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Reviews of top French restaurants around the world

The Wandering Epicures enjoy an end of July dinner at Le Bernardin

"Le Bernardin has the top ratings in Michelin, Zagat and The New York Times, which it has held longer than any other restaurant. Kees and Els joined Linda and me for dinner there the evening of July 31, 2010. We all enjoyed our meal a lot. The ambience, service, pace etc were just right. Le Bernardin certainly deserves its ranking as one of the few top restaurants in New York. 'Prima,' as Els would say."

 

Le Louis XV - Alain Ducasse provides a less-than-satisfying dining experience to The Wandering Epicures

"There were three empty tables the night we were there. I would guess that there will be more unless things change."

 

Restaurant critic Andy Hayler visits Caprice in Hong Kong and Robuchon au Dôme on Macau

 

Francis Bown dines at Fleur de Lys in San Francisco

As my evening at Fleur de Lys came to an end, the words of the song made popular by Mr Louis Armstrong drifted into my mind:‘What a wonderful world.’

 

Andy Hayler visits French restaurants in Tokyo with three Michelin Stars

Restaurant critic Andy Hayler visited L'osier, Joël Robuchon Restaurant, and Quintessence in May and June 2008.  While each had been awarded three stars in Tokyo's first-ever Michelin Guide, Andy found that L'osier alone was truly worthy of the honor.

L'osier dining room in Tokyo

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Restaurants in France

Paris Restaurants Known and Loved
Reviews and contact information for many of the best known Paris restaurants.

 

L'Ambroisie in Paris receives a visit from The Wandering Epicures

"This meal should have made us feel that we had found perfection. It had all the elements I like. The dishes did not suffer from the over-complexity that I frequently complain about. The ingredients were superb and allowed to shine. The service and ambience were impeccable. The noise level was ideal, just the gentle babble of conversation from the four other well-spaced tables in the room. But we came away feeling unsatisfied and frustrated. The obvious explanation is that with L’Ambroisie‘s reputation and extraordinarily high prices, each dish of the meal should be extraordinary. That they were not was certainly was a big factor, but, beyond that, the cuisine seemed to lack joie de vivre in its perfection."
 

Les Ambassadeurs at the Hôtel Crillon in Paris thrives under Christopher Hache, the restaurant's head chef

"I have eaten in this gorgeous dining room several times over the decades. During that period its kitchens have been manned by some of the most notable and distinguished of France’s chefs. Yet I venture to say that I have never had a better meal here than that into which I tucked on this occasion. Indeed, I will go further: this was the best meal I have ever eaten here. For this I pay tribute to Chef Christopher Hache (pictured), who took command in April, 2010."

 

Pierre Gagnaire restaurant in Paris - the A Life Worth Eating review

"This was a complete roller-coaster ride and it wasn’t exactly fun. Some of the dips were just too steep and the rest was kind of flat. Two or three courses were absolutely exceptional, but this was no where close to compensate for the lows.
This sentiment has been pretty consistent among my visits. So why do I keep going back? In the back of my mind there is the hope that the slot machine will stop in my favor, that this could potentially be the highlight meal of my life. I just haven’t won yet. Maybe if I roll the dice one more time I’ll win."

 

Francis Bown returns to the landmark Le Grand Véfour restaurant in Paris

"My main course showed – as if I needed any evidence – that the kitchen is not afraid of complexity and hard work. This fillet of lamb was stuffed with marinated salsify and the plate had intriguing elements of lemon, chervil and potimarron (a winter squash). I ended with another dash of brilliance from Monsieur Martin, the famous crème brûlée with artichokes. It does, indeed, sound rather odd. Yet the unusual combination, with its touch of asperity, is an inspired confection."

  

Andy Hayler dined at Michel Guérard's Les Prés d'Eugénie in 2009 and found it in top form

"I was so pleased with this meal, as I had enjoyed a stunning meal here over a decade ago and was worried that it may perhaps have deteriorated over that time, as some 3 star places of that era have. Yet here the chefs see no need to go chasing after the latest culinary fad, and yet have not just rested on their laurels and become complacent: the ingredients and technique here were magnificent."


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In Vino Veritas
Oenophile Jojo Madrid dines out in Paris and finds the wines wanting. Here's an honest assessment.


Review of the Pudlo Paris Guide

A Conversation with Alec Lobrano, the author of HUNGRY FOR PARIS
Alec Lobrano is the European Correspondent for Gourmet Magazine and has been a Paris resident for over twenty years.  Terrance Gelenter has been reading his work almost from the beginning, including his brand new Hungry for Paris: The Ultimate Guide to the City's 102 Best Restaurants.


Review of the Pudlo Paris Guide

Jesse Kornbluth reviews the first-ever English language edition of Gilles Pudlowski's voluminous-yet-handy guide to 1,000 Paris restaurants, 300 wine bars, tea shops, cafes and several hundred gourmet groceries.


Fit & Slim: Healthy Eating and Drinking in France
Interesting and informative resources on this much-discussed topic.


A Croissant Tour of Paris

"Looking for the best croissants in Paris? Adam of A LIFE WORTH EATING shows you where to go to find them!"

 


Wine Rating Standards: Against Dumbing Down
Unfortunately the wine ranking systems which are widely in use don’t reflect the inherent qualities of the wine in question. This is the case for both the 100 point US system and the 20 point system.


You Don't Look a Day Over 699
Château Pape Clement, the oldest named in Bordeaux, harvested its 700th crop this year. But how do you celebrate a 700-year anniversary?


Three Stars and a Kingdom?
André Gayot explains why having Michelin stars can make Chefs in France happy, but not necessarily wealthy.


Great Versus Truly Exceptional Sommeliers

Restaurant critic Vedat Milor examines the key differences between a great sommelier and the "greatest of the great", those sommeliers who are truly exceptional in nearly every respect.


Le Baiser de l'Hotel de Ville, Paris, 1950


  

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