolis of all peas or liquid no2 frozen pizza dust. Clean, simple and very satisfying. Id go back in a heartbeat, and so should you.

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