Restaurants in Paris

Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 12:39 PM
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Restaurants in Paris

I am taking my wife to Paris for her 30th birthday. Any recommendations on restaurants?
mattnando is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 01:40 PM
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We can be more helpful if you'd let us know if you are interested in expensive (Michelin starred?) moderately priced,etc., and what else you may be looking for in a restaurant, such as cutting edge vs traditional cuisine.
grandmere is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 01:43 PM
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Hi M,

If youe enter <Paris Restaurant> in the "search this forum" box you will find all that you want to know.

What's your budget?

ira is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 02:36 PM
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Just curious . . has anyone eaten at any restaurant in Paris that they would not go back to or reccomend?

Rich is offline  
Old Feb 22nd, 2007, 02:38 PM
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Hi Rich,

I don't think that I'm the only one.

ira is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2007, 07:56 AM
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Well . . maybe you and I are the only ones . . I used to go there a lot on bidness and ate at a faux Pub in the 7th that was terrible. The worst of both worlds . . at least the Guiness was good!
Rich is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:02 AM
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Rich..yes , two of them!

The cafe at the Petit Palais and Leon de Bruxelles...or maybe we are just spoiled by the wonderfull mussels we get in Belgium and at our favorite London restaurant!
jody is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:07 AM
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Since Leon trucks in their mussels DAILY from Belgium, I'm curious what they do to them to make them so much worse than the wonderful ones you get IN Belgium?
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:09 AM
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Theu overcook them!
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:12 AM
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Here are two that I reported on earlier:
Lenotre – This is that place that you have passed on the Champs Elysses and have wondered what it was. It is a cooking school, a store for chef supplies as well as a restaurant. Although the food was tasty enough, it wasn’t up to the price that they charged. The service was spotty and, with Lenotre’s reputation, I thought the desserts would have been more exceptional.

Le Violon D’Ingres – This restaurant was recommended by someone whose opinion I very much respect. We had high expectations for this place and the meal and it just didn’t seem to deliver. Consistency has been a criticism but Christian Constant was supposedly there that night. The menu contained but a few of his tried and true recipes, with no specials. The menu listed a bar with almonds and a fish feature – they turned out to be one and the same. The sautéed foie gras with gingerbread coating lacked the spectacular presentation it deserved. Don’t get me wrong – the food was marvellous – just not spectacular. Maybe we were expecting too much. Our attentive waiter had a terrible cold which made me wish he were a little less attentive.

A third is Tour D'Argent for which I can't find the review right now.
BTW We love Leons de Bruxelles FOR WHAT IT IS - an inexpensive chain that prepares mussles 12 months year in a variety of sauces. Does it compare o a favorite restaurant - I should think not. But a complete dinner for less than €12... What do you pay in London?
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 09:24 AM
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La Tour D'Argent is one we don't recommend:
La Tour d'Argent
Booking five months ago got us fourth on the list resulting in a table by the window looking over Pont De La Tournelle and Ile St Louis. Service is certainly attentive here from the several greeters at the door, the stewards, wine waiters, busboys, sommeliers. It is a fine looking old place with huge murals, heavy silver, gilted everything. It is worth ordering water if only to drink from a silver wine goblet.
The amuse bouche was an unimpressive assortment of canapes with the exception of one with fish roe on it.
For an entrée I had the foie gras with black truffles(getting boring) presented with a white wine aspic and a port aspic. The foie gras was scooped elegantly from a tableside cart. Be prepared for a large portion, smooth as silk and as buttery as, well, butter.
Sandra had white asperagus on phyllo pastry with a white, cream and chive sauce with numerous morel mushrooms. We laughed because this was the exact dish I had been served at Moissonnier last night minus the morels. Except I got twice the asparagus for one fifth the cost.
For our plat principal we both had the classic caneton Tour D'Argent (must be ordered for two). They first show you the whole duck partially cooked, not in the quacking state. We did notice that ours had a shattered drumstick end which was neat because it allowed us to later positively identify our bird on the plate. The meal is served in two stages. First we had the pressed 7breast meat prepared in a wine and duck blood gravy. Slightly gamey tasting, I was pleasantly surprised that it wasn't as rare as I had been warned. Three little potato pillows were fascinating as they disappeared when pierced.
The second stage was a plain, lukewarm leg and thigh with a spoonful of Bearnaise sauce. A delightful side salad in a light vinaigrette suited. This meal came with the numbered postcard identifying our young male duck as being number 1030416 in the succession of those who have given up their lives to serve the gluttony of Tour D'Argent patrons. We were able to get the man himself, Claude Terrail, to sign our card.
Dessert was the sharing of a poached peach flambe with vanilla ice cream - very tasty but a bit of a disappointment as they prepare all sauces at a central station and only flambe this one at your table. To me the tableside presentation is why you order this type of dessert.
The delices were unremarkable little tidbits except for one tiny custard tart with raspberries on it. A miniature macaron and a chocolate truffle followed.
My order of an espresso brought a larger, weaker version, like a café long, maybe designed to please the American palates?
Our experience was somewhat jaded by their initial inability to find our reservation, confusion over correct orders at a neighbouring table, and a final inability of the coatcheck lady without our help to find our property. As well, there is more attentive service in a restaurant like La Truffiere where you have one or two servers assigned to you as opposed to the Tour's habit of ten or twelve waiters looking after a half a dozen tables.
Still, a great experience in a venerable, old establishment
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 10:04 AM
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Jody, if they overcooked your mussels, that's unfortunate. I've had them at various Leon's locations in Paris probably a dozen times and if anything, I think some would find them undercooked -- barely steamed in the wonderful choice of liquids. I've eaten many mussels in various locations in Belgium, and I've never had better ones, and I don't think I've ever had "cheaper" ones either.
Incidentally, for the non purists like my partner, Leons offers "escargot style" mussels -- served on the half shell and run under a broiler with lots of garlic butter. They'll gladly even bring you a second plate if you like. One of the reasons we like Leon's is because Lee doesn't like picking at mussels, but loves them this way. So nice to have the option.

Meanwhile, I've sort of given up on Belgo Central in London which used to be a favorite, but seems to have gotten more and more expensive, and the mussels portions have gotten smaller and I've had to pick out a few "very strong tasting" ones. It's a great bargain if you want to eat at 5 PM or so, but otherwise, it's no longer a cheapy which sitting on backless benches at communal tables would somehow indicate.

Robjame, interesting review of Tour d'Argent. I don't think it's at all a unique assessment, as it seems I've read all those comments about the place numerous times before. Too bad. We pass as "half of us" don't like duck. I'd be happy ordering it for two and eat the whole thing, but that might require a second mortgage on the castle at home.
NeoPatrick is offline  
Old Feb 24th, 2007, 10:05 AM
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Don’t get me wrong – the food was marvellous – just not spectacular. Maybe we were expecting too much.

I guess you were.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 01:16 PM
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Ah, too bad about Le Violon d'Ingres. I had a lovely dinner there a few months ago....then again, I wasn't sure what to expect. Catherine & Christian Constant were there, and in addition to the regular menu there was a 5 or 6 course tasting menu that enabled you to "taste the specialties of Mr. Constant."

For restaurants I would not return to: Flunch.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 01:48 PM
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I've only eaten in Léon de Bruxelles twice, both times several years ago, but as to quality, they were excellent (once moules marinière, the other time "l'escargot style.) I guess you hit it on a bad night, Jody.

The very worst mussels I've ever had in my life were in Brussels. I was very disappointed.
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Old Feb 24th, 2007, 02:42 PM
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My husband and I really enjoy The Perraudin and Le Petit Prince both in the 5th.
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