Coming to Paris in January. Looking for recommendation on one epic dinner
I'm making a quick 4 night trip to Paris in mid January. I plan on eating my way through the city, but am also interested in doing one dinner without worrying too much about budget. Similar to the French Laundry of San Francisco, the Alinea of Chicago, the 11 Madison or Per Se of New York City. I'm not too familiar with the options in Paris, and though I've done a lot of research, I'm having a hard time narrowing down my options.
Are there 2 or 3 restaurants that you would recommend for me to narrow my options down to? I'm a lover of all food, but I would love something that includes some meat dishes and not limited to seafood, and considering I'm in France, ideally a French cuisine.
There are too many options for me to pick from! L'Astrance seems intriguing, any thoughts on that?
Thanks so much!
" L'Astrance seems intriguing, any thoughts on that? "
Yes, it's not 11 Madison-Park or the FL or Grant Achatz.
Hummm, ask Parnassien, he's the only one here who has an expense account that I know of altho' Dean and Deluca seems able to reach.
Me - I'm content with Lazare and the Cantine de Le Cigale at 1/5th the price.
Aside from wide differences in the food, Astrance does not share the service ethos of either FL or Per Se. It seems to garner a love or hate response. You might find it valuable to run a Chow search on it and see how you parallel the various writers.
L'Astrance will certainly be epic, brilliant, and won't leave you half-unconscious. Gagnaire might be epic in the sense of overwhelming.
There are many threads, though none very recent, about the compared merits of the top restaurants in the city (but top Paris restaurants don't change that much, really). There are essentially two questions here:
1- What part of the experience do you value most (traditional service, fun service, extraordinary ingredients, virtuose cooking, creativity, wine list)?
2- What's your risk profile? (most of the really best are hit or miss -- because that's the nature of haute cuisine)
Now, here's the short-ish story, since we haven't discussed that in a while.
In my opinion, Ledoyen has the best food of them all -- the superlative ingredients and the extreme mastering and the good taste. Top location also, service not on par with the best. My pics: https://picasaweb.google.com/11007814...
Others like l'Ambroisie for that same perfect food factor -- it's much more like a sublime version of a bourgeois dining room and uses no molecular or modern technique at all. Some pics from our own olivierb: http://www.flickr.com/photos/45095140...
The other two leader for top food (meaning those that have the potential to redefine food) are l'Arpège and Pierre Gagnaire -- the first one for almost casual dining and vegetable centered cuisine, the second one for a swirl of bites and an always overwhelming experience.
For a safe, almost always fun experience, and still potential for unforgettable food, Savoy and Le Cinq are probably the leaders.
For superlative service and wine list, we're talking Taillevent (we used to talk le Meurice but Ducasse worked his wonder here which in my opinion means the good food is gone), the original Gusteau.
Some people love Pré Catelan, but why is beyond me.