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First Time in Paris, Tips for Escoffier-Style Cuisine


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First Time in Paris, Tips for Escoffier-Style Cuisine

theminimalist | Nov 25, 2009 12:55 AM

I am visiting Paris for the first time next year and, as part of my trip, I am planning to treat myself to a few of the French capital's gastronomic pleasures. Although I've already done a bit of research, I would still like solicit restaurant recommendations.

As this is my first time in France, I would like to use this opportunity to experience traditional French haute cuisine--a.k.a. pre-nouvelle cuisine cooking. I know it's kind of passé, even unexciting given the inventive cuisines flourishing in Paris right now but I am of the opinion that to appreciate today's culinary trends, it would be best to be acquainted with the classics. Which leads me to the question: which Parisian restaurant serves the best Escoffier-style cuisine (or a more or less accurate interpretation thereof) today: Lassere, Michel Rostang, La Tour d'Argent, Le Cinq, Gérard Besson, Jacques Cagna, La Braisière, L'Angélique, La Terrasse et l'Assiette, L'Espadon? Would it be wise to visit these Michel-starred institutions or would I be better off in a more humble (and not to mention cheaper) place like Guillaume Delage's Jadis? I would really appreciate it if you could use their prix-fixe lunch menus as the point of reference. Although I am planning to treat myself, I do want to mindful of my budget and the slightly weak dollar.

Also, since I am already there, I plan to indulge myself further and continue my French culinary history lesson. As such, should I have enough time and money left, which of these nouvelle cuisine restaurants remains most faithful to the movement's credo and represents the best value for money: l'Auberge du Pont de Collonges (Paul Bocuse), La Maison Troisgros, La Côte d'Or (formerly Bernard Loiseau's), Les Prés d'Eugénie (Michel Guérard), Guy Savoy, Alain Chapel, Senderens? Again, a bit naff but since I was but a kid during the 80's, I never really got to experience authentic nouvelle cuisine--something which I want to reverse now.

Thanks in advance for all your help! I really, really appreciate all guidance I can get.

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