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Steve Dec 6th, 2002 06:35 AM

Where to go for Once in a lifetime dining experience?
My wife and I are going to France in May, 2003 and will be staying in Paris, Lyon, Annecy and St. Remy. Where should we go for a "once in a lfetime" dining experience.

ryan Dec 6th, 2002 06:51 AM

In Paris, you might consider Jules Verne, which is in the Eiffel Tower. A window table is a must. <BR><BR>However, if I had to choose one meal in Paris, I'd go to Taillevent, again. To me it is an unmatched combination of food, service and ambiance. The staff is incredibly nice and they have an incredible wine list.

elaine Dec 6th, 2002 07:57 AM

In Paris, I concur with Taillevent or, Le Grand Vefour, which has more ornate decor. Jules Verne's food is, imo, down a notch from there, but oh, that view!<BR><BR>However, I have not been to Lyon but it is supposed to be the food capital of France; someone can probably make a wonderful suggestion.

David Dec 6th, 2002 08:19 AM

Agree with Elaine's comments on the food at Jules Verne's: although it is very good, it is not on par with Taillevent (but, again, the view is unsurpassed!). I would also recommend Michel Rostang as a contender: superb food, service and ambience!<BR><BR>Strive

oldorch Dec 6th, 2002 09:05 AM

a vote for le grand is awesome ( but i have never eaten at taillevent )

Julie Dec 6th, 2002 10:09 AM

I think great dining experiences are heightened by the opporunity to combine them with a stay in a lovely hotel. Since you're planning to be in Annecy consider both staying and dining at the Auberge du Pere Bise. It's a two star restaurant attached to a hote (auberge) that merits 4 red turrets in the Michelin guide. The place is in a resort area and on a lake. It oozes elegance and grand comfort. While you can find better food at the places mentioned in Paris, this place has the whole experience along with the food. You prolong the wonderful feeling of a great meal and the aura of graciousness of a beautiful restaurant when you leave the table and walk (glide) upstairs or down the hall to your lovely chambre and know that you can also expect a wonderful breakfast the next morning. Go for the whole package to complete your once in a lifetime experience.

FreddieM Dec 6th, 2002 10:19 AM

Fodors is so predictable! Restautant anyone, and - out pops, Jules Verne, Taillevent, Le Gran Vefour. I suppose I ought to be happy you posters finally forgot about Tour d'Argent.

Bob Dec 6th, 2002 10:24 AM

I did not forget about TOUR'DARGENT. We had a great meal there in 2000 overlooking Notre Dame across the river. The list of notables that has dined there is too long to list...Kings, Queens and our Presidents. The history of the place goes back hundreds of years. I recommend the place.

Steve Dec 7th, 2002 10:28 AM

Thanks for the suggestions. Julie, we are staying in Talloires at the Abbaye and do plan to go to Auberge du Pere Bise. Any other suggestions for Paris or Lyon?

oldorch Dec 7th, 2002 10:36 AM

freddiem <BR>that is the restaurant i will to go next tour d'argent. generally one indulgence like that per trip for me.

Ian Dec 7th, 2002 12:10 PM

Steve<BR><BR>Agree with above about Taillevent &amp; Jules Vernes. Dining at either is an experience.<BR><BR>I would add Les Ambassadeurs in the Hotel Crillon to the list. The meal &amp; service are exquisite &amp; the room is absolutely stunning.<BR><BR>Ian

Julie Dec 7th, 2002 02:40 PM

It would be hard to go wrong with any of the Michelin 3 star restaurants or the others suggested so far in Paris. If you're picking among them why not go with the kind of ambiance or aesthetic that you prefer. From what I've read and experienced here's what I would expect from each. I've not been there, but from all accounts it appears that Taillevant is tops in the all around department--food, wine, service. I think it's decor is more standard, formal elegant and possibly less interesting than many. I have been to Ambrosie in the Place des Voges. It is small, very square--a square room within in geographic square with square tapestries, etc. This gives a wonderful peaceful aesthetic feeling. It is elegant and very unrushed, pleasing. Pierre Gagnaire is modern but subdued with greys and blues though his cuisine is edgy and envelope pushing as are his table decorations, etc. Le Grand Verfour is belle epoque almost kitschy (in the best sense of that term)exuberant elegance and formality. Lucas Carton has a magnificent understated art nouveau wood interior and painstakingly perfect food. Apparently Jules Verne has incredibly good food for a place that could coast on its view alone, modern. Les Ambassadeurs at the Crillon is over the top luxury with gleaming gold everywhere and heavy blue velour draperies, very formal service. Every place--even some of the great ones can have a bad night. I had the misfortune of eating at Les Ambassadeurs on one of theirs so I am not as high on their food as others are. You can bask in some of the elegance by just stopping there for a drink before moving on to another place that will serve better food for your dinner. The view from Tour D'Argent is supposed to be one of the best in the world, though I understand that their food may not be what it was at its peak--and the same/similar view can be obtained at the restaurant in the Institute Arabe du Monde just down the quai.

mimi taylor Dec 7th, 2002 02:53 PM

Steve, on Lake Annecy, The auberge de Eriden was one of the best meals and fantastic places I have dined in. But be warned it is very expensive. I treated my husband there for his retirement. I wish we could afford to go back . It is special.

me again Dec 7th, 2002 03:09 PM

steve, if you go to you can see photos and reviews. Type in the chef/owner Marc Veyrat or Auberge de L'Eridan.

Steve Dec 8th, 2002 09:45 AM

Wow! I found websites for most of these and they all sound great! I guess I should expect to gain some weight and for my cholesterol to go off the charts. We'll probably try to go to a couple of them, 1 in Paris and 1 in Lyon or near Annecy. Any suggestions around Lyon? Has anyone been to Bocuse's restaurant or Leon de Lyon? Thanks.

as Dec 8th, 2002 04:39 PM

Steve<BR>I have been to Paul Bocuse near Lyon.<BR>It was the worse meal I had in France.<BR>Very commercial--has a store that sells everything with his face on it.<BR><BR>Not worth the money -----and I mean lots of money.

Anthony Dec 9th, 2002 09:51 AM

Steve,<BR><BR>My wife and I are Francophiles. We visit St. Remy yearly.<BR><BR>There is a great restaurant near St. Remy called La Maison. It is in the auberge, Mas de Bournissac. If weather permits eat outdoors. Wonderful food and setting.<BR><BR>We often visit Paris but rely on our concierge for restaurant advice. Many of the restaurants suggested by other posts are world famous and tres expensif!<BR><BR>If I can help with St. Remy please e-mail me.<BR><BR>Good luck!

Lori Dec 9th, 2002 11:02 AM

Agree with as about Bocuse. It was extremely disappointing. We were rushed, and the food was not great, it was OK. Very expensive. The best meal I ever had was at Les Crayeres in Reims, if you find yourself that way. In Lyon, we had a wonderful meal at a small restaurant called Restaurant Anticipation. Food and atmosphere were just wonderful. Check the rants and raves section for reviews, address,and phone number.

top Dec 15th, 2002 08:35 AM

Any other favorites, especially in Lyon?

Wendy Dec 15th, 2002 01:49 PM

Steve,<BR><BR>If you are looking for a wonderful meal and can splurge, 6 miles outside Lyon on the N7 in 'a La Tour-de-Salvagny', is &quot;Rotonde&quot; (closed Sunday night, Monday and Tuesday lunch) They specialize in foul and to my delight a fantastic pressed duck...the decor is very art deco and 'was' 550 ff 9before the Euro) for my share... wonderful wine list and very helpful staff...two Michelin stars.<BR><BR>IN Lyon, Pierre Orsi was fantastic and we had the specialty of foie gras in a truffle port sauce... we had lunch at a pretty little place (since you will be there in May)that had a wonderful outdoor terrace wall-lined with ivy and flowers, a local favorite called &quot;L'Auberge de Fond Rose&quot; closed Tuesday night in May.<BR><BR>Bonne chance et bon appetit,<BR>Wendy

mark Dec 15th, 2002 03:07 PM

If you're looking for a lifetime dining experience you needn't go to Europe - try the French Laundry in the Napa Valley.<BR><BR><BR><BR>But if you insist on Europe, try El Bulli in Spain.<BR><BR><BR><BR><BR><BR>

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