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Courtney Traub

Romantic Dining in Paris: the Ambiance Trap

By October 16, 2013

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laperouse in paris

Plenty of restaurants in Paris advertise themselves as "romantic" and use up their available budget on spotted antique mirrors, zinc-plated bars and velour-cushioned chairs, hoping to draw tourists with ambiance where the quality of the food and/or service is lacking. Sometimes, a "great view" of the city is supposed to somehow make up for a bland and overpriced menu. At other places, like Dans le Noir, a clever gimmick (in this case, dining in complete darkness) defines the experience: it can indeed be romantic and amusing, but don't hold your breath if you're expecting an amazing gastronomic experience. I certainly wasn't very impressed by the fare there.

So if you're looking for a date-worthy restaurant in Paris, ambiance and all, but also expect the food to be decent, you shouldn't just duck into any restaurant that seems to promise a "classic French" setting or a fantastic view. Some of the more genuinely romantic restaurants, like Lapérouse (pictured), set in a 17th century mansion with boudoir-style nooks for têtes-à-têtes, and once the haunt of George Sand or Emile Zola, don't particularly go out of their way to lure you in, at least not street-side.

See more about romantic dining options in Paris here. There are also some good suggestions for eating out "à deux" here (the reader comments at the end are particularly helpful).

Read More: Romantic Restaurants and Dining Options in Paris

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Image: Lapérouse is a restaurant housed in a 17th century mansion. Courtesy of the restaurant

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