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Need recommendation for a special dinner in Paris


Sep 6th, 2012, 02:39 PM
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Need recommendation for a special dinner in Paris

My wife and I will be spending a week in Paris in early December. We will be leaving the kids behind and celebrating my wife's 40th birthday there. She has never been to Paris, and I have not been in many many years.

I'm looking for some recommendations on where to go for a special dinner on the night of her 40th. I have plenty of advice on restaurants from guidebooks, and I know I could use our concierge at our hotel once we arrive. But I wanted to seek the advice from you Paris lovers (and maybe natives) on what might be a great experience. I also realize it might be best to make a reservation in advance of our trip (and perhaps tips on how best to do that too).

Food type is not really an issue. Budget is not really an issue either (although it occurs to me that I hadn't planned on packing a suit, but suppose I could, or at least pack a tie, if necessary.)

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Sep 6th, 2012, 02:46 PM
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jp - if budget really isn't your problem, then the world is almost literally your oyster in Paris.

however, if you might like to consider a lunch rather than a dinner - many of the top restaurants have lunch menus which are substantially cheaper than their a la carte offerings, though in this context, less expensive might be a better description.

there are several "top restaurants in Paris" threads here.
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Sep 6th, 2012, 03:02 PM
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I would suggest Jules Verne in the Eiffel Tower, if you want to give her an experience you will both remember for a long, long, time. http://www.lejulesverne-paris.com/

The lunch fixed price "Menu" is €88, not including drinks. The dinner a la carte choice could run you considerably more, but well worth it, IMHO, for such a special occasion.
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Sep 6th, 2012, 03:16 PM
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I suggest Le Tren Bleu. Beautiful setting and good food. Pricey but not over the top.
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Sep 6th, 2012, 03:32 PM
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Helene Darroze
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Sep 6th, 2012, 04:36 PM
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Since you have access to a concierge, I would have them make reservations for you in advance of your arrival.

As to where, it's hard to advise if you really have no food type preference or budget limitations! How about atmosphere? Formal, casual, trendy, quiet, boisterous, palatial, cozy?

Just to throw something out there, I might be tempted by the new dinner format at Chez L'Ami Jean.
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Sep 6th, 2012, 04:41 PM
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Link to see if it might appeal http://thepariskitchen.com/2012/07/c...new-lami-jean/

I wouldn't worry about packing a suit if that's all you'll use it for. Very few restaurants require a jacket and I've seen all types of dress even at Michelin starred restaurants.
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Sep 6th, 2012, 06:37 PM
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Le Train Bleu or Le Grand Vefour
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Sep 6th, 2012, 07:34 PM
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Help us a little - what kind of food and restaurants does your wife like? Formal, fancy, casual, quiet, romantic, loud and energetic, what is most likely to appeal to her?

Do you want a restaurant near your hotel, or are you willing to go anywhere in the city?

Of the Paris restaurants I've been to, for a sophisticated upscale "bistro" - though it didn't seem much like a bistro to me - Le Bon Accueil. Or, nearby, I've heard good things about le Violon d’Ingres, though I haven't been yet. In the 14th Arr., we had a special experience at Michel Rostang, an intimate, cozy restaurant that also has two Michelin stars. But it all depends on what she'd enjoy most.
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Sep 6th, 2012, 10:45 PM
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At the most expensive restaurants, getting reservations may well be difficult.

Make reservations at least 2 months in advance.

If you want the best of the best, try one of these

This is a website I use for higher end restaurants in Paris.

You can read Gayot's reviews of these restaurants, jus click on the review page for each restaurant.

Don't fill out the choices on the first page and you can see all of their listings.

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Sep 7th, 2012, 07:09 AM
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Thanks so much for all the suggestions.

Yes, sorry, I know I didn't provide much guidance (we're open minded), and I realize there are countless threads devoted to restaurants in Paris, but I thought it would be helpful to hear some singular favs and other advice and tips.

In terms of some more guidance: My wife only turns 40 once and we rarely get out for a upscale meal away from our young kids. So romantic and "fancy" would be two things we are looking for. Do not want loud and energetic for this night. We like all sorts of food, especially French or any European. We are urbanites, and we used to almost consider ourselves foodies, so we are familiar with great restaurants (though probably not Paris great!). We are staying in the 9th arrondissement (if that matters).

Again thanks so much for the help so far, and please keep them coming!
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Sep 7th, 2012, 07:23 AM
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L'Atelier de Joël Robuchon. Saint-Germain location is counters only while Etoile location has counter and tables. If you want to watch the culinary art in action, you want the counter seating.
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Sep 7th, 2012, 07:51 AM
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Are you OK with no choice menus? Is there anything you don't eat? The one I recommended above is basically no choice at dinner though I'm sure they'll take into consideration allergies and things you absolutely don't eat but if you have a lot of "don't eats", it may be difficult. I haven't been to Chez L'Ami Jean since the format change. It used to be loud and boisterous but it seems they're going for more upscale and reserved at dinner now.

Do you prefer more modern or traditional food?

More toward the modern end, I very much like Kei http://www.restaurant-kei.fr/welcome.html You choose the main meat course here but again it's mostly no choice.

A friend of mine went to L'Auberge du 15 and raved about it http://www.laubergedu15.com/index.php The food is more traditional and it's a bit farther away from where you are.

Both of the above have small, intimate, somewhat but not overly formal dining rooms for a special night out.

If you want over the top fawning there's Le Cinq at the Four Seasons http://www.fourseasons.com/paris/din...rants/le_cinq/ You'll need a jacket here and they do offer a lunch prix fixe 7 days a week for 95 euros. The dining room is palatial and they go all out with the Christmas decorations. The food leans traditional.

For one of your other nights, I really liked this bistro in the 9th http://www.restaurant-les-saisons.com/

I have 2 trip reports with descriptions of many of the above restaurants if you're interested:


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Sep 7th, 2012, 08:31 AM
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We had lunch years ago at Jules Vernes in the Eiffel Tower. Since you are going in early December I would recommend lunch rather than dinner because you can see more of the view. Probably the ideal time would be summer where you could watch the sunset over Paris.

We dined at Le Auberge du 15 in June and the food was very good. I wouldn't consider it that traditional except in the dining room. We had a tuna with eggplant, eggplant puree, tomato concasse and balsamic vinegar that was out of this world.
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Sep 7th, 2012, 09:53 AM
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I will go out on a limb and recommend Flo, which will only set you back about 30€ per person but which is a little jewel box of a restaurant in an unexpected location. After walking up a slightly gritty street (albeit in the heart of the theatre district), you enter a cobbled courtyard and it shines in front of you.

It would be a good place particularly if your wife is wondering "where on earth is he taking me?"

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Sep 7th, 2012, 09:55 AM
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Sorry, here is a more direct link: http://www.brasserieflo-paris.com/fr/
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Sep 7th, 2012, 09:57 AM
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What about Taillevent (www.taillevent.com) since it's a very special celebration?
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Sep 7th, 2012, 10:11 AM
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Ate at a great little restaurant on the Ile St Louis this past July called Sorza, great food and atmosphere. Small and quaint and definitely will go back.
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Sep 7th, 2012, 01:10 PM
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I would suggest Violon d'Ingres which is located on rue Sainte-Dominique in the 7th. Really a lovely spot with great food.

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Sep 7th, 2012, 02:22 PM
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I second (or third) Violon d'Ingres. The food is great and it is a very comfortable spot. If you are more adventuresome, you might like Ze Kitchen Gallerie in the 6th which serves French/Asian fusion cuisine. If really high end is what you are looking for, Taillevent fits the bill.
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