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HELP - Three Nights in Philadelphia

Thanks, everyone, for the great ideas. I ended up booking Zahav, Osteria and Fork. Vernick had no availability other than 5:30 p.m., which didn't work for us. Really liked the look of The Farm and Fisherman, but perhaps more for my wife and me rather than the whole family.

Can't wait to try them all!

Feb 05, 2014
Tennyson in Philadelphia

HELP - Three Nights in Philadelphia

Love all the feedback! Many thanks.

Caganer, it's interesting that you made the comparison to Oleana -- that is one of my very favorite Boston area restaurants. If Zahav is similar, I'm sure we would like it but perhaps we should try something else.

I like the look of Le Virtu. Maybe we should go there instead of Osteria or Amis?

If we have to choose one between Vernick and Farm and Fisherman, what does everyone think? Vernick might have a buzzier vibe (poor choice of words), which might appeal to my kids a little more...

Feb 05, 2014
Tennyson in Philadelphia

HELP - Three Nights in Philadelphia

Hi All -

My wife and I and our 17-year old twin boys will be in Philadelphia for three nights (Monday - Wednesday) in late February. We'd love some ideas for three interesting, lively and upscale places for dinner, perhaps places that typify what Philly does best. Pricey is ok, although we're probably going to avoid the top, top end such as Vetri. We're pretty adventurous eaters (even the boys, although I would probabaly skip Vedge - don't think they'll do vegan!). We're staying near Rittenhouse Square but we can jump in a cab so location is not crucial.

So far, here are some that I am considering:
-- Vernick
-- Ela
-- Osteria or Amis (if we do one of these, which one?)
-- Amada (our boys love Toro in Boston so we thought they might go for this)
-- The Farm and the Fisherman

What do you think? Any others?

Thanks very much!

Feb 05, 2014
Tennyson in Philadelphia

Paris Restaurants Around Christmas

Parigi -

Thanks very much for your response. Great suggestions. Just curious, if we end up having to go the hotel-restaurant route on Saturday, December 24 (because everything else is closed), can you please recommend a place that might be a more comfortable place for a larger group which includes several teenagers? The boys will be well-behaved and dressed up so that is not a concern.

I am thinking Le Bristol possibly. My wife and I have been to Le Meurice and loved it but it's probably too ornate and intimate-feeling for our group and I think they are closed on Saturdays anyway. I suppose Le Cinq could also be a possibility.

Thanks again!!!

Aug 12, 2011
Tennyson in France

Paris Restaurants Around Christmas

Hi Everyone -

My family of four and our friends, another family or four, will be spending several days together in Paris around Christmas this year. We are going to be there beginning on Friday, December 23 until Monday, December 26. We have two boys, twins age 15, and our friends have two boys, age 15 and 13.

All of the kids are experienced travelers and enjoy good food. In the past, we have found that with the kids we have the best luck with places that serve great food but are more fast-paced and casual than a typical haute cuisine, three-star restaurant (we have frequently done well at places that serve small plates for example). Toward that end, we have booked a table at L'Atelier du Joel Robuchon Etoile for dinner on Christmas Day. All of the adults in the two families have been to other L'Ateliers in the past and loved them and we think this will work well with the kids.

However, I am struggling with where to book for Friday, December 23 and Saturday, December 24. We have multiple challenges -- a large party, the weekend and Christmas Eve. I have read quite a few of Chowhound posts on this topic and know that hotel restaurants are often a good bet at this time of year and, as to the smaller places, one needs to call in advance to find out whether they plan to be open around the holidays. Unfortunately, most of the best hotel restaurants tend to be more formal and elaborate and may not be a good match for our group with all of the boys. So I am focusing more on smaller bistros with great food. I am thinking that it would be fun to try a more traditonal bistro one night and then one with more creative cooking the other night (not wedded to this, however). The adults all love wine as well so a good wine list is important.

With apologies for that long introduction, the places I am considering for Friday and Saturday night are as follows:

-- Frenchie (I believe only open on Friday, not Saturday?)
-- Josephine Chez Dumonet (also only open on Friday?)
-- Les Papilles
-- Chez L'Ami Jean
-- Itineraries
-- Christophe

I would really appreciate any thoughts on the above places given the size and composition of our group and the time of year. I'd also love any thoughts on any other places we should consider.

Thanks so much for all of your help.

Aug 12, 2011
Tennyson in France

Berlin Breakfast and Pre-Concert Suggestions

Hi Everyone -

My wife and I and our 14-year old twin boys will be in Berlin for 3-4 days in February. I would really appreciate some advice on breakfast places near our hotel and a good choice for an early dinner before a Berliner Philharmoniker concert at the Philharmonie.

Our hotel is in Mitte very close to the Gendarmenmarkt so ideally the breakfast places would be near that.

For the pre-concert dinner, I was actually thinking of Borchardt since it is also close to our hotel and I assume they serve all day so we could eat early and then walk or catch a taxi to the Philharmonie (concert starts at 8 p.m.). But I'm open to any other suggestions. My kids are pretty adventurous and we've taken them to a wide variety of places over the years so pretty much anything is fair game.

Just for background, some places we are considering for dinner for the other nights we are there are Weinbar-Rutz, Henne, Trattoria Paparazzi, Lutter & Wenger.and Altes Europa. I am assuming that these may not be good choices for a pre-concert dinner because they are either too far away or places where dinner would likely take too long.

Thanks very much for your help!

Jan 28, 2011
Tennyson in Europe

Seeking London Long Weekend Suggestions

My wife and I will be in London for three nights later in October and would love some feedback on some of the restaurants we are considering. For this trip, we are looking for upscale places with interesting food, but not necessarily fine dining. Would be fun to have some variety, with a good Indian restaurant thrown in for example. We are staying in Soho and, although many of the places we are considering are in or around that area, we don't need to limit ourselves strictly to the West End (although we probably won't want to stray too far afield given the limited time we have).

So if you had to pick three places from the following list, which woud you choose?

Arbutus
Hix
Providores
Bocca di Lupo
Cinnamon Club
Polpo

Are there others that I should consider?

Just to complete the picture for you, we are going to be in the City one morning and will probably stroll up to Modern Pantry for lunch. We may also choose to go to Polpo for lunch instead of dinner since I understand that we can make reservations there for lunch but not dinner and it tends to get mobbed at night.

Thanks very much for your help!!!

Oct 08, 2010
Tennyson in U.K./Ireland

Recommendations for Interesting Upscale/Mid-Range San Francisco Restaurant

Thanks to everyone for the great recommendations and ideas. Frances sounds perfect but unfortuately they have no availability before July 2 (we are visiting in June). Quince also looks really good, but they have nothing on our night other than 5:30 so that one is out as well.

Nopa is a definite contender and we are also now looking at Spruce. Spruce seems to have a strong wine list, which is important to us. However, I'm having a hard time getting a read on the food there. Seems like reviews are mixed. Can anyone provide a little more feedback on their experience there?

Thanks again.

-----
Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

May 11, 2010
Tennyson in San Francisco Bay Area

Recommendations for Interesting Upscale/Mid-Range San Francisco Restaurant

Hi Everyone -

My wife and I will be in San Francisco for one night in June and I'm looking for guidance in choosing a place for dinner that night. I am most interested in an upscale/mid-range (not quite fine dining) restaurant focused on local, seasonal ingredients and with a very good wine list strong in smaller, lesser known Napa, Sonoma wines that we would not necessarily be able to find at home. We are from Boston but have visited San Francisco quite a bit over the years (last visit about 5 years ago, however).

Based on my research so far, here are some of the places I am considering:

-- Nopa
-- Quince (I have read that they have moved recently but haven't heard many reports)
-- 1550 Hyde
-- Piperade
-- SPQR
-- Boulevard (I ate here years ago but my wife has not)
-- Incanto

I haven't completely ruled out going up a tier on the fine dining/price scale (I have to admit that Coi looks pretty interesting), but I am leaning more towards mid-range for this particular meal. This is the first night of a 4-day trip in the area and we will have just arrived in San Francisco from the east coast so I'm not sure we'll be up for a more elaborate meal. In the past, we have eaten at La Folie, Michael Mina and Fleur de Lys (with La Folie being our favorite among those three), so if we do go the fine dining route, we would probably want to try some place new.

I would love to hear any of your thoughts on the above places or suggestions for any others that we should consider.

Thanks very much.

-----
La Folie
2316 Polk St., San Francisco, CA 94109

Piperade
1015 Battery St., San Francisco, CA 94111

Nopa
560 Divisadero St, San Francisco, CA 94117

1550 Hyde
1550 Hyde St, San Francisco, CA 94109

SPQR
1911 Fillmore Street, San Francisco, CA 94115

May 05, 2010
Tennyson in San Francisco Bay Area

River North Breakfast Ideas

Hi Everyone -

My wife and I and our 13-year old twin boys are going to be in Chicago for a few days in April and are staying at the Trump Hotel in the River North area.

Can anyone please give me some ideas for breakfast places near the hotel? The hotel looks very nice, but we'll probably want to avoid paying $100+ for breakfast (in order to be able to spend the $$ on dinners out, of course).

Thanks very much.

Mar 11, 2010
Tennyson in Chicago Area

Pre-Theater Dinner Suggestions

Thanks, City Kid and RGR. Excellent suggestions and I think the basic advice about sticking around the Theater District for dinner makes a lot of sense. I have made reservations at dbBistro Moderne. I had actually wanted to try that in any event and had forgotten that it was so close to Theater District. Looking foward to it.

Jul 07, 2009
Tennyson in Manhattan

Pre-Theater Dinner Suggestions

My wife and I will be in NYC for a weekend in late July and I would love some feedback on my dinner ideas for one of the nights we will be there. On Friday night of that weekend, we are going to a play (8 p.m. curtain) in midtown and need to figure out where to go for an early dinner beforehand. We are staying in Soho so we could eat there or in the Village and try to grab a cab or we could eat closer to the theater.

Looking for high quality, but not formal. Timing will be tight so we will have to try to get a table for 5:30 or even a bit earlier if possible and have finished dinner in no more than two hours. Some of these may not make sense given the timing issues and location, but I am considering the following:

-- Babbo (may not be able to get reservation anyway)
-- Scarpetta
-- Esca
-- Blue Hill
-- Little Owl
-- Red Cat
-- Spotted Pig

On Saturday night, we are having a more leisurely dinner at Eleven Madison Park so that night is all set. But Friday is the trickier night since we have theater tickets.

I would very much appreciate any and all suggestions!!

Many thanks.

Jul 07, 2009
Tennyson in Manhattan

Napa/Sonoma Tips

Thanks everyone. Actually, Sonomajom, we very much prefer the burgundian-style pinots to the fruit forward ones so Merry Edwards looks to be right up our alley.

May 21, 2009
Tennyson in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa/Sonoma Tips

Thanks everyone for these great suggestions. I have a follow-up question. A major focus of our visit will be to visit a select group of smaller, boutique wineries, preferably ones specializing in pinot noirs. Our emphasis would be on high quality wines from producers who don't produce a high volume. We don't mind making appointments or paying a tasting fee for the right wineries. Based on my initial research, Merry Edwards and Hartford appear to be the types of places that would fit the bill.

My question is -- if we stay at the Carneros Inn, are we basing ourselves in the wrong area? The more I read, the more I think we ought to consider Healdsburg. If we do decide to stay in Carneros, are there smaller wineries in Napa Valley or in lower Sonoma Valley that would provide the same quality wines (even if not pinot)?

Thanks so much.

May 19, 2009
Tennyson in San Francisco Bay Area

Napa/Sonoma Tips

Hi Everyone -

My wife and I will be in the Napa/Sonoma area for three days in July to celebrate her 50th birthday and I would love some feedback on restaurant choices for the trip. We have reservations for The French Laundry for one of the nights and need to choose places for the other two nights we will be there. Since TFL will cover the high-end of the spectrum, I am interested in more casual, relaxed places but ones with high quality food that will provide some contrast with TFL.

The restaurants I am considering for the other two nights are:

-- Ad Hoc
-- Angele
-- Bistro Jeanty
-- Barndiva
-- Bouchon
-- The Girl and the Fig
-- Martini House
-- Pilar

Not quite sure where we are staying yet, but I am considering the Carneros Inn, which appears to be fairly close to Napa/Yountville and Sonoma (although somewhat of a hike from Healdsburg). If anyone has ideas for any other places to stay, I'd also love to hear them. We will be trying to visit a number of smaller wineries (we've been to Napa Valley several times in the past and have hit many of the big wineries there), probably making appointments if necessary. It's a special occasion so a splurge is ok.

Thanks very much for your help.

May 17, 2009
Tennyson in San Francisco Bay Area

Just Back from L.A. - Trip Report

Just got back from a week in L.A. and since everyone on this board was so great in helping us plan our trip, I thought reporting back on our experiences was the least I could do. Most of the places we went to are popular restaurants that have been reviewed many times here so I'm not sure that I have any unique insights. My wife and I did go to each place with our sons (twins, age 11 1/2) and our college-age niece was with us at several of them so maybe this could be useful to anyone thinking of trying any of these restaurants with kids in tow. We also ate at some less noteworthy places (such as the ESPN Zone at Disneyland) which I haven't bothered to describe in this post.

Angelina Osteria -- We loved Angelina Osteria. To be honest, I was on the fence about going here because although it is highly regarded in general I have read some mixed things about it recently. However, we had a great experience here. The service was warm and gracious and the food really delivered. Nothing was too complex but everything they did they did very very well. A wonderful choice for families.

Patina -- Patina was ok, but I though it was way overpriced for the quality and service we received. I knew going in that Patina was not what it once was but we chose it because we were going to a concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall and we wanted a high-end place to take our niece to before the concert and this seemed like the best bet near the concert hall. The food was a mixed bag. As a first course, I had a garlic veloute that was wonderful but my main course of monkfish was nothing special. While our server was pleasant, the service generally was harried with a long delay between the first and second courses (our reservation was at 5:30 but we just barely made it to the 8:00 concert and it's right next door). We ordered a bottle of wine and after the sommelier poured the first glass, he put the bottle on a side table at the other end of the room and disappeared. No one poured us another glass when we finished our first and we had to ask the server to retrieve the bottle so we could have more. Not a big deal in a more casual restaurant and I wouldn't even mention it, but for a place with the aspirations and prices of a Patina, it's a pretty glaring lapse. Not that they will want it, but my advice to Patina would be to decide whether they want to be a serious, top rank restaurant or a lower priced, but still high quality bistro where people can get a good, interesting meal before the concert. Right now, it seems they are trying to combine the high-end fine dining experience with the pre-concert thing and based on our meal there, it's not really working.

Joe's -- We liked Joe's. A creative menu and relaxed vibe. Had some really nicely prepared fish dishes. Chef quite adept with sauces. A nice choice after strolling and window-shopping on Abbott-Kinney Boulevard, a really fun, offbeat street to explore. Good, solid bistro cuisine.

A.O.C. -- We were able to get a reservation here at the last minute. I was trying to talk the group into Mexican but couldn't sell my wife or niece, neither of whom are big fans of Mexican cuisine. A.O.C. was really fun. We loved the small plate concept, particularly for a group. Everything we had was great. Memorable dishes included a leek tart, rabbit ragout, ham/egg/gruyere brioche. Fantastic desserts. Service was efficient and our server was smart and engaging and repeatedly steered us in the right direction.

Pizzeria Mozza -- After the initial rave reviews of this place, there seems to be a little Mozza backlash so I went here thinking it might not live up the hype. But if you can deal with the deafening noise (which is not necessarily a bad thing when you are with kids), the pizza here is terrific. It won't change your life, but for gourmet pizza, it's hard to beat. I'm from Boston and we have a number of Figs around here which are a Todd English take on gourmet pizza. Pizzeria Mozza blows Figs out of the water. Not even close. We had the fennel sausage pizza (my favorite), the three cheese pizza (my wife's fav -- it has a cooler sounding name than that but I can't remember it) and the goat cheese and bacon pizza which was also fab. Also fun people-watching.

Lucques -- This was the restaurant I was looking forward to going to above all of the others based on the great reviews it has gotten over the years and what I anticipated would be a very relaxed and comfortable setting. I had also been told that among the top places in L.A., Lucques would be one of the more kid-friendly restaurants given the whole Sunday Supper ethos. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with our overall experience at Lucques, primarily based on the way we were treated when we arrived. I should note that we took our two boys to the restaurant but all of us were nicely dressed (I was in a jacket and tie, my wife in an elegant outfit and the boys in polo shirts, jeans and loafers). Our kids are almost 12 years old, not toddlers, and we have taken them out to eat in nice places in Paris, London, Rome, Venice, Vienna, New York and Boston. We make a big deal out of proper behavior in restaurants and they are well behaved when we go out to eat (we really stress manners, especially when eating out). The reservation was for 7 p.m. on a Wednesday not prime time on Saturday or Friday (not that that should matter), which I figured was a good time to eat out with kids. But the woman at the front desk could not have been ruder to us when we arrived. She made it very clear to us through her behavior that they did not want us there. She seemed to be astounded that we had the temerity to bring children to the restaurant and then engaged in a sotto voce conversation with the maitre'd which was obviously about about where they could stash us out of sight of the hip clientele (her motives were so obvious that this conversation would have been hilarious if it weren't so offensive). So even though I had made the reservation almost a month in advance, we were banished to the most remote table in the patio/airplane hanger in the back. My wife was none too happy about how we were treated but asked nicely if we could be moved to the main part of the restaurant where several tables were clearly available. Eventually, we were moved (although the maitre'd didn't do it right away, he had to check and then came back and said he first had to break down a table. I think he was hoping we would relent). All of this was too bad because the food was very good and our server was a delightful guy. The rest of the meal was fine. But unfortunately the tone was set by the woman at the front of the house and we had a negative feeling for the rest of the night. I was disappointed because I didn't think Lucques would be the type of place that would treat people differently based on who they are or are not. That is not the message I got from reading reviews of the place or from Suzanne Goin's cookbook (of which I am a big fan). So I hope it was just an off night for the person at the front and not representative of the typical experience there.

Thanks again for all of the help I received in planning our trip. We had a wonderful time in L.A. and still have a long list of other places to try on our next trip. Sorry for the length of this post.

Apr 25, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

Boston Hound Seeks L.A. Food Itinerary Advice

We haven't gone yet (going later in the month). But I will report back after we return.

Thanks to everyone for the terrific advice. I had decided to go to Asanebo for lunch after visiting Warner Bros. studios but unfortunately, we are going to be at Warner Bros. on Monday and Asanebo is closed on Mondays. Oh well. Love the Nata's and Leda's suggestions, though. I think my kids will love either place and these are exactly the types of places I wouldn't have found without Chowhound.

Apr 08, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

Boston Hound Seeks L.A. Food Itinerary Advice

Thanks everyone. After thinking this through some more, I have decided to scrap my attempt at combining sushi places and celeb-sighting and just focus on good sushi. We are going to be going on a Warner Bros. studio tour one of the days we are in town and I thought we might try either Asanebo or Katsu-ya in Studio City for lunch after the tour. The food at both of these seems to be more highly regarded than at any of the scenester Japanese places I was previously considering.

Any preferences as between these two for lunch (again, we'll have two 11 year olds in tow)?

Thanks.

Mar 31, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

Boston Hound Seeks L.A. Food Itinerary Advice

Thanks everyone for your advice. Emme, appreciate the Katana suggestion. Do you prefer that over Katsuya?

Also really appreciate the insider tip regarding Urth Caffe. That sounds like fun.

Mar 28, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

Boston Hound Seeks L.A. Food Itinerary Advice

My wife and I and our two kids (twins, age 11) will be in L.A. for six nights in April. My kids are pretty adventurous eaters. So far, we've made reservations at the following:

Patina (going to concert at Walt Disney Concert Hall; dinner before concert)
Lucques
Pizzeria Mozza
Joe's (going to be hanging out in Venice that day, then having early dinner at Joe's)

So we have two more nights to fill and am looking for places that are uniquely L.A. and unlike what we can get in Boston or NYC. I am thinking of Mexican on one of these nights, possibly Monte Alban or Babita, and Japanese the other. But I'm not wedded to these and would love any other suggestions. For Japanese, I am interested in a place with good food but which also has a hip atmosphere with celebrity-sighting potential -- I think that would be fun for the kids and would be an environment they are not likely to encounter in Boston. It doesn't have to be Urasawa quality (not sure any of us have a sufficient appreciation for sushi to warrant the expense) but would at least like food to be solid. I know Koi is an obvious choice but I've heard the food isn't that good. Others have recommended Katsuya (Brentwood or Hollywood??). Would appreciate any thoughts on this.

Thanks very much!

Mar 27, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

Advice on Mexican and Japanese Spots

My wife and I are going to be visiting L.A. with our kids in the near future (11 year old boys) and would love recommendations for a good Mexican restaurant and a good Japanese restaurant. We are staying in Beverly Hills and will have a car.

I have read a lot of the posts on these topics and frankly my head is swimming with all of the divergent views. For Mexican, I have seen many recommendations for Babita. I know it is a little out of the way, but as luck would have it, on one of the days of our trip, we will be in Claremont so I thought we might be able to hit Babita for dinner that night on the way back to L.A. Does that make sense logistically? Other Mexican places that many seem high on include Monte Alban and Tlapazola Grill. Could all of you Mexican food experts out there please weigh in on this?

As for Japanese, I'm not sure I'm up for the Nobu/Matsuhisa thing -- while they look great, not sure it will be worth the expense for us given that the kids may not have a sufficient appreciation for the style. A friend recommended Koi as an alternative. I know that it is very trendy and the food generally not as good as the Nobu places, but I thought the kids would enjoy the buzz, people-watching aspect while at the same time getting good Japanese cuisine. Any thoughts on this or any other Japanese place that we should consider?

Many thanks.

Mar 15, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

LA Restaurants in April

Thanks for the responses to my post. My kids would also rebel if we tried to schedule too many meals like this during our vacation but we generally enjoy trying to go to at least one upscale place like Sona, etc. when we travel. The kids like it and feel like they are big deals for a night-- but if we tried to do it every night they definitely wouldn't go for it. That's why we are also looking for more casual places for most of the nights (like Apple Pan, Pizzeria Mozza, Angelina Osteria, etc.) we are in L.A. That being said, should we assume that Sona would be a 4-5 hour affair? If that is the case, it might be a bit much for them. If it helps, we wouldn't be getting the tasting menu.

I've also read generally good things about Grace. How does that compare?

Thanks again for all of your help.

Feb 07, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

LA Restaurants in April

My wife and I will be in L.A. with our two boys for a week in April and I would greatly appreciate some feedback on some of the restaurants we are considering. We are staying in Beverly Hills. My sons are 11 years old (twins) and are fairly adventurous eaters. We have traveled quite a bit with them and taken them to upscale places in the past so we are not necessarily limited to purely child-friendly choices. For example, while I wouldn't take them to a Michelin three-star restaurant, we have done very well with them at places like La Folie and Michael Mina in San Francisco. That being said, we would only attempt a couple of those types of places during the week we will be in L.A. and the rest of the time, we'll mix it up with more casual options, burgers, pizza, Mexican, etc.

The places we are considering are:

Matsuhisa
Sona
Lucques
Hatfields
Pizzeria Mozza
Angelina Osteria
Apple Pan
Border Grill

As among Sona, Lucques and Hatfields, we'd probably just pick one (unless a persuasive Chowhound convinces us that more than one of these is a must) so I'd be curious to see which one people would recommend based on our situation.

I'd love to hear your thoughts on the above or any others that you think we should consider. Thanks so much!!

Feb 07, 2008
Tennyson in Los Angeles Area

Two Star Le Meurice for 45 euros

Souphie -

Thanks for the information on Le Meurice. We are thinking of staying there in January (and eating at the main restaurant) and I have been trying to find out about the status of the Starck renovations but until your post haven't been able to get any update.

Just to make sure I didn't misinterpret your post, could you please confirm that the renovations are done and, if so, what are the reviews on them?

Thanks so much.

Oct 27, 2007
Tennyson in France

Paris Restaurants in January

Souphie, thanks so much for your suggestions.

One follow-up question. I have recently read some very impressive reviews of Les Ambassadeurs and am wondering how this compares with Le Meurice at the moment (thinking of going to one of those two for lunch and L'Ambrosie for dinner while we are there). They seem very similar in many respects but I am curious what the latest buzz is as to which chef is thought to be more on his game currently. I have also heard that Le Meurice is getting a design makeover by Phillippe Starck and would love it if anyone knows what the status of that is and when it is expected to be done. That could affect our decision; not sure I want to go there while the room is in the middle of renovations.

Thanks again.

Oct 02, 2007
Tennyson in France

Paris Restaurants in January

My wife and I will be spending four nights in Paris in January and would greatly appreciate some guidance on restaurants. We are thinking of going to one or two haute cuisine places, one or two more casual "chef bistros" (ala Camdeborde) and one or two classic bistros. While it's tough to generalize across this broad a range of restaurants, we tend to like places that have a simple elegance and that don't necessarily offer a ton of choices but where everything that is on the menu is done really well (sorry, I know that is probably so general it is almost meaningless). At the same time, some innovation is appreciated but probably not as much as Gagnaire. The places we are currently thinking about are the following:

--Haute Cuisine - L'Ambrosie and/or Le Meurice. I know that L'Ambrosie may fit the profile described above more than Le Meurice but I like what I have read about both of these and can't decide between them. From reading the many posts on these two, it sounds like L'Ambrosie is generally regarded as having the better food, but perhaps Le Meurice the better (or at least warmer) service. I am thinking of going to one for dinner and perhaps the other for lunch (not on same day, of course). Would love any of your thoughts on which might be better for lunch versus dinner.

-- Chef Bistros - Le Temp Au Temps, Le Comptoir du Relais (probably for lunch; assume I can't get a reservation for dinner), Le Pamphlet (not sure if it really falls into this category) and/or Le Chateaubriand. Of these, I am leaning toward Le Temp au Temps and Le Pamphlet for dinner and maybe trying to get into Le Comptoir for lunch. Le Chateaubriand seems interesting, but reading between the lines, I get the feeling it may be getting accolades more for its trendiness than its food.

-- Classic Bistros - Le Bistrot Paul Bert and/or Benoit. Thinking about Le Bistrot Paul Bert for dinner and perhaps Benoit for lunch. We went to Aux Lyonnais a few years ago and really liked it and thought it might be fun to give Benoit a try to see how it measures up.

I have really enjoyed reading all of the expert commentary on Chowhound in the past and would very much appreciate any ideas/thoughts anyone can give me on the above. Sorry for the length of this post.

Sep 11, 2007
Tennyson in France