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Le Bristol and other great Paris restaurants


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2- Frechon opened a bistrot in the rue Mademoiselle (15e), called Le Cristal de Sel. Anyone been?

Yes. this summer
Five years under the mast of Eric Frechon? Not enough.

2.0 Cristal de Sel, 13, rue de Mademoiselle in the 15th, 01.42.50.35.29, closed Sundays and Mondays.  I really wanted to like this place, modestly favorably written up by Emmanuel Rubin and Francois Regis Gaudry, more enthusiastically by Richard Hesse, chef’d by Eric Frechon’s second for five years at the Bristol, featuring good products from Camdeborde frere, Bordier, etc., and described by Gaudry as a Maserati mounted on the Twingo.  It has brand new zinc tables and a nice airy atmosphere, but incredibly bad acoustics.  We were seven, three from the neighborhood and we four from far away, and we disagreed about the quality of our meals; our local friends loving it, we more ambivalent.  The amuse bouche were fine rillettes and the Fitou was good.  We shared one first; a boite of Ramon Pena sardines that cost 10 € that came with algae-infused butter; shared, in that two of us had one each (eg 5 € each) constituting the biggest canned sardine ripoff since Minchelli peddled them for over a $100 a tin.  Then we had a host of dishes that we more or less shared.  The duck filet was nicely cooked but judged too tough by one of us, although the accompanying caramelized turnips were fabulous; the cabillaud with petit pois and mousserans was OK; the tuna quite tasty and properly crisp on the outside, raw on the inside; but the poitrine of pork with mustard seed coating was more super-salé  than demi-salé  although the girolles were quite good.  Desserts included crepes with apples, a mi-cuit of chocolate, a peach tarte, and a sable with rhubarb and roasted apricots; only the latter of which was mind-blowing.  Taking away the jokey sardines and pasta that the youngest of our guests had (together costing 22 €) the bill would have been 242 € for six adults or 80 € a couple.

Should one go? If you’re like my friends and it’s walking distance from home, sure.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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  • 8 months later...

I have finally uploaded the pictures from my April vacation in Paris to flickr, and have also started labeling them. Here are the pics from Le Bristol:

Le Bristol dinner pictures

Very good dinner, although I think I like the lighter atmosphere in the summer dining room more than the lovely but somewhat more serious-seeming winter dining room. The pictures at Flickr are labeled with my menu choices, but briefly:

amuse bouche - sorry, I don't take notes, so I don't remember exactly - some sort of mousse, I think with foie gras beneath

starter - the macaroni dish discussed in other reports. excellent, although somehow not as good as I remembered from my first visit - maybe simply because it was a repeat, so a bit less exciting

fish - lobster with asparagus and morels - really tasty, but how do you go wrong with those ingredients?

meat - sweetbreads - very good, but perhaps not excellent.

I think I did have the cheese course, but if so, I didn't take any pictures

pre-dessert - nice ice/sorbet thing

dessert - beautiful; worth looking at the pictures just for this. It was a frozen mint parfait, served in a chocolate purse - that is, chocolate formed like a handbag. very cute. plus unbelievable amounts of raspberries in sauce on the side. You can just see the extra raspberries off to the side.

service was excellent. I went on a Sunday, and the dining room was either full or mostly full, I can't quite remember. I had a nice meursault, but unfortunately without having taken notes cannot remember it.

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During certain April discussions on these forums (at the time I was in Paris, in fact), I was one of the more vocal supporters of a compressed and decadent dining schedule during vacations. After two glorious weeks in Paris, I’m still very much in that camp. :biggrin:

Anyway, besides the pictures already uploaded, I also had dinner at Guy Savoy, but unfortunately forgot to take pictures, and had a second lunch at L’Ambroisie (on my last day in Paris, because it is my favorite), with pictures I haven’t yet uploaded. I will fill in descriptions on Flickr and provide links in appropriate threads when I have time.

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During certain April discussions on these forums (at the time I was in Paris, in fact), I was one of the more vocal supporters of a compressed and decadent dining schedule during vacations.  After two glorious weeks in Paris, I’m still very much in that camp.  :biggrin:

Anyway, besides the pictures already uploaded, I also had dinner at Guy Savoy, but unfortunately forgot to take pictures, and had a second lunch at L’Ambroisie (on my last day in Paris, because it is my favorite), with pictures I haven’t yet uploaded.  I will fill in descriptions on Flickr and provide links in appropriate threads when I have time.

Minutes ago I found your photo sets on Flickr and was just about to ad a link when I spotted your above post.

I think I can speak for all and say you eat extremely well and may have broken some kind of consecutive 3 star dining record. If not your monthly dining budget certainly is a candidate for the Guiness book of records. :laugh:

Your L'Ambroisie photos practically had me drooling. And those morels!! WOW.

Robert R

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Wow. Nice trip. Very nice trip.

You were at l'Ambroisie the same day as Ian T and me. Were you there for lunch? You weren't the lass shoved out to the table next to the toilet were you? You might remember Ian T as the bald noisy eater with crumbs all over his table?

Crumbs which he later scraped up with Helene's business card. Bastard.

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