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Paris Restaurants

L'Arpège

  • 84 rue de Varenne Map It
  • Fodor's Choice

Updated 02/19/2014

Fodor's Review

Breton-born Alain Passard, one of the most respected chefs in Paris, famously shocked the French culinary world by declaring that he was bored with meat. Though his vegetarianism is more theoretical than practical—L'Arpège still caters to fish and poultry eaters—he does cultivate his own vegetables outside Paris, which are then zipped into the city by high-speed train. His dishes elevate the humblest vegetables to sublime heights: salt-roasted beets with aged balsamic

vinegar, leeks with black truffles, black radishes, and cardon, a kind of thistle related to the artichoke, with parmigiano-reggiano. Seafood dishes such as turbot cooked at a low temperature for three hours or lobster braised in vin jaune from the Jura are also extraordinary—as are the prices. A €135 lunch menu, while still pricey, gives access to this revered cuisine. The understated decor places the emphasis firmly on the food, but try to avoid the gloomy cellar room.

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Restaurant Information

Address:

84 rue de Varenne, 7e, Paris, 75007, France

Map It

Phone:

/01–47–05–09–06

Restaurant Details:

  • Credit cards accepted
  • Closed weekends

Updated 02/19/2014

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Fodorite Reviews

Average Rating
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Jan 17, 2012

L'Arpège Review

Heaven on earth... Don't expect here magnificience and traditionnel french dishes like Foie Gras, Chateaubriand and soone... It's unexpectable, majoritary vegetarian and always original... The prix fixe lunch is a bargain ...at 130 $ but the best if you have a bit more is to let the chef choose for you!!Only said to his staff what you don't like and go for a marvelous travel... The best is to share your money from other institutions -like Jules

Verne... You will not forgett your meal...

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Mar 25, 2010

L'Arpège Review

This was our second visit to this restaurant as l'Arpege (been to the former l'Archestrate also). The interior has the "charm" of an 80s old design, the chrome chairs are cold and needed to be warmed up by our bodies. The interior is quite unprotected as the entrance door directly opens into the dining room. That's so far the first impression. Then the food, which was the same quality both times. We had the Euro 320 pp degustation menu. First the

so-called special egg - was just a normal egg with some cream and no taste of 4 epices. What a whimse they make out of it - even if it was an organic egg. Then we had cold lobster which was quite tough, the sauce with vinegar - a little bit too sour. Nothing special. Next coarse was 2 mm of legumes with cheese on top - nothing special. After that, warm goose liver arrived - we did not like it at all and returned it to the kitchen. Instead, the pate de foie gras with a morel arrived - it was dry and hard to cut - not to our taste. Then halibut - which was edible but nothing special. Then a pigeon - nice breast but we did not like the hard parts of the leg. The desserts were worth 1 star, to be honest, though verything tasted old fashioned - the whole dinner was like mom's kitchen at home. The service was good. We have been at almost all other *** restaurants in the world - think of Guy Savoy and Le Meurice in Paris - on and on again - but this is not worth the buzz about it.

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Dec 9, 2009

L'Arpège Review

This restaurant manages to combine the most absurdly expensive prices with the most mediocre food that I have ever had the misfortune to experience. To begin, we were offered a champagne aperitif (at €38 per glass) which was left over from lunchtime and flat – I had to ask for two fresh glasses and you are left wondering whether the waitress did not know or did not care. I am happy to admit that at €320 per person the degustation menu was beyond

our means, and so we opted for the a la carte. Starters are vegetable only and priced at around €60, but the main, and unforgivable problem in such a restaurant, was that the dish that I chose was completely and utterly tasteless. If you had got it out of a tin from the supermarket, you would have asked for a refund. It was at this point that we left, having paid only for the bottle of wine that we had partly drunk. I would also point out that another couple had already got up and left. We have eaten in many first class and Michelin-starred restaurants around the world, but this restaurant really is a case of the emperor’s new clothes.

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Oct 31, 2009

L'Arpège Review

We have recently tried the lunch 'degustation menu' at l'Arpege and were impressed with the food! The chef's creations, combination of carefully selected seasonal products and spices, presentation - everything was worth the 3 Michelin starts. The chef was very charming, and was happy to chat with the patrons. Very convivial and appetizing atmosphere all in all! We were however very disappointed with the service. I am not sure if they're more up

to the 3 Michelin stars standards during the dinner service, but some mistakes were just unacceptable (and would have made me unsatisfied even in a regular restaurant where the expectations are much lower). For ex. my plate was almost taken even tough I hadn't finished my dish, our conversation was interrupted several times by the servers, chilled wine was poured in such a way that water from the outside of the bottle dripped onto a guest, a dish was served while a guest was away from the table etc. The servers were young (I am hoping still in training?) and it's a pity that such high standards of food are mixed with such mediocre manners. I hope that Mr. Passard will get a grip on his waiters!

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Mar 10, 2009

A Perfect Balance

My wife and I had one of the best meals of our lives recently at this restaurant. The food is inventive without losing focus; we had an amazing appetizer of celery root shaped into tagliatelle and sprinkled with black truffles in a very light sauce that was magnificent in its purity of flavor. The same can be said for the lobster with vin jaune as well as the most amazing mille-feuille I have ever had. If you judge a restaurant based on the number

of ingredients the chef is able to force into every dish than this is not the place for you. If you judge a restaurant based on the actual taste of the food, than I fail to see how L'Arpege could not be ranked among the best in the world. Alain Passard's cooking is (thankfully) the opposite of the circus-like smoke and mirrors that seem to be the focus of many restaurants these days. The service and atmosphere is much the same: I felt like I was eating in the dining room of a very well-to-do friend, with the right balance of professionalism and friendliness. As for the prior review, I assume that you would expect top restaurants in New York or London to have their menus printed each day in French as well? You are in France. They speak French there. Deal with it. And if you fail to request a particular appertif after declining the choice offered by your server, this is your problem not theirs. Even servers at three star restaurants in Paris cannot read minds.

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By boban

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Sep 10, 2007

Shockingly overrated

Pretentious, mediocre food. Claustrophobic setting (we were seated 3 feet from an entrance door with guests and waiters frequently bumping into our chairs). Service: nice hostess, no menu in English (but hostess does her best to describe it), we were not offered aperitifs (actually, we were offered a glass of Champaign which we refused, after which no alternatives were offered) Wine is savagely overpriced Best part of the meal: butter, bread,

pallet cleanser

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By Craig

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Jul 14, 2006

Superb!

We went there some years ago now, but everything about this restaurant was superb. The staff was friendly (unusal for Parisiens) and it wasn't stuffy (unusualy for a restaurant with this many hats). It was the best meal we have eaten, before or since - as it should have been, it was very expensive. But the value was there.

By Victor

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Aug 16, 2005

Good food poor value.

The food was clearly good, but it was of a quality expected of a restaurant of this stature. It was neither exceptional nor was it bad. Service was very good as was the cozy atmosphere. The price is exceptionally high, making the experience overall a poor value compared to other restaurants of similar quality.

By Julia

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Aug 4, 2005

Undescribably excellent

Took us a while to find it, but this has to be the best restaurant to take a vegetarian too. The vegetables were sweet, succulent and cooked to show off their perfect flavours. The staff were justifiably proud of their work, taking the time to explain each dish and ensure that we were enjoying ourselves. Expensive but worth it as a once in a lifetime experience.

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Jun 6, 2005

Reputation Unearned, Food a Disappointment

It must have been an off day for three Michelin star chef, but nothing worked. The waiters ignored us. The dessert was incomplete. The bill was huge. This is an undeserved fashion favorite.

By Rusty

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May 26, 2003

Everything and more...

Wow! What an experience. The food is exceptional, the wine list complete, and the service flawless. Chef Passard traveling the dining room and stopping to speak with his guests was a nice touch. Even the Americans. After dinner he was gratious to give us a tour of his (smaller than you would think) kitchen and the wine cellar. The only thing that kept this experience from being perfect is that it is VERY expensive. All said and done $800.00 for two

people is a little high. But I would go back!

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By Diane

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Jul 18, 2000

Arpege (no L') is classy but....??

The food is truly first class, and the atmosphere aspires to sophistication, but it doesn't quite pull it off. That prix-fixe lunch is indeed a bargain. Our meal (to celebrate my 50th birthday) was elegant but at over 3000,00 francs (including tip) I've had equally as fine food elsewhere with a much higher level of service, for about half the price. The Canard vendeen au Poivre (duck) was wonderful. Sadly my ancient H.S. French (and the less than

helpful waiter) didn't save my husband from ordering Rognon de veau grille. That's veal brains. The convention at this restaurant is for two servings of your entree. Poor hubby, although I asked the waiter NOT to bring his second helping, it was presented anyway. He turned three shades of white and made a dash for the uni-sex downstairs. I'd highly recommend, however, 1994 Clos du Marquis -- a wonderful wine, and Langoustines aux raisons, and legumes en leger couscou. Go light with desserts with fruits rouges hibiscus and millefeuille oranger.

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