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Paris restaurants

Discussion in 'Social Life, Food & Drink, Travel' started by mafoofan, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. crdb

    crdb Well-Known Member

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    Mar 22, 2014
    Quote:Briefly jumping in on the thread despite not having been in Paris for years because that "rising tension" is just PR. There's basically two types of restaurants in France, super expensive and "popular". Both types offer nouvelle cuisine (Arpege for expensive, many of this thread's recommendations for cheap) and cuisine bourgeoise/classical Escoffier style cooking (such as Le Bristol which I think should be added to this thread - famous for their chicken cooked in a pig's bladder, recently got third star if I recall). If you fail on the Michelin path, or you just can't handle all the other stuff that you need to maintain the stars, you can always "quit" loudly (your financial backer will arrange a few journalists) and "reject" the Michelin world for "simpler roots", bonus if you can include how you will now source only the best organic ingredients for better flavour (because you of course did not, when you were running $200/night menus). Nouvelle cuisine is not new, it has been around for decades; officially, it started after chefs travelled to Asia and brought back ideas particularly from Japan about lighter food with more emphasis on presentation and the non-food aspects of the meal. I'd say it's the default these days rather than the "rule-breaking" upstart. If anything, cuisine bourgeoise is making a comeback (e.g. l'Ami Jean). Nouvelle cuisine became popular officially for dietary/presentation/new is good reasons but chefs also loved it because it was much easier, and critics because if you're eating out twice a day, you'd rather have a light meal than the rich heavy foods of the past (e.g. the River Cafe is a massive critic favorite in London, or at least was when I was there a decade ago). For chefs, if you're just frying a tuna steak and putting it onto an artful arrangement of flowers, you can screw up your tuna steak and just put another one on the fire. But screwing up the 3 hour preparation for one of the classical sauces (or 2 days for Lievre a la Royale, which you should try by the way) risks your entire night, and the ingredients are not always cheap either. It's hard to find talent that is actually capable of doing cuisine bourgeoise properly, especially due to the drop in demand for it over decades, in the same way as tailors were arguably more skilled in the pre-War days because the large amount of demand drew more people to the field and gave them more experience. My advice for a night out in Paris would be to find a friend (French or not) who lives there AND who likes the finer things in life and ask him for recommendations. A lot of the good places particularly the "popular" don't really appear on social media or get reviewed, they're crowded enough as it is. This might seem funny but if you can get into a good corporate canteen where your buddy is working, you should also do this. If I had two places to sample both nouvelle cuisine and the classical, it would be Arpege and Le Bristol respectively. I might be outdated but from memory they stood, philosophically, as the best examples of their respective styles. One day after I win the lottery/sell my company I will probably also visit La Tour d'Argent, not so much for the food per se but the history of the ducks and their cellar which is rumoured to be the "greatest". If I could travel back in time, I would drive to Marc Veyrat's restaurants which were the first and only to achieve a 20/20 in the Gault et Millau, and offer truly unique stuff by virtue of him seeking ingredients in the forest that nobody else is using; unfortunately he had a ski accident or something and had to close both.
     
    Last edited: May 24, 2016
    4 people like this.
  2. deepitm

    deepitm Well-Known Member

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    Chicago
    
    I believe I just saw that they are auctioning off / auctioned off some of their cellar (although it is still enormous).
     
  3. poorsod

    poorsod Well-Known Member

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    Viet Thai is quite good.

    [​IMG]
     
  4. Scelerat

    Scelerat Well-Known Member

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    Sep 8, 2016
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    Cambridgeshire
    I'm still getting used to this system.......
     
    Last edited: Sep 14, 2016
  5. Scelerat

    Scelerat Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Cambridgeshire
    Surely, if the majority of the diners were Americans you would have been hearing accented English?
     
  6. RedLantern

    RedLantern Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    The Brooklyn of Seattle
    On our one night stopover in Paris on our way back home (spent 4 days there when we arrived in France), we ate ate Le Comptoir de La Gastronomie. I wish we had eaten there our first night - I would have gone back every day!

    They mainly do duck and goose centered classics, but GOOD GOD everything was delicious, and incredibly inexpensive. I've never eaten so well for so little. I hated Paris, but would go back for LCdLG.
     

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