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Help! BOFINGER or LA FERMETTE MARBOEUF for beautiful Paris dinner?

Help! BOFINGER or LA FERMETTE MARBOEUF for beautiful Paris dinner?

Old Jan 4th, 2005, 07:54 AM
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Help! BOFINGER or LA FERMETTE MARBOEUF for beautiful Paris dinner?

Hi All,

I have heard positive things about both restaurants and would love to hear your input! Both seem to have beautiful decor and fine food; perhaps the final deciding factor should be price(?).

Please share your thoughts.

Thanks, as always...
Betty
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 08:04 AM
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I can't help you with La Fermette Marboeuf, but we have eaten at Bofinger many times and always enjoyed it. We found the prices to be good, particularly for bottles of champagne. If you dine there, be sure to request non-smoking - under the stained glass dome.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 08:13 AM
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I've only eaten lunch at Bofinger and have always enjoyed it, but this summer I chose Fermette Marboeuf for my birthday dinner -- our last night in Paris and in Europe. It was wonderful and yes we did reserve in the domed room. Although I'm diabetic I did splurge for the Grand Marnier Souffle which was worth every point of sugar I shot up afterwards!

The funny thing is, I chose this out of a memory of being a place we ate our first trip to Paris some 20 years ago. When we got there, I realized this wasn't the place -- as the place I was thinking of which looked very similar and was in that same area, was actually upstairs. Or could it have been that they also used to have a big upstairs room? I've never figured that out.

Price? we had a bottle of nice bordeaux (can't believe I never wrote down what it was). My partner had a cold tomatoe soup with anise, rack of lamb with potatoes anna, and a strawberry-rhubarb shortbread tart. I had a terrine of layers of foie gras, fillet of beef with bernaise, and various vegetables, and the souffle.
Our total bill was 144.50 euro. It seemed a bargain for that.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 08:18 AM
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Lori and Patrick,

Thank you for your responses. Gasp! I may just have to eat at BOTH places...

May the $ rise SOON...

--Betty
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 08:48 AM
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Patrick, I am so jealous! Isn't that Grand Marnier Souffle to die for? I had it in Sept 2002 when my husband & I were there, and in Sept 2003 my mother & I went there as well. The whole meal was delicious, but the main reason I wanted to return was that souffle. I was greatly disappointed to find that it was no longer on the menu and had been substituted with another souffle, dried fruit or something that didn't appeal to me at all. They must have put it back on the menu. I wonder if other people in addition to me were asking for it...

Anyway, betty, in 2002 my husband & I spent 148 Euro (including 3 courses each plus wine) and in 2003 my mother & I spent 90 Euro (2 courses each plus wine for 1). Great food both times. The second time the highlight was my appetizer, mussels with spinach and curry sauce. Mmmmmm.
Enjoy!
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 08:57 AM
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Bofinger is a classic and historic Brasserie across from the new Opera House in the Bastille, but it is also a major tourist attraction and is always packed after the opera. It gets a 13/20 food rating in the Gayot Guide and is fairly expensive, and would not be my first choice for dining in Paris.

For something a bit more moderately priced, I suggest you check out Les Bookinistes, 53, Quai des Grands Augustins in the 6th, or L’Avant Gout, 26 Rue Bobillo in the 13th.
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Old Jan 4th, 2005, 09:41 AM
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I believe it was Christina who mentioned here that le Bouillon Racine
www.bouillon-racine.com
has great food in an absolutely gorgeous art nouveau setting.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 02:18 AM
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Although the meal I had at Fermette Marbeuf on my most recent trip to Paris was not as good as I had recalled previous meals there, the setting is lovely and overall I think it makes for the most comfortable dining experience of the 3 (including the suggested Boullion Racine) options. But why not check out the decor in all three places by also having a drink (make it a champagne toast) in the other two? Both Bofinger and B.Racine have bars where you can sit and sip and see much of the beautiful decor (at Bofinger, you'll need to leave the bar and pop your head into the main dining room). As to price comparisons Zagat offers the following food/price info: Bofinger 18/50, Fermette 17/56, and B. Racine 13/35. I would agree that the food I've had at Bofinger is just a bit better than at Fermette and quite a bit better than at Racine, though the latter has Waterzooi, a Belgian chicken stew in cream sauce that I find very satisfying. Wherever you decide to dine, enjoy. But do try to at least pop into all of them so you can make your own comparison for future visits.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 04:20 AM
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Julie V,
Thank you for your advice! The bar idea is a smart one. Also, since I am really passionate about Grand Marnier Souffles, perhaps I will end up choosing a restaurant based on who offers that gorgeous dessert!
But, yes, I am also a big fan of Belle Epoque decor.
I am currently also looking into VIOLON d'INGRES, of which I have heard a lot of positive feedback.
Best wishes from NYC...Betty
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 07:12 AM
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Have been to La Fermette. It was one of the most beautiful restaurants ever. It was Valentines day, so menu was price fixed at 70 euros. Each woman was given a rose and the menu as a keepsake. My wife had it framed, because she love it so much. Food was wonderful.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:04 AM
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EddiB,

Thanks for sharing! Yes, Fermette does indeeed look lovely.

--Betty
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:09 AM
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I do like Bouillon Racine and they have a pretty restaurant, but it's not quite as over-the-top etc as Fermette Marboeuf. It's not quite that glamorous.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 09:24 AM
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Years ago on my first visit to Paris, I dined at the Vagenede, on the Bd Saint-Germain ; beveled mirrors, beautiful stained glass ceiling and paneling with pastoral scenes. So long ago I can't remember the food but remember its Art Nouveau beauty
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 12:27 PM
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Cigalechante, food at Vagenade is brasserie style choucroute and plateau de fruits de mer. You're right about the decor being quite beautiful. Another place to stop but probably for lunch more than an upscale dinner.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 01:43 PM
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Probably the reason you don't remember the food at Vagenade, cigalechanta, is that it isn't very memorable and is quite overpriced for what it is. It's practically next door to the apartment I've rented the last two years and only tried it once, but the interior is indeed beautiful, if claustrophobic.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 01:45 PM
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Betty070
JUst fyi, unless they've changed their decor, Le Violon has modern, understated decor. Not quite minimalist, and not cold, but sleek and contemporary.

Yes, I recall years ago that Vegenande had gorgeous decor. Even at that time though, I thought the food and experience wasn't up to snuff or the price.

I think another restaurant that's supposed to have art nouveau decor is
Laperouse.
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 02:05 PM
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While the idea of eating in a train station is a major put-off, and I've never done it, can anyone recommend Le Train Bleau (?) in Gare de Lyon? It has to be one of the most beautiful interiors in Paris and gets great reviews -- I think?
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Old Jan 5th, 2005, 02:19 PM
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Yes, I recommend it and it is beautiful. One of my first discoveries from MFK Fisher years ago.
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Old Jan 7th, 2005, 07:05 AM
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Patrick,

I too heard that Le Train Bleu is quite impressive, but people have recommended going there for a drink only (to soak up the environment). Alas, the food doesn't match the decor in impressiveness.

Cheers!
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