25th Anniversay dinner rec's
Husband and I and probably at least one of our adult children will be in Paris for our 25th Anniversay in early June. I am looking for and amazing, once in a lifetime type meal. We are huge foodies from SF bay area, but it is my first trip to Paris, so don't know where to start. Any suggestions?
Thanks for any help!
Thanks so much for your comments, Souphie and John. After posting I realized that "amazing and once in a life time" is so very subjective, so I apologize. Perhaps it is best to tell you of our favorite restaurant in our area: All time favorite is Chez Panisse: wonderfully prepared regional cuisine. So no, we are not looking for monkey brains (or beef foam, for that matter). We are looking for a warm atmosphere that serves regionally inspired dishes, in a decidedly non-touristy environment.
Again, thank you for your suggestions!
Well, speaking for Soup and maybe me (my hesitation is d/t the closeup tables), Chez l'Ami Jean fits your bill if you like Chez Panisse, or - for Basquesque - Le Bouchon et l'Assiette http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/john_talbotts_paris/2010/01/le-bouchon-et-lassiette-in-the-17th-young-folk-good-provences-fine-food.html or Soup - how about Chez La Vieille – Adrienne? http://johntalbottsparis.typepad.com/...
The meal we had Chez la Vieille was excellent: it really was a top chef cooking simple thing for us in his little bistrot. But I'm reluctant to make recommendations based on one visit, and while I'll sure be back, I'm not sure it's "once in a lifetime" material -- I'm sure Del Burgo can make once in a lifetime meals, though.
CAJ has a Chez Panisse quality in terms of quality ingredients cooked simply. As you know from reading the board, it's packed and cramped, which may make it less of a OIALM (Once in a...). Simple food there is stellar, in my opinion (roasted bird, foie gras, cote de boeuf for two, riz au lait).
In the bistrot side, I think Le Pétrelle is more OIALM material. The setting is pretty unique, and the food redefines "simple with very well sourced ingredients". But some hate its "bobo" quality, very laid-back, one mouthful young waiter, dark ambiance....
That said, there is a contradiction between OIAL and looking for casual bistrots. Not sure how it'll be resolved. In Paris, the best food is the most expensive. I think l'Ami Louis for instance offers wonderfully prepared, regional cuisine in epic quantities. As for whether the atmosphere is warm, it's anyone's call, but it sure isn't cold and fancy. Food wise, it's very close to the Chez Panisse concept, i.e. excellent ingredients prepared aptly. Ambiance wise, it's like one of those Brooklyn steak joints. Price wise, it's like fine dining.
Wow 25 years of marriage, it seems so long ago; where did we go? Jamin (not any more as it was), Chez les Anges (not the same), Taillevent (could work), Senderens/the original (no more), hummmm, if I were in the same position today, which I will be x2 in a while, Colette would probably insist on Ze or Marcab or Rech, which are not romantic nor "amazing, once in a lifetime", but I'd suggest a resto in the Bois de Boulogne, yes, why not? But "amazing, once in a lifetime", for that you gotta go to Borneo and eat monkey brains.
John Talbott whose blog is in the shadow of Julot's
Top restaurants are singular, extremely different from one another. All three and most two star restaurants have the potential to serve you once in a lifetime meal. To advise you, we need to know more about your taste and expectation. And you need to check out the two and three stars restaurants by yourself to see what you're attracted to. This board is as good a place to start as any. Then my blog is not too bad.