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“All those stories you've heard are true...”

Josephine Chez Dumonet
Ranked #674 of 16,870 Restaurants in Paris
Certificate of Excellence
Cuisines: French, European
More restaurant details
Restaurant details
Good for: Special Occasion Dining, Local cuisine, Business meetings
Dining options: After-hours, Dinner, Lunch, Reservations, Seating, Serves Alcohol, Waitstaff, Wheelchair Accessible
Neighbourhood: Saint-Germain-des-Pres
Paris, France
Level Contributor
118 reviews
67 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 319 helpful votes
“All those stories you've heard are true...”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 29 June 2014

...yes, the food is very good - and yes, the service really stinks.
If you do not speak French, be prepared for a heavy dose of attitude - along with whatever else you're having to eat...if you even manage to get what you ordered.

In fact, even if you do speak French very well, you will have to work hard to get some decent service from the young, snarky waitstaff - only one of whom seems to care about his chosen profession but stayed put behind the bar. I miss the old waitstaff, who were grumpy as all-get-out, but were entirely professional and did a good job, in spite of everything.

I was the guest of some visiting American friends, and if I had not raised an appropriately French commotion several times during the meal, we would not have enjoyed a decent experience at all. Here's the rundown...

My friends from Texas made the mistake of attempting to say "Bon soir" when we arrived - which pegged them as Tourists with a capital T and pretty much sealed our fate. I ordered in French for everyone, and had to beg for the wine list, since it was not offered. Then, the waiter returned, slapped down 4 amuse-gueules of something soup-like and 4 glasses with a little white wine in them and disappeared without a word. Since we had no spoons to eat the soup with, I asked for them, and inquired about what he had given us. "Soup. Free soup." Four spoons plopped in the middle of the table, and again, he zoomed away. Since we were the only customers in the place, I could only assume that he was in the middle of a winning poker hand and would get back to us as soon as he could.

The "free soup" turned out to be gazpacho, and the wine was never identified, but was not something I would have chosen to order. Apparently, our waiter lost a bundle in the back room poker game, since he was in a really crummy mood for the rest of the evening. Thankfully, he got busy waiting on other tables and forgot about - or avoided - us. Perhaps that was why we did not receive the food we ordered - or anything remotely close to it. It took quite a while for this to be sorted out, since all 4 waiters got involved in the discussion, and I had to assure each of them that we were not the ones at fault and therefore should not have to eat something we did not want and definitely did not order - very clearly and in French. The correct bottle of wine was delivered and served properly, at least.

By this time, we had been seated for over one hour with only a thimble-full of cold soup and wine, and jet lag was creeping up on one of my friends, who leaned her head back on the banquette and closed her eyes for a moment. Our poker-playing buddy appeared out of nowhere, snapped his fingers in her face and snarled, "No sleeping!" Needless to say, I responded with some pretty impressive - and very stern - French vocabulary. It took all the waiters 2 attempts before everyone had the right dish in front of them - but at this stage of the game, my friends would have been very happy to eat a boiled shoe and be done with it.

Desserts had been ordered at the beginning of the meal, as is specified on the menu. However, our waiter had either forgotten to place the order, or had given our desserts to another table, instead. So, another 20 minutes or so passed while ours were prepared. Once again, we were served incorrect items, which had to be replaced with what we had ordered, and the Grand Marnier souffle arrived half-deflated, since it had apparently been forgotten in a corner somewhere, and did not come with the little glass of liqueur, as is the tradition. When I pointed this out to the waiter, he slammed a glass of Grand Marnier on the table and stormed off - which is exactly what we should have done, about 90 minutes earlier.

I have a hard time understanding what went wrong with this evening's performance - I hesitate to call it a dining experience, since it was more like a French farce than anything else. Even if our waiter had been new, there was no excuse for everything to go so terribly wrong - and losing poker hand or not, absolutely no excuse for pulling attitude on customers, even Tourists with a capital T.

If you decide to eat here, make certain to bring along a person who speaks very good French and does not take any nonsense - that elderly nun who taught you French in high school would be an excellent choice, if the French Minister of Education is not available. If this is not possible, make sure to point to the menu items you wish to enjoy, just order the house red or white wine (both are actually very good and reasonably priced), and cross your fingers. If the food you wanted does arrive, you will probably enjoy it very much. Just don't order a side of "waiter-with-attitude", and everything should be fine.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
11 Thank pattyinparis
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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552 reviews from our community

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Date | Rating
  • Dutch first
  • English first
  • French first
  • German first
  • Italian first
  • Korean first
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  • Russian first
  • Spanish first
  • Any
English first
Kailua Village, Hawaii, United States
Level Contributor
16 reviews
10 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 12 helpful votes
“Our favorite meal in Paris”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 24 June 2014 via mobile

This was perfect in every way- best duck (crispy on the outside and juicy on the inside), amazing beouf bourgignon, and incredible Mille Feuille (made to order!) The glass of Bordeaux I had sealed the deal! Ambiance was perfect and staff attentive. The chef even came out to check on the tables! Located in quiet neighborhood away from the hordes.

4 Thank Hilary W
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Peoria, Illinois
Level Contributor
22 reviews
16 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 29 helpful votes
“Not Good ... Really, Really Good”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 11 June 2014

My wife and I were in Paris for the French Open and ate at five bistros and one gastronomique restaurant. Chez Dumonet was our all round favorite bistro.

The food was wonderful ... starters were foie gras and the morel farci, main course was beef bourguignon and confit de canard, with a chococate moelleux to share for dessert. Everything was really delicious, with the star of the show being the bourguignon ... deep rich flavors and the meat extremely tender. Service was very welcoming and friendly. Definite recommendation.

  • Visited June 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2 Thank From_Morton_IL
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Lexington, Kentucky
Level Contributor
5 reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 4 helpful votes
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 10 June 2014 via mobile

My husband and I ate here for their later dinner service and loved it. We had no issues with rudeness, had the duck and beef bourguignon and received a complimentary glass of wine when seated and were not charged for our champagne with dessert! There was another table of I believe Americans behind us that was pretty boisterous and they definitely got some irritated looks from locals. So just be respectful and you will be treated the same!

Visited July 2013
Thank Sarah G
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Level Contributor
10 reviews
8 restaurant reviews
common_n_restaurant_reviews_1bd8 5 helpful votes
“Best lunch in Paris”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed 6 June 2014 via mobile

My husband had read about the beef bourguignon at chez Josephine and we were in the area so decided to go for lunch. It was busy but we got a table without a problem. I had the pigeon which was delicious as was the beef. The staff were attentive and friendly! The owner is a real character! He kept throwing out our half full glasses of wine and pouring us fresh chilled glasses. Needless to say by the end of dessert (soufflé) which was also delicious we were thoroughly drunk on complementary wine and sooooo full!! After desert they bought us a plate of little chocolates with coffee which were also really yum! My only regret is that we didn't get to go back before we left paris!

  • Visited May 2014
    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank missnikiMelbourne
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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