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Reserve ahead--or not: Dining in Paris, a variety of approaches to obtaining a table and a (rather long) report of 12 mostly happy mealsList of the 12 restaurants we hit on this trip with their arrondissements:

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Reserve ahead--or not: Dining in Paris, a variety of approaches to obtaining a table and a (rather long) report of 12 mostly happy mealsList of the 12 restaurants we hit on this trip with their arrondissements:

Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:20 AM
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Reserve ahead--or not: Dining in Paris, a variety of approaches to obtaining a table and a (rather long) report of 12 mostly happy mealsList of the 12 restaurants we hit on this trip with their arrondissements:

List of the 12 restaurants we hit on this trip with their arrondissements:
Rotisserie d’en Face 6
Les Racines 6
Brasserie Lutetia 6
La Mediterranee 6
L’Ete en Pounce Douce—or similar 18
Le Christine 6
Le Petit Bofinger 4
Louis Vins 5
New Nioullaville 11
D’Chez Eux 7
Stephane Martin 15
Chez Maitre Paul 6

Planning ahead for dining in Paris

We had 12 meals (other than the lunch-for-breakfast sandwiches mixte I insist on to start the day’s excursions) to expend on our recent 6 day trip to Paris (April 9 to 16) to celebrate my birthday and our anniversary and I wanted to make the most of them.

As my husband and I plan trips, there is always a bit of a tug between his approach to dining and mine. He thinks that serendipity is the best guide and I want advance reservations, carefully selected after weeks or even months of study and will plan whole days around a major meal. He always wants at least one Chinese meal on every trip and would be perfectly happy if all of them were Chinese. I want French—of any type, but mostly bistro.

Accommodation to each other’s styles over the years has finally worked into a pattern where we reserve for a few highly important meals and then agree to “wing it” for others—which means that I have to carry lots of notes and guidebooks to be prepared to instantly have a place appear wherever we might be when hunger strikes and he expects to just look around and find the perfect spot for lunch. Here’s how it all shook out on this trip.

I hope the information helps those who wonder whether it’s necessary to reserve all meals weeks or even months, in advance, or just have the hotel call a day or two in advance, or just walk in. The answer is “all three” and even some variations on those themes but it varies by type and location of restaurant, what else is going on in town while you’re there and by how critical the meal is to your happiness.

Usually we travel with another couple, and getting spur of the moment seating can be more problematic for four than for two. In the past we’ve even had all of our meals prebooked before getting on the plane. This time we left home without a single meal reserved in advance. Before we left however I combed my restaurant guides to develop a list of recommended places near our hotel and on our first day, we did a walk about to acquaint ourselves with our surrounds and seek the identified restaurants out, have a look at their menus and make some preliminary picks of ones we’d like to try.

I also kept my Zagat with me at all times to be able to check places we found along the way and to call ahead if I knew we’d be near someplace I wanted to dine when lunch time began to come upon us. That, and some honest to goodness serendipity, worked pretty well for us on this trip.

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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:27 AM
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oops, sorry for this long post title. I've been working to learn how to bold items in posts and then overlooked too much stuff in the title. Sorry, the damage is done and I can't fix it. Hope it doesn't annoy anyone. Maybe I'll just start over and the error will sink. Please read the revised thread.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:34 AM
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I like long titles.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:51 AM
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This will be a helpful thread, no doubt and I like the title!

I've never reserved, but then, we don't eat at the really pricey or famous establishments. Frankly, after a long day of walking around Paris, we're usually famished and ready for a relatively early dinner (no matter how gauche that may appear to those who cringe at being taken for tourists). Few people make reservations for the earlier hours so, as long as the restaurant indicates it's serving dinner at that hour, we've had no difficulty just "walking in" and being seated.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 05:52 AM
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I like the long title, and the bold type. and that you listed all the resturants first, then reviewed them. Makes it easier to decide if it's something one wants to read... and I do want to read this one as we leave for paris in 9 days!
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 07:03 AM
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But you didn't (yet) tell us about each restaurant:
What did you eat?
How much did it cost?
Would you recommend it again?
What was "special" about the restaurant?
I'm waiting...........
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 12:50 PM
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My apologies to those who responded to this aborted thread. I started over--look for a similar but shorter title still starting with Reserve ahead--or not. All the reviews of the restaurants are there. Happy eating.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 01:14 PM
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I also like to start the day with a sandwich mixte. Nice to know there are two of us. I ate breakfast at the same cafe for a week one time, and they had the bread out as soon as they saw me walk in the door. They also got used to the fact that I was going to drink my first grand express in one gulp. Then, once my eyes were open, I would sip slowly like everyone else!
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 03:40 PM
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Ackislander if anything untoward happens to DH, you're on.
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Old Apr 30th, 2008, 04:42 PM
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Heck, let's just put it all in the subject line from now on
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