Special birthday in Paris, in September...but not too formal?
June 19, 2018 11:42 AM   Subscribe

We’re going to be in Paris in September, and my husband’s birthday falls in that time. I’d like to take him to a special event or dinner on that day (it’s a Sunday, if that matters). The only caveat is that we’re traveling with backpacks, and he understandably doesn’t want to bring any formal clothes, like a jacket. So what’s special but not with the requirement of a jacket? Money isn’t really an object. Thanks!
posted by TochterAusElysium to Travel & Transportation around Paris, France (8 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Bring a nice shirt and go to Cobea. Michelin Star, 100€ "casual"
posted by St. Peepsburg at 11:48 AM on June 19, 2018

I would recommend Chameleon restaurant! Someone on here recommended it, and it's been one of the best meals I've had in recent memory.
posted by Stephanie Duy at 1:50 PM on June 19, 2018 [2 favorites]

I recommended Chameleon! Glad to hear you enjoyed it so much Stephanie. I felt the same way.
posted by peacheater at 4:17 PM on June 19, 2018 [1 favorite]

And I agree - it was very casual and somewhat out of the way.

My one caveat - I adored the meal and my husband and MIL raved about the food - but then afterwards my MIL expressed the opinion that I hadn't found any restaurant with a truly romantic or cozy vibe. And that annoyed me greatly at the time but I guess i should throw that out there - don't expect white tablecloth type service, just standout food. The service is excellent though.
posted by peacheater at 4:24 PM on June 19, 2018

My recommendation for this would normally be Au Vieux Comptoir, but they are closed on Sunday. A surprising number of the top places are closed Sunday and even Saturday, which causes me to wonder if they are top places because they give their staff time to spend with family and friends, or merely because, as top places, they can afford to be closed on popular days. Goust (*) and Jean-Francois Piege (**) are also closed Sundays.

If money is truly no object, L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon (**) is quite casual, though the prices are not (EUR200 for the tasting menu). It's literally counter seating around the open kitchen. I haven't been but they are well recommended.

Honestly, though, if there's a restaurant you have your heart set on, the Parisians are getting a lot more casual than even ten years ago. The thing about jeans is wrong more often than not now, and I see lots of people in "les baskets" and other casual footwear. I wouldn't go to a super fancy place, but I have seen folks in casual wear in starred restaurants. Sure, there will be lots of men in suits (or at least sport coats), but many (most?) not. Michelin ranks restaurants based on the setting as well (those weird forklike symbols) so you can look for one that is more casual.
posted by wnissen at 5:26 PM on June 19, 2018

You could attend Jim Haynes' Sunday dinner party and make a lot of new friends who I'm sure would be happy to celebrate your husband's birthday with you.
posted by Joleta at 8:27 PM on June 19, 2018 [3 favorites]

One other thought, if you are into raw seafood. Le Bar à Huîtres is a four-location chain that specializes in these huge platters of oysters, different kinds of shrimp, crabs, sea snails, etc. They are served with Bordier butter and Poilâne bread. The website makes it look hilariously posh but at least the Montparnasse location has outdoor café seating and is not at all fussy. The other stuff on the menu is mediocre, but the raw bar is great.
posted by wnissen at 9:29 PM on June 19, 2018

Response by poster: Thanks all. Sadly his birthday is on a Sunday and it appears most places are closed then.
posted by TochterAusElysium at 3:39 PM on June 25, 2018

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