Paris 3***, and other trip planning thoughts

Hi All-

Just curious if anyone has recent feedback or secondhand knowledge of Le Cinq and Epicure? We are coming in late October and hoping to maximize three nights in town.

We have David Toutain confirmed Friday night (lunch at Mokonuts). Saturday was thinking of one of these 3 stars OR Yam’tcha. Although based on this board, Montee is making a late push!

Sunday- will likely do something more like a traditional bistro. Le Colimaçon in the Marais has jumped out a few times. As had Le bon Georges. (We previously loved the vibe at Paul Bert, but obviously not open on Sunday.)

Thanks for any insights!

I would prefer Yam’tcha to most 3***

We went to Le Cinq for lunch about 4 years ago and enjoyed it very much. No experience there at dinner.

The only 3* in Paris we’ve been to (3 times over 15 years) for dinner is Guy Savoy, which I’ll happily recommend, and is open on Saturdays. The new Left Bank location in the Bank(!) is impressive. The first time you go, make sure to have both the oysters and the artichoke soup.

A little context. I am not a huge fan of these 3-star temples of gastronomy (just too reverential and rarified) but I happen to be in an industry that does a lot of expense-account entertaining and have been to many 3-stars over the years. However, because of covid, the only 3-star I’ve sampled lately is Guy Savoy which, in the past, I have preferred over Le Cinq and Epicure. Having said that, I prefer the 2-star Le Clarence over Guy Savoy. The reasons are totally subjective. I have no idea whether Le Cinq, Epicure, Guy Savoy, or Le Clarence would match your own personality, style, and taste buds the best. So, maybe eenie, meenie, miney moe…

I don’t remember having a meal at Colimaçon, at least in the last decade. But, somehow, I do have the impression that it is one of the better tourist-pleasing trad restos in this part of the Marais. I should add that I, like many Parisians in the chattering classes, rarely go to this part of the Marais anymore. It has lost its once considerable appeal now that it has been taken over by French provincial and foreign tourists and suburban daytrippers. The chattering classes have migrated, inter alia, north to the Haut Marais in the upper 3rd and the 11th and so it’s difficult to persuade friends/ family/ colleagues to consider restos in the Marais tourist zone these days. Especially for a trad meal unless extremely good value or a very specifically parisian, very neighbourhoody vibe. But as a short-stay visitor, your dynamics are very different from mine as a local. If Colimaçon appeals, go for it. Judging from your love for Bistrot Paul Bert, our tastes are probably very different in any case. As a Parisian I have always been disappointed by Bistrot Paul Bert and consider it just another tourist experience. Ironic that it is marketed as the quintessential Parisian bistro when hardly any Parisians go to it anymore.

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My problem with multiple starred kitchens is that they necessarily produce and reproduce what may have originally been a jaw-dropping plate. But that very reproduceability makes it, to me, lacking the, je ne sais quoi, that made it notable. I WANT there to be a difference in cooking when the chef is out of house. I WANT to see that familiar head periodically peeking out from the kitchen door.