A First Look at Girafe

Christine Drinan, Founder
Girafe Paris

You can live in Paris your entire life and still not make it to all the good spots. And there are some restaurants where it really doesn’t matter what’s on the menu, they have that special something. In the case of Girafe, it’s one of the restaurants in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower. But how’s everything else? We have the inside scoop.

Overview

Paris is a city that’s eternally classic, yet continues to reinvent itself. You can go a hundred times in your life, and not eat at the same restaurant twice. In recent years, the scene somehow got even better, and part of that reason is the Paris Society. It started out with the uber-trendy Monsieur Bleu, which quickly became the hardest table to get in town. From there, it was Paris domination, including the opening of perennially cool Loulou, Coco in the Palais Garnier and Mun near the Champs-Élysées. Last year saw the opening of Gigi, one of the most glamorous restaurants in Paris. Chances are if it’s a buzzy restaurant, it’s part of Paris Society. So right out of the gate, Girafe was destined to be cool, at a minimum. As a bonus, it’s one of the best restaurants in Paris with a view.

Atmosphere

The atmosphere at Girafe is, in a word, stunning. And that’s before you even step outside to the showstopper of a terrace, which make Girafe one of the best restaurants in Paris with a view of the Eiffel Tower. Though may will be hard-pressed to decide whether you like the view best, or the scene of beautiful people at Girafe.

The interiors of the restaurant are done to perfection, and have a glamorous 1930s feel. The design combines the original ceilings of the room and a gorgeous marble bar with chic and contemporary design chairs. The details are everything in creating a unique, serene vibe where it’s all about the social scene.

If you’re looking for another restaurant in Paris with a view, head upstairs to the 9th floor. La Suite Girafe is a more private offshoot of Girafe, located in the Cité de l’Architecture et du Patrimoine. It’s an intimate space of 100 seats and has a wrap-around terrace with that same view of the Eiffel Tower and Paris.

Food

Let’s cut to the chase; we don’t think that Girafe is going to win a Michelin star any time soon. But highly produced is not the reason you come to Girafe. We’ve established Girafe as one of the best restaurants in Paris with a view. Also it has some of the best beautiful-people-watching, especially during Fashion Week. So if you level set your expectations for why you’re there, then you understand that food will be good, as you expect from Paris Society. But it’s firmly secondary.

That said, no one does a seafood tower like the French. At Girafe, the menu is seafood-focused, and you can order up a platter full of oysters, lobster, and langoustines. There’s also a legit menu of osetra and beluga caviar, because when in France… If you’re feeling especially baller, you can opt for a 450-euro grand plateau that includes two glasses of Perrier-Jouet. If you’re eating light, the chilled seafood platters are may be one of the best options on the menu.

Everyone knows, though, that the test of a restaurant is not its chilled seafood platters. The menu at Girafe is comprehensive and heavy on the fish, scallops, and shellfish options. The preparation has that extra thought to it; the salmon is a “hot ceviche” and the St. Jacques comes in a hazelnut butter. Of course there’s Dover sole, and for guests who want to eat clean, an option to choose both the fish and the preference of preparation. Vegetarians are pretty much relegated to one veggie dish and a truffle pasta. But once again, you’re not here for the food, but rather to be at one of the best restaurants in Paris with a view.

Service

I think the one thing that keeps the Paris Society portfolio of restaurants trendy (and the hardest reservations to get) is not because they have restaurants in Paris with a view. Or that the design of the restaurants is so exquisitely done across the board. The reason is once you get a seat at one of their restaurants, the service is good. It’s not white-gloved, but they treat their clients well and there’s not a lot of pretentiousness.

Overall:  7.2/10

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FAQ

Q: What are the hours of Girafe?

A:

Hours:

Monday 12–2:30PM, 7PM–2AM
Tuesday 12–2:30PM, 7PM–2AM
Wednesday 12–2:30PM, 7PM–2AM
Thursday 12–2:30PM, 7PM–2AM
Friday 12–2:30PM, 7PM–2AM
Saturday 12–4PM, 7PM–2AM
Sunday 12–4PM, 7PM–2AM

Q: Do I need reservations for Girafe?

A: Unless you’re feeling extremely lucky, make a reservation. Girafe is almost always booked; it’s one of the buzziest restaurants in Paris right now.

Q: Is there a dress code for Girafe?

A: Like all good restaurants in Paris, dress chic. The crowd trends toward the Fashion Week-types, so make an effort.

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