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One or Two Meals in Paris


Peter Rodgers
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I've two free nights in Paris at the end of a forthcoming business trip to Europe. Will try to snag a table at Pierre Gagnaire or Guy Savoy for a big deal meal and was thinking about l'Epi Dupin for the other night. Would appreciate reports of any very recent experiences at Gagnaire or Savoy and any suggestions for the second night (in the less exalted category).

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Friends who live in France most of the year and enjoy good food, mostly on a budget, just returned to NY through Paris last week. They were not particularly pleased with l'Epi Dupin, but loved Mon Vieil Ami. The also splurged on Arpege and Carre des Feuillants, both of which they loved.

I enjoyed both my visits to Gagnaire. The second time was in October or 2002. Mrs. B. was less impressed the second time around. Not to say she didn't enjoy the meal very much, she just wasn't quite as impressed the second time as she was the first. On the other hand, some others whose taste I respect tremendously, were not pleased.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I'm not a Gagnaire fan...enjoyed Guy savoy...and would opt for

Le Meurice or Le Grand Vefour as a splurge. I do enjoy Carre

des Feuillants but our last meal there suffered due to 3 large

private parties that evening.

Epi and Mon VA are both far more casual. We did enjoy a pleasant

lunch at l/Epi last month but the seating is very crowded.

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  • 1 year later...

I am headed to Paris in two weeks. I am going to be accompanied by my Italian boyfriend who has been saving his first trip to Paris for a really special time. He is turning thirty the weekend we will be there, and I can afford one really great dinner...but which restaurant to choose? Help please...

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I am headed to Paris in two weeks. I am going to be accompanied by my Italian boyfriend who has been saving his first trip to Paris for a really special time. He is turning thirty the weekend we will be there, and I can afford one really great dinner...but which restaurant to choose? Help please...

You aren't the only one to ask this question. Here's one link that should at least give you some ideas. You can also search under most of the restaurants there for a further breakdown of each restaurant, such as searching on "meurice" or "l'ambroisie". That being said though, I think everyone likes a chance to rant about their favorite fancy restaurant in paris, because the food really can be that amazing.

http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=11139&hl=

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I am headed to Paris in two weeks. I am going to be accompanied by my Italian boyfriend who has been saving his first trip to Paris for a really special time. He is turning thirty the weekend we will be there, and I can afford one really great dinner...but which restaurant to choose? Help please...

Have you looked at threads present and past and if so, what sort of place, price range, location and type of food interests you two? There are just too many choices to answer your query without narrowing it down. Pudlo lists 2000 addresses in Paris, Lebey over 600, and the Michelin has over 80 starred places. Plus 5 new places open every week, reviewed in Figaroscope and Zurban.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I am headed to Paris in two weeks. I am going to be accompanied by my Italian boyfriend who has been saving his first trip to Paris for a really special time. He is turning thirty the weekend we will be there, and I can afford one really great dinner...but which restaurant to choose? Help please...

That is a very difficult task! To pick out ONE restaurant from the 10,000 in Paris would be nearly impossible... You should decide if you want the formal experience of a 3-star top place, or the relaxed idea of a bistro, where the food can also be top flight. My favorite reference book is the Pudlo, but it is only available to purchase when you get to France.

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Follow all of the above advice, but always remember that you, yourselves, will bring to the table much of the joy of the evening. And the reverse: too much expectation may kill a lot of the spontaneous enjoyment that you are looking for. Try to choose the kind of ambiance that you most enjoy at home, and then luxuriate in experiencing it together in Paris.

A few of the worst fiascos of our dining out have been when I have picked destination restaurants that provided little or none of the magical elements I had read into their reviews. So expect to bring much of the stardust with you! :wink:

Edited by Margaret Pilgrim (log)

eGullet member #80.

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I agree with John and Menton and would only add that as your trip is only two weeks away and many of the best restaurants are booked full perhaps as far as a month ahead, that will help narrow your choices.

Margaret's point is often overlooked, especially by people who choose their restaurant for the wrong reason. Primary among wrong reasons is simply choosing the restaurant because someone else liked it. I'd add that many of my disappointments are at the best restaurants for a number of reasons but foremost may be that the expectations are so high, or simply that I've paid so much money. This is not to say that my greatest disappointments are not at the low end where from time to time I choose a restaurant simply because it's in the right place at the right time and it turns out to be a place that leaves me wondering how it stays in business.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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Fiona,

I recently spent a week "fooding" in Paris and these were my favorites:

1. Le Bristol http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=10271 hop down to post #10 for pictures on the meal. This may have been the meal of my life.

2. Jamin http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=19757

Classic with a little flair-very good

3. Atelier de Robuchon- World Tapas, very good

4. Le Comptoir for lunch-very good

If you have problems getting a reservation at Le Bristol-ask for Raphael( Directeur du Restaurant Raphael Courant) and ask him for help.

Good Eating,

Molto E

Eliot Wexler aka "Molto E"

MoltoE@restaurantnoca.com

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  • 2 weeks later...
Follow all of the above advice, but always remember that you, yourselves, will bring to the table much of the joy of the evening.  And the reverse: too much expectation may kill a lot of the spontaneous enjoyment that you are looking for.  Try to choose the kind of ambiance that you most enjoy at home, and then luxuriate in experiencing it together in Paris.

A few of the worst fiascos of our dining out have been when I have picked destination restaurants that provided little or none of the magical elements I had read into their reviews.  So expect to bring much of the stardust with you!  :wink:

Exquisitely phrased, Margaret. C'est vrai, in most circumstances, and especially in this case.

I totally agree.

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Follow all of the above advice, but always remember that you, yourselves, will bring to the table much of the joy of the evening.  And the reverse: too much expectation may kill a lot of the spontaneous enjoyment that you are looking for.  Try to choose the kind of ambiance that you most enjoy at home, and then luxuriate in experiencing it together in Paris.

A few of the worst fiascos of our dining out have been when I have picked destination restaurants that provided little or none of the magical elements I had read into their reviews.  So expect to bring much of the stardust with you!   :wink:

Margaret's advice prompts me to tell my favorite Gerald Asher (wine expert extraordinaire) story; when he first came to the US he "learned" US buying habits at Sherry-Lehman; one day a woman of a certain age entered and asked him to order some wine she had had on Capri, overlooking the Bay, sitting and dining with a handsome younger Italian man as the sun set on a warm summer evening. Asher told her of course he would but there was no way he could deliver the sunset, view, young man and dinner experience. Stardust indeed!

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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I am headed to Paris in two weeks. I am going to be accompanied by my Italian boyfriend who has been saving his first trip to Paris for a really special time. He is turning thirty the weekend we will be there, and I can afford one really great dinner...but which restaurant to choose? Help please...

First off: greetings, eGulletteers!

Second: Assuming you're still reading this thread (and aren't too late to get reservs somewhere), I might suggest some questions which may enable the esteemed company to provide more defined answers:

1) Where are you from?

2) Is this your first visit to Paris? Second? Twentieth?

3) If you have been to Paris, where have you been before?

4) What places do you like to eat in your home city?

5) Do you eat much French food?

6) When you do, what sorts of dishes do you especially like?

7) What kind of atmosphere most suits you? Stuffy-formal, minimalist, country-ish, luxuriously upholstered?

I think it's best to get these things pinned down in order to get a more defined answer, at which point some suggestions easily could be provided.

If, on the other hand, you picked either Le Bristol or Jamin based on molto e's descriptions, you did well!

Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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