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Dinner Near Eiffel Tower

We had dinner at Restaurant Mariette in May and really enjoyed it. The food and service were both lovely. It gets good reviews on LaFourchette (which I trust much more than TA reviews).

The only other restaurant that I've been to on your list is Violon d'Ingres, which was more formal and more expensive.

Jul 27, 2012
ardithl in France

Decent restaurant open on Christmas (12/25) in Paris?

Dec 22, 2011
ardithl in France

The fork or toptable?

I've used TheFork (LaFourchette) several times and it worked very well. If a restaurant that you have chosen uses it, I wouldn't hesitate to make reservations that way. (And check for promotions. One of the restaurants on our list had a good promotion on laFourchette which was honored without any reminder on our part.)

Dec 11, 2011
ardithl in France

Please help with Paris dining choices.

We had dinner at Violon d'Ingres in May. The menu, which we didn't have, was 80€.

We both had a salad starter (about 15), fish for the main course (36 and 39) and dessert (13). Without wine, our bill for two was about 130€.

Of the 12 plats on the carte, eight were 34 - 39 euros.

We also dined at two other places on your list: La Regalade St Honore, which we thoroughly enjoyed, and Le Reminet, which didn't live up to expectations. (However, if you decide on Le Reminet, there is a nice discount if you reserve through LaFourchette.)

Oct 31, 2011
ardithl in France

Paris this weekend - no reservations

LaFourchette is an online reservations site similar to OpenTable. There is a lot to sort through, but you can search for a table for a specific day, sort the results by customer rating, see which places are also listed in the Michelin guide, etc.

I thought there was a thread about restaurants that don't take reservations, like Cafe Constant, but I'm not finding it.

Sep 01, 2011
ardithl in France

Paris 19th arrondissement and

I used LaFourchette / TheFork to reserve many of the restaurants we went to in Paris ( like I use OpenTable in the US). I chose our restaurants without regard to the discounts. Only one place we went, Le Reminet, which gets positive comments on this board and others, had a promotion. We would have eaten there without the promotion, so it was great to get the discount. I thought we were treated with the same respect as other diners. When the waiter brought the check, he mentioned that he'd applied the discount. (Their promotion states "hors menu" and "hors boisson" which means the promotion discount does not apply to the fixed-price menu or drinks.).

I noticed at one other place where we reserved (but ended up canceling) that the fixed-price menu shown as s promotion on TheFork was simply the usual menu price shown on the restaurant's own website.

I just noticed that one of the restaurants that we really enjoyed, Au Petit Marguery, currently has a promotion on Sunday, Monday and Tuesdays. About a month before your trip, it is definitely worth checking TheFork for discounts.

Aug 23, 2011
ardithl in France

La Cigale Recamier (dinner) to Paul's (casual lunch) - PARIS

Here's the link to the cartes:

The waiter at Paul's repeated my order back to me -- a croquet monsieur -- but then brought me a crepe. It was delicious, so I found the menu (carte) online to identify it.

Aug 12, 2011
ardithl in France

Review of our dinners in Paris, Loire Valley, Provence and Lyon

This board was very helpful in planning our trip, so I wanted to report back on our experiences. We don’t have the opportunity to dine in gourmet restaurants very often, so I wanted to have excellent meals on our trip but not food that was “too creative” for us. For that reason, we chose somewhat mainstream restaurants. During our three week trip, we dined at a variety of restaurants in different parts of France, including three one-star Michelin restaurants, and also enjoyed several picnics and roast chicken dinners from the local markets. I can’t describe food in the detail that is given in some other posts, but I can report what we ate (in most cases – I clearly should have taken some notes!) and how we enjoyed both the food and the service. Whether I want to return to a restaurant is usually a good indication of my opinion of its overall quality, so I’m indicating that as well.

For our anniversary dinner, we went to Violon d'Ingres, which was conveniently just around the corner from our hotel. The atmosphere was very tranquil and the waitstaff was very nice; it was our first full day in France and we were somewhat nervous, so I really appreciated their kindness. We both started with a salad of romaine hearts, lardons of ham and parmesan shavings (craving greens after 24 hours of air travel). We both had fish for a main course –the sea bass with almonds and a filet of St. Pierre with anchovy butter. For dessert, we had the “traditionnel millefeuille ‘Christian Constant’” with a little pitcher of very delicious caramel sauce and the chocolate cannellonis with raspberries. The food was delicious, the service was impeccable, and it was quite a memorable dining experience. I understand why it has a Michelin star.

Au Petit Marguery – This traditional French restaurant was lovely, with red walls and white tablecloths, and the service was excellent. The three-course menu was 35E; I had a starter of melon and Serrano ham, duck with nectarines for the main course and a gratin of strawberries and sabayon au Champagne for dessert. The portions were quite large and it was all delicious, a very good value. The other diners were primarily French, and when our dinners were finished we had a delightful conversation with a couple in their 80's at the next table (who were quite curious how we had found their favorite neighborhood restaurant). This was a “would definitely return” restaurant.

La Regalade St Honore – On the Friday night that we dined there, reservations were definitely necessary; they called to confirm our reservation that morning, which was nice. There were other tables with primarily English-speaking guests, but the majority were French speaking. One of the two servers spoke excellent English and the service was very good. As you know, the meal began with a loaf of delicious terrine brought to the table with a jar of cornichons. My husband had the risotto with squid ink and pronounced it delicious. I had a starter with seared tuna that looked beautiful and tasted just as good as it looked. The wonderful rice pudding dessert apparently erased my memory of the details of the main course (duck, I think), but I know I was very happy with it. The 35E menu here was an excellent value. This was also a “would definitely return” restaurant.

Le Reminet -- The small upstairs room was full and we were seated in the cool basement cave which soon filled up too, primarily with non-English speakers. Since we'd had a late lunch, we skipped the starters (to save room for dessert). The service was good, except for the nonchalant response to my cracked champagne flute, and the food was good, but it wasn't as impressive as some of the other meals we enjoyed in Paris. Without the 40% LaFourchette discount, the meal would have been overpriced for just a main course and dessert.

Le Gaigne – They also called to confirm our reservation in the morning; I like that. The one waitstaff who competently served the entire restaurant gave us our choice of tables and took our order for the five course tasting menu. The menu (42E) was very creative; the starters included ham rolled around vegetables that looked like a work of art, a sardine spring roll, a tiny glass of gazpacho, and a piece of mackerel in white wine sauce; the plat was a very tasty guinea hen baked in a salt crust; and the dessert included poached cherries on a dacquoise cake with kirsch cream, topped with a tile cookie, which was great. I think everyone in the room was English-speaking (which doesn’t bother me, but I know it’s important to some). This was a “would probably return” restaurant.

Loire Valley --
Chenonceaux – The Bon Laboureur was my favorite meal of the whole trip. We stayed at the hotel for three nights and had dinner at the restaurant on our last night. I liked that it was not necessary to designate a time; we could simply appear anytime between 7:30 and 9:00. We both chose the 48€ menu which included a starter of foie gras de canard with mango chutney, shrimp accompanied by mashed potatoes with truffle for the main course, and dacquiose praline and ice cream for dessert. The ambiance and service were delightful -- lovely but not stuffy. It would have been enjoyable to eat there every night of our stay. And next time I will be sure to have the cheese course, an amazing assortment delivered on an enormous tray. This was a “would definitely return and would want to eat there every night” restaurant. In my opinion, it totally deserves its Michelin star.

Amboise – La Reserve. Sometimes everything just comes together to create a perfect day. We’d seen beautiful gardens at Villandry, visited the chateau at Azay-le-Rideau, bought baskets in Villaines les Rochers, driven through beautiful countryside near the Vienne River – and now we were hungry on a Sunday evening and in the mood for a more casual dining experience. We guessed that some restaurants would be open in Amboise and we found La Reserve, at the foot of the chateau, with a sidewalk table and a steak frites menu for 16.90, including a terrine starter and dessert. It was just what we wanted.

Provence --
St Remy de Provence – Maison Jaune. We were with a group of 8 and were seated upstairs in a separate room, which the other diners probably appreciated. The food was very good; we had a melon and ham starter, chicken as a main course, and a dessert plate with strawberry soup, lemon butter, and citrus cake. The service was fine, but overall the restaurant was not at the same level as the other starred restaurants.

St Remy de Provence – La Cantina. What can I say -- after a week of great French food, we were ready for a pizza, and La Cantina’s Italian owners make a great one. Good salads and sorbet too. Would return.

Le Paradou – Le Bistro du Paradou. Loved this place. The starter was a choice of ravioli with foie gras or escargots; main course was lamb; and there was a wide selection of desserts, all for 48 euros including wine. Great food, warm, friendly ambiance and great service; it felt like a neighborhood place but visitors were welcome too. Would definitely return.

Lyon –
L’Est. I just had to eat at a Paul Bocuse brasserie and we were very pleased with l’Est. My Poulet Bresse that was the best chicken I’ve ever had in my life. Service was good at the start, but we had to wait a very long time after we asked for our check. It was the largest and loudest restaurant we ate in, and was full of local families on a Saturday night (the evening before mother’s day). The trains running around the perimeter of the room were a fun touch. I would definitely return to a Bocuse brasserie, maybe a different one for variety.

Leon de Lyon did not live up to our expectations. It was mother’s day, but we had a fairly early reservation and the restaurant wasn’t full, so I don’t think the kitchen was overwhelmed. We had the menu (veal accompanied by a cream of morels), which just wasn’t very good in taste or texture. It was served before we’d finished our starter, which made me wonder if it had been prepared too early. Oh well. Every meal can't be perfect.

My thanks to everyone who posts such helpful information on this board and to those who patiently answered my questions. Next trip, we will be more adventurous, but for this trip, we made excellent choices, thanks to your help.

Jul 13, 2011
ardithl in France

Can you help me? ISO small town, great food, within a couple hours of Paris for 2-3 day visit.

Yes, the answer depends on the definition of "smaller town." I liked Lyon very much -- great markets, fun to explore Vieux Lyon -- but to me it's not a small town (although the Presqu'ile area, Vieux Lyon and Les Halles are all within easy walking distance).

Chenonceaux -- and many other towns we visited in the Loire -- are what I consider a small town. We made the mistake of not dining at the Bon Laboureur's restaurant until our last night at the hotel. I wish we'd eaten more meals there, it was that good! Sometimes everything adds up to make a memorable experience, and the Loire in general, and Bon Laboureur in particular, did that for me.

Jun 24, 2011
ardithl in France

Can you help me? ISO small town, great food, within a couple hours of Paris for 2-3 day visit.

Chenonceaux in the Loire Valley has the Bon Laboureur; we stayed at the hotel and loved the food at the restaurant. Tours (St Pierre des Corps) is one hour from Paris by TGV. And the chateaux are impressive too.

Jun 23, 2011
ardithl in France

Violon d'Ingres Dinner Prices

We ate dinner at Violin d'Ingres on May 25. The menu, which we didn't have, was 80 euros. We both had a salad starter (about 15), fish for the main course (36 and 39) and dessert (13). We had a bottle of the house chablis for 45. Our total bill was 176.

Of the 12 plats on the carte, eight were 34 - 39 euros.

Will post a review soon; we just got home from France. We dined very well, thanks to advice from CH.

Jun 19, 2011
ardithl in France

Le Reminet or Drouant (or elsewhere?)

We dined at le Reminet last weekend with the 40% promotion from LaFourchette. The food and atmosphere were good. Our bill for 2 with main course, dessert, and inexpensive wine by the glass (wine not discounted) was $110.

Jun 17, 2011
ardithl in France

Le Reminet on LaFourchette

I went to make a reservation today on LaFourchette and noticed that LeReminet has a special offer available for April reservations. Thought Chowhounders might want to know.

Mar 30, 2011
ardithl in France

When can I make Paris restaurant reservations for May/June?

I am a compulsive planner and already know where we plan to dine on several evenings during our trip in late May - mid June. (Not every moment is planned; I may learn about more must-dos and am also leaving some evenings for spontaneity.) So I am ready to make some reservations, but I'm thinking that January is a bit early. The only starred restaurant on my list is Violon d'Ingres; the other choices are all places mentioned on this board, but I'm not even trying for Spring, etc.

My question is: how soon can I call/fax for reservations without appearing crazy (or being told to call back later)?

Jan 10, 2011
ardithl in France

Lyon for foodies? (Seeking recommendations on dining well & cooking workshops)

There were some very informative posts about Lyon a month or so ago.

They included links to some great Google maps:

Oct 31, 2010
ardithl in France

Paris Restaurants for Beginners

Thanks for the suggestions. I'm not at all offended -- I recognize that we are not as adventurous as others. I'm hoping we'll expand our horizons but it will be a gradual process.

Oct 27, 2010
ardithl in France

Paris Restaurants for Beginners

We are also going to Lyon and the Loire Valley. We're staying at the Bon Laboureur in Chenonceaux and will eat there one night, but don't have any other plans.

Oct 27, 2010
ardithl in France

Paris Restaurants for Beginners

Thanks for all the great suggestions! I think we will try Violon d'Ingres for the anniversary dinner on Monday. It sounds perfect and it has the added benefit of being very close to our hotel.

We might not make a reservation for Sunday. Since that is our arrival day, we may want to eat early or maybe late. We have several good choices: Cafe Constant is also near our hotel, Au Dernier Metro is open late, and Machon d'Henri also sounds good for Sunday (but I haven't found information about its hours).

Any of the other recommendations will work for Tuesday, or for our full week in Paris. We really appreciate the advice.

Oct 21, 2010
ardithl in France

Paris Restaurants for Beginners

I am hoping for recommendations for restaurants for our first three nights in France (a Sunday, Monday and Tuesday). We have no opportunities for adventurous eating in our small town, so we'd like to start out with some relatively simple but delicious meals (one of which -- Monday -- is our 30th anniversary). We'll probably be staying in the 7th.

To provide some context, we'll be in France for 3 weeks. We'll be in Paris for a week at the end of the trip, by which time we'll be more adventurous. Our list of places to try then includes La Regalade St Honoré, Le Reminet, Le Gaigne, and Petite Marguery.

We just added 3 days in Paris to the beginning of our itinerary, so now we need for suggestions for jet-lagged beginners. We generally don't order seafood and I'm not a fan of communal tables. I'd prefer to keep the total tab under 125 Euros (less would be fine) except perhaps for the anniversary dinner.

I hope this makes sense and appreciate your suggestions!

Oct 21, 2010
ardithl in France