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Taillevent Merged topics

Holly Moore

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Gents, calm down a bit. Ici sommes tous amis, I hope.

Childhood food experiences, incidentally, are something that interest me greatly, since I've known people with vastly different initial exposure to food and who became foodies in very, very different ways. Perhaps another thread on this elsewhere at some point...

I am so, so, so jealous! Breathtakingly jealous!

For me at that age, and in that era, a "big deal" grownup, special dinner consisted of chicken chow mein at the restaurant inside the Best Western motel. And I'm so glad you weren't just along for the ride (as a lot of kids would have been, maybe even I!) --that you were able to appreciate what was going on. How cool!

Spoiled brat, I was! :wink: I'm sure that you would have been just as engaged and happy in the same setting given the exposure I was lucky enough to have. But yes, it was great. Did put me in kind of an odd place when I came back to NYC for law school, was taken to all sorts of fancy (often overpriced and so-so quality) restaurants for recruitment lunches/dinners, and was expected to be impressed. Spoiled, as I said... Edited by Mayur (log)
Mayur Subbarao, aka "Mayur"
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On the other and totally selfish side of the equation, I can certainly say as a non-breeder myself, that if I was paying top dollar at a 3-Star Michelin restaurant and I heard a child starting to cry and make a ruckus and the parents didn't walk out immediately, I would be -extremely- pissed off. So even if your children are angels, I personally wouldn't risk it.

Sorry guys. I know, I'm an A-hole. I don't beleive young children belong in fine dining establishments.

Non-breeder? Very offensive you know. Makes all the mothers who read and post on egullet sound like cows. Well, I'm a "breeder" and I say, if your kids can behave, take them anywhere you want. If you can afford to pay that much money then do what you want and enjoy! My older children (ages 9&10) have better manners then most adults I see in restaurants. I would rather sit near a happy child having a nice meal then some obnoxious jerk screaming into his cell phone and blowing his nose at the table. But, what the hell do I know? I'm just a breeder. :unsure:


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I applaud the people who are honest enough to say they can't stand the sight of children at a Michelin three star restaurant. But the question was not: "how would you react if I brought my child to a $1000-dollar restaurant you were patronizing". The question was: "should I bring a five-year old and nine-year old to Taillevent". I am in the NO camp. The children are clamoring to go because they hear Mommy and Daddy raving about what a life-changing experience it is. A good parent can separate him/herself from her children long enough to enjoy a night out. A night out that will be less stressful on the parents, children, patrons, and waitstaff if the children stay in the hotel with the funky French nanny for a few hours.

I have a five-year old daughter, and while she has terrific restaurant manners, between the time change and the length of the meal, I wouldn't want to put her through the stress of 'behaving' for that long (how many times do you want to shush a child for laughing or talking too loud for the circumstances?).

I also have a friend who would take her five-year old daughter to Taillevent and not even realize her child is acting like an Alpha brat. She would take her because she can't stand the thought of not being with her child for more than 20 minutes. She would notice no one else (or pretend not to). The blame lies with the freak-show parent, not her misbehaved child.

Browniebaker, you do not sound like that kind of parent, but I believe you will have a more relaxing, enjoyable evening at Taillevent if your children are not with you for a couple of hours. If you really want to take your children to a fancy restaurant, take them to a one star, or a nice bistro like Bofinger. If you haven't been to Taillevent, there is a good book recently written about the experience there ((A Meal Observed, by Andrew Todhunter).

Quotation is a serviceable substitute for wit. -Oscar Wilde
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At this point I think we are far off track -- this is turning into a debate on the appropriateness of kids in fancy restaurants, and I don't think that was the main focus of Browniebaker's question. Maybe I'm wrong, but she seems to feel that her children can handle the experience, and judging from my own (utterly perfect) 5yo, I believe her. My question is whether a child that age can truly discern the nuances of 3-star dining -- even whether it is a good idea to introduce them to so much luxury before they can actually value it (particularly the little one). But this is Browniebaker's decision, and perhaps it will be a lovely memory for her family. I'm sure her children are not the "monsters" we all have witnessed -- there are plenty of charming children in the world, too, they are just easier to ignore!

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Non-breeder? Very offensive you know. Makes all the mothers who read and post on egullet sound like cows.

Its intent was meant to be humorous, but perhaps I should have used "un-parent" or "one without younglings" or "bereft of puppies" instead.

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I have no children and have no wish to be around other peoples. Please do not subject me to them in what is obviously an adult setting. There are places to take them, fine restaurants in my opinion don't qualify.

Bruce Frigard

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. I know that the dinners I had at Lutece and the Quilted Giraffe (my parents's 70s/80s faves, respectively) from as young as 6 years of age were a big deal for me. I learned (by observing) how to order wine, how to banter with the sommelier, the pleasures of talking with the chef, and generally the wonders of a long, multi-course, carefully-composed meal, including some differences between "fun" food (the whimsical) and classic preparations. Part of the attraction was getting to be in an "adult" setting doing things with grownups, but a big part was the sheer luxury of the food and especially the service. (Spoiled me!) I've certainly known other children (my girlfriend's 6 and 12-year old cousins, for example) who distinguish between the kind of food at a luxury restaurant and the stuff they get at McDonald's.

I am in full agreement with you. For the record I ate at Taillevent when I was 9 and had no problems. Honestly fine dining has been a part of my life for as long as I can recall and I feel it is one of the reasons I have become a "roving gourmand" :wink:

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I do think that browniebaker should take the money she would have spent on her childrens' meals, spend half of it at Clos des Gourmands (a semi-formal little place in the seventh where you can have a darn civilized meal) with her kids -- where I know from experience that they enjoy serving children -- and the other half on a bottle of Burgundy that she'll taste, in her mind, forever, at Taillevent.

And I think that on a trip to Paris there will be endless hours that her children will enjoy and remember forever -- cafes and museums and being carried on Dad's shoulders down the long corridor in the Louvre that leads to La Joconde, or the first sight of Winged Samothrace, or walking across the footbridge to Notre Dame -- and that there will be better times and places than a formal restaurant to talk about them.

And I think that a kid, jet-lagged and dragged through museums and tied and drilled into an event that they latched onto because they were kids, has a significant potential to melt down no matter how hard he tries and how much she wanted to go there in advance. Browniebaker's kids want the Taillevent treatment? Cool. on the other hand, my kid wants to drive, he's excited about it, but he's not quite there. You have to make judgment calls every now and again.

And I think that mom and dad should have a night out, sans enfants, in Paris.

But, I also think that people who recoil at the sight of children in fine restaurants should move to another planet where children don't exist. And my experince has been -- limited though it is -- that French restaurants love taking care of American kids, and probably kids in general.

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Gee, I've read everyone's posts here and I'm feeling a bit muddled and befuddled.

I don't find a problem taking the progeny to any restaurant of stars or not, but I don't know that I'd want to share eveing meals with Daddy AND kiddles on a vacation. I just think that it is healthy for the children to know that Mommy and Daddy have their own time for each other, and I don't think there is anything wrong with them having the nights with a sitter while you indulge in the romantic aspect of your vacation.

My first real dinner dining experience happened on my fifth birthday when my parents took me to Cafe de Paris for my birthday dinner. I remember every moment of the evening, from the smell of the leather seats to the amazing sommelier who brought me a bottle of sparkling water for my birthday "toast". He explained to me that he was certain that we should not toast with just water, and that is why the small pitcher of juice was brought to add to my "bubbly". To this day I can recall the taste and look of the rare lamb on my plate, the cheese course, and my wonder at the flair of the platings and the attentive staff. And, my darlings, that was more than a few dozen years past. Before that, nicer restaurants had only been lunch time affairs for me, and I was suitably delirious by the import of my parents' gift to me of a real 'dinner'. I don't think that I am an atypical person, or that my childhood was atypical of many other peoples', although you would never guess it from the way some folks prattle on about the presence of children in 'certain' places, whether they are coffee houses or multi course restaurants. Now, I have a child (BTW, that does NOT necessarily mean that a person is a BREEDER) and she's traveled the world and eaten in many places, starred and otherwise, and always has been a human being of good comportment. Even when she was 3. I specifically can say that at 7 she happily ate her way through 7 courses one evening, and was as delightful a companion as the other 2 small children who accompanied us. They all were amazed by the idea of a granita as a palate cleanser, it was a wonderful and humbling experience to share the meal through their eyes. I do believe that a human being is well mannered when they are treated as a human being from day one.

Also, I've been in food service, and my difficult clientele were ALL of the fully grown variety. Yes, every single one, and children were a common presence at our businesses.

Still, as I said before, I'd prefer to take the children out for good meals during the days, and have Daddy all to myself for romantic dinners during travels.

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Next thing you know you'll be talking about how Koreans should eat rice.

Please do not attribute the actions or views of others to the people who you are addressing with that statement. If you have a problem with one of -my- stated opinions, fine, but please do not use this forum as a means of conveying your own or your spouse's obvious disingenuous agendas and ascribing my views and opinions to others, Chefzadi.

You've edited your post without an edited notation. Cross reference with the one I quoted. Now my spouse has an agenda? Pray tell, what is that when she can't post here anymore? She cares not too, btw. She's Korean and knows about Korean foods and customs more than you do? Is that her "agenda"?

Google, fast and furious and quote your one friend.

Korean etiquette is not a matter of your opinion, neither is French,

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  • 1 year later...

I am now officially in love with the 3star tasting menu daytime dining experience.

Our second day in Paris, we had a lunch reservation fo Taillevent. As we were still a bit jetlagged (I have trouble flying east) it turned out to be petit dejeuener.

We selected the discovery tasting menu (E190) and asked for wine pairings.

The artichoke soup with fluffy (?? how did they do that) pork croutony things was simply divine.

The crab salad, langostines in basil reduction, scallops with watercress -- all sublime. THEN the canard -- OY! THIS is what duck should be. I thought I'd died and gone to heaven. I was also, falling over with the richness of the food.

But wait, an incredible goat cheese (beyond rich) with a luxurious black cherry confi -- sounds okay, yes? But the very salty escarole on top, and the hot and black pepper base made it a taste sensation also.

At this point, I am dying. But two more glasses are set up -- again, indicating a sweet wine to follow.

TWO desserts are put in front of us. A pear thing with spiced cream that was lovely. AND a chocolate confection that included four scoops of chocolate mousse and dark chocolate layers with a sugar plume and gold leafing. I regret that I was unable to do more than taste the chocolate. Because . . . the wine that was served with the chocolate was a 1974 (Riv Sat) -- phonetic spelling - from the south of France near the spanish border. Anyone know what this is? My gosh, it was truly the best wine I have ever in my life had, better than 1988 DRC.

We enjoyed ourselves and appreciated the theatre of service, especially the hierarchy of roles. It was perfect service, but not at all stuffy. We were, by an average of 25 years, the youngest people in the room. I was one of 3 women -- and literally more than half the age of the other women. Yet we were treated perfectly.

It totally cracked me up when we went to leave and everyone said au revoir. But our waiter stood in front of the door and wouldn't let us leave until Mr Vrinat could make his way over to say goodbye and thank you.

I must tell you the wine pairing we had were the best EVER! We had a lot of whites, given the menu, and they were whites of substance -- truly quality. Gauche though it may be, I must mention the price -- the total for the wine pairings, for two people was E117.

Does it sound too snobby to say that Taillevent is good value? We sure feel that way. I'm seriously considering cancelling dinner at Alain Ducasse to book another lunch at Taillevent

Oh, and why lovin' the daytime dining experience. We sat down at 12:15 and left at 3:40pm. I needed to walk so badly after that meal. It was great to leave in the light and be able to stroll.


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I am now officially in love with the 3star tasting menu daytime dining experience.

. . . .

Oh, and why lovin' the daytime dining experience.  We sat down at 12:15 and left at 3:40pm.  I needed to walk so badly after that meal.  It was great to leave in the light and be able to stroll.

I wholeheartedly agree. When you start one of those three-star dinners at 8pm and finish at midnight, you're going to bed on a full stomach -- I find that a lot less pleasant than a stroll after a long daytime meal, followed by recovery, followed by dinner at a bistro-type place, and early to bed so you can be up bright and early to explore the town.

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With your help, I have found it.

It's Rivesaltes 1974, Domaine Vila 15

Any idea where in Paris I might find the ambrosia?  the Taillevent caves do not have any for sale.

I checked Lavina's website and found this, would this be it?


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I love Taillevent so am thrilled that they continue to impress. Quick question...you said in the beginning that the discovery menu was E190 but then at the end say the total was E117???

The food was E190 each. The wine was E117 for two!! If it wasn't such a formal place I would have kissed the sommilier.


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