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loisco Dec 16th, 2004 09:37 AM

few ?? re Paris restaurants
Several of you mention eating lunch to save $ but are there tasting menus at lunch? or in other words is there a varied menu.

If we stay in the Notre Dame area (looks like it appeals to me) then we can just walk to the 5th or 6th for restaurants? ..

Zagat has a guide to Paris?...worth getting?


crefloors Dec 16th, 2004 09:47 AM

I found that most cafes and brasseries had quite varied menus. The menus are always posted outside the establishment so you can see what they offer and the prices. Some of the places also do fixed price lunch menu or daily specials. Sorry can't really suggest any place in particular because we just ate when we were hungry..looking at the places that were near us at the time and picking one. However, you will get some good specifics here pretty soon I think.

SuzieC Dec 16th, 2004 10:29 AM

I second what crefloors suggests. Varied menus have been my experience with a couple of "specials"...

Christina Dec 16th, 2004 10:34 AM

I don't dine at really expensive restaurant so perhaps have the term "tasting menu" wrong -- however, I thought that was usually in expensive restaurants and then was not cheap, but often more expensive than a regular meal, even if ordered a la carte.

However, you just asked if there is a varied menu at lunch and yes, there is. I've never been in a restaurant (cafe/bistro etc) that only served one dish. Maybe from your question about saving money by eating lunch, you are referring only to the very expensive restaurants? That's true, they are more of a bargain at lunch, from what I've heard. Have to be -- they can't charge the same at lunch as dinner, probably.

I assume by Notre Dame area, you mean perhaps the 5th arrondisement across the river from Notre Dame? yes, you could walk to many restaurants but both those arrondisements are large enough that you are probably not going to want to walk to all restaurants in the quartier. It would depend where the restaurant is. I think most of the ones people recommend on here are down near the Seine, so you can.

I wouldn't buy Zagat's guide to Paris. I got one free for contributing, but wouldn't pay for it.

stormygirl Dec 16th, 2004 11:48 AM

tasting menu = high end/expensive restaurant. You would make reservations for lunch or dinner well in advance.

prix fixe menu = any cafe, bistro, etc. should have this. You can just show up.

similar but different.

ezlivin Dec 16th, 2004 12:13 PM

A lot of bistro that offers prix-fixe menu may also require reservation in order to get your desired time and table.

In terms of tasting menu, I believe Taillevent has one at lunch for Euro 70 per.

richardab Dec 16th, 2004 01:50 PM

Many Paris restaurants offer price fixed lunch menus, anywhere from 19 to 30 euro. No matter what your cost will go up once you add drinks, wine, coffee, etc.

In my recent trip I really didn't see a lot of difference between lunch and dinner menus. Many places had the same price at both times.

To see where I ate, my costs and reviews, go to my "I Heart Paris" websight...

elaine Dec 16th, 2004 04:12 PM

Restaurants differ as to what they offer for lunch, sometimes it's pretty much the same as dinner, other times they also offer lighter dishes such as composed salads, omelettes, etc

Yes, I think the frequent references to 'saving money' by having lunch refer to the very best restaurants where dinner costs hundreds of euros but lunch, though not cheap, much less than that.

I like the Zagat guide very much, but I'm generally a fan of their books.
Another good one is Gustafson's
Great Eats in Paris which is updated every few years but not as often as Zagat. Much more detail on each place than Zagat has, but Zagat lists many more restaurants at all levels.

Where were you thinking of staying 'in the Notre Dame area'?

Nothing beats the 5th for cheap places to eat, it's student country.

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