Hi, folks -
Got back last week from a super trip to Paris. The highlight of the trip, thanks to recommendations from chowhounds and others on the internet, was our lunch at L'Astrance. I know there have been tons of messages on how great this place is, but I have to say it was one of the 3 or 4 greatest meals of my life (and I live in Berkeley, California!). The best part was that it was half what you'd pay here for a comparable meal. The two of us paid 176 Euros (about $160) for the 10 course surprise menu with wine. Another great thing about L'Astrance is that they have only one lunch seating and only fill about 7 tables (rather than the whole restaurant) so that they can make everyone's experience a quality one. Friendly if restrained service, too.
The highlights of the meal were:
(1st course) thin slices of avocado surrounding crab meat and drizzled with sweet almond oil (mentioned before by others, and as fabulous as they described it!)
(2nd course) thin slices of red and white beets with little bits of onion, hard-boiled egg, and some kind of haddock crunchies (chips, one might say)
(6th course) tiny lentils served with onion sorbet and warm chorizo cream - amazing temperature contrast!
(10th course, post dessert) the now-famous frothy egg white served in the eggshell, in an egg carton, flavored liberally with jasmine. I can't stop thinking about it... Sigh.
No wonder reservations are so hard to get!
4, rue Beethoven
Tel: 01 40 50 84 40
Fax: 01 40 50 11 45.
Closed Monday, and Tuesday at lunch. About 75 euros.
(Laduree macaroons were tremendous, too, as was Berthillon ice cream, and mint tea at the Mosque's Salon de The.)