Vegetarian fine dining in Paris?
- Cooksister Jun 14, 2006 09:43 AM
I am off to Paris in early July with a vegetarian (ovo lacto) friend. We would like to have at least one no-holds-barred dinner and I was wondering whether anyone has suggestions for vegetarian or vegetarian-friendly fine dining options in Paris? We will be staying in Saint Germain des Pres conveniently close to Pierre Herme's pastry shop, heh heh heh!) Thanks.
Yes, such a place definitely exists, and I've eaten there several times. It's called Maceo in the 1st Arr., just north of the Palais Royal on Rue de Petit Champs. Here's the Web site:
If offers a lovely vegetarian tasting menu as well as a la carte vegetarian dishes, all based on what's seasonal. It's not a vegetarian restaurant, so carnivores will be happy there as well. It also features a top-notch wine list.
Maceo is the sister restaurant to Willi's Wine Bar, several doors down, which is also highly recommended. But Maceo is the more elegant of the two. It's a beautiful room.
You should seriously consider Ze Kitchen Gallerie, on Rue Grand Augustin, which is very near your location. My veg daughter and I enjoyed delicious vegetarian and non-vegetarian meal there last week, both on the veg and non-veg side. While she joked that hers was the green foam menu, each dish was distinct and different - they make a great case for asian/french fusion with wonderful, unusual deep flavor combinations that work. My best dish, for example, was a savory pasta dish with squid, that included, among other things, thin shavings of bonito that undulated over the surface, slivers of thai basil and a creamy foam that included fresh lemongrass.
We dined next to an asian food writer who was served a multicourse vegetarian meal (additional and different dishes to ours) - she was also very pleased.
Prices are reasonable, too, for what you get.
Well, if it's vegetarian fine dining you want, look no further than Alain Passard's L'Arpege, one of Paris' top dining establishments that offers a vegetarian and non-vegetarian menu. Passard's way with a vegetable is unique and extraordinary. Of course, the privilege of dining there will set you back $500.00 for the both of you (before wine). If you take the plunge, be sure to order the TOMATE CONFIT AUX DEUX SAVEURS (caramelized tomato stuffed with 12 fruits, nuts and spices) for dessert, a wondrous dish.
One more affordable way to do L'Arpege is lunch. When we went several years ago there was a cheaper lunch menu that looked great. Of course, once we were in there, lured by the idea that we would be "frugal," we went ahead and ordered off the top. But the point is, it can be done. (And if you give in to temptation, it is truly worth every penny. Ditto on the Tomate Confit Aux Deux Saveurs. And that egg with the maple syrup. Oh my!!!!)