Memorable Meals — Paris
As this Tolucan Times is a Restaurant Issue, we are eager to present two dreamy and delectable dining spots for your Paris wish list. Their cuisine is beautiful and beyond. The locations are majestic and historic hotels.
LE BRISTOL HOTEL’S “114, Faubourg”
Lunch on the Right Bank
DAVID: The address (#114) graces a street, Faubourg Saint-Honore, which began its illustrious life in 1715 and has become known as one of the most treasured in the world. Le Bristol Hotel shines its 5 Stars over this street of lavishly luxurious designer shops, antique stores, art galleries, and presidential residences. Until recently, in order to sample the cuisine of the Bristol’s gastronomic restaurant and its 3-Starred Chef Eric Frechon, most would have to afford all the other things that can be purchased on this famous street.
Now, however, there is a second, relatively reasonably priced restaurant — 114 faubourg — a sure sign that management recognizes the current economy.
JACKIE: Let me be crystal clear, the quality of 114, faubourg meets the standard always offered by the classic Bristol kitchen. It is as beautiful and comfortable a dining space that one could dream of. The flowered wall paintings put me in a dream state, while I savored the finest lunch I had in Paris. We chose the lower of 114’s two levels where we could view the kitchen and the deft dance of the staff, including young Chef Eric Desbordes, mentored by Chef Frechon. They gracefully produced the superb food. David will recommend.…
DAVID: JJ savored the preserved duck foie gras with spices, figs, and raisin jelly. Her Sole and fresh spinach with capers oil sauce, perfection. (She kept nibbling at my beautifully presented salad of crunchiest lettuce hearts, candied tomatoes with cream of anchovy sauce.) I had a wonderful fillet of veal with parmesan polenta. Then we had a delicious tour of the hotel, including the new spa near their indoor seascape pool.
Charming. Google and be transported.
LUTETIA HOTEL — QUEEN OF THE LEFT BANK
Dinner at the Paris
DAVID: Just steps around the corner from our Cherche Midi apartment, The Lutetia is our favorite Bank’s only grand hotel rated 4 Stars (Plus!) reflecting the “Belle Époque” and Art Deco periods. The Lutetia Bar has long been my personal favorite in Paris, and I’ve always paid at least one visit to sip champagne and listen to jazz or their wonderful pianist.
We had already lunched in the Lutetia Brasserie, typical but way above most. Jacqueline had her favorite Beef tartare (she has sampled many), and I had the world’s best oysters.
JACKIE: We were fortunate to join the Lutetia’s young, charming International Director of Sales, Marina De Frisching, for dinner in their renowned Paris Restaurant. Before our meal, Marina treated us to a peek at a few of the hotel’s otherworldly suites. Enormous spaces, with some of the best views in Paris, art-filled, full of surprising themes of Africa, Asia, tributes to women, and music. The Arman Suite was decorated by the sculptor Arman himself with the furniture resembling grand musical instruments. One has to see to believe. An entrance to a suite looks like a landing strip, with twinkle lights lining a long hall. Novel, with all the highest technology discretely tucked.
While eagerly heading to sample the cuisine of Michelin Star Chef Philippe Renard, we ogled the spa, the contemporary art, learned of their literary season, new Fumoir, where aficionados enjoy their cigar with a Cuban accent.
DAVID: Our talented young dinner companion travels constantly all over the world to convince clients what we already know: The Lutetia is a very special place indeed. We hope to stay here on our next trip over. But tonight belongs to the dinner and the wines of The Paris. Jackie is enchanted with langoustines surrounded by sea bass, marinated with pink grapefruit, pine nuts and avocado; Marina had a magnificent Brittany lobster; while I indulged Basque rack of pork with black truffle potatoes, and girolle mushrooms, and then dessert! A “chocolate experience” and a fruit fascination served in a mystic haze of (the fantasy of dry ice). Again, turn to the internet to taste the allure of this, “if the walls could talk” Hotel Lutetia in Paris.