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Sep 7, 2012 07:03 AM

Paris 2 stars or 3 stars

Comparatively little has been written here about Paris' Michelin two-starred restaurants. I've had some of the best meals of my life at two-star places around France, but it seems that in Paris I'm either at a place like Arpege or Gagnaire, or I'm at a little bistro. Is there anything truly special in the two-star (or one-star) category? I'm planning a trip for November. Many thanks.

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  1. Many of the 2 star Michelin were once 3 stars; for whatever reason (decline in quality, change of chef or owner or just their whim), Michelin deemed they are not worthy. ie, Taillevent, Le Grand Vefour, Jamin, Lassere, Le Cinq. Some change their style such as Senderens. Other are just happy with two stars and do not aspire for the third. Many have been written about on this board: Le Grand Vefour, Le Cinq, L'Atelier de Robuchon, Michel Rostang. Passage 53.
    Many two stars are special: Le Cinq for best overall experience; Michel Rostang serves some of the best 'traditional' food in Paris where no three star cook in that style; Lassere and Le Grand Vefour are two of the most beautiful restaurant in Paris; Apicius is located in a beautiful little park; Alain Dutournier serves food inspired by his Southwest root; Jamin is a continuation of Robuchon. Piege took his cooking from the opulent Les Ambassadeurs to a smaller, simpler venue.

    9 Replies
    1. re: PBSF

      Thanks. I had in mind the restaurants that are either on the ascent or are happy to be where they are, as opposed to the fallen three-stars such as Taillevent and Le Grand Vefour (both of which I visited when they still had all their stars). With the exception of Passage 53, which I visited a couple of years ago when it had, I think, 1 star, the list above is mainly of rather fancy restaurants that have been around as they are for a long while. As I understand it, there are two new 2-stars: Sur Mesure and l'Abeille. How are these?

      1. re: Honoredb

        It depends whether one likes tasteless foods with gooey textures. If so, Sur Mesure will amply satisfy.

        I haven't been to L'Abeille but I am yet to meet someone who enjoyed it.

        In some cases, two stars mean that there will never be a third one.

        Star or not, Amandine Chaignot's cooking at Hôtel Raphaël is worth trying.

        1. re: Ptipois

          Would very much like to hear more about Chaignot.

        2. re: Honoredb

          Have not been to Sure Mesure or l'Abeille. We ate at Thierry Marx when he was at Cordeillan Bages. Not my idea of good food. I would consider the above as fancy restaurants. We ate at Passage 53 and Le Bigarrade when they were one star but have not been back since. Nothing wrong with fancy restaurants that have been around for a while. I've been a big fan of Michel Rostang and Alain Detournier from way back and I think their food is good as ever. And I think the food at Le Cinq under Briffards is better than when it had 3 stars with Legrand. Lassere has gotten better. Are there any that is what you referred to as 'on the ascent', only Michelin knows. Try Jean-Francois Piege; it is one of the more difficult reservation to come by.

          1. re: PBSF

            Detournier has been around a long time and never had three stars, however, IMO he has always served three star food. The decor has been what held him back. November is game season and he does that exceptionally well. If you like game it will be the time to go.

            1. re: jock

              Definitely, game season is a great time to eat at Carre des Feuillants.

              1. re: PBSF

                Very much appreciate the reminder about Carre des Feuillants. Piege also intrgues. Friends tell me Bigarrade has become annoying, though I'm not sure what that means. I went under Pele; what's the word about the new chef? Now that we've explored 2 stars, does anyone have anything passionate to say about the 1 stars?

        3. re: PBSF

          I think its been a while since Jamin had any stars.

          1. re: Ian F

            My mistake; thank you for pointing it out.