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Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

Houston
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Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

BACKGROUND:

We will arrive at CDG mid-afternoon (15:30). Don't expect to get to hotel before17:00 (staying in the 6er). We have reservations for an Ilumination Tour and must be at the meeting place on Rue Rivoli no later than 20:40.

We are not looking for a "special" restaurant, just good food and not to excede E50pp (no wine). Two places I am looking at....Chez Maitre Paul, 12 Rue Monsieur Le Prince and Bistrot de La Grille St. Germain, Guisarde@Mabillion. Any comments? Allard is close by, but is getting mixed reviews of late.

If we have reservation for 19:00, will that allow enough time without feeling rushed?

Thanks for your help.

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1. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

We had an early supper at Bistrot de La Grille St. Germain last year and it was alright. Nothing spectacular. The waiter was a bit snooty after my wife to have salad first and soup as her entree. Steak Frittes for me, pretty good. The room is nice enough. I'd personally keep looking but if you go there you'll be fine.

Oakland, CA
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2. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

First, I think you are being a bit overly optimistic in your estimate of how long it will take you from your landing at CDG to arriving at your hotel. If (a big if!) your flight is on time it will take at least 15-20 minutes to "deplane", then another 15-20 minutes to troop through the arrivals area to the passport lines and get through the little booths, than at least another 15-20 minutes to wait at the carousel for your luggage (and that's if you're very very lucky and it comes out relatively quickly). So figure at least an hour from touchdown to getting to the curb. Figure the taxi line will take another 10 minutes and then at least 40 minutes at that time of day to get to your hotel, so if you land on time figure at least 2 hours from touchdown to arrival at your hotel. Best case, you'll arrive at the hotel at 17h30. If you are planning to use an airport shuttle add a lot of time to this picture as they will wait for other passengers, stop at other terminals, and stop at other hotels before getting to yours. If you are going to use the RER you might save some time, depending on which terminal you land at -- some terminals require taking a shuttle bus to the RER station and thus there is a wait for the shuttle.

Next, I'm not sure any Paris restaurant (except those catering to tourists, and you don't want those...) will serve you at 19h. The normal dinner hour is around 20h or later, the kitchen staff will still be setting up (or even having an early dinner in the front of the house) at 19h. So, unless you want to eat at a very touristy place, I would suggest you ask at your hotel for a recommendation for someplace where you can have an omlette or crepes as a light meal. Then set out on a nice walk for your appointment across the river for your tour.

Now, with all of that said, I will tell you that I LOVE Chez Maitre Paul, and suggest that if you can go there and enjoy a nice dinner that you do so! But make sure that you give yourself the time to enjoy the food and the company French-style -- which is to say not in a big hurry to get to the next thing. Dining is the evening event, taking a stroll afterwards is the most delightful thing to do afterwards. You will enjoy a nice evening and will be in tune with the pace of the restaurant. Even if you could have gotten a reservation at 19h, the restaurant would have had a hard time accommodating (or even understanding) your need to rush through your food and run out the door.

When in France, do as the French do, it works better than trying to make their system adjust to our American ways (and yes, I finally figured this out after many many frustrating experiences), and they really do get the art of the meal just right!

Denver
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3. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

I think bonjour has it exactly right. You'd be very lucky to pull this off, and even if you did, you'd be rushed.

I say stroll towards your meeting place, slide into a café, get an omelette or a croque madame, and watch the world go by.

New Hampshire
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4. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

Chez Maitre Paul opens for dinner at 19:00. And, you can reserve online at their website http://www.chezmaitrepaul.fr/reservation.html

I've gotten to a hotel in the 7th as little as an hour after the plane landed, but an hour and a half or two hours is more usual.

If you arrive at Chez Maitre Paul at 7PM and let them know that you must leave by 8:15-8:30 PM, they will accomodate you. Just over an hour for dinner is not rushing (they are used to Americans), but surely not leisurely. If you have only two courses (appetizer and main course or main course and dessert, and skip the coffee) that will speed things up without rushing through your meal.

A taxi would be much for efficient than the metro (you'd have to connect) for getting the ParisVision (?). Or, you could take the #27 bus, but I would allow at least half an hour for the bus.

Anyway, if it were me, I would make a 7PM reservation at Chez Maitre Paul, and, if I find out I can't check in, freshen up, and get there by 7PM, phone and cancel (and have a backup plan). Then, I'd know where the nearest taxi stand is. I think if you head for the taxi stand by 8:30, you'll get to ParisVision okay. And, I wouldn't worry about being a couple of minutes late (but not much more). If you have a voucher, you exchange it for tickets usually. Then, stand around waiting to board the bus. Sometimes the buses take off a few minutes late because of a line at the ticket window, and not those trading vouchers, but those who arrive within minutes of departure to purchase tickets. The bus does not take off, so long as there are seats, until they've taken care of everyone in line.

Fresno, CA
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5. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

If you are coming in on a friday afternoon, add lots more time. It took us over an hour to get from CDG to our apartment in the 7th. Our driver and apartment owner said it was typical for a friday. It was bumper to bumper traffic the whole way in.

Houston, TX
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6. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

I agree with the other posters. You are going to be rushed. You also need to keep in mind the time it will take to get over to Rue Rivioli.

Having said that - I love Chez Maitre Paul. I go there everytime I return to Paris and have the chicken in the cheese/cream sauce. It is the best!

Kamloops, BC...
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7. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

Meme,

At 15:30 you may run into a traffic jam at CDG before you even get to your gate - lots of flights arriving. You could end up not getting out of the airport untl 17:00 - and that's rush hour all over the world.

Take the RER and Metro per the instructions on your hotel's web site. Once you get to your hotel, ask for directions to a patisserie or small shop or cafe where you can get a snack - then dine after your tour. You will be able to enjoy your first dinner in Paris at your leisure and it will be seasoned with the all the romance of your tour of the City of Light.

Bon voyage.

8. Re: Chez Maitre Paul...will it work?

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