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L'Astrance


StuDudley
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My last experience at L'Astrance a few years ago (2002) was only satisfactory.

I felt the scene at the restaurant was definitely not happening. Perhaps, things have picked up as it seems you had a hopping good time.

You are not the only person who has had mixed experiences there. Despite its ratings and eGullet-members' praise, my two experiences (once alone, once with spouse and two friends) just after it opened, was disappointing enough to prompt me not to return.

But it is a "happening place," very popular, especially with non-natives, the guidebooks, etc.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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Thanks Doc for your response,

I hate to keep asking about the wine thing, but I find that memorable eating experiences for me in Paris invariably include fine wine at a reasonable price (e.g., a bottle of '02 Sancerre at Le Bristol for lunch).

Henry

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yep - rouget is red mullet. had a particularly juicy piece of it at troisgros, yum...

bream is dorade btw

Yes, thank you for the correction. I should have known better.

Rouget is Red Mullet but that fish in the photo was not Rouget.

Nice review though.

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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yep - rouget is red mullet. had a particularly juicy piece of it at troisgros, yum...

bream is dorade btw

Yes, thank you for the correction. I should have known better.

Rouget is Red Mullet but that fish in the photo was not Rouget.

Nice review though.

What do you think it was? I based the name on what they told me and what the menu says.

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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You are not the only person who has had mixed experiences there.  Despite its ratings and eGullet-members' praise, my two experiences (once alone, once with spouse and two friends) just after it opened, was disappointing enough to prompt me not to return.

But it is a "happening place," very popular, especially with non-natives, the guidebooks, etc.

John,

Glad to hear a dissenting voice. I thought I was the only one to be underwhelmed at this universally acclaimed spot.

By "happening": I guess I meant in the sense of French chic/beau monde.

Best,

Henry

Aside from ourselves everyone else seemed pretty chic :laugh: Actually we were one of the few anglophone tables there at the time.

I too agree that good wine helps make the meal and this was good and reasonable, I just don't remember what it was. :blink::shock::sad: I am embarrassed by this :smile:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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Rouget is Red Mullet but that fish in the photo was not Rouget. 

I totaly agree...never ever rouget..i suggest Loup de Mer.

The skin of rouget is almost paperthin and fragile, the one

on the photo looks quiet thick....Loup de Mer is my guess.

Anyway..brilliant review and definetly a must go,

vue

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More intriguing than the food is the fact that you had success eating there with a six year old. My six year old daughter (picture at left) would have definitely chosen too starve rather than explore. Any tips ?

Kurt

Edited by kguetzow (log)
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More intriguing than the food is the fact that you had success eating there with a six year old.  My six year old daughter (picture at left) would have definitely chosen too starve rather than explore.  Any tips ?

Kurt

We ask him to taste everything. If he doesn't like it he doesn't have to eat it. If he's hungry enough he'll tatse it. He generally has an open enough mind that if he likes it, he'll eat it. The hard part is sometimes getting him to taste something he doesn't think he will like. We've had very good luck with him at good restaurants starting with The Inn at Erlowest with Chef Matt Secich this past spring for Mother's Day. We had ala carte dinner and ordered him pheasant since he likes chicken. His statement to the chef was "This is the best bird ever". At that point I knew we had a child whose palate we could nurture. L'Astrance was a great success for the style of food presented to him. His favorite parisian meal was at Aux Lyonais, however. There he ate "Tranche de boeuf epaisse, gratin de macaroni". This was a nice piece of medium rare beef, girolle mushrooms and macaroni gratin. This was a fairly large portion and he ate every bite. He was never really a big fan of mushrooms before then, but he ate them all depriving me of what I was expecting :raz:

John Sconzo, M.D. aka "docsconz"

"Remember that a very good sardine is always preferable to a not that good lobster."

- Ferran Adria on eGullet 12/16/2004.

Docsconz - Musings on Food and Life

Slow Food Saratoga Region - Co-Founder

Twitter - @docsconz

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  • 2 weeks later...

Rouget is Red Mullet but that fish in the photo was not Rouget. 

Nice review though.

What do you think it was? I based the name on what they told me and what the menu says.

It looks like Bar to me, but not entirely sure. Rouget has a very distinct look -red skin and all that- and this certainly wasn't it.

chez pim

not an arbiter of taste

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  • 2 years later...

We are again trying to reserve a dinner at L'Astrance in Paris for early February, 2008. I am willing to call the restaurant directly but my French is less than stellar. They have no email or fax access for reservations. Time is of the essence. Should I bite the bullet and call the restaurant? Let me know how others have acquired reservations. This is, for us, more problematic than asking elBulli for a dinner reservation. Please advise. Judith Gebhart

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We are again trying to reserve a dinner at L'Astrance in Paris for early February, 2008. I am willing to call the restaurant directly but my French is less than stellar. They have no email or fax access for reservations. Time is of the essence. Should I bite the bullet and call the restaurant?  Let me know how others have acquired reservations. This is, for us, more problematic than asking elBulli for a dinner reservation. Please advise. Judith Gebhart

Judith, Just call them. I'd be very surprised if the person on the phone does not speak enough English to take a reservation.

An alternate might be to persuade someone (A Parisian eGulleteer, perhaps) who speaks good French to make the reservation on your behalf.

Any volunteers?

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We are again trying to reserve a dinner at L'Astrance in Paris for early February, 2008. I am willing to call the restaurant directly but my French is less than stellar. They have no email or fax access for reservations. Time is of the essence. Should I bite the bullet and call the restaurant?  Let me know how others have acquired reservations. This is, for us, more problematic than asking elBulli for a dinner reservation. Please advise. Judith Gebhart

Judith, Just call them. I'd be very surprised if the person on the phone does not speak enough English to take a reservation.

An alternate might be to persuade someone (A Parisian eGulleteer, perhaps) who speaks good French to make the reservation on your behalf.

Any volunteers?

Judith, they will.

John Talbott

blog John Talbott's Paris

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We are again trying to reserve a dinner at L'Astrance in Paris for early February, 2008. I am willing to call the restaurant directly but my French is less than stellar. They have no email or fax access for reservations. Time is of the essence. Should I bite the bullet and call the restaurant?  Let me know how others have acquired reservations. This is, for us, more problematic than asking elBulli for a dinner reservation. Please advise. Judith Gebhart

Judith, Just call them. I'd be very surprised if the person on the phone does not speak enough English to take a reservation.

An alternate might be to persuade someone (A Parisian eGulleteer, perhaps) who speaks good French to make the reservation on your behalf.

Any volunteers?

Judith, they will.

Thanks David and John. Glad I asked and I appreciated your immediate response. By the way has anyone tried L'Astrance this year? Thank you again. If there is interest I will give you our dining report, provided we get a reservation. Judith Gebhart
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We are again trying to reserve a dinner at L'Astrance in Paris for early February, 2008. I am willing to call the restaurant directly but my French is less than stellar. They have no email or fax access for reservations. Time is of the essence. Should I bite the bullet and call the restaurant?  Let me know how others have acquired reservations. This is, for us, more problematic than asking elBulli for a dinner reservation. Please advise. Judith Gebhart

Judith, Just call them. I'd be very surprised if the person on the phone does not speak enough English to take a reservation.

An alternate might be to persuade someone (A Parisian eGulleteer, perhaps) who speaks good French to make the reservation on your behalf.

Any volunteers?

Judith, they will.

Thanks David and John. Glad I asked and I appreciated your immediate response. By the way has anyone tried L'Astrance this year? Thank you again. If there is interest I will give you our dining report, provided we get a reservation. Judith Gebhart

We ate at L'Astrance in July. The food was technically brilliant but the atmosphere a bit stifling and hushed. No-one seemed to be having much fun on their tiny two-top tables crammed into the small rooms. Some of the best food I have eaten, but certainly not the best restaurant I have ever eaten in.

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Man I've been having a tough time getting a reservation there ... I literally said next available time, any day, and time and they told me the next available reservation was not until next year! I think I'm gonna take a trip over to the restaurant in person, with my fingers crossed.

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Man I've been having a tough time getting a reservation there ... I literally said next available time, any day, and time and they told me the next available reservation was not until next year!  I think I'm gonna take a trip over to the restaurant in person, with my fingers crossed.

I'm not surprised... They book up 2 months in advance... So what he said about being full until next year makes sense...

You need to call about 2 months to the day in advance and hope you get lucky... If you've dined there previously they seem to allow you more flexibility and table choice... I've never had a problem getting the table I want as long as I give them about 1.5 to 2 months notice ahead of time...

Good luck!

"Compared to me... you're as helpless as a worm fighting an eagle"

BackwardsHat.com

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Man I've been having a tough time getting a reservation there ... I literally said next available time, any day, and time and they told me the next available reservation was not until next year!  I think I'm gonna take a trip over to the restaurant in person, with my fingers crossed.

I'm not surprised... They book up 2 months in advance... So what he said about being full until next year makes sense...

You need to call about 2 months to the day in advance and hope you get lucky... If you've dined there previously they seem to allow you more flexibility and table choice... I've never had a problem getting the table I want as long as I give them about 1.5 to 2 months notice ahead of time...

Good luck!

Dear fellow food lovers, I am truly grateful for the many responses; all of whom are appreciated and informed. Thanks for each and every thoughtful response. My dilemma was go to the master, Alain Passard or to his pupil, Barbot. I think I will try both. With gratitude, Judith Gebhart
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  • 3 months later...

i am going to make reservations for a lunch at astrance in a few months.. is there a specific table that i should ask for that is best in you guys opinion or are about all the same? upper floor or lower?

thanks

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i am going to make reservations for a lunch at astrance in a few months.. is there a specific table that i should ask for that is best in you guys opinion or are about all the same? upper floor or lower?

thanks

I took this photo at the corner of the dining area, right at bottom of the stairs to the mezzanine level. As you can see, it is not a big area at all… maybe about 2 more small tables on my left. Upper floor (mezzanine level) has only 2 tables with good space apart, definitely more private if that’s what you are looking for.

gallery_57364_5484_84267.jpg

We had our meal there few months ago. Here is their foie gras pie… hope it is still on their tasting menu.

gallery_57364_5484_10535.jpg

By the way, we enjoyed our meal here much more than at his master’s L’Arpege which we went the next day. The tasting menu there was double the price of L'Astrance!!

www.finediningexplorer.com/Paris.

Fine Dining Explorer

www.finediningexplorer.com

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  • 1 month later...

Just visited there last week for lunch (thoughts and photos at jcspress.blogspot.com). There really aren't too many tables to choose from, and I think I'd be happy with any of them. Sitting up in the loft area might be fun, but also isolates you from the rest of the diners. My first call for a reservation was way too late: Monday of the same week. But I kept at it, and finally got a table when I called morning of the same day. They're a bit brisk on the phone, but nothing to be afraid of even for an English-only speaker.

Edited by joshlh (log)
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Any advice or tips for making reservation at Astrance? Last year, I failed to make one. I called 2 and 1.5 months ahead, then they told me only receiving the reservation 1 month in advanced. 1 month before arriving in Paris, I called them again, they said it's already fully booked ... this could only possible if Astrance already "accept" other people's reservations more than 1 month ahead which is contradictory to their own earlier statements.

How much is the current suprised menu? Is it still below EUR 200? It's not that I'm crazy about it, it's just one of the interesting places that I've never tried yet

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