Paris Restaurant Reviews

I was a longtime lurker on Chowhound and now Hungry Onion. My husband and I just got back from a month in Provence, Tuscany and ending in Paris. This is our fourth visit to Paris in the last 6 years. We decided to try all new places (which was hard because we loved Alliance, Aspic and Montee so much last trip). We had some real winners and some strong losers that I strongly suggest skipping. I am leaving out the long list of Cafes and bistros we stopped in except for a few “famous ones”. I will say Cafe de Paris on rue du buci had the best St Germain Spritz I have ever had.
Day 1
Stopped at A. Lacroix Patissier
for a treat. It was a favorite the first 2 trips but has changed owners twice (according to an employee) and it wasn’t quite as a good. Still good but not fantastic like before
Dinner: La Table du Colette
This was a beautiful meal. We were set to go last year and bailed due to me getting food poisoning from fish in the Côte d’Azur and being scared there would fish. Luckily for us we went this time and we loved it. Every dish was fabulous with obvious attention to detail. If you are worried it will be too vegetable heavy and not filling, don’t be. Service was also fantastic. I would go back in a heart beat
Day 2
Dinner: Perception
Another winner. We really enjoyed this meal. Service was another level. So incredibly friendly. The dishes were well thought out and all the ingredients worked perfect together. The wine pairing was fantastic. Only my husband had it but they were so sweet and gave me little samples without asking (I ordered other drinks). It was hot in the restaurant but that would not stop me from going back. This was an exciting menu to experience
Day 3
Dinner: La Ciel
So we knew we were being super risky going here. However we wanted the view. We should’ve just gone to the roof for champagne. We were blessed by an amazing sunset right after a huge thunderstorm. The view was breathtaking for 15 minutes. There is literally not a good thing I can say about this place. If you want the view go to the roof top. The restaurant is so dirty we almost left but it was 10 pm and we were all the way across town. You can see my pictures on my TripAdvisor review. I understand they are going for the masses but this was beyond gross. The service was also horrible. They forgot us several times. Oh and the AC was broken so it was hot as hell. The food was maybe a $40 not so great value, no where near the real price. Please don’t waste one of your precious nights here. As soon as it’s dark the view is ruined anyways. They don’t dim the lights so they just reflect in the glass and pictures don’t work.
Day 3
Kavari not all locations let you dine. The one in Marais does. We had a wonderful caviar, blinis and champagne plate. Very high quality and worth a splurge
Dinner: Saint James Terrace
This one was upsetting. It was raining off and on all day so we weren’t shocked when we got the call that the Terrace would be closed but dining would be inside with the same menu. That was not true. We arrived and were sat in the bar which is cool but not a dining room by any means. Just low tables with comfy chairs. We were told the main dishes were usually done on the grill but since it rained it was off and she would only recommend a few things because they really don’t work in the kitchen. I was very upset by being misled. Since I really wasn’t interested in the items she said could be prepared and there was no room in their other restaurant we had drinks and an app then left. The cocktail I had was another level. It was fantastic. Also the veal tartare was the best I have ever had so I am still dreaming about it. It was fantastic. So I was disappointed their own staff sort of pushed you away from having the mains.
2nd Dinner:
Cafe Flore
It was late and I was hungry. Not the best choice but I knew what I was getting into. Cafe Flore is what it is. You put up with the rude waiters and ok food just to sit back and people watch. I had an herb omelette and champagne. It was as expected. Can’t really mess it up
Day 4
Late Lunch:
Cafe Marly
We went on a Tuesday so the museum wasn’t open and we could have a nice view. It worked perfect. Once again we knew the food wasn’t going to be all that and it’s not. Just be ok with that and you are fine. We had a couple entrees (apps) and drinks. It was ok
I could write a book on this one. Everyone wants this reservation and those who say don’t bother have it right. What an over rated place. How is this in the top restaurants in the world? I will start with the good. The sommelier was phenomenal and the high point of the meal. Their pairing was nice. The dishes were not up to par and we actually left feeling like a whole course was missing. We have never left a meal in France still feeling like there needed to be more. One of my dishes was so salty I couldn’t eat it. (I am someone who loves salt too so this is really saying a lot). Another one, crab in little endives I think, was not cleaned well and I had dirt or sand crunching with each bite. There were no little extra bites between courses. We really felt like they feel like they don’t need to try. You are blessed to just get a reservation. Dessert was also a let down. I had so much hope for this place and thought people saying eh were just being snooty. Nope, the food at this place just lacked love and attention
Day 5
Bistrot Instinct
What a great lunch! The staff is fabulous and helpful. Our Uber driver was a train wreck and made us get out to finish our drive because of traffic, we were already late from the traffic but then we’re even later from the long walk in the blazing sun. They greeted us and took such good care of us. The food was fantastic. My husband had the sausage and polenta and I begged him to share. Mine was also wonderful. The wine list is well thought out too. I would totally go back for dinner
La Grange Aux Canards
Since it was La Fête de la Musique we wanted a simple, quick dinner to walk around and enjoy the music after. This filled the bill. Nothing spectacular but a nice meal. They were very kind and gave us nice after dinner drinks on the house. The duck confit salad was nice and prepared well. Not Michelin quality but nice.
Day 6
A true winner. What a fantastic meal. I did the soft pairing (flying early the next day) with the 6 course meal and it was a wonderful adventure. I have nothing bad to say, only positive things. The chef took the time to make sure everyone dining was enjoying themselves. He cares. The food was perfection. We joked that wow, see this is how much food you should get in a 6 course meal (dig at Septime). I cannot say enough, this was a beautiful, thoughtful meal. It was the perfect close to a month of travels. I would run back here for a meal any day


Thank you, a wonderful write up.

Great report ! Thank you.

Your opinions about Septime are spot on. Indeed your review should be all caps to shout out Septime’s shortcomings.

Pity about the Saint James. It’s usually such a delightfully civilized place but the vagaries of weather are a huge risk for these types of terrace restaurants.

And speaking of delightful, thanks for mentioning La Table de Colette. Although it is sheer joy to eat there, I keep forgetting to praise it on HungOn.

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Many thanks for this! I have wondered about Septime over the years, but every time I really thought to go, something has held me back. Glad to be able to cross this off my list! And definitely adding Origines to the list for the next time. Merci!!!

Wonderful report! Thank you for taking the time to write it all up.

I’m one of those people that wouldn’t go near Septime these days. Yes, I loved it from about 2014 to 2016, but then it started going seriously downhill. And now, from what I hear, it’s just plain boring.

La Table de Colette does indeed sound delightful. It can be a challenge to find a restaurant with a light touch and maybe a veggie-centric meal to balance some of the heavier tasting menus. Can’t wait to give it a try.

And Origines - yes! I’ve had a serious chef crush on Julien Boscus since we first encountered him at Les Climats.

As another avid fan of Origines, I’ll also point out that, unlike most restos in Paris, it has air-conditioning and is a very good choice for a summer restaurant (except for the 3 weeks in August when they are closed for the hols).

I’ve only been in to Septime once and it was during that time frame. It was great but I’ve never been able to book it since and can’t tolerate the effort to make it happen, and it’s close to my place.

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Thank you for the great and timely review! You managed to save my day!! I was on the verge of seriously considering Septime as one of my eating candidates for my upcoming France and Spain trip!..based solely on their high ranking in the latest San Pellegrino World’s Best 50 Restaurant listing! Now, I am picking the more consistently reliable ‘Alliance’ instead ( toss up between Granite ).

BTW, can any fraternity members provide information on ’ Clamato ’ current form?!..( Septime’s seafood focus sister ). Has their standard deteriorated too? If so, I’ll pick a place like the more traditional ‘Opium - la Cabane’ instead. Thx!

A local told us Clamato was much better and locals liked it. I don’t know if it’s true or not

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Clamato wine-bar remains very good. However, it’s a no-rezzie place, very small and can be very crowded.

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