Restaurants & Bars

Paris: Chez Michel vs. Taillevent, Celebrity Grudge Match

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Paris: Chez Michel vs. Taillevent, Celebrity Grudge Match

Busk | Dec 27, 2005 11:39 AM

So I had the pleasure of hitting the former for dinner last night and the latter for lunch today.

Chez Michel in the 10th is a great, solid restaurant with creative juice and homespun service. I had the capon with black truffles that was excellent, as was the dessert of a semi-sweet chicory mousse. The cider was some of the best to be found anywhere. The bill for 4 came to about 170 euros. We are all pleased. The steak looked great as did the two fish mains at my table.

Taillevent was excellent, but it should be for 500 euro a couple. We had the 180 euro menu with wines by the glass (all excellent: a Trimbach, followed by a meurseult, followed by some St. Emilion) chosen by the help. Conservative preparations by Soliveres who was in the kitchen today, the high point being the dessert of pear sorbet with deep fried pears shavings and the soup of grey shrimps. The magret de canard as one of the mains was a bit of a disappointment: a little salty, small and just a "who cares" attitude about it. Fine, low-keyed service and a classy venue that dispenses with all the faux Versailles trappings one expects from a three star so popular with Americans (90% of the clientele).

Pound for pound, Chez Michel takes this fight. While Vrinat's service, venue and wine are beyond reproach, other 3 stars deliver a bit more value and creativity in the food department, such as Le Bec Fin in Philadelphia.

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