In my eight-day stay (Oct 17 to 24) in Paris, I’ve been to 16 restaurants in France. 2 in Lyon, one in Champagne, one in Versailles with the others in Paris. 8 of them are Michelin garlanded establishments. After a bit of musing, I now come up with my entirely personal ranking of preference for them as follows.
1. Le Cinq in Paris ***
2. Paul Bocuse in Lyon ***
3. La Trois Marches in Versailles **
4. Les Crayeres in Reims **
5. Taillevent in Paris ***
6. Grand Vefour in Paris ***
7. Le Meurice in Paris **
8. Guy Savoy in Paris ***
Note: according to the 2004 edition of the Michelin Red Guide
The preference sequence is based on the overall dining experience I’ve had in these outlets. The most important element is of course the food, of which I give about 60% weighting. The service and the setting split the remaining.
I said the other day I’ll follow in Andy Hayler’s footsteps and come up with a super menu based the lunch or dinner I’ve had in these restaurants. Well, here it is.
Best amuse bouche
Les Trois Marches: Langoustine in fried rice roll – super fresh and plump.
Taillevent: Foie gras ravioli – frothiest foie gras on earth.
Grand Vefour: Pumpkin soup with caviar cream - c'est tres beau!
Best main course
Paul Bocuse: White pigeon three ways – pigeon cooked to its fullest.
Le Cinq: Pan-sauteed Saint Jacques – in perfect harmony with the earthy sunchoke and truffle jus.
La Trois Marches: Long-stewed veal – the daintiest one can imagine.
La Trois Marches: Les chariots de fromages – 3 full trays of cheese!
Le Meurice: honeydew melon glace & meringue with gold crust - the most stylish in the Fashion Capital.
Les Crayeres: figs souffle in caramel-made cage – the most ‘Object d’Art’ of dessert.
-most indulgent and yummiest
Paul Bocuse – 3 full tables of dessert are on your disposal.
Best wine list
Le Cinq – more than 45,000 bottles of wine.
Le Cinq – their motto to serve you is Moliere’s “the greater the obstacle, the greater the glory in overcoming it.”
Le Cinq and Le Meurice – they can surely remind you the Napoleon Salon in the Louvre.
Guy Savoy – E210 for a prix fixe lunch!
Le Cinq (E120 for a 5-course lunch) & Taillevent (E70 for a 3-course lunch).
For the un-starred restaurants, the ranking of my preference is as follows:
1. Le Bouchon aux Vins in Lyon
2. L'Atelier de Joel Robuchon
3. Aux Lyonnais (bib gourmand)
4. L’Avant Gout (bib gourmand)
6. Le Severo (bib gourmand)
7. Guinguette de I’lle du Martin Pecheur
8. La Table du Lancaster
Note: according to the 03/04 editions of the Michelin Red Guide