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Dinner Reservations Timing?

New Jersey
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Dinner Reservations Timing?

We are attending a conert at La Sainte Chapelle Friday evening May 6th at 19:00, Piano Quartets. I'm wondering how long the concert will be so we know what time to make dinner reservations. We will likely be dining in the general area, perhaps Mon Vieil Ami or maybe even La Tour d'Argent. Is it safe to assume a reservation at 21:00? Thanks in advance for your help.

Loire Valley
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1. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

Is it essential that you dine at on of those two restaurants specifically on that night? If not, just go to your concert and find a restaurant afterwards.

You may even find you get into one of the two without a reservation.

Thoughts are divided in TA about restaurant reservations: most US contributors seem determined they are necessary, most Paris based contributors are determined to say they aren't. I am of the belief that reservations are rarely necessary as long as you are flexible

New Hampshire
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2. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

I would reserve a bit later just to be on the safe side. Have no idea of the run time of the concert, but it could take a while to get out of the venue and to your dining destination. If you're earlier than the reserved time, you will almost certainly be seated as soon as you arrive, as in many places the table is booked for only one party for the evening.

La Tour d'Argent is the sort of place where you'd not want to have other plans for the evening but enjoy a very leisurely dinner. Are you sure you'd want to dine at such a place so late at night?

While reservations are not usually essential, they're a good idea whenever you have a specific place in mind, especially one close to where a large number of people (concert attendees) may be in search of dinner nearby at the same time.

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3. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

We always make reservations in Paris to be sure we have a table, and this seems to be appreciated by the restaurants too. Upon arrival they always ask if we've got a reservation.

I did not know it's not necessary to make reservations at La Tour d'Argent.

New Jersey
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4. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

Thanks djkbooks!

I agree re: La Tour d'Argent and other restaurants of that quality as it's typically a ~3 hour experience. I've since learned that the concerts at St Chapelle typically run 60 to 75 minutes. So given a later start, we'll likely go to a bistro in the general area like Mon Vieil Ami which I've enjoyed in the past. Do you have any favorites in the area or in the 1st, 2nd or 3rd (we're staying in the 2nd)?

New Jersey
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5. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

Agree Paris, I always make reservations too...best way not to be dissapointed.

Chicago, Illinois
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6. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

Paris is full of lousy restaurants and the odds of walking into one as a stranger are probably higher than of a Parisian who knows the city better. Good small places tend to book up. And one tends to get a better table if reservations are made.

I second the idea of not going to an expensive splurge night restaurant when you have other plans -- one should devote the evening to such an experience. But there are many fine small modest places near Ste. Chappelle -- the concerts are rather short 2100 would work fine for a place within a few blocks. We had a nice and pleasant meal at Le Relais de l'Isle and friends always recommend Mon vieil Ami. Both times we have eaten at the former, people without reservations were turned away as the place was booked full; we had gotten our reservations the first time at noon that day.

Loire Valley
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7. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

"Paris is full of lousy restaurants" Sounds like cr@p to me... where do you eat? I have never found a really lousy one....

Your Paris sounds like a different city to the one I know, or perhaps your restaurant radar doesn't have a Paris setting.

Chicago, Illinois
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8. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

we mostly shop market streets and eat in -- and when we eat out we tend to do a little research except for our favorite little local places near the apartment.

our luck with wandering in has not been stellar -- surely you must be aware that Paris is not the Paris Julia Child discovered post war. restaurants here like anywhere else differ dramatically in quality of offerings. a place that has lots of room for walk ins may have for a reason.

and yes I am sure you are enormously superior in every way including choosing restaurants. we haven't had that many lousy meals but enough (including the little local spot with no obvious tourist clientele in the 7th with the deadly food poisoned salad composee) and they have usually occurred when we have done a walk in -- sometimes because the place we were heading for was full up and we hadn't reserved.

It is a myth that every Paris eating spot is a culinary delight.

Paris, France
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9. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

Paris is full of lousy and of good restaurants. It's not always so easy to know which is which.

If a restaurant has a good location which ensures a constant stream of tourists walking in, they may not bother to stay (or just to be) good, and settle for mediocre. And of course once they've paid for the rent in a touristy location, there's not much left for good ingredients, paying a good cook, etc. If they chose to keep the quality high, and have prices that reflect it and pay the rent, they may not even be rewarded because tourists will keep on flowing in the mediocre place next door just the same, because it's cheaper.

A restaurant that aims for quality will need either to keep costs down by an less touristy location, or to have luck and/or a good word to mouth publicity and/or marketing plan.

In less touristy locations, you can find bad restaurants too, only they don't survive as long.

Paris, France
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10. Re: Dinner Reservations Timing?

I would just walk out of the Sainte Chapelle and choose one of the restaurants at Place du Châtelet While I prefer the Belgian "Au Trappiste" you might prefer the Korean place next door or even one of the French places.

For a fancier meal, you might want to try La Robe et le Palais -- reservations obligatory.