Paris Trip -Need Help on Ordering Restaurants
When we head to Paris in early July, here were my original plans:
Sunday - Fountained de Mars
Monday - Le Cinq (lunch), Jules Verne (dinner)
Tuesday - Yam'Tcha (dinner)
Wednesday - Pierre Gagnaire (wait listed at Astrance)
Thursday - la Tour D'Argent
What do you think of above vs. doing Tour D'Argent on Tuesday, Yam'tcha on Wednesday and Pierre Gagnaire or Astrance on Thursday?
Is Pierre Gagnaire worth the visit?
I know that food won't be as good at JV but wanted the atmosphere too. With TA, I wanted yummy duck - again, probably a little dear.
Thank you for the help!
Thank you to everyone who responded to my original post! Now that we're back, I wanted to share how it went.
First off, Jules Verne was just plain bad. I really wanted to be on the Eiffel Tower for my bday and assumed that Alain Ducasse wouldn't allow his name to be associated to a mediocre dining experience. I was wrong. With the bland green pepper gazpacho amuse bouche, I knew that we were in trouble but we had just put in our order. I had the frog legs to start which was all breading and thick breading at that - where were the frogs' legs?! Luckily, I did not succumb to the waiter's urging of the "special" of quail stuffed with foie gras. This must be the most common "special" at a lot of restaurants because this was also offered at Le Fountaine de Mars the last time I was in Paris - it disappointed then so I wasn't going to be suckered a second time. I really wanted pigeon so I stuck to my guns despite the waiter's urgings that the quail would be gamier. The pigeon was good but not amazing. The highlight of the meal were the potato soufflé and our table view. We were given a window seat which was truly great. After our appetizers, we decided not to waste another dime of our money by opting out of dessert.
Le Cinq was as wonderful as others have said. I had the foie gras with the rhubarb jelee which was as tender as I could have hoped. The portion was generous. My lobster entrée was delicious. The service was gracious. And I loved the candy cart which came after dessert - the marshmallow-covered strawberry was so good that I had to have two! DH had the la mer appetizer which had different preparations of razor clams, scallops and oysters - I found this tougher because it was very fishy. His salmon from the Adour River was dynamite - just melt in your mouth. Since we ordered a la carte, it was about 500 euros for two.
Pierre Gagnaire was one of those "once-in-a-lifetime" experiences. We were given a great table - I call it the "mafia" table because it was against the wall above the rest of the dining room. We opted not to go with the tasting menu and instead, chose the a la carte. The citron butter was amazing! I am a sucker for good bread and butter so really enjoyed it here. I opted for the lobster starter and the langoustine entrée. I didn't realize that the dishes were centered around the theme with multiple preparations. I loved it! There were some elements that I didn't care for (e.g., the four different gelatins--pumpkin, beet, etc.-- that accompanied the poached lobster) but most things worked well (e.g., the lobster claws/legs with apricot was very good - I normally hate these parts of the lobster). The langoustines were super tender in all the preparations (grilled, ceviche-ed, poached on a bed of stollen bread). We finished with a chocolate soufflé with caramel sauce. The service was impeccable - we felt like a king and queen here. Because it was my birthday, they gave us a tour of the kitchen. They even had Chef Gagnaire sign a copy of the menu that they gave to me. Overall, a very memorable dining experience!
La Tour D'Argent was a good dining experience but after Pierre Gagnaire, much harder to follow. I was very disappointed in the foie gras appetizer - I was expecting it to be seared while it came out of a jar. DH and I could have shared it because it was just a little too much and rich. But then, we had the duck prepared the Tour D'Argent way which was in this black pepper sauce - it was DYNAMITE!!! The duck breast was so tender yet gamey, and the sauce was smokey and spicy (they asked how spicy we wanted it). It had to be the best duck we've ever had. The second preparation of the duck's legs was sautéed in oil - nothing special. Reminded me of the duck meat that you would find in a Chinese restaurant for their lettuce wrap. We then finished with a chocolate soufflé which was very yummy. Again, our table was spectacular with the closest view of Notre Dame in the entire restaurant. I must say that the Park Hyatt Vendome concierge really came through with our seats each evening. All in all, a good experience, but I would come back only for the duck entrée at lunch.
For the best meal of our visit, I have to say that it was Yam'Tcha. With the start of our amuse bouche of a crab eggroll, I knew that we were in for a treat so we promptly rearranged our plans the next day to fit in another meal at lunch time there! The next dish was like a sunomo salad with julienned cucumbers, tender mini squid and sesame seeds tossed in this light rice vinegar sauce. Then, came the potato noodles weaved with mussels and accompanied by a slice of tuna (felt ever so slightly seared) with a super light rice wine sauce and a hint of spiciness - this was amazing! For the soup, it was a coconut curry with fava beans, langoustines, dried shrimps and an egg. This was amazing too! For the mains, we had monkfish with chanterelle mushrooms (well done but my least fave because I am not a cooked fish person) and a thinly-sliced wok-seared beef over a bed of red rice fried in XO sauce. The dessert was as light and amazing as the rest of the meal - poached strawberries with a corn mousse, accompanied on the side with a bowl of sorrel soup. Hmmmm...it was soooo good! The sorrel soup was so light and refreshing - who would have thought of something so good?!
Anyway, I'll just post a couple of pictures of the food.
Thanks to everyone who weighed in - I really appreciate all the input!
Wow - I think that fate must be on my side with the wait list. I will ask the concierge not to work too hard then.
Here is my dilemma on the Monday - it is a BIG birthday so wanted an all-out treat. Celebrating on the Eiffel Tower has been something that I've wanted. Is there a way to order a la carte and eat less?
Gentlemen - thank you for your insights! Let me know your thoughts on the a la carte option.
I looked at the Jules Verne menu, and I gotta say that the prixe fixe menu, although better value, doesn't appeal as much as the ala carte. I was hoping to get my fill of foie gras since I live in a very unenlightened state where it is banned!
I hope that the posted online menu is current.
Just one person's unscientific experience, but In the last month I have been with two guests at different places, one of whom said the carte that day was totally different from their website, the other said it was exacty the same.
One would think the Jules Verne, serving so many visitors who are web-saavy, would keep it up to date, but I wouldn't count on it.