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Should we make dinner reservations?

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Westport, CT
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124 posts
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Should we make dinner reservations?

My husband and teenage daughter are going to Paris in 2 weeks (Aug 17-24). We have a nice itinerary planned, that focuses on different parts of the city, including Versailles. I am torn about whether to make dinner reservations. I don't want the reservations to drive our late afternoons (meaning, I don't want to miss the Mona Lisa because we have to get to a dinner reservation). On the other hand, we all love good food, are clearly looking forward to having some nice dinners, and I don't want to miss out on that experience because I didn't plan well (esp. since I understand that many restaurants are closed in August). A friend who just moved back from Paris suggested at least making a reservation for dinner at L’Homme or Quai Branly, admitting they were very expensive. I will also admit that I am a little intimidated about making the reservations over the phone. Is it a mistake to be casual about this? Suggestions?

Paris, France
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1. Re: Should we make dinner reservations?

I think you can make a lot of reservations upon arrival. Unless you are set on a particular restaurant, yo will have plenty to choose from even in August. I only make reservations for special occasions or when I am with people from out of town.

As far as I am concerned, if I cannot go to one restaurant, I go to an other one. Week ends are a little harder.

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2. Re: Should we make dinner reservations?

if you want good food, are looking for specific restaurants recommended, then have your hotel concierge call for you, at least to make sure the restaurant is open. You can ask to dine at 8h30 , then you won't feel rushed.

Kamloops, BC...
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3. Re: Should we make dinner reservations?

There was a posting a few days ago by a gentleman who had just returned from Paris and had a few tips to offer. One was that reservations are unnecessary, that all you have to do is walk in almost any direction and read the bills of fare until you find something that appeals to you. I agree with him.

I've never had a bad meal in France. I've eaten well and very well. There are lots of folks here on the forum who will tell you differently, that they had dried out this and over done that, but that hasn't been my experience.

I just pick a cafe or brasserie based on the bill of fare and how it strikes me, and ask which items on le menu will best be complemented by the house wine. Waiters in France are professionals, and know whereof they speak, as my mother used to say. If you give them a chance, they will do their best to give you a good meal and a good experience.

I did a little checking - For l'Homme, check the menu at


You can book online. If you can't get terrace seating (where you can see la Tour Eiffel) you might want to reconsider your choice since there is no view from the interior dining room.

For Quai Branly go to


I have seen mention of a higher end restaurant at this museum, but I couldn't find anything about it on the web site.

I agree with not planning yourself into a corner, so to speak. I would save the museum cafe for lunch or afternoon tea. I think tea with a view of the tower would be a great experience.

By the way, even in August there is no chance that you will starve to death in Paris, so don't worry about the restaurants that are closed. There will be enough terrific meals available to keep all of you very well fed.

Bonne chance et bon voyage.

Melbourne, Australia
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4. Re: Should we make dinner reservations?

This is the restaurant at Musee Quai Branly


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5. Re: Should we make dinner reservations?

The dinner hour doesn't start in Paris until around 8pm and the French show up later than that so you should be able to comfortably get to dinner and complete your afternoon activities too.

I suggest you make reservations so you get to eat where you wish.

6. Re: Should we make dinner reservations?

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