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  • L'Arpège Restaurant Review, Paris, France, Vegetarian
    2009

    L’Arpège Restaurant Review, Paris, France

    Posted by Foodnut.com

    Reviewer: Foodnut.com

    L'Arpège

    84, rue de Varenne

    75007 PARIS, France, CA

    +33 (0)1 47 05 09 06

    + 33 (0)1 44 18 98 39 (Fax)

    L'Arpège Website

    L Arpege Paris France Exterior Decor

    L’Arpege is a famous three Michelin star restaurant in Paris run by star Chef Alain Passard. This famous spot opened in 1986. They serve classic French Haute cuisine focusing on seafood, poultry, and vegetables. Their three organic farms outside Paris grow their produce. Vegetables are bullet trained to the restaurant several TIMES a day, to maximize freshness. Alain became bored with meat and removed it from the menu several years ago, but later adjusted to include seafood and poultry. We came for lunch Menu L’Ete des Jardins (The Summer Garden) (120€) available July-September 2009, to lessen the damage to the pocket book. It looked like everyone else ordered it too. They had actually lowered its price by 15€!

    They also had a 320€ Cuisine Choisie Prix Fixe menu. We’d be in a food coma the rest of the day if we had that for lunch! A la Carte food prices can really add up here. We did separately order a very expensive Aiguillettes de homard (Lobster).

    L Arpege Paris France Interior Decor

    Decor, Vibe – Simplistic but formal decor as he believes the luxury is on the plate. Simple pictures, light oak paneled walls envelope the dining room. Large squash on the tables. Private room downstairs. Diners included mostly older locals and some tourists from around the world. The dining room was 100% full by 1pm.

    Menu Pictures (Click to zoom into any picture)

    L Arpege Paris France Menu 2

    Prix Fix Menu

    L Arpege Paris France Menu 3

    A la Carte Menu

    L Arpege Paris France Menu 1

    Website Menu

    L Arpege Paris France Amuse Bouche Tomato Puree with Radish

    Amuse Bouche of Tartelette of beetroot puree on a crispy with radish

    L Arpege Paris France Amuse Bouche Fresh Baby Radishes

    Amuse Bouche of fresh baby radishes

    L Arpege Paris France Bread Pain

    Awesome salted butter from Brittany and fresh bread. The ‘peanut butter’ infused bread was the best.

    Picks:

    L Arpege Paris France Lobster Aiguillettes de homard

    Lobster Presentation

    L Arpege Paris France Lobster Aiguillettes de homard 1

    Aiguillettes de homard (140€) – Whole steamed Lobster (Split entree) had some massive claws, bigger than typical Maine lobsters. It was unshelled and served with the freshest of turnips, radishes, baby squash, and mini potatoes. Very sweet and succulent lobster meat and a light, yet unnecessary buttery sauce. One of the most expensive single dishes we have ever ordered but well worth the splurge.

    L Arpege Paris France Raviolis

    Ravioles potagères, consommé végétal – More like a precisely engineered three Chinese Won Tons. Freshly diced cucumber, bell peppers, tomates in a very thin dough wrapper, bathed in a warm vegetable broth.

    L Arpege Paris France Tomate Narturelle Natural Tomatoes

    Black Prince, Panderosa, Marmande de Brecenne.. tomate naturelle – Natural Tomatoes – Black Prince, panderos, Marmande tomatoes from Brecenne with a light balsamic vinagrette and mint oil. Ice plant and cucumber accents. Very nice texture to each bite.

    L Arpege Paris France Gnoochi

    Couleur, saveur, parfum et dessin du jardin, cueillette ephemere – Color, flavor, fragrance and design of the garden, picking ephemere. Not sure we translated it right, as this was a trio of very delicate gnocchi. Potato – garlic, tomato – lemongrass, with a couple little tomatoes on the side.

    L Arpege Paris France Mustard Ice Cream Gazpacho

    Mustard Ice Cream on a tomato gazpacho – A savory ice cream that sounds gross but tastes pretty good. This place is renoun for its oddball creamy creations. Only had a minute mustard flavor. The soup was a bit tart. The odd combination worked in harmony together.

    L Arpege Paris France Risotto

    Risotto au parmigiano reggiano, herbes fines – Risotto << vegetable collection>> Parmigiano Reggiano cheese, fine herbs, leaks, artichokes was excellent. Smooth, not too creamy. The onions were almost too strong to eat.

    L Arpege Paris France Cous Cous

    Pousses, chou rave, aubergine, oignon, fenouil, courgette… image du potager ce matin – Sprouts, cabbage, kohlrabi, eggplant, onion, fennel, zucchini … image of the garden this morning. Cous cous on top of radishes, carrots, cucmber flowers, beetroot. This dish did not work that well. It seems like a mish mash of ingredients.

    Ecailles ou plumes… reflet de la gourmandise – Scales and feathers … reflection of good food. Aka Chicken or the Fish.

    L Arpege Paris France Whole Chicken

    Chicken Presentation

    L Arpege Paris France Chicken

    Whole chicken roasted in a ‘pot of hay’. Excellent. Served pre-sliced, it had a wonderful crispy skin, but was very low in quantity. Did they cook one for 3 tables? Nice deep fried leaves and onions. We could have used more..

    L Arpege Paris France Fish Turbot

    Filet of Turbot cooked in green tea with tiny potatoes, very nice spinach puree. This is a cod like fish, popular in France. Very good quality and cooking, and the fish actually tastes vegetable like. Surely intentional.

    L Arpege Paris France Cheese Cart Fromage

    Cheese Cart

    L Arpege Paris France Fromage Cheese

    Sampling all Five Cheeses

    Fromages de Bernard Anthony, affineur – Five kinds of cheese from Bernard Anthony. Some aged for four years, all top notch. Cheese nirvana.

    L Arpege Paris France Prunes Herb Sorbet

    Corbeille de parfums, fragrance – Sculptured basket of perfume, fragrance – Prune and Herb Ice Cream was another weird combination that actually works. Very sweet cooked prunes. Again the herbs are pretty low key.

    OK:

    L Arpege Paris France Macaroons

    Petit Fours – macarons du jardin- Macaroons – Three different kinds of thin, cake+cookie like treats. Basil, parsley, and cauliflower. These are truly acquired tastes. Very weird stuff.

    Pans:
    None

    Service was very good and made for well paced lunch. The service quality did not approach the high quality we encountered at Le Cinq or Guy Savoy though. The chef did come out to warmly visit all diners and even showed us to the door. Food quality, freshness of ingredients, and inventiveness was very high, coupled with the great values at lunch, makes this an easy place to recommend. The vegetarianism runs deep here, so some folks seeking a more ‘mainstream’ three star dining experience might be better off at a place like Guy Savoy or by ordering a la Carte. The seafood and poultry were top notch.

    L’Arpège has more affordable Prix Fix lunch as do many other high end restaurants. Dinner costs almost twice as much. Our waitress did speak English and helped explain the French only menu. Book at least a month in advance. Walk off your meal at Musee Rodin as it is just down the street.

    L'Arpège Overall Rating: (Super 3.5)

    Come Back?

    Food Rating: (Super)
    Service Rating: (Very Good)
    Atmosphere Rating: (Very Good)
    Value Rating: (Very Good)

    Guide: 0 = poor, 1 = Below/Average, 2 = Good, 2.5 = Very Good, 3 = Excellent , 4 = Extraordinary

    Alcohol:Beer, Wine
    Attire:Dressy
    Hours:Mon - Fri Noon - 2:30pm, 730 - 1030pm. Closed Sat-Sun.
    Parking:Street
    Reservations:Yes
    Prices:120 -320 € (Lunch)
    Posted on October 8th, 2009
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