Are these Parisien restaurants worth it?

Old Aug 2nd, 1999, 02:11 PM
  #1  
bonnie
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Are these Parisien restaurants worth it?

<BR>I'll be in Paris next weekend and unfortunately most of the "best" restaurants are closed. Our hotel made us reservations at Le PreCatalan and L'Espadon at the Ritz but not sure sure if they're good enough to be worth it? Anyone know??
 
Old Aug 2nd, 1999, 09:24 PM
  #2  
lynn
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Frankly, most of the food in Paris is overrated, and if not, most certainly over-priced. <BR> <BR>Be prepared for average prices of meals being $30-$50 per person if you are going out to dinner. <BR> <BR>I don't know about you, but in my town, I can have dinner of two braised lamb shanks, garlic mashed potatoes, salad, dessert and wine (if I drank), for less than $20. I wasn't prepared for the prices in Paris. Make sure you are. <BR> <BR
 
Old Aug 2nd, 1999, 09:29 PM
  #3  
Donna
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I'm with Lynn. I have a personal rule that no dinner is worth more than I'm paying for overnight lodging for the two of us. If you search through previous posts on this board, you'll find wonderful recommendations. There are plenty of fine restaurants in Paris that are open during the first two weeks in August (as they take their holiday the last two weeks in August or during July). Go to www.top-restaurants.com
 
Old Aug 3rd, 1999, 12:18 AM
  #4  
joelle
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Both restaurants belong to the top ones in Paris. However be prepared to spend a lot (ca. 150 to 200 USD p.p.)... As the Pre Catelan restaurant is located in the Bois de Boulogne, you should even be able to eat outside (in the garden) should weather permit it. <BR>
 
Old Aug 3rd, 1999, 02:17 AM
  #5  
Vincent
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Lynn, if you want to stuff yourself with garlic mashed potatoes, there are plenty of places in Paris where you can do that, and for under $ 20. That said, it is perfectly understandable that Bonnie wants to have a dinner that will stay in her memory for long. "Two braised lamb shanks" and a meal at a top Paris restaurant have as much in common as a sculpture in your local shopping mall and the Venus de Milo. But the two restaurants you have reseravations at, as good as they can be, are more geared to the tourist crowd. You should try : <BR>- Drouant (t. 01 42 65 15 16, f 01 49 24 02 15): traditional brasserie near Opéra <BR>- La Tour d'Argent (t; 01 43 54 23 31, f. 01 44 07 12 04) <BR>- Le Divellec (t. 01 45 51 31 75, f. 01 45 51 31 7), one of the best fish + sea food restaurants in Paris <BR>- La Table d'Anvers (t 01 48 78 35 21, f. 01 45 26 66 67). Nice decor, favorite among Parisians <BR>- Guy Savoy (t. 01 43 80 40 61, f. 01 46 22 43 09). Great food, but relaxed <BR>- Beauvilliers (t. 01 42 54 54 42, f. 01 42 62 70 30). Great terrace in Montmartre. <BR> <BR>All those restaurants have at least one Michelin stars, and, according to the same guide, should be open in August + week-end. You can contact them directly in English. Good luck ! And remember : a great meal is a piece of art.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 1999, 03:00 AM
  #6  
Lu B.
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I found some of the little off-the-beaten paths among the best <BR>restaurants! But, if you insist on <BR>a 5-star, Taillevent in the 8th (very <BR>expensive) is one of the "best" in Paris.
 
Old Aug 3rd, 1999, 08:22 AM
  #7  
elvira
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Once again, just like hotel rooms, what's "worth it" to you? If the whole dining experience includes crystal chandeliers, white linen tablecloths, Christoffle and Limoges, and you're willing to pay for it, then dinner at the Ritz is worth it. If it means nothing to you, then you're wasting your money. The food is excellent, but the extra ff you're paying is for the atmosphere. If you're willing to pay for good food, but not an elegant atmosphere, then a neighborhood restaurant with red cotton tablecloths and clayware is 'worth it'. I think that's probably what lynn has experienced: a hyped restaurant with gewgaws and Phillipe Starck interiors, with good food but a price tag reflecting the ambience, not necessarily the quality of the food. I'll pay any amount of money for good foie gras, but I won't pay the same amount for lamb shanks and Starck (being a foodie and all). I'll get my chandelier experience in the Hall of Mirrors and dine in Mom and Pop's (Maman et Papa?) that's located between the hardware store and the horsemeat market. <BR>And just so's yous knows, I love having lunch at the Ritz in Boston - the food is good, but I'm paying for the view and the waiter who says "we haven't seen you here for a while, how've you been?". <BR> <BR>She's rambled again, hasn't she...
 
Old Aug 4th, 1999, 05:28 AM
  #8  
jim
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i agree with elvira! i'm going to paris with my parents in october, and they would be shocked and feel most uncomfortable if i took them to a place like tour d'argent and pay $100+/person. aside from growing up in the depression and always watching their wallets, i think the biggest reason why they don't want to pay exhorbitant prices is that, like my experience, usually very expensive restaurants don't have the GREAT food that one would expect. another reason is that we're a family of good cooks who know good food and technique, and i suspect a lot of people, quite frankly, aren't. my idea of a great restaurant is a good value with memorable food preparaed in a way that hadn't occurred to me. Forget the chandeliers and expensive crystal and waiters hovering over you every moment. and forget the $400 bill for three there! I'll take the undiscovered, non-touristy place that all the locals know! now, if only i could find it in paris......
 
Old Aug 4th, 1999, 07:37 AM
  #9  
Diane
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I second the recommendation for Beauvilliers--we had dinner there in June and it was wonderful
 
Old Aug 4th, 1999, 08:43 AM
  #10  
elaine
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Bonnie, <BR>If you're going to do a hotel restaurant, rather than L'Espadon in the Ritz, try Les Ambassadeurs in the Crillon. It is a gorgeous fantasy, with a view, and with wonderful Michelin-starred food, and they certainly should be open. <BR>Also highly regarded in magazine articles (I haven't been there) is Restaurant du Palais Royal,110 galerie de Valois. I don't know if they're open during August, but I've read wonderful things about the setting and the food, and they have an outdoor terrace. Perhaps Vincent can comment further on this one. <BR>
 
Old Aug 4th, 1999, 10:14 AM
  #11  
Bob Brown
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I think Vincent should have his own web page to guide us around Paris. He should even consider his own book. Someone fluent in English who knows Paris as well as he does is a valuable resource! So how 'bout it Vincent? A book in the making? Being a published author, I warn you -- it is a little work and means time from other things. <BR>(My books were not ultra successful, I might add, but they paid for a few Canadian trips and a new car before I retired.) <BR>
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 01:33 AM
  #12  
Vincent
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Bob, you make me blush ! Thank you anyway. I am just trying to help people and to make the "rude Frenchman" concept rest in peace in the cemetery of clichés. You know, since I work in publishing, I am not really keen on writing my own book, knowing the business from the inside... And, guess what, from next November on, I'll be working, not in Paris anymore, but in London. But I'll still be commuting, so I'll be able to give you tips on both sides of the Channel...
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 06:31 AM
  #13  
janine
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To Vincent - <BR> <BR> How exciting! Now, a rational voice on both sides of the channel. <BR> <BR> My heart resides in Paris (to be joined by the rest of me for a week in September), and I will be spending time in London (and, of course, Paris) next year. <BR> <BR> I look forward to your tips and your balanced point of view.
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 09:35 AM
  #14  
lynn
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......... <BR> <BR>No need to be snippy Vincent. I'm just sick and tired of everybody thinking they are going to go to Paris to find the best food in the world. There is some great food there, we found some on our last trip. But not all of it is. Paris has bad food just like every other city on this planet. <BR> <BR>In March, on the recommendation of a friend who used to live there, we went off to Porte Malliot (sp?) and we had some of the most excellent filet (with some type of green herb sauce) and frites I'd ever had. However, it was close to $100 for dinner. <BR> <BR>My point is simply that if you aren't prepared for the high prices and the fact that not everything you eat will walk on water, you can easily get sticker shock and disappointed. <BR> <BR>When we got back home and told him it was so good we ate there three times he told us that this place was the Paris version of fastfood. $100 for fastfood?! I'll go back there every time I'm in Paris because I know I can count on the place. And, I know ahead of time that I'll be spending more than I would normally. That's just the price of being in Paris. <BR> <BR>However, the next time I have a French meal it will be in Bangkok at the Oriental Hotel, Thanksgiving dinner '99. There, you can have what would cost $250 per person in Paris, by a world-class French chef, for about $60 per person, by the same French chef! They have "guest chefs" flown in to prepare special menus. <BR> <BR>My philosophy is all about value. I'm not cheap. I just want value for my money and I don't like people pushing things on me telling me this is the best I can have and charging me $$$ for it. Especially when I know a place where I can get the same quality for a lot less. <BR> <BR>As a friend of mine, with plenty of money to spare, says, "why should I pay more just because I can?" <BR> <BR>I don't have her money but I do have her spirit. <BR> <BR
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 11:35 AM
  #15  
Diane
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One thing we should keep in mind when talking about how expensive these restaurants are is the price includes service--which at every restaurant I have eaten in, is incredible. I know in one restaurant where we had dinner, we were there 3 hours and so was everyone else--there was only one party to a table for the evening. I guess you have to charge more if you don't run your customers in and out like cattle.
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 02:58 PM
  #16  
elaine
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<BR>dear lynn <BR>Vincent didn't sound snippy to my ears (eyes).Bonnie's orignal question was about choosing one of the very top restaurants, one of the ones that is known for luxury, great food, and expense, so I assume she knows what she's asking for. Your immediate response about most of the food in Paris being overrated and overpriced sounded angry about Paris restaurant prices, as if someone was trying to take advantage of you. I can understand if you've had some disappointing Paris restaurant experiences, so have I, but I assume I chose the wrong places, not that most Paris restaurants are a ripoff. I live in New York, and I hear the same complaints from visitors about the cost of things here compared to what they're used to. There's no conspiracy to charge people too much money for poor food. The prices depend on the local and national economy, the cost of doing business in a large city, and good ol' capitalism, what the traffic will bear. The fact that you can get a stellar meal in Bangkok for less than you can in Paris is hardly Paris's fault; there's a pretty complicated economic difference between the two places, as you know. There's bad and overpriced food in every major city in the world, but <BR>in a city like Paris, in my opinion, there's no need to eat badly or much more expensively than you want to, because there is such a wealth of choices. I think each person's definition of what's "worth" it is different.
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 09:38 PM
  #17  
lynn
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.......... <BR> <BR>Elaine, do not think for a moment that I blame Paris for not having the same good deals as in Bangkok. They are two entirely different countries. I also understand that we all have our different ideas about what is "worth it" and what is not. <BR> <BR>I guess I just can't imagine spending $400 on dinner when that same $400 could buy a plane ticket to a place where you could buy the same dinner for $120! I say, enjoy Paris for the beauty of the city, the history, and the art and then go to Asia to experience fine cuisine at a fraction of the price. <BR> <BR>But hey, that's me... I probably do lots of things that other people don't. <BR> <BR
 
Old Aug 5th, 1999, 10:03 PM
  #18  
Mike
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I'm not sure if these are open in August but the 3 I have reservations for during my next trip to Paris are: TAILLEVENT, L'AMBROISIE, and L'ARPEGE. All are top rated by Michelin and Zagats. All three are definitely spendy but hey you only live once. <BR> <BR>Good Luck <BR> <BR>Mike
 
Old Aug 6th, 1999, 05:16 AM
  #19  
martha python
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The Ritz, the three-star restaurants--Mike, you MUST post a trip report upon your return so the rest of us can live vicariously through you. <BR>
 
Old Aug 6th, 1999, 05:21 AM
  #20  
elaine
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Mike, <BR>I have a reservation at Taillevent for the beginning of October and I've not been there before. Have you? Ditto L'Ambrosie? When are you going? Please report. <BR>
 

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