Sunday, March 13, 2005

Le Grand Colbert

Last night the babysitter came and we took my husband's aunt to dinner. A friend recommended a place, Le Grand Colbert (LGC), where she takes all of her out-of-town guests. LGC is one of those Parisian dining institutions. It has been around for so long, it has a good (not great) reputation for the food it serves, but it has all the Parisian ambiance you could want. LGC was also a location shoot for the recent movie "Something's Gotta Give" with Jack Nicholson, Diane Keaton and Keanu Reeves. Remember when it is the birthday of Diane Keaton's character and they celebrate at a Parisian restaurant? Well it is LGC. Here is the director's clapboard movie prop, the only item in the restaurant regarding the movie.

When I saw the sign I told my husband I wanted to take a picture of it. He was not happy. He asked if I could wait until he was on his way out after dinner. Then he remembered (he has been gone for a week and has jet-lag, remember) that I have quite a one track mind about things and he worried I would be talking about the stupid movie prop all through dinner - it was staring at me begging me to take a picture. So he suggested I take a picture right then because the booth was empty (it was only 8:30 at this point well before *normal* dining time and the restaurant is filled only with tourists). I go take the picture (after I ask the restaurant staff) and the couple at the next table is staring at me (which actually does not bother me that much... I have my blog audience to worry about!) so I turn to them and say "tacky American" about myself in English. No surprise, they are English speakers (Canadian and American) too and start a conversation.

Them: Is that clapboard the only souvenir from the movie in here?
Me: I have never been here before, but it looks that way.
Them: Do you think the restaurant sells posters from the movie?
Me: You don't live around here, do you?

I return to the dinner with my husband and his aunt. His aunt and I have the 26 euro menu -- four courses. We both start with the Chevre chaud salade/Goat cheese salad followed with a piece of salmon in a cream sauce. She chooses the apple crumble and I choose the baba au rhum for dessert. All the food was fine, but not great. The flavors were passable, not memorable. My husband had a very bland onion soup -- a true disappointment. The only reason to go is the ambiance, but frankly there are many restaurants with wonderful decor AND wonderful food. However, the desserts were very good and I loved the presentation of the baba au rhum.

-- said Auntie M in Paris
4:51 PM



That was one of my favorite movies!!! I always wondered if that was a real restaurant b/c the Eiffel Tower was so pronouced! It almost looked like a backdrop. Was it in the 8th? Loved the conversation with the other couple!!!! It would have been hysterical if they had asked the waiter if they sold posters!! I can just hear you say...you don't live around here do you. Very funny.

# posted by Anonymous : 6:41 PM  

It is a shame when there are some fantastic restaurants in Paris, but with the good there is always a little bad.

At least the most important course was good!

# posted by Yoggy Adams : 7:47 PM  

CMAC, It was a great movie. The restaurant is located right near the Palais Royal in the 2nd arrondissment.. no Eiffel Tower in sight. I must see the movie again now.
Yoggy, These restaurants have been around for so long their reputation precedes them. The food was good... you just expect great, so it's a bit of a disappointment.

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 7:56 PM  

Auntie M,
Your site is brilliant! I linked back to it from Blue Sloth. I've been leafing through the archives as we will be visiting Paris next week.
Your version of the city is the best one I've read so far, thanks again for being a fabulous tour guide!
I'll let you know how it goes!

# posted by lissa : 8:31 PM  

Woo Hoo, I can comment finally.

In France, can you go and just order one course say dessert? I know here in the US a lot of times that is the only thing they have thats good off their menu so we'll get that. Also, just curious here, is it polite/common to share a dish of food? Just readomg about the last few posts about all that rich food makes my gall bladder twinge (-:.

# posted by BohemianMama : 2:53 AM  

Hi Auntie M, thanks for your comment on Real E Fun. I haven't seen the movie, but that dessert looks mouthwatering!

# posted by Zinnia Cyclamen : 8:32 AM  

Like your description of the other couple - spot on for out of towners!

# posted by L'Oiseau : 9:38 AM  

I really appreciate the fact that you take risks to send pictures. I know what this means , thanks ! :-D

# posted by negrito : 10:05 AM  

I like the old brasseries like that for the decor but like you said the food isn't always the best. And I hadn't heard of this movie you mentioned. Might have to pick it up sometime...

I snap pictures of stuff all the time and my hubby gives me a hard time too. :)


# posted by Anonymous : 1:21 PM  

Lissa, Thank you for the kind comment. I hope you enjoy your visit to Paris. You've timed it well... spring has finally arrived here and it's wonderful.
BM, Good to hear from you. I'm not the best person to ask about restaurant etiquette, but I wouldn't go to a restaurant and order just a dessert. I wouldn't even order just a main course. It's just not the norm. Others may disagree.
Zinnia, The dessert was very good... nothing was left and I didn't share.
L'Oiseau, Sometimes they are easy to point out.
Negrito, You too. Sometimes I wonder how you get some of the photo shots that you post!
Aimee, You're husband is so nice... at least he was willing to come to the blog meet!

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 2:08 PM  

I would have done the same thing (taken the picture of the clapboard while embarrassing my husband).

Thanks for always thinking of us :)

# posted by Donna : 7:04 AM  

Hi! Loved the movie also. Will be in Paris in October and plant to eat at Le Grand Colbert. Diane Keaton said that they had great roasted chicken.....is that on the menu?
thank you....
Linda M.

# posted by Anonymous : 2:05 AM  

Linda, I believe that roasted chicken was on the menu... some kind of chicken was offered. The roasted chicken in France is wonderful. We get it from our butcher once a week. Have a good trip to Paris

# posted by Auntie M in Paris : 7:25 AM  


# posted by bad credit home equity loan : 12:53 AM  

Post a Comment