April in Paris
- Barry Kaufman Jan 12, 2001 02:19 PM
My wife and I will be spending 10 days in Paris to celebrate our 35th wedding anniversay. We will be renting an apartment on Ill Saint Louis. Looking for a very special 3 star restaurant for our anniversary dinner. Any recommendations? Last time we were in Paris was in May of 1968 during the massive student demonstrations. We joined with the students protesting the Vietnam War. I what mainly remember is a lot of tear gas.
We just got back from Paris. I don't know about 3 stars for an anniversary dinner, but while you're there, be sure to have dinner at Le Petit Verdot, 75 Rue du Cherche Midi, 75006, phone number is 01 42 22 38 27. It's not too far from the Bon Marche, Metro is Sevres Babylone. It's a tiny little place, so maybe call for a reservation. Owner is Sylvan, his English is up to a call.
re: Judith Hurley
Sounds like a great place. I used to live right near rue du Cherche-Midi, but that was 10 yrs. ago, and I don't remember that place. However, I did try a search of previous chowhound postings, and by typing "Paris Restaurant Star" I got 63 results! I'll try to attach the link....
Hope you have a happy, gastronomically pleasing anniversary! Keep us posted on any good findings.
Our favorites across the board are:
Guy Savoy - Best meal I have ever had - what French Laundry strives to be. Every time we get a postcard from them, I start looking at airline tickets!!
Grand Vefour - Beautiful place, incredible food, cant go wrong here.
Places we havent been but will in the next couple of trips:
Taillevent - Supposed to be incredible - looking forward to it.
L'Arpege - Still havent gone here - have heard very good things as well.
L'Ambroisie - same as above.
Excellent food, but not "the Bomb":
Lucas Carton - We had an incredible meal here, but it was because we had met one of the wait captains the night before and he ended up taking us out until 4 am. When we showed up at the restaurant, he gave us the best table, much to the griping of the locals seated around us, and we proceeded on a 15-16 course extravaganza with wines showing up to pair besides what we ordered - it was incredible - 2nd best ever. But if we had not recieved that attention it would have just been a great meal.
Pierre Gagnaire - Good food but not truly memorable.
Michel Rostang - same thing as above.
Alain Ducasse - Went before they moved in the fall. I guess I built it up too much with the hype, but it wasnt disappointing, just not hugely memorable.
Pre Catalan - a little past its prime
La Grand Cascade - same as above
La Tour d'Argent - Rude host, screwed up our reservation, musty old place and owner. Their wine list is monstrous and their signature duck is good, but even the incredible views wont make me ever come back. This is a dead horse.
Just to do it once, Jules Verne halfway up the eiffel Tower is very nice. Food is good, not great, but youre surrounded by beautiful views. Like I said - something to do once in your life.
Benoit - somewhat expensive bistro-style, but great food and you can do some great walking in the area after lunch.
There are so many bistros that you cant go wrong.
One place to go when youre sick of haute cuisine:
Willi's Wine Bar - owned by an American wine geek. Great list great prices - food doesnt have to be as good as it is, but it is. When you see the check you'll think they forgot something (at least compared to most other Paris restaurants).
Our experience has been that the 2 star restaurants
tend to be much more memorable than the 3 stars.
Maybe 'cause they are still trying harder. (You should hear Madeline Kamman on the subject.)
Patricia Wells is a good source for less hyped restaurants.
I don't know if this qualifies as a 3 star, but we thoroughly enjoyed La Taverne au Sergeant Le Recreuter, on the Ile St. Louis. It was recommended by friends on both the east and west coast. The meal starts with a basket of charcuterie, bread, and lentil salad; followed by a basket of crudités; then, the main course (with vegetable or potato); and dessert. Wine was included. The venison was delicious and the chicken succulent. Probably not the elegant meal you'd like for an anniversary, but worth a visit.
Taillevent is a fabulous overall experience. The service is first rate, and while the food may not be as creative as some, it is absolutely perfectly prepared using the best ingredients. The wine list is incredibly expensive. Show the wine steward the price range you are interested in and he will suggest a wine with a good qpr.In spite of the high prices, they are not out to take you.
That is the only restaurant of the current Michelin 3 stars that I have eaten in. Went to Jamin when it had 3 stars, but have not been there in its present incarnation. Apicius, 2 stars, is wonderful. I would go back any time. Benoit is a really authentic bistro that is open on Sunday, a rare thing. As you are probably aware, the current Michelin red guide is invaluable in giving you information on days a restaurant is open and closed, as well as having fax numbers to facilitate making reservations from home. One caveat: Benoit did not respond to my fax to confirm my reservation. When I questioned them about this after I got there, they told me that just having sent a fax secured my reservation. Of course, I didn't know this.....
I agree that 2 star places are perhaps a better value, but for a food person like me, I have to see what 3 stars really means.
re: Jeremy Newel
Well, hi there, Jeremy!
One of the idiosyncracies about the way my memory is organized is that I had a greater recollection often of the wines at the table than the guests. Would that dinner at The Heights have been the time I brought the 1978 Dom Perignon and Andy carried in a CASE of Alsatian wines so that I could have my pick?
Have you been to Charles Solomon's new restaurant, Chaz yet?
re: Jeremy Newel
Ah! I'm not insane, different dinner. I heard about the Jayer from Ken (whom Jim Leff knows too) and was invited to dinner but did not attend. I have not yet had the opportunity to dine with George yet. Nor you, Jeremy, which we shall have to remedy soon. Something is in the works for next Friday night - will post here for all chowhounds if it gets set up.
I was in Paris about 2 years ago and was initially disappointed that I wasn't blown away by the food in the gourmet capital of the world. (Living in the Bay Area, I think we're really spoiled.) However, my friends and I had a fabulous--and affordable--meal at a small restaurant called Le Christine. If I remember correctly, it is located in the 6th Arrondisement (?) at 1 Rue Christine (a really narrow little road just up from the Seine on the Left Bank not far from Cafe Flore). I hope it's still there, turning out the fresh, innovative food that brought us to our knees. Enjoy!