Paris // Honeymoon Must-Trys
My wife and I will be in Paris for 3 days during September and looking for must-try restaurants during our trip. Quick background -- we hail from NYC and have eaten at many of the fine dining restaurants in the states and looking for other once-in-a-lifetime experiences (ala Ko, Alinea and to a lesser extent Per Se or something like Rao's). Money is not really an object so any and all suggestions are much appreciated. We've tentatively booked Taiilevent for dinner on the first night and are considering Robuchon for dinner on another night (though we've been to his restaurant many times in NY so don't know if it is worth trying in Paris).
Something that parallels Rao's in Paris! I love you! This is a mind stretcher, but we'll try.
I have to ask, what makes it Rao's for you? Is it Frankie or Nick? Or the booths? Or the lemon chicken or shellfish antipasto or the sauce or the bottle of Strega? Or? Give us a hint so we can make the leap.
It's clearly not the food -- not to be dismissive but we don't enjoy going to Rao's due to the food (thought admittedly it isn't bad). It is a dining experience that not many are able to enjoy in a lifetime and something that is way off many folks radar screens as it relates to a NY unique experience. Basically saying we'd like to also try any unique destinations that aren't down-the-middle in Paris in terms of traditional Michelin stars, etc.
If it is Rao, maybe the 'Honeymoon" aspect should get toss out.
L'Ami Louis with better food than Rao, Closeries des Lilacs, Lipp, 2 am at Chez Denise, Le Grand Vefour or Le Meurice for the setting and service, L'Arpege or L'Ambroisie for the unique cooking of Passard and Pacaud. From your comments why consider Taillevent or Robuchon's Ateliers?
15 Rue Lamennais, Paris, Île-de-France 75008, FR
9 Place des Vosges, Paris, Île-de-France 75004, FR
Given your criteria, I'd go with two:
Spring, modern French w an American accent in a minimalist white space and open kitchen. Vibrant and creative set menu new each night. Liked meeting Chef/Owner Daniel Rose from Chicago and discussing what drives him in this ambitious venture. Also liked visiting his boutique food and wine store a block away for some take home salts, mustards, etc for the trip back to the US.
Le Cinq, gray marble, incredible flowers in the elegant Four Seasons Hotel. Feared it would be stiff and formal. Not so. Friendly, modern feel despite the opulence. Was surprised by the Japanese accent on many new dishes. Fresh ingredients beautifully done. Staff was friendly and exquisitely trained. Helpful Sommelier with an absolute killer wine list. At lunch, it actually was a comparative value at 85 Euros per person.
Loved both of these places during a week's stay in Paris with my wife in March. We vowed to go back to both.