Paris 1* Lunch - Please pick one from this list of 5

For my upcoming, twice-postponed trip to Paris et al. Please kindly help me select one Michelin 1* luncheon venue for our party of 3, from this short list.
Looking for deliciousness and value for money…need to be relatively full at the end of the meal! Ha!

    …any other good value choices worth considering?

Maybe I should splurge and treat my 2 kids to the 2* Le Clarence instead? Does the 130 Euro for 3 courses meal offer enough food to a growing man though?

Thanks in advance

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My choice is le Clarence, it’s another level. I like l’Arcane though.

Sure it will be enough. Be prepared to eat for hours, as each course consists of several dishes, not counting the hors-d’œuvres, etc, etc…


Thanks naf.
Just checked, L’arcane closed for lunch on Thursday…our date. Sigh!

I don’t think it’s particularly important, but your title is 1* lunch. Since 2 years, Montée is no longer a Michelin star restaurant.

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Ref: Le Clarence
There are so many 1 out of 5 star ratings on Tripadvisor recently. Scary enough to give considering it a second thought??!!
Decor, ambiance wow-factor aside, maybe ‘Granite’ is a safer bet for consistency and better food/value?!

We went to Le Clarence for lunch this past fall; I agree it was wonderful. 2*, much higher level ambience than the places on your list, and of course also higher cost (though not that much higher at lunch than Alliance). I thought it very fair value. It was plenty of food for this hearty eater, and about the same I’d say as the others on this list, though surely not so much as, say, pre-pandemic L’Ami Jean… :wink:

Returned to Montee in the fall. Fine, but less impressed this most recent time.

Going back to Alliance in a couple weeks, so I can let you know then. Many on this board would recommend it most among the 1* places on your list.

I’ve heard here that L’Arcane not as good since they moved, but I’ve not been since the move.

Automne was very good the one time we went this past fall for dinner. Haven’t been for lunch, but I don’t think I’d put it atop this list.

I’ve only been to Granite once, for dinner, also this past fall. Expensive and quite good, but I have no reference here personally re: the lunch meal.

Alliance. How old are your kids? Do they enjoy 2 hour lunches? (Over 3 at Le Clarence).

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FWIW, I have eaten twice at L’Arcane since their move. The first time, I ate solo out on the terrace and loved my meal, service, ambiance. It was a beautiful evening, and I ate my way through the long menu. I think both the chef and his wife were not around that night (either vacances, or having their second child, I cannot recall), but the second time, I ate with a friend inside, great to see both the chef and his wife around, but something about the room and meal left me underwhelmed. It is no longer a constantly changing “surprise” menu (it wasn’t when I ate on the terrace either), and I think it is not changing so much, nor as interesting or fun as before.

I look at the menu every time I am going to Paris and simply am not drawn to go back.

Oh!! They are both adults in their 30’s. However, 3 hours seemed to be a bit long for lunch since we will be having another loooong affair a couple of days down the road at ‘L’Assiette Champenoise’ in Reims!
So far, leaning towards a meal at Granite…could be a more elaborate dinner with a simple bistro lunch instead?!
Ref: Le Clarence
The recent 1 and 2 stars reviews on Tripadvisor seem more than a just coincidence and could be sign of some underlying ’ post-covid ’ related problems. Too risky gambling using one of our precious meal slots. Nothing but good thing about Granite though!

I’m joining Le Clarence’s cheer-leading team. The setting, service, food makes it much more of an only-in-Paris experience.

As for the Tripadvisor reviews, rubbish. I would suspect ulterior motives or downright malice for some unknown reviewer to give outrageously low marks to a restaurant that normally gets rave reviews. I have eaten there twice this year and can assure you there are no “underlying ‘post-covid’ related problems”.

I wonder why your short-list of Michelin one-stars is so short. What are your criteria?

FWIW, my current favourite Michelin 1-stars for lunch are Mallory Gabsi in the 17th (a short walk from the Arc de Triomphe) and Pantagruel in Sentier/ 2nd. Of course, I am a creature of caprice and, with the embarrassment of culinary riches in Paris, my “favourites” could be different next month… or even next week.

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Aren’t we all ?

Not in my experience. Too many of us get stuck in a “predictability” rut where the familiar becomes the major theme and purpose or in a monkey-see/ monkey-do mode.

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Thanks for your valued information!
“Mallory Gabsi” looks very interesting and enticing. Might even eat there for dinner instead?!
As for my shortlist?! …guess based mostly on ‘past’ recommendations and reviews?!
To pick just 1 out of 5 is quite challenging enough! :laughing:

I agree with Parn - Le Clarence is much more special than the other restaurants mentioned. Re Pantagruel, I’ve only eaten there once. They lost electricity at the beginning of the meal and we could see that it was a challenge but they managed to bring us a delightful meal despite no electricity.

Interesting picking a 2* for lunch could bring about so many uncertainties!
I do agree that almost ALL reviews that I came across dated back about a year or so, all gave Le Clarence thumbs-up and near perfect to perfect ratings.
However, it’s a bit disconcerting to see so many recent, independent, negative 1 or 2 stars ratings popping up, from not just Tripadvisors but Yelp and Google…etc. Bad service plus overpowering and inedible flavour profiles were the two major complaints. Due to the independent nature of the reviewers and their focusing on similar issues, I doubt it has anything to do with “ulterior motives or downright malice”.
Anyways, since I value food/taste over the rest of the total package of…wine, service, ambiance, decor, table-setting…etc, I believe the following 4 short listed candidates, compiled by myself and with valued input from other fraternity members, should provide our party with at least one or two memorable dining experiences!
So, right now I just have to decide on:
Alliance, Granite, Mallory Gabsi and Pantagruel :laughing: :thinking: :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Dinner at Pantagruel last month was amazing.

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With no extra knowledge, I completely disagree. The fact that the reviews you cite all focus on similar issues means to me that it is overwhelmingly likely that there are ulterior motives, and extremely unlikely that the reviews are in fact independent of each other.

Having eaten at Le Clarence in the fall and quite enjoyed it, I find it completely implausible for such over-the-top negative reviews to be true. The idea of truly bad service there or inedible food I would give zero credibility. Had the reviews spoken of “indifferent” service or “mediocre” food that the reviewers believe was overpriced, those would at least have a chance to be legitimate, credible reviews. But multiple similar extreme ones? IMHO no chance at all.


I can only reference what I read.
Still, hard to explain the at least five, 1-2 star rating reviews from October 2022 onwards, from bloggers ( with photos ) who came from all 4 corners of the world…Singapore, LA, Palm Spring, China…etc. Some even with a history of over 100 posted reviews? No reason for them to fabricate lies?!
Anyways, enough said. Let’s move on. If indeed our party would like to pick a 2* to try, there are 14 more great ones to choose from? No?!
Personally, for fun and a challenge, I would prefer picking a great 1* with the potential of it gaining an extra star in the near future. I did that years ago trying out L’Arpege when it had only 1*, Sushi Saito in Tokyo when it too was only a 1* ( now a hard-to-get-in 3* ) and most recently David Toutain, when it too was a 1* and happy to see it getting another just a few months later!


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@bcc. In your opinion, how does Alliance compare to Pantagruel and Mallory Gabsi ?