Epicure Restaurant at The Bristol Hotel

Cherry Pistachio Dessert at The Bristol Hotel, Paris

It was quite a summer, starting with sipping homemade cherry wine, a picnic at Versailles, checking out the Le Creuset factory, and frying up a batch of “French” fried chicken in a sizzling pan of duck fat.

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris

A few weeks later in the season, I was pulling a cherry clafoutis from my oven, grilling deviled chicken, and pickling strawberries, to take care of the overload from the outdoor markets that I couldn’t resist lugging home.

cheese course at Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris

As summer rounded the bend, I was cracking fresh lobsters and clams after days on the beaches of Cape Cod, refreshing myself with strawberry coolers and gin and tonics, before getting excited about the brisk, cool weather of fall arriving. Not.

Sprinting to the end of summer, I got my fill of corn, tomatoes and basil in my go-to salad. And that was that, in terms of summer for me.

Baguette at The Bristol Hotel in Paris

I love summer and coming from San Francisco, where seasons don’t exist, at least weather-wise, it always a pleasure to experience it. It’s said that when you live in San Francisco, the only way you know what season it is, is by going to the market and seeing what’s available. If there are peaches, it’s summer, no matter how much the fog swirling around you might make you think otherwise. Personally, I’m not quite looking forward to fall quite yet. And I know that at some point, I’ll be happy to see all the apples and pears. But for now, I want to hold on to summer as long as possible.

Sommelier at The Bristol Hotel in Paris

At the very start of the summer, before the beaches, berries, and bivalves, we had lunch at Epicure, the three-star restaurant at The Bristol hotel in Paris. I had eaten there years ago, but after a full-on renovation at the hotel, they invited me to come back to give it a whirl. The previous time we’d eaten there, we were with a chef friend from Napa Valley, and while we had a great time, I don’t remember much of the dinner. (Perhaps that’s also because she’s a sommelier, and we tasted a lot of wine?) This time, both Romain and I were pretty much blown away by the spectacular experience. It was pretty unforgettable.

Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

A French writer once asked me why I thought in a country not known for great customer service, you had such amazing customer service in three-star restaurants. I didn’t quite know the answer (I kind of wanted to know what he thought…since it was his country), but I am always amazed at the subtleties in the service at restaurants like Epicure.

I like the watch as the French servers go from table to table, being a little more formal with French customers, who have different relationships with servers than Americans do. In formal places in America, the waiters may introduce themselves by their first names to us. And we might immediately become pals. In France, the relationship is cordial and seamless, without being overly familiar – it always très correct. Unless you’re a regular customer (or with Romain, who everyone seems to take to right away), there is a different distance between waiters and customers as we are used to in the states. In France, servers are expected to serve and to do it well, not necessarily becoming your friend – real or imagined – in the process.

I told Romain that I thought the server, who wore the ivory-colored jacket (photo down below), in a different world, would be my best friend because he was funny, engaging, and naturally jovial. (I think I’m still très américain…) But the waiter also told us he started work very early in the morning, which puts a kibosh on heading out for late-night drinks. C’est comme ça. 

(And being Romain, he had to tell the waiter what I said about him, which made me very embarrassé. So if you have a French partner like mine, you have to watch what you say.)

Sommelier at The Bristol Hotel in Paris

I love watching the subtleties of polished servers, like those who work in restaurants like this, calmly floating between tables, sizing up customers by their cultures and demeanors, and adjusting their service accordingly without being obsequious or condescending. Because I’ve worked in restaurants, it’s pretty easy to tell from a small roll of an eye, or an exasperated sigh in passing, when a service person is vexed. It’s a real art to make service as seamless and as pleasant as possible, tailoring it to each table and diner.

In some instances, I’ve dined in three-star restaurants and haven’t been as impressed by the food as I thought I should be. But this time, the experience, and the meal, and the service, was sensational.

Kugelhof of olive and chorizo at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

Our lunch started with a squat chorizo and olive-flecked savory kugelhof, presented to us in a little ceramic mold. I was secretly wishing I had brought a sack so I could swipe it. (And if I had mentioned it to my other-half, he probably would have found a way to do it.)

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris

Next up with a tiny trio of tastes; a squat foie gras cream puff, smoked eel (on a stick), and a little taste of summer vegetable soup, topped with pea shoots and fresh herbs. Now if I could only find where to get those pea shoots in big bags, like you can in Chinatown in San Francisco and New York, because they are one of my favorite things. And since Romain discovered them on a recent trip to the states, they’re his too.

Wine at Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris

Then we were each presented with a dome of carrot-ginger mousse in a jiggly pool of fennel jelly. I don’t love fennel, but the slight anise-like bite was the prefect palate perker-upper, especially with the naturally sweet – and colorful – carrot puree, perched on top.

Carrot fennel mousse at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

At restaurants like this, the bread is often the co-star of the meal, backing up the rest of the food, rather than an afterthought or something just to wipe your plate clean with.

Bread at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

Made on the premises, there was a wide choice of little loaves, but we couldn’t get enough of the pain aux céréales, riddled with toasted seeds. Boy, was that good bread. And although it’s not normal to eat bread with butter in French restaurants, in upscale places like this, both sweet and salted butter are brought to the table, and the salted one is always the first one to disappear. In fact, they usually have to bring us more. (And no, not because someone at my table is swiping it…)

Columbian coffee and chocolate dessert

Meals like this can be very filling, so it’s important to pace yourself, not matter how much bread you want to stuff in your craw. We asked to split the macaronis farcis, tubes of homemade pasta stuffed with black truffles, artichokes, and duck foie gras in a Parmesan sauce.

Truffled Pasta at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

I’ve had versions of this dish before. And while it’s not something you could eat everyday, due to its richness, this version I could. It’s just a great combination, and here, it’s executed perfectly.

Roasted artichokes at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

For entrées, Romain had the artichaut de Provence, roasted artichokes with anchovy filets, wisps of deep-fried pink garlic, walnut oil and toasted hazelnuts. It was a good omen of the season, but I went with the tourteau de Roscoff, a dish that had me uncharacteristically speechless, which was an overload of freshly picked crab meat from Brittany, tart green tomato jelly and “mayo” infused with coral and tarragon. Wow. Normally I don’t like sharing dishes because I’m selfish and want to keep it all to myself, but this was too good not to.

Crab at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

There was so much crab, that I unselfishly let a wandering fork take a few bites, until I put a stop to it, and finished it up on my own.

Pigeon at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

For main courses, I went with the honey-lacquered pigeon breasts from Bresse, which was a substantial portion, and came crusted under a crumble of pine nuts and toasted cumin. I made it about halfway through; in spite of how delicious they were, the rosy breasts were very filling.

Lamb at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

Romain had the fancier milk-fed lamb roasted in a crust of nori (seaweed), piment d’Espelette (red pepper powder), with herb gnocchi along with an ultra-smooth kohlrabi puree. I think he was still pining for more of my crabmeat.

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris-16

The cheese cart is always hard to resist in France. While some places pull out all the stops, and wheel out what looks like a hundred cheeses packed onto the trolley, I’m happier with a more well-edited selection since I know my favorites, although am happy to discover some new ones. I’m suspicious of restaurants that offer too many things. I figure it’s really hard to maintain quality when there are so many choices. And often, unfortunately, I’m proved right.

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris-15

And the frugal part of me wonders what happens to all those half-eaten cheeses at the end of the night. There are only so many cheeses that can be consumed at staff meal, although I didn’t take it to ask my new (and imagined) BFF, the waiter.

cheese course at Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris

The cheeses on the cart were ripened and chosen by Marie-Anne Cantin and Bernard Antony, considered two of the best fromagers and affineurs (ripeners) in France. I had little bit of Roquefort, some aged Mimolette, a bâton of Comté, and a slim wedge of Saint-Nectaire, along with a plump, candied plum. And yup, all that cheese was another excuse to get them to bring back that overloaded bread basket.

Bread basket at Le Bristol Hotel, Paris

To segue between the savory part of the meal and dessert, out came bowls of strawberry jelly with tiny fraises des bois (wild strawberries) as a sauce, topped with shaved basil-green apple granita and a berry draped with gold leaf. The luxuriously flavored wild berry puree, in contrast with the herbaceous frozen, tangy/tart ice was exactly the right transition to the desserts that followed.

Wild strawberry and apple basil granita

After all that food, the last thing you want to face is an overload of excellent desserts, not just because the radin (frugal…or cheap) part of me doesn’t like to leave food behind on the plate. But because overeating isn’t my thing. On the other hand, I hate missing out on dessert – especially gone ones!

Pastry chef Laurent Jeannin isn’t the household name other French pastry chefs are, who’ve gone on and opened bakeries so they become more well-known to the public. But if I have any say in the matter, judging from the desserts that we had that afternoon, he’s quite possibly the best pastry chef in Paris.

Cherry Pistachio Dessert at The Bristol Hotel, Paris

Our first dessert was one of the best desserts I’ve ever had. Burlat cherries were halved, then sautéed in a pan with cassonade (unrefined brown sugar), bubbling butter, and Cherry Heering liqueur.

Cherry Pistachio Dessert at The Bristol Hotel, Paris

After being sautéed tableside in a shiny copper pan by one of the smooth servers who happily chatted us up during our meal, the sweet red cherries were doused with kirsch to flambée them before being spooned next to a scoop of intensely flavored cherry sorbet, which no doubt had just been churned just moments. After we finished it, I was going to pretend that I wanted to get a better shot and have him remake it, but I didn’t think that would be nice. (And when I got home I realized that the most pictures of our meal that I had taken were of that dessert. I was so entranced by it.)

Cherry Pistachio Dessert at The Bristol Hotel, Paris

Right next to the cherries was a blown sugar “cherry,” filled with crème de pistache Sicile. A sharp blow to the side cracked the thin sugar shell, allowing use to spoon up the pistachio mousse inside. It was amazing. (And one of those desserts that if done wrong, would come off like a mediocre dessert served at a conference.) Here it was perfectly light and ethereal, with the bright, nutty-green taste of Italian pistachios coming right through, a pairing perfectly with the cherries. Bravo chef!

(And check out the edible decoration on that plate. Those tiny cherries on stems are so classy…and beautiful.)

Cherry Pistachio Dessert at The Bristol Hotel, Paris

Cherry Pistachio Dessert at The Bristol Hotel, Paris

The other dessert was Café de Colombie, a mound of mocha madness made up of dark Colombian coffee ice cream and mousse, caramelized pecans enrobed in gold, and hot chocolate sauce.

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris-32

Normally after all this food, the last thing you want is an overload of desserts. But each had a legerité that made them easy to finish. (And want more.) This dessert, in the wrong hands, could have been a dense, heavy chocolate mousse, the “nail in the coffin,” as I sometimes call it when desserts are way too heavy for the meal that preceded it. But it was light, yet had bold coffee and chocolate flavors, with a light texture that made it just right after our lunch. Bravo, again.

(We didn’t order it, but one of the classic desserts at Le Bristol is the Précieux Chocolat “Nyangbo,” which has a rating of 150% on the “Wow factor” meter. It’s a modernist dome of chocolate and we watched many of our neighbors, with a little bit of envy, break into that.)

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris-17

Like most multi-starred restaurant, there is more after the desserts, which arrive in the way of mignardises, a selection of little mouthfuls that you might enjoy with coffee, or just as a little post-meal treat.

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris-14

There were salted butter and mango/passion fruit caramels, chocolate dipped candied orange zest, clusters of nuts enrobed in dark chocolate, mint marshmallows (I still prefer vanilla), and a box of macarons, including salted butter caramel, cassis, pistachio and our favorite, coconut-milk chocolate.

Macarons at Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris

We were pretty satisfied but took a taste of everything, just a bit, before pulling out seats away from the table, ready to head home.

Madeleines

However just after leaving, the staff, who had been so lovely and provided great service with just enough grandeur to make the lunch feel special, rushed over a tray of warm Madeleines, which made the day a little sweeter.

Le Bristol Restaurant Hotel Paris-27

Epicure at The Bristol Hotel
112, rue du Fauborg Saint-Honoré (8th)
Tél: 01 53 43 43 40

(Note: As mentioned in the story, we were guests of The Bristol for lunch.)


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58 comments

  • August 25, 2015 3:40pm

    I’m not one to easily go “wow” over a blog post. I’m far too familiar with too many of them to be impressed easily, but this, especially the narration and arrangements of visuals is really extraordinary. I still have fond memories of that Le Crueset post. One for the classroom for any would be “investigative” blogger

  • Claire
    August 25, 2015 4:55pm

    What fabulous pictures! The food looks beautiful in addition to knowing, from your write-up, that it tastes fantastic as well. If you can say, what would the cost of a meal like this run? And I’m dying of curiosity, which of the butters in the picture is the salted one? The cone or the disk?

    • August 25, 2015 5:16pm
      David Lebovitz

      Since prices change, I tend not to put prices on posts about restaurants on the site, but at present the pre-fixe lunch menu is €145, and one can opt for the standard tasting menu (which is about twice that). We went à la carte because I wanted to order certain things, to get a broader overview of what the kitchen could do.

      • August 26, 2015 1:11pm

        Hi David,
        Regarding your comment on pricing, what a terrific answer, very fair and honest, Also, I love your work!!!!!!!
        This last post was outstanding, like a mini vacation.

        Thank you,
        Ps, I’m a blogger in training, and you are an excellent teacher.

  • Margaret
    August 25, 2015 5:26pm

    I want to run and book a flight to Paris and a reservation at the Bristol & Epicure right this minute…and I am not kidding!

  • Debbie
    August 25, 2015 5:39pm

    Oh…My…God……it all looks stupendous, but those desserts #envy!

  • Sue
    August 25, 2015 5:51pm

    Sounds and looks divine….swoon…and I would need to take lots of $$$ for that lunch.

  • Peter Longenecker
    August 25, 2015 6:01pm

    I’m under the impression that, when dining at a restaurant these days, taking pictures can be a little dicey: some places don’t mind, others: it is just not done. How was it at Epicure? I’m assuming you asked for permission before the meal.

  • Jennifer Kornblum
    August 25, 2015 6:01pm

    David, i so agree with you!! I could go to eat in Paris just to be serviced lime that. I have dined in various “star” restaurants in Paris and wow. They really do know service. Tell us about the wine you drank please and what you had for a before /after drinks.

  • August 25, 2015 6:20pm
    David Lebovitz

    Peter: Restaurants are generally fine letting you take pictures, especially if you don’t interrupt the pace and service of the meal. (And no flash!) As long as you’re respectful of the work that the servers and cooks are doing, most restaurants of this caliber are fine – and probably nowadays – expect, people to take snaps. Some shops and stores, and market vendors, in Paris do prohibit photos so always best to ask first in Paris when out and about.

    Sue: It’s not inexpensive although there is a pre-fixe lunch menu, which makes dining at restaurants like this in Paris (most 3-star restaurants have a special lunch menu), affordable. The hotel also has an outdoor restaurant in the garden, just across the terrace which looks lovely, but I haven’t eaten there.

    Jennifer: I mostly drink white wine these days, but we had a few glasses of Burgundy, that the sommelier recommended because our main courses were “meaty.” It was a Domain Grivot Nuits-St-Georges Le Charmois, 2009, which I believe is pinot noir. We didn’t have after lunch drinks, because it was daytime, but did have coffee with the chocolate and caramel treats at the end.

  • August 25, 2015 6:20pm

    By now you have read this: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/23/opinion/sunday/dinner-and-deception.html?_r=0

    Who knows the true personality of your server?

    • August 25, 2015 6:26pm
      David Lebovitz

      Hi Dianne: Yes, I’ve read that. Having worked in restaurants most of my life, I think I’m pretty good at picking up any signals the waiters are giving. Of course, they are well-trained to hide any distain or personal feelings they might have that aren’t positive, but I’ve also spent time in kitchens of these kinds of restaurants and see that talking about customers isn’t tolerated, as they know that can “infect” the service in the dining room. We’re also pretty easy-going customers (as mentioned, everyone seems to take quickly to Romain…), so the servers – I felt – were genuinely friendly and accommodating, without being solicitous. (Plus in France, waiters aren’t working for tips, so the service at a restaurant like this is part of their skill set.)

  • August 25, 2015 6:22pm

    Oh mon dieux — I believe I must stop here for lunch next time I’m coming through Paris on my way to Provence.

  • Theone
    August 25, 2015 6:27pm

    Your posts are always excellent, but this one is extraordinary, the photos just incredible! What a delight it is to see and read about a meal this exquisite. I felt like I was right there with you. Thanks, always, for transporting me to this heavenly place.

  • August 25, 2015 6:33pm

    Mind blown. I thank thee.

  • Claire
    August 25, 2015 6:38pm

    I was lucky enough to eat at Epicure two weeks ago (one of very few places open that particular week in August), and I absolutely adored the server in the ivory jacket too! He gave me extra mignardises, so that pretty much sealed the deal.

  • August 25, 2015 6:44pm

    I am so impressed with the wonderful quality of your photos. How do you manage to get such perfect shots at a restaurant? Because you were guests of the hotel did you turn it into a mini photo shoot and ask waiters to pose? As a fellow lifestyle blogger I always feel a bit self conscious taking photos in a restaurant. Any tips?

    • August 25, 2015 7:26pm
      David Lebovitz

      I always want to present food at restaurants and shops in the best possible manner, although that’s not always possible. The light at the hotel was particularly nice for pictures (Paris in general is often slightly shaded, or shadowed, which I find is better for photos), and yes, they did know that I was there, but I do see how they behave with other guests and one can tell when they are being fawned over too much, and we had the same quality of service, and food, as the other tables.

      For other places, I’ve sometimes called or asked if I could come back and take pictures as I wanted to feature them on my blog, especially if I can go into the kitchen and share that with readers. A few places have declined, for whatever reason (one place told me it was because they didn’t want anyone copying them…), but others are fine with it. It’s hard because you don’t want to call first and say you’re coming, so they have expectations, but on the other hand, it’s nice when they are fine with letting you shoot snaps. I think the best thing is just to go as a regular customer, take a few pictures during the meal without interrupting service or the meal, then maybe later, introducing yourself and asking if you can take more shots for your blog. M

  • Ingrid
    August 25, 2015 7:05pm

    Incroyable!

  • Deborah
    August 25, 2015 7:20pm

    Thank you David for sharing this marvelous experience. I feel that (vicariously) I’ve just had an amazing meal and unforgettable meal. Merci.

  • August 25, 2015 8:08pm

    This lunch looks absolutely perfect ! So does all the atmosphere around it, from the waiters’ uniform to the mignardises trolley… Treating oneself to a 3 Michelin Star meal once in a while is such an amazing moment to enjoy…
    Laurent Jeannin is definitely one of the top pastry chefs at the moment, this cherry dessert looks so delicate and I can only imagine the cherry and pistachio taste… I am almost drooling in front of my screen :))
    Thank you for the thorough review, it is very pleasant to read !

  • Tommy
    August 25, 2015 8:11pm

    I loved, loved, loved your post. I try to be a good guest in a restaurant, I believe most people want you to enjoy the experience. I love to tell people how much I love their food while I’m there. I want them to know how much I appreciate their work. I was lucky enough to have a pre fixe lunch at Lucas Carton. Spectacular food, warm service, no door to enter the restaurant, just a sliding glass door that mysteriously opened for us because it was our reservation time. One thing I loved were the breads. Tiny, tiny replicas of a bread basket, so you could taste them all if you wished, each one was a bite of bread with all the deliciousness of the original. The staff was very warm with the two gay Americans and my sister who lived in Paris and spoke fluent French for us. My very favorite memory was the table next to ours was a French couple, the man looked like a 60 year old French businessman or high government official. There was a second woman at the table and I swear she was his mistress. As he left his table, he looked at me, smiled, nodded and kind of giggled like he knew me. Was it two men and one woman at the table? Did I look like someone he knew, who knows but it was a hilarious finish to a perfect lunch. Thanks for sharing yours. And we loved Casa Orinda and its fried chicken. I’d love a list of all your Bay Area finds, I’m sure you know many, many more.

  • August 25, 2015 8:19pm

    I’m blown away by the “cherry” with pistachio cream. Amazing.

  • Claudia
    August 25, 2015 8:23pm

    Epicure is on my “4th Quarter” list — although I wouldn’t mind staying at the hotel, too! My parents’ three trips to Europe and the U.K. were all about finding the perfect little local places for dinner and the 1-, 2-, and 3-star restaurants for lunch. I very much want my next trip overseas to be the same. An honest approach to local foods is, to my mind, how you really learn about a culture. Well, that and seeing how well-kept the neighbourhoods are. Thanks for a wonderful review!!

  • Pam
    August 25, 2015 8:36pm

    Beyond wow! Elegant and beautiful.
    Please visit them for us in the Fall, I need to know what is on the menu then.

  • August 25, 2015 9:04pm

    I will almost certainly never get to dine at Epicure, but I feel as if I’ve been there now. Thanks.

  • Angharad
    August 25, 2015 9:27pm

    I love your blog and this post was especially good. I lived en France for two years, Aix en Provence, when my family was young so I can relate to some of your reflections on French life. Your writing brings back happy memories although I don’t think I could leave Canada now.

  • Bob Y
    August 25, 2015 9:35pm

    Your comments on the service highlight the very best of dining well at a major French restaurant. And why such an experience cannot be duplicated, even at 3 stars around the world. It brings back memories of Taillevant and the like, where you put yourself in a self-contained world of extraordinary ease and refinement and where, for a few hours, the world goes away and everything is about you. How I wish my health were better, I’d be on a plane tonight for Le Bristol – a pretty wonderful hotel in its own right. How I envy you, but at least I have wonderful memories that you have so beautifully awakened.

  • Mary
    August 25, 2015 9:46pm

    I am speechless upon viewing that bit of cherry and pistachio perfection!!!!!

  • Kathleen Mann
    August 25, 2015 10:19pm

    ¡Ay, dios! With the “macaronis farcis” you have me seduced, then you add “le crème de pastiche Sicile”, and I’m conquered, completely. I must go there, and I will. Saving my centimes until the right moment … and meanwhile, lucky you! Thank you for bringing us the good stuff.

  • pmm
    August 25, 2015 10:25pm

    Thank you, David. I felt like I was at the lunch with you.

  • Beth
    August 25, 2015 10:55pm

    I took the opportunity to lunch at The Bristol 2 years ago. What an exciting culinary experience. Your comments about the perfection of the waiters is so very true. It was a highlight of the trip and I will return. Lovely!!

  • David K
    August 25, 2015 11:00pm

    David, re: the pea shoots. If you have a sunny window sill, fire escape (sort of thing) or any outdoor space at all, just get yourself a bag or box of pea ‘seeds’ sow them shallowly in small trays or pots, in some light commercial soil, water to keep them just damp and in no time you’ll have lots and lots of pea shoots. You can do it over and over so there’s always a small supply. Great post. I love Le Bristol and Epicure.

    • August 25, 2015 11:12pm
      David Lebovitz

      Thanks, I have flower boxes but they are susceptible to people walking by. I’ve tried growing herbs in them, but people kept stealing them. The final straw was when someone pulled out several plants…including the roots! I’ve inquired around the Chinatowns in Paris and have never seen them (not sure why, since they’re so good…) but looks like we’ll have to keep getting our “fix” in the states. (Unless I can convince the chef here to get me a big bag!)

    • Tommy
      August 25, 2015 11:21pm

      David, did you ask the Bristol where they get them?

  • GMB
    August 25, 2015 11:37pm

    oh my word, that was wonderful.

  • Susan
    August 26, 2015 12:37am

    Oh, my. Your post was an absolute delight as were the accompanying photos. Everything seemed to be perfect and beautifully “orchestrated”: the cuisine, the service and the ambiance. I’m still awe struck by your descriptions! Thank you!

  • August 26, 2015 1:18am

    Another fabulous post and amazing pictures. Everything is stunning about this hotel restaurant…it was like I was right there!

  • Debbie C
    August 26, 2015 3:37am

    Oh my. Such an amazing experience! I’m dying just reading about each dish! Paris is full of wonderful pastry shops, and if that pastry chef is the best in Paris, I truly hope I can eat there one day. Wow.

  • August 26, 2015 5:09am

    Beauty, defined!

    Thank you, David. I am ready to book my flight.
    :)

  • phyllis
    August 26, 2015 5:49am

    What a meal! The first shot of that waiter looked so refined and crisp. Lovely.

  • Sylvie Ogorek
    August 26, 2015 7:31am

    Where to start. I would eat it all and more, but the bread basket would be devoured in a second. I am living in the U.S. now, and do not like the bread and only eat bread if I make a bagel for breakfast. Even bad bread in France is good. The bread they served you was it and a bag of chips. You are one blessed man eating there. Every dish was beautifully presented and very tasty by looking at it. Lucky man!!!!!

  • Kiki
    August 26, 2015 7:40am

    Oh David — I love your blogs, but this one, with all those pictures and descriptions is truly exceptional! don’t want to admit it but it’s almost making me cry — in desperation — coz I want to be there NOW, and for reasons of all sorts, cannot go for at least a while! S-I-G-H! Keep up the good work, darling, of making life worth living!

  • Barbara
    August 26, 2015 1:03pm

    I’m utterly gobsmacked. Oh my God. Out of every post I’ve ever read (and I’ve been with you from the start) this one has me wanting to fly to Paris today and order everything exactly as written. Beautiful food, beautiful service, beautiful post. Wow.

  • August 26, 2015 3:00pm

    Wow such exquisite dishes and photos. Thank you for all the delicious details

  • Jean
    August 26, 2015 5:27pm

    Wow. Just wow. I can’t add anything to the other comments. It’s wonderful to get to experience such a meal even second-hand, with such a detailed description and exquisite photos. Thank you.

  • Suzie Owsley
    August 27, 2015 12:32am

    Any chance your imagined BFF would be able to get you recipes of this magnificent meal?

    That cherry bomb..is the real bomb..~

    Thanks for transporting me back to Paris.. and making my ho hum afternoon here at work, a genuine feast. And not one calorie consumed!

  • August 27, 2015 11:16am

    Dear David;
    I totally got waylaid (correct word?) by Diane Jacob’s NYT link… what a ‘story’ – incl the following comments on it.
    BUT already yesterday and again today, I simply drooled over your post AND the most amazing photos. I too would have asked How on earth can you take such spectacular photo, did you get them with a camera? Or with a smartphone? I can’t believe the quality of your artwork. I’m schtumm with admiration.
    And this post goes beyond the stratophere of food p.o.r.n; it’s über-beautiful and tempting. I know I’ll never be able to eat there but if I could find a fairy to sponsor me and Hero Husband, I probably would even lick the bread crumbs, it all looks so divine. I literally tasted every course of your meal – ate about three baskets of the bread alone and my stomach grumbles with food-envy once more this morning. WHAT are you doing to me?
    Thank You so much. You are a treasure to behold.

  • August 27, 2015 11:22am

    sorry, one more remark: What I especially love about your blogs is the absolute trueness, kindness and ‘never-blessing’ attitude of your portrayed people and places. It often strikes me that you comment without judging, with much understanding and staying fair & ‘neutral’ in difficult situations. You are a true example.

    • Amy -Hunting Valley, Ohio
      August 30, 2015 3:38pm

      Kiki, I so agree with you. There is such warmth in David’s writing. He has a way of taking the reader along with him on his fabulous journeys, and he sees the world with such fresh eyes and an open heart. I always feel like I’ve had a little vacation after reading his posts. This one in particular was really special.

  • August 27, 2015 12:02pm

    OMG! I love the wine & breads so much! I enjoy reading your post! Thanks for sharing all these!

  • moineau16
    August 27, 2015 10:41pm

    It sounds amazing. We had a rather similar experience at the 2** restaurant: the out-of-this-world breads, the beautifully mastered dishes, the light desserts, the many extras… A really-really great restaurant is an fantastic experience.

  • Leroy
    August 28, 2015 3:48am

    I agree that top restaurants in France have superb service. Many years ago we ate at a famous Michelin three star in Paris. A guest of ours, a woman who lived in Paris, at one point in the meal decided to smoke a cigarette (that was allowed at the time, not sure if it is now). In a very subtle move, a server discreetly opened a window behind where we were seated, to clear the air. Nothing was said, but I was blown away!

  • Hillary
    August 28, 2015 4:49am

    I can’t believe all this was LUNCH! I hope you went home afterwards for a 3-hour nap. Thank you for sharing – beautiful photos and narrative.

  • August 29, 2015 5:19pm

    This post should win some sort of award! Seriously ~

  • August 30, 2015 3:33am

    Wonderful photos – it is nice they allowed photos. Whenever i go to really nice restaurants, i often feel unclear on whether i should secretly take photos of my food, i take the photos and wait for someone to interject. And beautiful plating!

  • Haggie
    September 1, 2015 10:45pm

    My wife and I had dinner there two years ago. Probably one of the most amazing meals we have ever eaten.

    For lunch, do they provide you a room at the hotel so you can begin your food induced coma/nap immediately upon completion of lunch?