Visited Eric Frechon’s restaurant Le Bristol (www.hotel-bristol.com) last Summer, and am so pleased to hear that it now has its third Michelin star, it’s the only restaurant in France to get one this year apparently. We had the summer tasting menu, which was in a class of its own, everything was perfect. Unfortunately I was so into the food I did not take enough pictures to truly capture the experience.
It was very expensive last year and now with the Euro exchange rate and its third star, it’s way out of most peoples price range (gents also require jacket and tie….argh).
This is my benchmark for culinary excellence, no wonder it is rumoured to be Nicolas Sarkozys favorite.
The S.Pellegrino World’s Best Restaurants list rates this place as the 11th top restaurant in the world, it is certainly one of the hardest to get through to on the phone. I managed to get a reservation via a contact in the industry, but found I had problems reconfirming it, eventually after numerous attempts at different times of the day I managed to reconfirm.
It is quite a small room with a mezzanine area. Every table was taken, this was so obviously the place to be.
The service was first rate, but we found that the food was a bit hit and miss, which is surprising for a 3 Star Michelin.
Some courses worked, others tasted either a bit odd or bland, the desserts were in my view the highlight.
They also finished off the meal by serving tomatoes! L’Astrance was definately a bit strange.
On the left bank near Notre-Dame in the heart of tourist territory, just round the corner from a whole batch of these awful restaurants with waiters outside trying to entice you in, you will find La fourmi ailée– the flying ant (8 rue du fouarre 75005), which is an entirely different proposition.
It has been refurbished recently, and I am not so keen on the new decor (changed from looking like a cosy old library to a more modern diner style), but everything else is as good as it has always been. The clientele are still mainly students and canny tourists.
The food is fresh and plentiful, and shock horror for Paris, the staff are friendly. Very suitable for taking your Vegetarian friends.
It is also a Salon de thé, providing you with a good venue for relaxing over tea and pâtisseries.
Unless you are in an area that specialises in Tea Shops, its often hard to find good venues to relax with a coffee or tea and eat cake. Why go to the big chains like Starbucks, when you have alternatives.
If you really want to go up market and have Afternoon Tea somewhere grand, like The Athenaeum or The Berkeley, then great, but if you are looking for something cheaper, then here are a few options.
Actually the Starbucks I have been to in New York are a lot better than London. I had an amazing piece of Cognac and Pumpkin cheese cake in one on the Upper East Side, but for something more unique try:-