first night dinner in paris

Apr 24th, 2008, 10:25 AM
  #1  
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first night dinner in paris

Hi. We arrive May 3 and our first choices were closed for the holiday. I now have triple reservations for Fish, Paul Bert and Ferrandaise. Haven't eaten at any of them but all sound great. Now I need to make a final decision and would love feedback. FYI, our other dinners are at Fables de la Fontaine, Le Comptoir, Il Vino, Le Troquet, Spring, Afaria and Au Gourmand. Thanks for any recommendations to help me decide.
plambers is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 12:02 PM
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anyone?
plambers is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 12:08 PM
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Plambers I am sorry I cannot help, but curious about the closings...were places closed for the entire long weekend?
ekscrunchy is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 03:47 PM
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Talk about an embarrassment of riches and you can only eat at one-ah well. We have only eaten at Fish and like it. Not fancy but well prepared provencal type cuisine. The wine is great since the owners of Fish also own La Derniere Goutte wine store around the corner. Lots of good wines by the glass. I will be waiting to read your reviews of all these great restaurants. Are you having dinner at Le Comptoir? If you have to call to confirm with Spring ask for the table next to the kitchen counter so you can watch the action! Have a great trip.
AGM_Cape_Cod is online now  
Apr 24th, 2008, 03:53 PM
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plambers,
Keep that reservation at Fish. I think you'll enjoy it-friendly, casual, fun, well-priced wine list, nice Provencal style dishes.

I'm really eager to try Afaria (Basque chef), and I'll be eager to read your report comparing it to Le Troquet (another Basque chef), which we love and consider to be a really terrific value.

Nice list!
Maribel is online now  
Apr 24th, 2008, 04:11 PM
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Gracejoan recently posted a review of Ferrnandaise; she liked it a lot. See her Paris Report for details. A recent issue of Gourmet magazine had an in-depth review of Le Comptoir.
Underhill is online now  
Apr 24th, 2008, 04:17 PM
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We enjoyed La Ferrandaise so much, we returned another day for dinner.

But, I think you have to figure out which you'd find most appealing to you, and keep in mind that much turns on what you order.

If this will be your first day after an overnight flight, I'd recommend the closest one to your hotel.
djkbooks is offline  
Apr 24th, 2008, 04:20 PM
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Forgot to mention that the April Paris Notes, "Paris Bites" by Rosa Jackson, has an in depth review of Afaria.
3 course dinner (sans wine): €30-35 p.p.
Maribel is online now  
Apr 24th, 2008, 05:49 PM
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Good thread to bookmark
todor is offline  
Apr 28th, 2008, 11:16 AM
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Ekscrunchy, yes, many places were closed b/c May 1 was later in the week so they are closed for the long weekend. Maribel, we LOVE Le Troquet, and that is usually our first dinner in Paris, since it never disappoints, but they are closed the first week of May. I am excited about Afaria too and will report back.AGM, we are having dinner at Le Comptoir-reservations were made 7 months ago!
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Apr 28th, 2008, 01:02 PM
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I'd give a lot of thought as to whether it's a good idea to have that wonderful dinner on your first night in Paris. We find that our first day is spent unpacking, long showers, looking over the neighborhood and, by evening, feeling "done in." I much prefer to grab a bite whenever I'm ready for it, in a local cafe in my clean, casual clothes to dressing nicely and finding my way to a restaurant where my exhaustion might keep me from really enjoying the special (and expensive) aspect of that meal.

Just my thoughts...
MelJ is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 05:37 AM
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MelJ, this will be our 4th trip to Paris and we always eat a good meal for dinner. We are also fortunate enough to be renting an apt w/ an early check in so we can take a short nap and shower rather than walking around like the living dead waiting for our 4pm hotel check in! Thanks though for your input.
Last year we also went out to lunch and were faced w/ the blackboards! We speak some French but always find those menu blackboards intimidating, especially when we are tired. This time we will just get a baguette, serrano ham et al at Davoli for lunch. I get the feeling Ferraindaise and Fish may be a bit easier to navigate the menu than Paul Bert.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 09:00 AM
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Just download the food glossary from Patricia Wells' website. It's a pdf document. If you have the latest version of Adobe Reader, you can print it booklet style to carry around with you.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 09:36 AM
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Another vote for the Patricia Wells glossary, assuming it's the same one that is printed in her Paris and France Guides that I canabalized from those guides and take with me on my trips. I've usually been quite able to decipher most menus using it and actually feel a bit disappointed when I find English translations and get cheated out of the fun of using them for discovery.

I've eaten only at Fish, of the three you are debating among, but the other two are on my list. All are relatively casual and shouldn't require much "dress up" time for your first night, so I'm guessing you can't go wrong but should probably at least consider proximity to your lodging on that first night.

Of greater concern to me is your still holding tables at 3 really good restaurants only 5 days before you're scheduled to be there, intending to welch on two of the three. (Oh dear, is welch a non-PC term which will insult some posters here? If so, please understand I grew up with it and intend no disrespect) At any rate, and also without zeroing in on the OP, I ask is this a common practice? Seems unfair to all the others, including potentially many fellow (sorry, can't seem to shake this PC problem today) Fodorites, who are calling to reserve only to be told the place is booked when a table could be available. No wonder we are now expected increasingly to give a confirming call the day of our reservation--extra work I'd rather not spend my time in Paris doing. Anyone else find this a bit unfair--for lack of a better term?
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Apr 29th, 2008, 10:32 AM
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JulieV, I understand your issue. I made the Fish and Ferraindaise reservations within the last week and Paul Bert less than 2 weeks ago. I intend to decide by end of day today and will cancel with them. I would also need to confirm each one (if I were keeping all 3) upon arrival or else they will be given away.I know how far I had to book some of my places and how I had to juggle existing reservations to get one at Spring (I did call and cancel and change date!) so I am very aware of your concern.
I do have the Patricia Wells food glossary.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 01:50 PM
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Thanks. I hated to sound so chastising and I appreciate your response. I think folks on both sides of this issue have to be aware of the concerns and situations of the others. I'm about to try to get a reservation at Peter Luger in NYC and understand that even when I get it,--if I get it-- I'll still be required to cool my heels in the bar for some time after my appointed time and then herded into the dining room at lightning quick speed, etc. etc. Supply and demand is a very difficult thing to manage if you're just a cog in the wheel.
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Apr 29th, 2008, 02:10 PM
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Planners saving 3 tables are a godsend to non planners like me who often manage to pick up tables in great restaurants on the night.
Lawchick is offline  
Apr 29th, 2008, 02:30 PM
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Fish is wonderful. You will meet wonderful dining companions (at least we did). Also take time to go to Le Dernier Goutte. Tremendous wines!
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Apr 30th, 2008, 05:59 AM
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JulieV, Peter Luger is in Brooklyn. You can take a cab from NYC. It is great-you need to reserve at least 2 months in advance.
Paris 1953, we are going to Le Dernier Goutte on Sat afternoon after we arrive for the wine tasting to stock up our apt with some good wines.
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