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Paris with 9 people - How important are dinner reservations?

Paris with 9 people - How important are dinner reservations?

Old Mar 17th, 2015, 11:54 AM
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Rue de la Huchette or rue de la Harpe are two places I would avoid. These places attract tourists due to their being near Ile de la Cité and are definitely not known for the skill in their kitchens.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 01:35 PM
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I used to eat there... 40 years ago. Frankly, I think that most of what they serve still pleases the majority of tourists on a strict budget. The competition certainly keeps the prices down.

In spite of the ridiculous nickname "Bacteria Alley," the health controls in Parisian restaurants are so strict that these places would have been closed down decades ago if the rumors were true. A lot of jealousy comes into play.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 02:00 PM
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I like gyros and would have eaten in one of those restaurants once just for convenience, but it was really, really noisy. It was open to the street, I think, I just couldn't stand it. I wouldn't expect to get sick there, just not what I would want.

La Coupole is big enough, for sure, I don't think you could get that many in some of the other brasseries that company owns (like Balzar, it is tiny). I would think this request often would be a special event and for a group that might have a special room to itself. Of course, only big restaurants would have a room for groups to reserve.

I do like Chez Clement for a chain (I go to the one in Montparnasse occasionally), and they would be able to do that, I bet. They would be better than rue de la Huchette, and a nicer ambience, also.

I think they could at Bouillon Racine, also, in St Germain. I've read some criticisms of that restaurant, but I've always liked what I had there, although I haven't been in a couple years. I only have eaten downstairs, but I think they have a large room upstairs and plenty of space between tables. You can book for 8, but have to call for a group larger than that. And while others thing Bofingers is terrible (see other thread), I'm sure they could do it, also.

Actually, lafourchette.com might be helpful here and make it easy. Many restaurants are on it now in Paris, and I've used it. All you do it put in the 9 people and your date/time and it shows you al the possibilities.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 02:09 PM
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Quite a few restaurants have upstairs rooms that they open only for groups. I would be a bit wary of this, because the 'extra' rooms often completely lack the charm of the main restaurant.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 06:57 PM
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"How important are dinner reservations" Not very if you are not interested in sitting down to lunch or dinner.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 06:58 PM
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We had a great meal at the iconic Bofinger in the Marais for 9 last summer; I called in advance for reservations.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 07:41 PM
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Well, I don't see why if a restaurant can take a table of 4 or 5 people for a reservation, why they wouldn't be able to sit those two tables next to each other or abutting each other. Unless it is a very small place.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 07:42 PM
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But, yes, I agree you would need a reservation.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 08:32 PM
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I love La Coupole.. try and get a reservation there ( it shouldn't be too hard,, it would just be more difficult to walk in).. its one of those "Hemminway ate here places" that still turns out decent food..

Reservations are fairly important for many places.. even for smaller groups.. but for a group of nine... yes.. make reservations.

They don't have to be all wildly in advance.. while out touring about if you see a place that interests you ,(and remember all restaurants are required to post their menus outside) then pop in and ask for a reservation for that night or the next night.. if the place is not too small they will usually try and accomadate you.
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Old Mar 17th, 2015, 09:33 PM
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Why not .. Sarastro, are you ever eat there ?

Unfortunately natali20, I have eaten on both rue de la Huchette and rue de la Harpe. They were OK 20+ years ago. Now however, I advise you to avoid these restaurants or anywhere that needs someone at the door to entice you inside.

La Coupole does not take reservations.
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Old Mar 18th, 2015, 12:08 AM
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I ate there four years ago and at that time they most certainly did take reservations since I made one!
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Old Mar 18th, 2015, 12:35 AM
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My apologies justineparis. I just called la Coupole and they indeed do accept reservations. It would be a great place for 9 people.
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Old Mar 18th, 2015, 03:21 AM
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I knew my post would open that up--and it was not a place that had a hawker outside--and we were hungry. And DSIL did get the hero to eat on the street later on, not inside.
To make you feel better about our later choices, we had a birthday dinner at La Florimond, and also at La Procope--and the meal at rue Huchette may have been better than that one and certainly with less drama when we were overcharged!! LOL
La Coupole is good, but you don't have to totally stick to the big brasseries.
We also ate at the brasserie on the corner at Ecole Militaire metro stop. But making reservations isn't that difficult.
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