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Why are some Parisian restaurants *really* brightly lit?

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Why are some Parisian restaurants *really* brightly lit?

syb | Nov 30, 2011 03:47 PM

I love coming to Paris and I hate wasting a meal. When I read up on places I feel I learn a lot about the food and nothing about the ambiance. While the quality of the food is my priority, I have had experiences where I'm really excited to try a restaurant but when I walk in, I am shocked by the lack of ambiance. I gather there are laws requiring them to be energy efficient, and I applaud this. But I wonder why more restaurants don't do anything to enhance the atmosphere by dimming, adding candles or putting gels on the CF lights. Is there a way of finding out whether a restaurant is illuminated thoughtfully or if they just flick the switch on the florescent tubes?

Does the lighting bother anyone else? Does anyone have some tips for restaurants with great food and a bit of ambiance?

Some spots I like that have both:
- Septime
- Grazie
- Glou

Some spots that have offensive lighting:
- Brasserie Balzac (couldn't bring myself to sit in the lighting)
- Tan Dinh (love the food, will come back with sunglasses)
- Philou (great food, terribly bright spot lighting)

Thanks!

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