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3 star restaurants - history and recommendations


cabrales
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I promised to alert you to any gastronomic souvenirs that might be of interest. I did discover the Paris supplement of the 1952 Guide Michelin -- this is from my parents' first trip to France, sans enfants. I remember that they (with my grandparents) did get to the Tour d'Argent, then 2 stars, and found the pressed duck lousy. Robert has the Michelin 3-Star History, but this would be useful to anyone wishing to check the lesser members of the firmament.

I just noticed that Chez l'Ami Louis, then 1- star, offered ortalons as a specialty.

Edited by VivreManger (log)
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  • 3 months later...

Dear egulleters

I’m off to Paris soon but can’t decide which 3-star to visit after reading recent posts. I’m planning a lunch one day & dinner the next. I suppose I’m looking for 2 places with the biggest “wow” factor.

Any the following still up there or simply living off past reputations?

Pierre Gagnaire, Lucas Carton, Grand Vefour, Guy Savouy, Tallivant, L’Ambroise or Ledoyen

Have I missed a vital place (Ducasse is discounted as is Le Cinq as I’ve been already)

Much appreciated

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Gagnaire is the only one I have eaten in last year, so I can't offer comparison to those in which my experience may no longer valid, or those in which I've not eaten. That said, I don't think Gagnaire is living off a unjustified reputation. The "wow" was still there for us, although I don't know that it was as great as the first time--but mostly because we had some idea of what to expect. It may be subjective food however and I've heard of less than ideal service on a night when neither the chef, nor Mme. Gagnaire were not in the restaurant.

There's a very recent thread on Gagnaire you should read and I believe all of the others have been mentioned recently on eGullet and a search on their names might be useful.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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I ate at Arpege, Ambroisie and Guy Savoy in the past 6 months. (I was living in Paris at the time).

They are all very good restaurants --- and you can have great meals at any of them. A brief comparison (lapsing into caricature)

Guy Savoy -- very fun food, original and delicious. Excellent sommelier(s). Nice long interesting tasty menus. Maybe the food lacks that final touch of perfection. Quite busy contemporary feel.

L' Ambroisie. Very classical and refined. Nice calm rooms off a very beautiful square. Nothing strikingly original but really flawless technique of some classic dishes.

L' Arpege. More cutting edge. Very very expensive. (320 Euro tasting menu). Wines very expensive. Almost no meat on the menu. Amazing vegetables and fish.

Hope this helps -- have a nice time. I could be a bit more detailed if you want.

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All I can add to this is be quick if you want L'Ambroisie or Ledoyen, I tried booking a midweek table for dinner with 4 weeks notice and failed miserably at both although L'Ambroisie did put me on a waiting list :sad: Ledoyen did have lunchtime tables available.

Any assistance anybody can give me in securing either of these reservations much appreciated :wink:

"Why would we want Children? What do they know about food?"

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..... Ledoyen, I tried booking a midweek table for dinner with 4 weeks notice and failed miserably at both ....

I managed to get Ledoyen with less than 2 weeks notice - so keep trying

Taillivant (sp?) was full but Pierre G, Lucas Carton & Grand Vef - all had spaces

I went for PG in the end (but may cancel if the pound doesn't pick up against the euro!)

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  • 8 months later...

Good for Trama. Everybody else is recapturing the lost stars and they are receiving what was long overdue. His cuisine actually was at its most daring phase in the second part of the 80s. But better late than never.

Also notice that Alleno at Meurice got a second star immediately. No surprise that Muses lost one. Alleno is supposed to be one of the very best among young chefs and a candidate for a third star in a few years.

Also noticed that Les Crayeres has been relegated to two following Boyer's retirement.

Personally I was never impressed by Cote St. Jacques. L'Esperance, on the other hand is interesting. When Meneau is on, he is capable of turning some to the best examples of Burgundy/traditional cooking with intelligent twists. Lets hope that he is really coming back as he is also a passionate person who transmits his joy of life to the patrons.

Watch out for Cussac who left Beaulieu for Monaco. I have not had his cuisine but Robert Brown did and Cussac is an ex-Robuchon. Robuchon will be a consultant in the new venture at hotel Metropole.

This is the last Michelin with the British Derek Brown. Expect more changes next year.

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And Olivier Roellinger, one of the world's greatest chefs, still has two stars? This is getting ridiculous.

I've dined at La Cote St. Jacques something like 6 times and I've also attended Jean-Michel Lorain's cooking classes. I would categorize it as clearly a three-star restaurant -- the only reasons it got temporarily dropped to two are, I think, that the overdue renovation caused a lot of upheaval and the final stages of the intergenerational transfer of power were a bit confused. This was Michelin's way of saying: "We're not going to tell people to fly from New York and Tokyo to dine at your place in Burgundy until you get your shit together." But the new dining room is totally up to three-star standards and a lot of the lingering dinosaur cuisine has been banished in favor of Jean-Michel's better contemporary stuff.

Steven A. Shaw aka "Fat Guy"
Co-founder, Society for Culinary Arts & Letters, sshaw@egstaff.org
Proud signatory to the eG Ethics code
Director, New Media Studies, International Culinary Center (take my food-blogging course)

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Interesting to note that the Michelin annoucement was front page news on the free Metro newspaper - of interest to the common homme/femme in Paris.

What the Metro writes may be what Metro thinks is news to the French people but it is not necessarily what ordinary French people think is news. Metro is a very new newspaper in France and was launched in France only a few years ago by one of the most forceful, charismatic and “anti established rules” capitalist Europe has ever seen. Sadly, he past away a little more than a year ago. Metro is only about creating wealth to its owners and nothing else. From a journalistic point of view it is mostly a piece of rubbish in all countries it is distributed. From a business point of view, it is one hell of a business plan.

Roellinger is inconsistent. When he is on, he is one of the very best chefs in the world. When he is not on, it can be boring. Then, there is every thing in between. So it can hardly be surprising that he is kept on two stars.

To Robert Brown: Robert, did you see that Parcours got one star just as I predicted. :wink:

When my glass is full, I empty it; when it is empty, I fill it.

Gastroville - the blog

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Roellinger is inconsistent. When he is on, he is one of the very best chefs in the world. When he is not on, it can be boring. Then, there is every thing in between. So it can hardly be surprising that he is kept on two stars.

I've only eaten there once so cannot comment on consistency, but did find that I actively disliked his use of spices, which is the key feature of the restaurant, so I wouldn't go back. In general, I haven't liked any attempts at fusion cooking that I've had in France. I don't believe that Michel Troisgros goes in for quite the same over the top assertiveness as Roellinger, and would be interested in trying him for a last attempt at French fusion. However, if I were to go back to Troigros after what is now a very long time, I would probably have a very difficult time resisting ordering from the classic menu.

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We had a pleasant lunch late last year at Le Clos St Pierre, in Le Rouret, which has gained its first star. A very limited menu and a fairly informal setting, but the menu changes every day "according to the market". The food was prepared with a degree of care and attention that I found pleasantly surprising. Well worth a visit if you are in the area.

Jonathan Day

"La cuisine, c'est quand les choses ont le go�t de ce qu'elles sont."

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I ate at Roellinger back in 97. I did not think of his food as fusion. It was his food, rather than a fusion of any existing styles of food. There was one skewer that smacked a bit of a satay, but otherwise, in a tasting menu of many courses, there was nothing that didn't seem to be the assured work of someone in control of his talent and materials. I was sure he'd get a third star within a year or two, although my evening started with a service problem. Now, I'm sure he won't ever get that star unless the tastes of Michelin's inspectors change.

Roellinger seems likely to remain an under appreciated chef. Amat was another who has suffered badly at the hands of the Guide Rouge, in my opinion. Michelin does a good job, but it's not rocket science and there's great subjectivity even in their stars.

I dined at Lorain's Cote St. Jacques in October of 2002 and perhaps my meal suffered from comparison with Gagniare before and some wonderful two star meals in the Loire afterwards, but it was neither at creatively successful as Gagnaire's dinner, nor as satisfying as our meal at the Grand Hotel Lion d'Or. In any event it wasn't as memorable as either, not that I always necessarily leave a three star restaurant pining for an immediate return. "Unfocused" was a word from my notes at le Cote St. Jacques. It's well within the realm of possibility that Lorain has refound his focus and three stars would not surprise me if he has.

Robert Buxbaum

WorldTable

Recent WorldTable posts include: comments about reporting on Michelin stars in The NY Times, the NJ proposal to ban foie gras, Michael Ruhlman's comments in blogs about the NJ proposal and Bill Buford's New Yorker article on the Food Network.

My mailbox is full. You may contact me via worldtable.com.

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  • 3 years later...

I need your help.

On Friday I go to Paris to research the last chapter of a book I've been working on about the globalisation of high end restaurants. In Paris I am eating in seven three stars in seven days. think of it as the high end supersize me, except here it's when they offer the tasting menu that I have to say yes. The trip was meticulously planned, with companions coming out to Paris for each lunch. Then, yesterday one of them dropped out on me. (damn you, Angela Hartnett.)

I have a table for two at L'astrance, booked for 12.30pm, next Tuesday September 11 and I need a companion. let me be clear. I am not, sadly, offering to buy you lunch in a Paris three star. I am merely offering you the excuse/ opportunity to have lunch at a three star in Paris. The pool of takers will be small given that this will probably set you back the best part of £250. Still the offer is a genuine one. I need someone to fill that seat. Please PM me if you're interested or have any questions.

Thanks

Jay

Jay

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  • 1 month later...

Hi Folks,

I'm going to be in Paris for one night in early November. Going to be a 3-star (Michelin, that is) evening. Last time I was there it was Gagnaire and Savoy - two great, memorable meals, and also Taillevent - I know, only 2 these days, and it showed. Undecided on the next venue. Interested in recommendations from folks recent experiences. Thanks.

Edited by Frege (log)
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