L'Astrance -- Grand restaurant reinvented
So I finally translated my l'Astrance review from last June into English and you can find it there:
There is something wonderful and unique about this restaurant, which just received its third Michelin star and in which it is very difficult to get a table (call at ten sharp exactly one month in advance and finger cross). It is run by two young alumni from l'Arpège: Pascal Barbot (chef) and Christophe Rohat (captain).
The concept is perfect: there is no menu, your only option is to take the proposed wine pairing or not (in blind tasting, btw). The courses change constantly, depending on the market and I guess the inspiration of the Chef (and your specifications). The trademark is wonderful freshness, best ingredients available that day, hyper precise cooking and seasoning, simplicity of preparation. So you get the best experience and they do not have to manage stock and charge you for that. In the evening, the menu is 170€, 270€ with wine pairing.
Service, to quote someone else on that board, is performance art.
I personnaly found however that this exciting game took those guys away from focusing on serving you the best possible food. They are having fun while being intensely professional, and it is so much fun to watch and experience that it ends up, in my opinion, being more about them than you. So I was impressed but not delighted -- but make up your own mind.
What a wonderful review. Thank you for the link....Perhaps you can help with this question:
I have been to L'Astrance twice for lunch, and I loved it both times. I will be in Paris in early December, and I hope to return to L'Astrance. Assuming that I can get in, I am trying to decide between lunch and dinner. Given how perfect my lunches were, I wonder how the dinner experience would differ, or, frankly, how they could surpass those wonderful lunches? (There is also a significant price difference; I think dinner is almlost double the price). Do you know, specifically, the difference between the "Surprise" for lunch and the "Surprise" for dinner? Is it the number of courses...the expense of ingredients....certain special dishes that are only served for dinner? Or is it just supply and demand; that most people prefer dinner for their special meal, and are willing to pay a lot more for the experience?
Brigdo: Regarding reservations, lunch is easier. Remember, it is a small restaurant, and they are only open 4 days a week, hence the difficulty securing a table.
there's also the hype...
there's more to eat in the dinner menu than in the lunch menu. The rest is unpredictable, as Barbot always improvise, but the only difference in the approach is the lunch has to be shorter (business clients). Also, of course, there is a different light and ambiance in the evening, and the lighting is not so great in itself. But that is hardly a big difference. As I said somewhere else, the main difference is that you have more time to digest at lunch and the pictures you take (if you do) are better.