Friday, May 30, 2003

Paris-May 2003-Restauarant Report

Astrance ...4, rue Beethoven, 16ème, on the border of the 7ème, near the Eiffel Tower; Métro: Passy, line 6; phone # 01-40-50-84-40.
This was my absolutely very favorite...exquisite food, service, ambience; 3 courses, but several extras and several surprises; all beautifully presented, delicious and light. Surprise appetizer: extremely thinly sliced mushrooms layered with something. Appetizer: avocado and crabmeat layered. Surprise: soup....which turned out to be a bread soup. Surpise: sorbet, I forget the flavor. Plat: thin sliced lamb, perfectly cooked, with white asparagus, peas, onions, etc. Dessert: fresh berries with a delicious light sauce and another sorbet and a plate of fresh fruit, grapes, etc. Extra dessert: little chocolate pastries. The extras and surprises added a mystique or cachet, a je ne sais quoi ! Impeccable service yet warm and friendly. I will always return to Astrance. Lunch: menu 35€ with no choices or à la carte, if you prefer. Aperitif 6€ coffee 5€

Le Cinq ...at the George V Hotel on Av George V...an exquisite experience from the moment we entered the hotel... impeccable service yet warm and friendly; they went out of their way to seat us far from smokers; wonderful food, beautifully presented. Lunch menu 60 €; Kir Royal 21€ coffee 7€

Le Violon d'Ingres ...135, rue Saint-Dominique, 7ème, M: Ecôle Militaire; excellent food, service, formal ambience, very correct but not very warm, few extras. Lunch menu with choices: 39 €; aperitif 10 €; coffee 6 €; I had green asparagus, Coquille St-Jacques and Chocolate Mousse with Caramel. They have a designated non-smoking section, but alas! à la française, 2 men at one table lit up cigars and at another table a man smoked a cigarette, but at least they waited until they had finished lunch; we had not finished our lunch... Beautiful same level, easily accessible toilettes!

Le Petit Zinc ...rue Saint Benoit, 6ème, the street between Les Deux Magots and Café Flore. We ate late lunch; outdoors; wonderful food, beautifully presented; loved it; would definitely go back; menu 23 €- 2 plats; we shared an appetizer-marbre melon; we each had a main course-I had Sandre; then we shared dessert- Pastilla: 3 things on the plate, the most beautifully presented dessert, even for Paris. If you need more food, they have a 3-plat menu 28 €.

L'Orangerie ....28, rue St-Louis-en-l'Ile; open only at night-8:00; they serve menu only with a number of choices; 65 € including a bottle of house wine for 2; you can order wine à la carte; excellent food, ambience, service; warm and comfortable; our serveur was superb; tables close together so that a French 3-some struck up a conversation with us. To the right of us another French 3-some were too busy puffing away throughout their meal to be friendly. My appetizer of white asparagus with a light vinegarette dressing was the best I ever had. Aperitif 10 €; coffee 6 € After an aperitif and wine I was very reluctant to descend the long, narrow, curving stairway to the toilettes!

Le Boeuf Sur Le Toit ....rue Colisée, 8ème, off the Champs or off Faubourg St. Honoré; brasserie; opens for dinner at 7:00, but very few people until 8:00; good food; lively atmosphere; warm, friendly; they actually have a non-smoking room; avoid room with bar and piano, gets very noisy; dinner menu 31€ including wine and coffee.

Le Soufflé .....rue Mt. Thabor, 1er, M: Tuileries; pleasant; various priced menus; famous for their soufflés.....of all kinds: entrés, plats, desserts; plus non-soufflé dishes

Le Crillon ... for tea...Le Jardin d'Hiver, adjacent to their Les Ambassadeurs restaurant; exquisite ambience; enjoyed the beautiful harp music; Cappucino 8 €. I have eaten at Les Ambassadeurs on previous visits both lunch and even dinner when prices were more affordable; elegant; everyone should go at least once.

Le Bristol ....at the Bristol Hotel; lunch menu 65 €! exotic choices; very, very formal, impersonal; very quiet; everyone including the guests seemed to speak in whispers; I doubt that I would ever go back here.

La Fermette Marbeuf .....rue Marbeuf, 8ème, M: George V; service inconsistent; food good; soufflé au Grand Marnier; someone recommended Chez André on the same street, but we didn't get there.

La Lune Rousse ...rue de la Harpe, 5ème, Latin Quarter, good food, informal, fun, reasonable, tables close together so that everyone talks to one another. Lots of smoke, too.

Chez Paul ....good place to stop for light lunch or hot chocolate or coffee....near Hôtel de Ville; 2nd floor is non-smoking and overlooks the Place.

La Rhumerie ...6th, Blvd St Germain, not far from Café Flore and
Les Deux Magots; glass enclosed café; another good place to stop or to escape the rain; specialty drinks, mostly with rhum; however, I had cappuccino.

Le Madeline 7 ....Blvd. Madeline....good place for a stop or if you want to eat supper/dinner early; light supper; I had a Salade Niçoise 9.50 € wine 4.70 €

Berthillon ....for ice cream; I realize that this is on everyone's list, but for us, while the ice cream is good, it was not special enough to make a special trip to the Ile St Louis for it. We each tried 2 flavors; sorry, I don't remember what the flavors were.

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