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“horrible lobster terrible service”

La Fontaine Gaillon
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Ranked #2,648 of 17,885 Restaurants in Paris
Cuisines: French
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Restaurant details
Good for: Local cuisine, Special occasions
Dining options: Dinner, Late Night, Lunch, Reservations
Neighborhood: Opera / Bourse
Reviewed August 5, 2012

looking at the faces of the guests should have let us stand up and leave. Fish soaked in a friteuse, no vegetable but a slice of lemon. Lobster on a bed of green beans, without dressing and a dish with mayonnaise from a tube. Very poor service and even worse food. Never again!!!

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
Thank jennifer o
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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75 - 79 of 334 reviews

Reviewed July 29, 2012

amazing food, great desert (try the millefeuille)!!! the service was excellent, and the place was very nice!!

Thank cbonla
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 23, 2012

Went to have dinner after the ballet at the opera house and were told they had run out of food!!!! We went to the Brasserie Flo instead, which was fantastic.

Thank Canadianknowitall
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 21, 2012

My fiance and I had dinner at this restaurant approximately a year ago, and I still remember this horrible experience. I had ordered oysters, and almost vomited when I saw the warms as I was bringing the first oyster to my mouth. Worse even was the attitude of the staff, arguying it was normal, and that it was the client's risk to order oysters in restaurant and not the establishment's responsibility. We immediately canceled the rest of the meal, and when they brought the bill for the wine and appetizers, they had the nerve to charge us for the uneated, rotten oysters! My fiance and I have lived in Paris for 3 years and have never experienced anything like this.

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
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    • Food
1  Thank IsaDC
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed June 28, 2012

Or Our Dinner with Remi

The idea for this little evening out came as I was scanning the local news during Fashion Week. There were all sorts of celebrity "so and so was seen dining here" stuff. So, it occurred to me that there were probably quite a few celebrities that actually owned restaurants in Paris....and this turned out to be true. Apparently Luc Besson, Ralph Lauren and Georgio Armani all have restaurants here. But the celeb restaurant that really caught my attention was La Fontaine de Gaillon, which is owned by Gerard Depardieu. Yes, he of the fairly recent urinating on airplanes fame. OK, that last statement might be hitting below the belt, so to speak. For the 10% of the population who have no connection to social media, let me give you a brief rundown. Apparently, last August Mr. Depardieu was on a Air France flight from Paris to Dublin. The plane was on the ground when the actor asked the flight attendants if he could use the toilets. They told him that he had to wait 15 minutes until they got in the air...which in airport lingo means "after we have taken off, leveled off and finished serving the beverages because we don't want a lot of annoying passengers getting in the way of the drink trolley." So, at this point in the story the opinions become bifurcated. One group says that he was drunk and simply stood up and urinated on the carpet for the hell of it. Another group said that he was trying to inconspicuously pee into a bottle given to him by a friend. In either case, the airplane was turned around and he was escorted off. It's hard to know what to think of this little incident. Maybe the guy has a prostate problem. For any who have flown, you know how draconian the flight attendants can be about their rules...whether they are completely applicable at a given moment or not. On the other hand, the flight attendants might have been perfectly nice about it , in which case he's just a jerk. (What, as celebrity acting like a jerk? Say it isn't so ) At any rate, his recent histrionics sort of increased the appeal of going to his restaurant. "Why?" you might ask. Well, as I have said many times before, I am not a "foodie". My taste buds are genetically predisposed to crave things like peanut butter , Dr. Pepper and Neese's Liver Pudding. But I love an interesting atmosphere. And as Mr. Depardieu is known to make appearances at his restaurant on the weekends he is in Paris, I thought the potential for having an interesting evening was high...in a tawdry "celebrities gone wild" kind of way. So, yes, my motives were not lily white. But, to ensure a good time, I went with the Julien and our friends "A" and "R". Even if the place was dull, the people were interesting...and I tend to hedge my bets this way.

You know, in hindsight, perhaps a full paragraph almost completely dedicated to discussing an incident which involves urine is probably not the best way to start out the review of a restaurant. But there is a bit of a theme here, so stay with me.

The Ambience: The Decor, Setting and Wait Staff

La Fontaine de Gaillon has, what real estate people like to call, a good "front door". This means that route you take in order to get to it has charm. As one of the quickest ways to get here is via the Opera metro stop, this certainly qualifies. In my mind, Palais Garnier is one of the most beautiful buildings in a city that is filled to the brim with beautiful buildings. It just feels glamorous to be there at night. Once you get to La Fontaine, you enter through a small courtyard with a fountain. It isn't a particularly impressive fountain, but somehow flowing water always adds a certain charm. Even if the fountain is in the shape of a flamingo, the sound of it still creates a pleasant ambience. Once inside, the vibe of the restaurant is "cozy", there are multiple little rooms on a variety of floors. So it has the feel of someone's house. The room we were in had a beautiful view over the courtyard that "A", in particular, found appealing.

The wait staff was fairly typical for upscale Parisian restaurants. The male waiters knew their stuff, particularly about the wines. While they weren't over the top friendly, they were funny and a little flirty. The female "wait persons", on the other hand, could barely control eye rolling and disdain. This is also fairly typical. On that point, it's amazing how women can have entire conversations without uttering one word. When our female wait person was discussing the wine list with "R", she was giving him this look of "Oh God, why must I tolerate this?" She then noticed that "A" and I were looking at her. We both gave her the "We saw that" look. She responded with a " Well, I don't care" look ...which I pounced on with my "you better care, or I will eat your liver with that Chianti" look. She then looked a bit startled and didn't look back. All this in complete silence. When she was leaving, "A" leaned over and said, "I don't like her" to which I responded "I know". The men were oblivious to all this and had to be filled in.

But despite the surly waitress, the atmosphere was really nice. Of course, no celebrities seemed to be around, but there were a fair number of kissing lovers...which was also entertaining if you have a strong stomach.

The Food

When it came to eating, what was most interesting about this place was not the food, but the lack of it. After we ordered the appetizers suggested by our waiter, he came back and informed us that they were now fresh out of said appetizer. He then suggested we make a second choice quickly before they run out of anything else. Later, we had the same situation with the main courses. The explanation given by the waiter was that it was "Friday" which meant it was busy, and they only serve things fresh. If that last sentence didn't make any sense to you, that's OK. It didn't make any sense to me either. The whole thing began to remind me of the Monty Python "Cheese Shop" sketch. "You do actually serve food here, don't you?". Fortunately, we did eventually order something that they still had, so it was not necessary to resort to violence.

The food that we actually ate here was good. Not great, but good. I had a creamy crab cake type of thing for an appetizer. The best part of that particular dish was the grapefruit they served with it. Julien had some shrimp that were lined up as if they were about to face a firing squad, which felt a bit creepy to me. However, my entree was a steak which was actually cooked to my order and seasoned nicely. Julien and I shared a chocolate dessert thing , which neither of us remember the details of, except that was the best part of our meal.

Our Celebrity Encounter:

So this whole time, I had been keeping my eye open for possible celebs or people that I could imagine might be celebs....but to no avail. However, at the end of our meal, "A" suddenly jumped up and loudly announced "Mouse", pointing to the corner. Sure enough, there he was..although I think "rat" was probably the operative word. Seizing the opportunity to craft an interesting moment, I followed suite, but louder and directed toward the waiter at the faaaarrrrr end of the hall. "Excuse me, but , eeeeewwwww, Mouse!!!!!" A few waiters came over, and with a very typical French waiter shrugging of the shoulders, said "Soiree?". "C'est Paris". "A" and I were on our feet, and she was heading toward the rest room. I was about to head in the same direction when our waiter shouted "Madam" and pointed to my feet. And, yes, I fell for it...with an almost stereotypically female jump and shriek. At that point, all the waiters had a good giggle. However, our waiter stopped giggling when I slugged him in the arm. As I was heading off the restroom, I heard him say to Julien. "She hits HARD". I think Julien said "Yes" or "You provoked her" or something like that.

In the ladies restroom, where many secret female conversations take place, "A" admitted that she wasn't really afraid of mice. Neither am I. We both just enjoyed creating a bit of a scene. It also occurred to us that we had finally met our celebrity. "Remi" had been in the vicinity all night. And, if you think about it, Remi's behavior is clearly more civilized and genteel than the recent behavior of the restaurant's owner.

So, to sum it up in that classic, if somewhat trite, MasterCard Ad way

Metro to Palais Garnier: €1.70

Lovely walk past Palais Garnier at Night: Free

Dinner for Four with fabulous friends and a fabulous view: €340

Encounter with true Parisian celebrity and an excuse for hitting a French waiter REALLY REALLY hard: Priceless

    • Value
    • Atmosphere
    • Service
    • Food
2  Thank Selenapan99
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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