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lambretta76

Least expensive Michelin *d restaurants in Paris

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Suggestions: Why don't you drop a note to Catherine Constant Violondingres@wanadoo.fr Ask her whatever you need to ask.

l'Astrance may or may not be a problem as to a reservation..it has been that you MUST call exactly 1 month in advance!!

If convenient to where you are staying, try the Meurice for breakfast. It is in the very, very lovely main dining room...lunch is not! I am a light breakfast eater and croissants and coffee is fine for me....they brought a huge tray of them, along with the coffee..only 10 euros!! They have a breakfast bar with all the other items too..

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Grace -

Thanks for a fantastic idea! Le Meurice for breakfast it is! If I can get out of there for €20 for two I'll be quite happy... (coffee and a croissant is also pretty much my standard breakfast - well, substitute American coffee for "real" coffee and bagel for croissant - pretty close, though)

As for l'Astrance - I was under the impression that reserving for a weekday lunch (in this case, Wednesday) wasn't as difficult as landing a dinner reservation. If it is, I guess I'll have to wake up at 4 am on the morning of September 6.

I will drop an e-mail to Violon d'Ingres to figure out if this may be a better option.

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It may be easier for lunch at l'Astrance..perhaps someone else will answer that question!!

When you write to Catherine, please tell her that I told you too..my name is Joan Grace. She will take very good care of you!! Ask her which days she is there for lunch..as it is not every day..and go on a day when she is there..if you decide to go there.

It was a huge tray of croissants at the Meurice!! It really is a very pretty dining room..not sure which is lovlier Les Ambassadeurs or Le Meurice!!

One chilly morning in December I stopped in at the Ritz for a cup of coffee and to warm up. It hit the spot!!

Stop by the Hotel Bristol..they have a nice gift shop. It is a very pretty place.

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Violon d'Ingres has a prix fixe menu for 39 euros at lunch according to Michelin's web site.

Perhaps this fabled 39 euro lunch isn't a permanent fixture? When we had lunch there in April, they didn't have it. We had a wonderful prix-fixe lunch which we considered a good value, but it cost substantially more than 39 euros. If anyone is interested in specifics, I can look them up in my notes.

:smile:

Jamie


Edited by picaman (log)

See! Antony, that revels long o' nights,

Is notwithstanding up.

Julius Caesar, Act II, Scene ii

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Perhaps this fabled 39 euro lunch isn't a permanent fixture? When we had lunch there in April, they didn't have it. We had a wonderful prix-fixe lunch which we considered a good value, but it cost substantially more than 39 euros. If anyone is interested in specifics, I can look them up in my notes.

According to the restaurant's website - "Try the lunch menu, at €39 + wine, a delicious bargain." I assume that this wouldn't apply to a Saturday or Sunday lunch, if they are open either day...

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Au Trou Gascon would have to be rustic because the cuisine gasconne is a rustic cuisine; stars are not only for 'refined' restaurants but for the finest representants of regional cuisine restaurants, it seems to me. Cuisine gasconne is also the heaviest (highest fat content) if I am not mistaken.

Personally I would never eat in a 3-star unless invited because I think the prices are way overblown in the same way as prices for wine in the U.S. are generally overblown.

My take is that a one-star restaurant has fantastic preparations for significantly lower prices, largely due to the snob factor.

Let me add that I've been happiest with restaurants mentioned in the Michelin red guide that do not have any stars, especially when traveling through France. I'm all for good value and I've never had a bad meal at a red guide recommended restaurant.

You have to realize -- I'm sure you do -- that restaurants in France by and large are much better than in the United States, and a far better value on average. That is not to say that they are more inventive -- but cuisine is not so much about invention as it is about quality, in my opinion. This said, you don't need to go to a 3-star in order to have a fantastic experience.


Edited by Ocean_islands (log)

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you don't need to go to a 3-star in order to have a fantastic experience.

I have had fantastic meals at Bib Gourmand restaurants and excellent experiences at unstarred restaurants. The multistarred restaurant experience is something else and it need not appeal to everyone. It is the "high art" of gastronomy, but not everyone needs to be a connoisseur of opera to enjoy music.


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 see an endless succession of nice comments about the Constants, Mr.and Madame, at Violon d'Ingres.

But when we were there about six years or so ago, we were left sitting between main course and dessert for at least an hour while Madame(Catherine)was visible in an adjacent room chatting on and on and on with diners at another table.

The only word to do justice to this treatment is outrageous.

They will never see us again.

Bux, you havent heard my critical posts for quite a while- just like old times!

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I've never been to a 3-star but I'd imagine that is where I'd need to go if I want a baked dessert that has all kinds of little pastry-woven doodads and what-not in it. I can do without that, just between you and me.

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Sorry for you, you're missing out...


Anti-alcoholics are unfortunates in the grip of water, that terrible poison, so corrosive that out of all substances it has been chosen for washing and scouring, and a drop of water added to a clear liquid like Absinthe, muddles it." ALFRED JARRY

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There's a difference between the Fables and Cafe C; Fables has a full kitchen, but the Cafe has little but a hot plate upstairs, hence the platters from the Violin.  This is solid info acquired from going to the restrooms in both.

and les Fables is essentially a seafood restaurant, whereas Cafe Constant is not. I saw desserts coming arm Le Violon at both places.


Edited by pim (log)

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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Sorry for you, you're missing out...

and more room for us.


chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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Les Ambassadeurs and Le Meurice will probably be cut becuase the food options are quite limited on the lunch prix fixe. Especially Les Ambassadeurs, with just two choices - my girlfriend is allergic to shellfish and pretty much already knows what she is going to have to eat. Le Meurice has five options per, but the menu seems less inspired. The only reasons these two are even still be considered is because the dining rooms are simply breathtaking.

That's not the reason.

You should go to Les Ambassadeurs and Le Meurice because these two young chefs are cooking their hearts out to get the stars (or the final star in the case of Yannick Aleno at Le Meurice.)

As I said before in another thread, chasing these talented guys on the way up is infinitely more fun than going to some more established places where (as a friend put it somewhere else) one could smell laurels being sit on from a mile away.


chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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In response to the earlier post of a "bad" experience at Violon d'Ingres...Personally, I have never had a bad experience there, and I have probably been there at least a dozen times..but it can happen....my most surprising "off" experience was at Taillevent one evening. We had ordered a 2nd very nice bottle of wine..and waited and waited and waited..had to ask again!! That would not keep me from returning to Taillevent!

I think my most memorable 3* was a particular evening at Guy Savoy. Everything was perfect, in every way that evening.....dining at the starred restaurants should not be missed, but it might take an educated palate for the most appreciation....it is certainly not just for a fancy dessert!

There can be many surprises..some at the least expected places.............

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I have had several luncheons at l'astrance by calling a few days earlier.Often people cancel.Bon appetit

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But when we were there  about six years or so ago, we were left sitting between main course and dessert for at least an hour while Madame(Catherine)was visible  in an adjacent room chatting on and on and on with diners at another table.

You are not wrong, but she's still charming.

Also to all the folks who love L'Astrance and dislike Les Violins I say "au contraire." But that's another thread - which I may just start - called "How much does money, press coverage and buzz buy?" I'd start with Helene Darroze but I think we could generate quite a discussion. Later..............

By the way, I think I just figured out the marker (as in “genetic marker”) for starred restaurants – it’s having your place swept clean of crumbs after the bread is removed. Oh sure, the locale, voiturier, flowers, big staff, table settings, amuse gueules, little between course extras and coffee nummies, not to mention the food, count, but I posit this as an essential.


Edited by John Talbott (log)

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Like I said before, I havn't had the lunch menu at l'Astrance since two years, maybe. But from what I've heard, you'll always get entree, plat and dessert, plus some other little dishes: maybe another amuse bouche, half a plat, two desserts, who knows? Even if you don't pay as much as the other clients (most choose the 8 or 9 course menu), the staff will always be happy to offer something more. And yes, a reservation for wednesday shouldn't be too difficult.


"Mais moi non plus, j'ai pas faim! En v'là, une excuse!..."

(Jean-Pierre Marielle)

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Also to all the folks who love L'Astrance and dislike Les Violins I say "au contraire." But that's another thread - which I may just start - called "How much does money, press coverage and buzz buy?" I'd start with Helene Darroze but I think we could generate quite a discussion. Later..............

That thread sounds fun! :wink: Does that mean, John, you don't exactly understand, or agree, Darroze's two stars?


"Mais moi non plus, j'ai pas faim! En v'là, une excuse!..."

(Jean-Pierre Marielle)

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Anyways, the short list of "upper-end" restaurants to try:

Les Ambassadeurs (€70)

Le Meurice (€65)

L'Astrance (€45)

Le Violon d'Ingres (€39)

If you're considering a €70 menu, what about the €78 lunch menu at Le Grand Vefour? Some eGulleteers have panned the place, true, but the decor is truly extraordinary and it's a 3-star. And I loved my meal there in the summer of 2002.


Michael aka "Pan

 

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l'Astrance ... a reservation for wednesday shouldn't be too difficult.

Apparently a table for two at a Wednesday lumch may be had not much more than two weeks in advance and maybe less.


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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Does that mean, John, you don't exactly understand, or agree, Darroze's two stars?

Both. I disagree and I can't figure it out. I think she got and perhaps, bought, if you believe The Food Business on the subject, a lot of positive press coverage, which largely was based on her family and past not the present. I gave her three tries, upstairs and down, and someday one of the four of us who shared the last meal will spill the beans about what happened (I'm not teasing, I want to avoid embarassment to my confreres).

But I disagree with a lot of critics, which is why I try to be reportorial in the Digest and editorial in my reviews (since this post is in the latter category I will say that I trust Rubin and Simon and Michot et al at Le Figaro way above the Michelin gnomes.) My point in this thread was to disagree with the Violins/Astrance appraisal.

But, Zouave, what do you think about a food fight on the subject of "How much does money, press coverage and buzz buy?"

Amicalement,

John


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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My point in this thread was to disagree with the Violins/Astrance appraisal.

That's almost a dare to try them both. :biggrin:


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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OK it's time for me to put my two cents in instead of questioning everyone else's suggestions. If 70 E is a possibility I'd say the Bristol because you'll get the "star experience," whatever that is. But if that's not, you originally said it could be near Paris so that makes Les Magnolias in Le Perreux-sur-Marne a great choice at 42E (no matter that the Michelin says 45E. Le Perreux-sur-Marne is easy to get to and I'll give you RER or Metro-bus directions if you decide to go if you send me at PM.


John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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If the Bristol is ONLY 70 euros, I would say to go for it!! When I last had lunch there i spent far more!! It is truly lovely though..............

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Lunch prix fixe at Taillevent was 70 Euros in April. The wine is very extensive and you can drink exceptionally well for reasonable prices - 1988 Raveneau Grand Cru (Can't remember vineyard) for 90 euros for example.

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