Never a more pleasant and relaxing dinner have I had than outside in the gardens of the Michelin 1 star restaurant Laurent in Paris several years ago. My husband, his colleagues and I sat outside on a gorgeous spring evening to a gastronomical feast that was not only pleasing to the taste buds, but to the eyes as well. Works of art! That is how I would describe each plate as it made its way to our table. There was much discussion about each persons’ plate before we dared even take a bite and disturb the colorful canvas set before us. Never has art tasted so good!
As we did years ago, this year the gal pals opted for the set menu which included seven + courses of exquisite mouth-watering creations. The only problem we had with our meal was trying to refrain from licking our plates – a definite faux pas in such a refined and elegant restaurant. The sommelier helped me pick some wine to accompany our feast – a bottle of Chateau Haut Sarpe 2008. I began with a glass of champagne – Jacquesson Cuvee while the other gals had martinis.
Each of us chose different menu selections to keep it interesting and here are the group’s favorites. The bitter root vegetable starter was gorgeous and tasty. A second course of orzo pearl pasta in a fish stock wit black pepper was seasoned perfectly. The third course was a turbot fish steak with black truffles. Next we had venison and quail with garlic, bacon, celery and puff potatoes. The fifth course was a selection of cheeses from the cheese cart. We tasted an aged blue cheese, a strong artisan cheese and a milder cheese from Normandy. The sixth course was choux pastry – a delectible buttery, sugary, melt in your mouth pastry! The seventh course had us all wondering how we would fit into our SnapCar for the ride home. It was a perfectly set vanilla soufflé. Finished? We thought we were, but there was more. A tray of petit pastries and chocolates made its way to our table to accompany our coffee. This was truly a meal of epic proportions!
The service was impeccable as expected, but what amazed us more was how charming and sweet the manager Philippe Bourguignon was to us. He checked on our group to confirm our evening was spectacular. The Sommelier discreetly ascertained my price point for the wine and helped me choose the perfect bottle. The waiters and barman were efficient, professional and yet made us feel at ease so we could relax and enjoy the evening chatting. From start to finish I believe this was the BEST dinner of my life!
All this perfection comes at a steep price; our dinner for three with pre-dinner cocktails and a bottle of wine at dinner was close to 800 Euros. It is a place for special occasions or generous business expense accounts. If the dinner prices are too rich for your blood, try the less expensive option of having lunch. Just make sure you do not skip this gem when visiting Paris. It is worth saving your pennies, or skipping a few meals to dine there. Luxury travelers will want to put Laurent’s phone number in their speed dial. It is a “sure thing” for a fabulous meal.
Photos of our amazing meal are on the left. Top row: our vegetable starter, soufflé. Middle row: cheese selection, mini pastries, pearl pasta starter. Bottom row: Choux, Turbot entrée and lastly the quail.
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Restaurant LAURENT 41, avenue Gabriel 75008 Paris
Tél: +33(0)142250039 Fax : +33 (0) 1 45 62 45 21 Email : firstname.lastname@example.org
Métro : Champs-Elysées Clémenceau / Franklin D. Roosevelt