Restaurants & Bars

Paris Trip - Part 3


Restaurants & Bars 3

Paris Trip - Part 3

Wendy Lai | Jun 3, 2003 02:44 PM

Wow, the whole trip is taking a lot longer to report than I initially thought...

Here is part 3

We weren’t able to secure a dinner reservation at L’Astrance, we ended up with lunch. As it turned out we were glad we got lunch instead of dinner. Perhaps they don’t fire up all the guns for lunch, or perhaps it’s hard to compete with our glowing night before at Guy Savoy. L’Astrance did not wow us.

L’Astrance is modern restaurant. Clean simple lines dominated the dining room. Some artistic large stalks of straw/woody thingy were used as window treatment. They provided privacy yet let in light. The atmosphere was quiet and subdued. None of the energy and excitement that touched us the night before was here at L’Astrance. Again, we opted for their tasting menu, feeling it’s the best way to see what the chef’s specialties are. Lunch tasting menu were 90 some euros (can’t remember) and it had seven courses, and one surprise soup. The soup turned out to be my husband’s favorite of the meal. At first the waiter won’t tell us what was in it. Toasty, nutty, and foamy, none of us can place what we were drinking. Finally, he revealed that it was toasted bread and milk soup. I have no deal how it was made but it was very innovative, in a good way.

The absolute highlight was the salmon confit. I have never had salmon this good before. So buttery and so soft, it literally melted in your mouth. I wish all salmon can taste like this, including the ones I make at home! My friend Hao found the whole meal to be too heavy on flower essence, which is not to her liking. Lavender and other essence were used liberally throughout the meal. For a salad course, fresh flowers were used along with salad greens and langoustines. I found a bug in my flowers which I pointed it out the waiter, he told me something in French which roughly translated means, “all natural!”

Overall the service was very efficient, though at times very snotty and reserved. We were only impressed with a few of the food items.

L’Astrance is a thumb’s down.

Dinner Friday was at Les Fontain. In the shadows of the Pantheon, this friendly neighborhood restaurant was packed. Seeming only serviced by one waiter, the wait was long between courses, but nobody seemed to mind. The mood was festival and everyone was enjoying their excellent food. We had visited this same restaurant two years ago when we first arrived in Paris. That first night I can still remember our not-so-fresh lobster salad and fish with too much nutmeg. BUT this time around, everything was so much better. I ordered lobster salad again, after seeing it on someone else’s table and looking so refreshing and in much better shape than two years ago. Von and Maggie both ordered beef fillet (though it was really a beef Wellington) A very large tenderloin was wrapped in puff pastry then cooked to near perfection. Each order was a very generous slice of this little piece of heaven. The sauce that accompanied this dish was some sort of thick gravy, enriched by the taste of foie gras and truffles. A small slice of foie gras also topped the meat. This could possibly be the best piece of steak I’ve ever had. The meat was pink and juicy, each bite was a satisfying experience. My lobster salad was also excellent. Good size lobster medallions topped a crisp bed of romaine and green beans. A side of aioli was served alongside as dressing. For dessert we had crème brulee and two chocolates chocolate mousse (white and dark chocolate). Both desserts were large in their portion and thoroughly sweet and rich, a fitting end to a fine meal.

Les Fontain was a last minute dinner selection. Yet it proved to a good decision. Les Fontain is a thumb’s up.

Want to stay up to date with this post?

Recommended From Chowhound