This restaurant is a historic site - the building where Louis XIII accepted the crown. The crowning moment of my dinner was a wonderful grand marnier souffle, the ever so delightful warm and cuddly texture and taste of the souffle made even more brilliant on the tongue by the liqueur.
Unfortunately, the rest of the meal felt somewhat disappointing. I had eaten at other two star places, Leon de Lyon and Guy Savoy (just the night before!). There was nothing negative about Louis Relias XIII at all, but it just did not measure up to these two other places of a similar Michelin rating. It is only fair that I attribute part of my disappointment to my scant knowledge of what two star places should be, having only sampled two out of dozens, both of which turned out to be stellar. Perhaps more knowledgable hounds out there could comment if my expectations were too high.
The amuse bouches were satisfying -- two oysters in a hot pool of cheese, a gougere and a tomato olive tart. Simple and competent, but certainly not heavenly or ambitious.
Then a loster and foie gras ravioli. Two large green purses of pasta (somewhat past al dente - I've heard comments from others that French restaurants can't cook pasta to save their own lives -- is there any truth to that?). The lobster meat and foie gras are both good, but they never really seem to come together, each standing proudly aloof in their own luxuriance.
The maitre'd was very proud of the fried snapper caviar. It's easy to see why. It's a showy dish with a ton of caviar, delicious and of fairly good quality. The caviar's briny flavor pairs off fairly well with the two perfectly cooked whole snappers in a light lemony sauce. The sour notes from the sauce worked well on the fish and caviar.
On the whole the meal was good, but not at the level of the cooking at the rest of the two starred places I went to. I definitely liked my dinner at the one starred Au Fer Rouge in Colmar more.
Dinner ended up being around a hundred in US currency, and I thought that I could have had similar meals around that price tag or less in San Francisco. It wasn't bad at all, it just wasn't up to the expectations that I had built.