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August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

I agree with you last comment and will tell my wife to leave this at the hotel!

Jul 18, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Thank you!

Jul 18, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

The trip is approaching; I have a few follow-up questions.

Saturday: We'll be jet-lagged and planning on picnicing in Luxembourg leisurely (I plan to do some research on cheese, meat and bread shops nearby). For dinner, I'm still tossing around Chateaubriand. If not, I'm thinking Dauphin or one of Cafe Constant/Cocettes.

Sunday: Versailles during the day, and we'll just figure out lunch there I suppose. Dinner at Comptoir du Relais for sentimental reasons.

Monday: Any dress code at Atelier d'Joel Robuchon? We're hoping to be pretty relaxed and casual most of the trip. For nicer meals I'm hoping I can get by with a nicer pair of pants (not jeans), a button down shirt and some comfortable loafers/boat shoes - any thoughts on whether this would be too dressed down for AJR?

Thanks so much!

Jul 17, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Thanks. I'm starting to change my views. It's just so odd to me how this can happen - on TripAdvisor for example, one review is five stars, the next one, and then that patterns just repeats, over and over again down the page. NYT and others put it on the best places in the world list; others say its inedible. Living in a city with a semi-decent restaurant scene, I tend to agree with most people's lauding of the lauded places in town (sure some are ripoffs or overhyped, but on the whole people have a decent batting average) and I guess I am just not familiar with seeing a place so bad somehow bogarting its way on to everyone's top 10 lists.

Given my limited dining options in August to begin with, I'll have to keep digging I suppose.

May 07, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

Proposal in Paris

Given the following: (a) I live in Chicago, (b) I proposed to my now wife in Paris in mid-May in 2011, (c) I proposed on the western point of Ile de la Cite, (d) we followed that up with a picnic lunch in Luxembourg, I feel a definite affinity to your post.

I'm not as versed on Paris as some are here, but I'll put my thinking cap on. I can't find my old proposal thread (I made almost this exact thread back in 2011), but I know that people here helped us pick great places for bread, cheese, etc. for the picnic. I'll do some digging and report back.

Congrats in advance though! We have our proposal pictures hanging up all throughout our apartment, and people still love hearing the story.

May 07, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Thank you for the honest thoughts - this is what I come to this board for.

I've heard the mixed reviews of Chateaubriand and frankly haven't known what to make of them. On one hand, it seems unlikely to me that a restaurant could be consistently bad and end up so highly praised by so many sources; as such, I've wondered if the negativity was a cynical response to the effusive praise and hype the place has received. On the other hand, it would be awful to go in anticipating the meal of a lifetime ("#19 world's best restaurant on ___ list!") only to be served mediocre food and leave frustrated. After a decent amount of reading up, I'm still not sure. As I said before, my wife and I have a discerning enough palate, but we're not hardcore foodies by any stretch of the imagination. Given that I've had this place on my "to do" list since 2011, and given that I've done this much thinking about it (ha!) I'd like to try to it. If we strike out, or if it's a bad night for the kitchen, ah well - we're still in Paris. We'll definitely be going in with an open mind ready for whatever comes and not expecting the best meal of our lives.

CAJ is closed in August, so it is off our list (fortunately or unfortunately).

Understood as well about Atelier. In truth, the things that you mention are actually the reasons we're looking forward to the meal. We're not heavy eaters, and tend to snack on cheese and bread throughout the day when in Paris, so we're not looking for a "large" gut-bursting dinner. And we specifically do not want a fancy, formal tasting menu dinner - we both work a lot, and would just like a few days to downshift and stroll Paris, drinking wine, and enjoying casual but solidly good meals. And Atelier will be one of our "splurge" dinners (we're doing one in Barca as well, haven't settled on a place yet) that will likely be overpriced but still memorable - we're saving up for these outside of our "trip budget". It's a vacation after all, right?

I will report back and let you know how I felt about each to continue the conversation.

May 07, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Thanks - I don't speak French, but my wife does - do you think I could manage making the call myself in English?

May 02, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Based on our current information:

Saturday: Try our darndest to get into Chateaubriand, either by reserving a month in advance (as I've heard is recommended) or just waiting it out with a bottle of wine on the street for the late seating

Sunday: Les Cocettes / Constant (is either better?) or a repeat of the weekend bistro menu at Le Comptoir du Relais (which we did during the engagement and very much enjoyed)

Monday: Robuchon St. Germain

Obviously disappointed by the timing of it all, but am still very much excited about these options. Open to suggestions if anyone has any.

May 02, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

We have switched to St. Germain - thank you for the recommendation.

May 02, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Okay - I'll see if we can get in at St. Germain. Thank you.

May 01, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

We reserved already, but for the Etoile location (frankly, wasn't aware there was a difference). I'm not in the need of prestige points, and I've heard they're both great. Any reason we'd want to move the reservation to St. Germain?

May 01, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

Yikes. Yes, I'd thought of that but somehow forgotten. I know Robuchon is open as we already have that reservation. It appears Chateaubriand will still be open, but it may be tough to score that reservation.

However, if previous years are any indication, Frenchie and CAJ will be closed, which is a bummer. Sigh... too bad this is the only week I can get off work. We'll just have to make do elsewhere.

May 01, 2013
radioheaded20 in France

August trip - Is my bucket list doable / ho hum?

I surprised my then-fiance (now wife!) with a trip to Paris back in May 2011. Some people on this board helped me find great places to eat, and even recommended the spot where I proposed - right on the western point of Isle de Cite in the little park by Pont Neuf, which was perfect and nice and quiet.

So, now we're going back for a few days in August (first week, Saturday - Tues... great dining nights, I know... sigh) and will then be spending a few days in Barcelona (will be leaving CDG on a Tuesday night flight). Back in 2011, I salivated over the following restaurants while planning the trip but was unable to score reservations for any as I was doing things a bit last minute / unprepared:

Chateaubriand
Frenchie
L'Atelier de Robuchon
Chez Ami Jean

Over time, the mystique in my mind about eating particularly at the first 3 grew and grew so now they're bucket list items of a sort. Now that we're going back, I have the chance (maybe) to try them all, or at least a couple. But I just worry that given all the hype and hoopla that they've become tourist destinations in their own right and the quality has suffered as a result. I've heard mixed reviews of each, and can't tell if this is due to quality issues or the effects of being overhyped (I mean, it is sort of Anthony Bourdain by the numbers to do this itinerary).

I'm sure there are hidden gems that I could swap in, but right now I'm really having a hard time getting over the "magnitude" of the four places in my mind given how long I've viewed these as "must dos." And frankly I don't know when we'll be back.

I guess my question is this: assuming I can get in these places, are they still great? Have any fallen off the mark substantially? My tentative plan would be as follows:

Saturday dinner: Chateaubriand (assuming its even possible to get in... I plan to call a month in advance and cross my fingers) or Ami Jean
Sunday dinner: Robuchon
Monday dinner: Frenchie

And if we score Chateaubriand, we'll do lunch at Ami Jean before our Tuesday night flight out of town. Generally, we plan to do lunches somewhat casually (might try the Reminet set menu, Breizh cafe, but otherwise we'll picnic).

We tell each other we're foodies, but we're clearly not experts. We dine out a lot in Chicago, where we live. She doesn't eat red meat or poultry, I'll eat whatever. We're certainly not wine gurus but we know what we like. We're not looking for anything super formal or dressy - just a good meal, a good bottle of wine, a somewhat casual atmosphere where we can spend time together enjoying great food in the city in which we got engaged before kids come along.

Any thoughts?

May 01, 2013
radioheaded20 in France