Most memorable French meal?

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May 24th, 2000, 10:45 AM
  #1
John
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Most memorable French meal?

Hi all,
I just finished answering a post by mentioning macaroons in Alsace. That plus recent posts on German/Swiss/Austrian meals and diet soft drinks got me thinking (and a little hungry) about memorable food experiences and memories in France. Ours involves birthday champagne and fois gras and a lemon tart in a hotel restaurant in Sarlat on a rainy March evening.

What's yours?
 
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May 24th, 2000, 10:52 AM
  #2
Beth Anderson
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Creme Brulee at Le Petit Normand in Bayeux. THE best creme brulee I have ever had!

also, I don't like seafood very much, but I had a lot in Normandy and I loved it all! It might just convert me!

Beth
 
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May 24th, 2000, 11:04 AM
  #3
me
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I have two favorites, but I think the best was at Le P'tit Troquet in the 7eme in Paris. A warm goat cheese salad to start, followed by the most incredible Coquilles (sp?) St. Jacques. Dessert was a warm plum tart with a touch of marzipan. Oh, and a nice Brouilly to wash it all down.

Runner-up was a three-tiered shellfish platter at L'Alsace in Paris. I took us two hours to eat it all - they kept taking away plates and plates of empty shells - yum!
 
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May 24th, 2000, 11:08 AM
  #4
teri
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My pick also is Le P'tit Troquet. I had the duck and the best Creme Brulee.
 
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May 24th, 2000, 11:58 AM
  #5
Christine
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Doesn't exactly qualify as a meal, but the first time I went to Paris, savoring my first french crepe avec nutella while sitting underneath the Eiffel Tower...
 
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May 24th, 2000, 12:10 PM
  #6
Thyra
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Ok, since you asked about "meals" not just favorite food... Here goes. My husband and I had been to Paris 3 times and never quite had the budget for a really high end gourmet meal. Last spring we had 5 hours between a flight from Dublin to an overnight train to Nice. We surfed the web until we found the most romantic restaurant we could find and made reservations for 6:00. Upon arrival we stashed our luggage in lockers and took a taxi to the restaurant, which, it turns out didn't OPEN until 7:00 We were so hungry we nearly gave up on the whole idea, but decided to wait at a cafe across the street. It was pouring rain and one of the cafe waiters did an inpromtu rendition of "Singin'in the Rain", just for us. Finally the restaurant opened and they seated us in the most lovely restored art deco room I could imagine! Origional stained glass and carved wood!! I guess the staff liked us because they gave us complimentary champagne. Well we pulled out all the stops, something we never do. Appetizer escargots in flakey pastry drizzled with honey, I had filet of sole with the creamiest sauce ever created, my husband had the rarest most delicious beef of his life, house wine (we are not gourmets as you can tell) a chocolate torte and coffee for dessert! The entire meal cost us about $130.00. After dinner we hopped in a cab and headed back for the train station, the rain had now stopped and streets and the Sein we are sparkling like stars... I was so overwhelmed by the beauty and the meal that I started to cry... If I were to die tomorrow I would like to be thinking of that night so that at least I can die with a smile on my face!
 
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May 24th, 2000, 01:48 PM
  #7
Robin
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The name, Thyra, the name!!!
 
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May 24th, 2000, 01:59 PM
  #8
Thyra
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Pardon! The restaurant is called
La Fermette Marbeuf
5 Rue Marbeuf
8th Arrondissemont
Ph: 01-47-20-63-53
Reservations recommended

I just looked it up online where the review said that it was a favorite of movie stars because of the recently rediscovered Belle Epoque stained glass and also mentioned that the price was very fair for the quality of the food.
They also take credit cards.
 
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May 24th, 2000, 01:59 PM
  #9
elaine
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On my first trip to Paris eons ago, I was with family and a special friend.
One night we had dinner at La Serre.
At the time it was considered a top restaurant, I don't even know if it's still there, it might be. Very ornate decor, lots of gilding and carving. The ceiling was retractable, opening the dining room to the night sky.
We had great food and wine, can't remember specifics except dessert. My mousse came to the table in a sort of large egg shape surrounded by gold-covered spun sugar in the form of an intricately-woven bird's nest and cage.
Sigh.
Anyone know if that restaurant is still in Paris?
 
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May 24th, 2000, 02:11 PM
  #10
Robin
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Many thanks, Thyra. Sorry to be so overwrought, but your story left me dying to get a reservation, and we leave this Friday. Maybe??
 
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May 24th, 2000, 02:21 PM
  #11
Thyra
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No Worries Robin! I hope you can get a reservation. This particular restaurant is mentioned online quite a bit, and I am sure that somewhere you can find a picture of the interior! It's everything the heart longs for in a fine Paris Restaurant. Bon Chance!!!!
 
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May 24th, 2000, 02:51 PM
  #12
Richard
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Bouef bourgignon at Le'Epi Butte, Montmartre.
Mussels (moules) in cream sauce, Amy's Place, Portbail
 
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May 24th, 2000, 02:56 PM
  #13
lola
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In 1997 my companion and I ate a horrendously expensive (over $300) lunch at a one star Michelen restaurant, Pre Catalan in the Bois de Bologne. It was the most memorable meal ever, not because it was delicious, but because the service was the absolute worst either of us had ever had in our lives, even in a diner. We were nicely dressed, polite and not at all demanding. But we were ignored, disdained and insulted by the waiters. They never brought the wine, didn't bring one of our courses, made us wait longer than anyone else, snubbed us, didn't take away crumbs, etc. etc. We decided to tell the manager, as this is a top restaurant in France. He couldn't have been nicer, bought us a drink and subtracted $150 from the bill. I'm sure the waiters caught hell that day. Anyway, I have a suggestion. Book through a concierge if you can. The manager realized that we would go back and complain at the hotel if he didn't do something about it. That was clout.
 
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May 24th, 2000, 03:18 PM
  #14
elvira
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Sister's birthday trip to France (her first trip overseas); train from Bergerac to Les Eyzies arrives in the rain; we search for the gite for 2 hours, in the rain, and it's getting dark. By luck, find a campground that rents rooms - gorgeous gorgeous room at La Riviere. Now for supper.

Had passed a beautiful hotel (WAY out of our price range) that had a restaurant; since the room at the campground was sooo inexpensive, we decided we could afford the splurge for dinner. We are seated on the sunporch (inelegant name for a most elegant room) with a view of the lighted garden, and further on, the Vezere River. I order the 3 course meal with
choice of one dessert; Ahgeez, being herself, orders the 3 course meal with TWO desserts. It's October, there's maybe 2 couples in the whole place. I had zucchini stuffed with garlic for an appetizer; Herself has a pate/puffed pastry thingy. I have pork medallions with pepper/cognac sauce and Herself has a fish thingy. I get peach mousse (think peach air), Herself gets chocolate mousse AND the best trifle in the entire Universe I don't care if they find it on Mars it can't be better than this stuff. Two bottles of wonderful wine (white and red), coffee, and 3 hours of the most exquisite meal I have ever eaten (maybe it just tasted good 'cause I had on dry socks - ergo, my passion for packing extra socks), and Ahgeez and I were so blissful we had no idea that anyplace existed besides that restaurant.

Thank heavens our room was only 1/4 mile away; we were almost asleep by the time we got there.

I found the website
http://www.les-glycines-dordogne.com/index1.html

Thanks for posting this, John. The memory of this meal had fallen between the sofa cushions...
 
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May 25th, 2000, 06:10 AM
  #15
Lori
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La Trufferie in the 5th arrondisement in Paris. On our third trip to Paris last November, my husband picked out this restaurant based on the picture in the advertisement in Time Out Paris magazine. It looked nice, so we decided to give it a try on our first night - jet lag and all. We had Eric at the Familia make us a reservation, and he said it was wonderful (hasn't steered us wrong yet). The outside doesn't look like much, and neither does the first floor, but you eat downstairs in what was once a cave(for wine I suppose). Absolutely gorgeous. The service was impecable, the wine list was amazing. This restaurant was by no means cheap, dinner for three with champagne and a bottle of wine (a Santenay that is driving my husband crazy to find) ran about $350. My best friend had a carmelized deer, my husband had duck that was so tender it fell apart on the fork, and I had filet of sole that was so prettily arranged I hated to eat it. One of those places that we will not go back to for fear that we will be disappointed and ruin the memory. However, I would highly recommend it.
 
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May 25th, 2000, 06:49 AM
  #16
Bill
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The website for La Fermette Marbuet is;
http://www.fermettemarbeuf.com/anglais/default.htm
You can make reservations online and they will comfirm reservations within 48hr.
We made a reservation for dinner next month and got an email confirmation the next day.
They have many pictures of their place on the website. Very impressive looking
Also have a menu listed.
 
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May 25th, 2000, 06:51 AM
  #17
ann
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Most memorable meal in France was at the Auberge Cheval Blanc in Lembach, then a Michelin one-star (now two-star, I think), with a group of dear friends. We decided to go shoot the works one time, and ordered the prix-fixe "de gustatation" menu -- about 12 courses, and we all shared the appropriate wines with the courses... needless to say, took all night. We knew we were in for it when they brought out and placed beside our plates an assortment of what seemed an endless array of knives and forks. Of course, it was "country come to town," but we had a WONDERFUL time and the servers and sommelier were great. Highlight was after dinner, when the men asked if it was possible they could purchase cigars... could they ever! A small tray table stacked with open boxes was brought to our table and each person selected the type of cigar desired by pointing to the box... the server then made a big show of selecting the "perfect" cigar from that box, cutting the tip, lighting it with the cedar wrapper (NOT the match!), and waving it in the air until the ash was the perfect length before presenting it with a flourish. Then on to the next person with the tray table... another half hour gone! But definitely memorable; an evening we will all share forever.
 
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May 25th, 2000, 09:53 AM
  #18
karen
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Ah, Chateauneuf-en-Auxois about 25 miles NW of Beaune - tiny village with a 12th-century castle, visible from the A6 highway. The young couple running the "Hostellerie du Chateau" - 15th-century building (he the chef, she ran the desk) told us (if we understood correctly) it was only their second season (1997). A damp and cool Monday night at the end of June and we were the ONLY ones there! The meal was exquisite. Aperitifs (with complimentary "amuses-bouches") by the fireplace while our dinner wine "breathed"; filet of Charolais beef topped with foie gras, etc. Excellent service and extra tidbits with both our drinks and after-dinner coffee. Then we went up to our rooms and looked out on the floodlit Chateau. Went back in 1999 for another wonderful meal; they HAVE been discovered and deserved to be!
I could mention other memorable meals, from our splurge of all (Lunch at "La Clos de la Violette" in Aix-en-Provence) to a truckstop in a tiny village off the autoroute in Normandy (where we first sampled Norman cider and are probably the only Americans that have ever dined there!)
 
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May 25th, 2000, 10:58 AM
  #19
Al
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I wonder if there are any out there in cyberspace who think that paying $300 for a meal is so selfish and so decadent in a world of hungry people? Hmmm.
 
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May 25th, 2000, 11:11 AM
  #20
selfish
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Come on Al! Yes, I guess we are all soooooo selfish. Give me a break. You get the one chance in your lifetime to go on a dream vacation. Yes, be selfish by all means and forget reality and live in the moment and magic of Paris!

Hey, some people - business owners and celebrities - will pay $300 for just a bottle of wine or champagne. Most of us our budget travelers looking for advise and deals. And most of the people posting have spent that much between 2 or 3 people.

So Al, you must have had a memorable experience in Paris, otherwise you wouldn't have read this post. So why don't you share your thought on that instead of ripping on us!

 
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