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Anybody been to Taillevent recently?

m
Missmoo Feb 3, 2007 07:22 AM

We have a reservation in March and now I have heard two negative reviews from people. Should we try somewhere else? Or has anyone been recently and really liked it?

  1. orangewasabi Feb 3, 2007 10:14 AM

    I was there at the end of December and loved it! We went for lunch (I prefer to eat my big meal earlier in the day) and were there from 12:15 to 4:30ish. Had the discovery menu E190 each. We let the sommilier set up wine pairings for each course which ended up being E117 for two -- and what I consider to be one of the best values on our entire trip. It was one of the best food/wine pairings, overall, I have ever had. The service was terrific -- warm yet formal. A really lovely experience, I have nothing bad to say.

    I have heard they lost a star, and are now 2 star but personally, I cannot find one thing to find fault with. What negative have you heard?

    1. d
      David W Feb 3, 2007 11:00 AM

      I would agree that there isn't anything to find fault with at Taillevent, from the moment you walk in the door to the moment you leave. I think the Michelin star may reflect a changing ethos which rewards a more "advanced" style of cooking (ie, a star chef with a certain style) as opposed to the more traditional cooking Taillevent does.
      I thought the 70 Euro lunch was well worth the cost. I think it depends on how many meals you have, how much you have to spend, and what you want. If you want a classic French meal with perfect service in a serene setting, this is the place. It's not over the top in any way-decor, food, etc. But the several hours you spend is a wonderful respite from the world.

      1. m
        Missmoo Feb 3, 2007 03:39 PM

        That sounds like what I was looking for. I think the people I talked to were more interested in "modern" cooking, though I can't say for sure as I didn't press them for details. Thanks for the input!

        1. PhilD Feb 3, 2007 11:37 PM

          We had lunch there last Friday (Feb 2nd) it is still very good. Great service, professional, yet warm and friendly. Every course was superb, and the sommelier recommended two excellent wines - a half of classic riesling and a chewy '99 burgundy. We arrived at 12:15 and left at about 4:00.

          It is a formal dining room, and as it was Friday lunchtime, there were lots of men in dark suits. Is the food is traditional? - OK no liquid nitrogen, and few "foams", but it none the worse for that. Interesting that they lost a star. I recently ate in two restaurants that went from two to three stars this year (Lameloise and Helene Darroze) and preferred Taillevent - although all were good in there own way.

          I have seen some questions about whether they do a €70 lunch menu. On our visit we were offered €70, €140 €190 and al a carte menus (quite a library) - no problems there

          We chose the €140 and ate very well - Amuse Bouche; Remoulade de tourteau a l'aneth (a wonderful crab dish); Epeautre du pays de Sault en risotto (a risotto with frogs legs); Coquilles Saint-Jacques dorees (scallops with a dense watercress reduction); Selle d'agneau princier rotie a la sarriette (a fillet of lamb with gnocchi); Ossau Iraty (a cheese served with a cherry reduction); Oeuf-neige a l'ananas et a la coriandre and Feuilla a feuille au chocolat et au caramel (three contrasting deserts).

          The table next to us seemed to be regulars and when the cheese board arrived they had an quite a loud, amusing, discussion about a cheese smelling like an old cave (cellar). When we smiled the waiter offered us a portion of same cheese so we could see what they meant - it did. A nice touch that a summed up the a fun meal in a classic restaurant.

           
           
           
          1 Reply
          1. re: PhilD
            orangewasabi Feb 4, 2007 06:13 AM

            thanks for the pictures Phil, we also had that crab dish -- my husband spend quite a bit of time exclaiming over the number of dots and their evenness before he even got to the tastes.

          2. f
            faijay Feb 4, 2007 07:51 AM

            Right now everything is molecular gastronomy, but the classic service and food served at Taillevant will be around along time after molecular is old hat. It survived nouvelle cuisine and vertical food and it will survive this. It is only a rumour about it losing a star, but probably a very good rumour. I had dinner with friends last night who having been dining at Taillevant everytime they are in Paris (up to 10 times a year) for over 30 years and still enjoy every single meal there and were disappointed to hear of the possible lost star. So, go and enjoy the classicism of the wonderful restaurant. By the way I have eaten at Helene Darozze and think it deserves no more than one star, if that. She is however, very pretty.

            1. ChefJune Feb 6, 2007 07:57 AM

              Michelin has a system where they allow only so many 3-star restaurants to exist in any given area. If they upped Helene Darroze, then they would have to demote someone else. has nothing to do with the quality of the food, or anything else! In fact, I often find service AND food are BETTER when a restaurant has been demoted, as they are striving to get their star back!

              1. m
                Main Line Tracey Feb 9, 2007 03:54 AM

                My husband and I are debating about whether or not to go for lunch when we visit in April. We were considering the €70 lunch. It is a great value for the quality and would you highly recommend it?

                I ask because we are on a budget and we are scheduling one very good meal for our trip. This would be the one. I would be extremely dissapointed if it did not live up to expectations.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Main Line Tracey
                  ChefJune Feb 9, 2007 05:42 AM

                  Tracey, I personally have never been disappointed at Taillevent, and have enjoyed the lowest prix fixe luncheon on several occasions. You will be treated like royalty, and the ambiance is fabulous.... The building is historic... I wouldn't miss it, if I were you.

                  Bon Appetit!

                2. orangewasabi Feb 9, 2007 07:44 AM

                  if you have any concerns about your Taillevent reservation, I suggest you email the restaurant. The owner will respond himself and they will be most gracious, I assure you.

                  MLT: Taillevant is THE place to go if you don't want to risk your one good meal, they won't let you down

                  1. wittlejosh Feb 11, 2007 02:48 AM

                    I went in October (I posted about it somewhere on this board). Great experience; I highly recommend it.

                    1. m
                      Main Line Tracey Feb 12, 2007 08:10 AM

                      Thank you all for your response. I just received back my confirmation for our reservations in April. We will get the E70 lunch special. I am looking forward to it immensely.

                      My husband was a bit hesitant at first, because of the price, but he is now very enthusiastic. This is due both to your wonderful reviews, and also something really interesting. He had said that he had heard about the restaurant before, but couldn't remember where. This weekend he remembered that one of his favorite movies about food, Tampopo, mentions Taillevent. The reference in the movie indicates that it is a restaurant of supreme quality.

                      Thanks again for your help and I will write back a review.

                      3 Replies
                      1. re: Main Line Tracey
                        orangewasabi Feb 12, 2007 08:14 AM

                        Tampopo is a great movie! I don't remember the Taillevant reference though, I shall have to watch it again (no hardship there).

                        1. re: orangewasabi
                          m
                          Main Line Tracey Feb 13, 2007 07:14 AM

                          The reference is when the businessmen go out to lunch and they all order the same thing. Then they get to the last person, the young "new guy", who asks very pointed questions about the menu, indicating that he is extremely well educated about food. The waiter is very impressed and everyone else at the table is suprised. It's a great scene.

                        2. re: Main Line Tracey
                          ChefJune Feb 12, 2007 12:09 PM

                          I doubt I'll be the only one anticipating your review!

                        3. purplescout Feb 14, 2007 08:19 AM

                          I just had the 70Euro lunch on Monday and it was very good.
                          Here's a link to my review (sorry, but it includes some other places we dined, too).
                          http://www.chowhound.com/topics/371059

                          1. f
                            Francophile Feb 26, 2007 08:30 AM

                            I go to Taillevent at least once a year; my last visit was in November. Taillevent is consistently the greatest dining experience I have ever enjoyed. The loss of a Michelin star is unfortunate and, in my opinion, undeserved. The ambience, food, service and wines are unrivaled. Their wines often cost less than at other restaurants. It is THE BEST!

                            1. l
                              Lazo Feb 27, 2007 07:01 AM

                              I ate at Taillevent about 6 months ago.

                              The style of the food is the key issue - expect very rich food, heavy on the cream, cheese etc. All superbly done and the service is the best I have ever experienced, but we went on our second night in France and wished we had of built up to the heaviness a little more slowly. Our personal preference is for the lighter foods of the molecular gastronomy approach.

                              1. m
                                mikey Feb 27, 2007 01:02 PM

                                I just went this past Friday for lunch. I have mostly great things to say. First of all, the food is bar none some of the best I have had in Paris. Absolutely excellent with the finest quality imaginable. I was shocked by the prices which were actually not at all as high as I would have thought. The lost Michelin star had just been reported that morning but it did not detract from the quality of the food. The lunch special with a choice of four starters and three main courses with which to chose from as well as a dessert choice was 70 Euros. I did not think that was so bad considering prices in France right now. Also, the wine list is EXTREMELY reasonable with very fine, relatively inexpensive wines. I chose a bottle from Navarre for 40 Euros that was absolutely superb and I even saw some as low as 26 euros. I sampled a variety of dishes such as fois gras, rouget, duck confit, and shrimp and all were absolutely excellent. They also serve wonderful little pre-dinner samples and the sumptuous mignardise with coffee.
                                The only thing I found a bit off-putting was the "American Room" I tend to like bustling busy restaurants and I could hear the room behind mine having a great time whereas my room was strictly American with everyone all hushed and quiet. It seemed a bit contrived and oddly second rate. I kept thinking that I should have made a reservation under the name Jean Pierre de something to get the fun room. Others might wholeheartedly disagree as most Americans want a very whispery, quiet room without all the noise and smoke which you get at most Paris restaurants. The service is top rate as there are many waiters hovering around taking care of all the diners' needs without any fawning or annoying interloping. One waiter was a bit surly but that wasn't really too bothersome as there were so many nice ones. The environment is just a tad bit cool-no Crillon or Meurice or Grand Vefour but rather a sleek, mininal look. The stone walls are beautiful and the drapes very nice. The crowded, back room was much more lush and softer than the front room which is just a bit on the sterile side. Ask to be placed in the larger, back room.

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