L’Ami Louis Restaurant is NOT my Friend!

by Weekend In Paris

2008 Gal Pals enjoying duck at La Tour D’Argent

Making dining reservations in Paris can be as easy as going online, filling out a form and receiving a confirmation of your booking via email with a site like The Fork.  It can, however, get way more complicated than necessary and wind up in disappointment.  Gal Pal Twitter friend Forest Collins of the famed 52 Martinis offered to help me make dining reservations for our impending trip.  Mr. Graham (Gal Pal Elizabeth’s father) offered to treat us to a fantastic dinner at the trendy and expensive spot L’Ami Louis that is reveiwed in Frommer’s.  Forest first telephoned L’Ami (Ami in French is friend) in November to book us a table and the maître d’ told her to ring back in December.  Forest marked a date in her busy calendar to follow-up with him at L’Ami only to have the gentleman tell her that she needs to call back two weeks in advance of the desired booking.  Again Forest marked the precise date in her calendar and called to inquire about said booking.  She was told that they would take the reservation the following Wednesday so please call back.  Yesterday was it!  Finally a reservation at the infamous and famous L’Ami Louis!!!  WRONG…she phoned them and guess what?  They were fully booked!  Ce n’est pas possible?!  Seriously, they told her it didn’t matter that she called a million times and yes, they remembered her calling a million times, but after all, “It’s fashion week.”

Well L’Ami Louis – know this…you are NOT my friend, but you will not ruin my trip.  You will not sour me on the French people.  You only made me more convinced that La Tour D’Argent is top dog in town.  Yes mon Ami, we have a reservation at La Tour D’Argent and you DON’T!

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9 comments

D January 16, 2011 - 1:06 pm

Sorry, no, the queue was before the Chinese place, something that still forms most weekend “date” nights.

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D January 15, 2011 - 4:24 pm

Please excuse my prior remarks, which were not intended to be unfriendly. We spontaneously treated a Parisian friend to dinner at Tour d’Argent in autumn 2009 after he said he’d never dined there. We recalled special dinners enjoyed in the decade past, but only the company, view & cost were memorable after our 2009 visit. Perhaps memories created unrealistic hopes; perhaps we expect too much of iconic restaurants. But, really, when splurging for a special occasion dinner, can we agree that it’s disappointing when a meal costing over 100E per person (without wine) isn’t as pleasing as the mouthwateringly-delicious roti chicken from the corner market or the succulent roast duck one can get at certain Chinese places for 12E? The worst part of that experience, of course, is the 2-hour wait on queue out on the cold (or hot) street! Have fun, bon appetit & do let us know how it goes for you & your friends.

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Weekend In Paris January 15, 2011 - 6:19 pm

OMD! Did they really make you wait outside for your reservation? Bad form! We have not experienced that, and we hope to not have that happen this trip! We have been graciously taken to the receiving bar downstairs for a cocktail before dining. I will keep my fingers crossed and let you know what happens!
Cheers,
Priscilla
P.S. Little known fact, Liberace kissed me on the cheek on my birthday when I was a teenager…it was creepy! His boyfriend (bodyguard) was creepy too!

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forest January 13, 2011 - 5:34 pm

Good attitude about the unfriendly result on your Ami reservations!

I had a similar experience on my recent trip in Norway – we missed out on reservations at a restaurant we wanted to try for NYE in Oslo. The place was so entirely dead around Christmas we thought we had a bit of time to get in ressies. Unfortunately when we decided to go for it, our choice – and EVERYTHING else – was fully booked. I sulked for awhile and then reminded myself that we were on holiday and there wasn’t time to worry about something that was unchangeable & we ended up finding a great spot – probably even better for our new years eve anyway! We made it back into the place we had originally wanted to try for drinks a few days later…service was pretty spotty, so we were just as happy to have missed out on the dinner.

Hope your alternate dinner is just as good!

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Weekend In Paris January 13, 2011 - 5:40 pm

Hi Forest!
So sorry that Norway NYE was a pain. Really happy to know you made lemonade out the lemons and managed to have a great time anyway!
I am confident our alternate dinner will be amazingly fun because I’ll be with my best friends!
Cheers,
Priscilla

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D January 13, 2011 - 3:33 pm

L’Ami Louis & La Tour d’Argent surprise me as your choices because I think I know you to have higher expectations than fashionistas invited with hopes paparazzi follows. L’Ami Louis has been on life support for a decade–it would be closed if not for glowing, rehashed reviews that ignore the fact that it’s been hit or miss for ages. As for La Tour d’Argent, the best duck is found these days at small Chinese and Vietnamese small places. Is it the view and the souvenir tag that attract you to La Tour d’Argent? It can’t be the (dated) decorating that reminds one of Liberace’s boudoir?

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Weekend In Paris January 13, 2011 - 5:22 pm

Thanks for reading and sharing your feelings about our choices. Different opinions are what make the world go ’round! L’Ami may be on life support, but we would be none the wiser…it’s like when people visit the US and Disney World. I could give them all the dreadful reasons why NOT to go, but people still want to see if for themselves. (BTW – I do love Disney, but there are negatives that I overlook that others don’t!) As for La Tour D’Argent, I am wondering when the last time was that you have been there? It was completely re-decorated a few years ago with classique yet more modern colors and designs. The view is amazing as you pointed out and the service is always impeccable. Also, good manners dictates that when someone sweet offers to take you to someplace they view as very special, one should not only go, but enjoy it through their eyes! Mr. Graham invited us to L’Ami and we are thrilled to accept his offer for us to see one of his special places.
Cheers,
Priscilla

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John in France January 13, 2011 - 3:20 pm

I’m sorry you didn’t get your booking, but I’m pleased you’ve written this up here! Lucky girls going to La Tour d”Argent! What part of town will you be staying in?

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Weekend In Paris January 13, 2011 - 5:14 pm

We love the 6th so that’s where we’ll be! So many great places to eat and shop!
Cheers,
Priscilla

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