Saturday, May 21, 2011

Luncheon in the Palais Royal

With all the end of year festivities, going away parties, and general panic about trying to experience the best of Paris before my count down timer runs out, I've been way overindulging. Because I can always diet when we get back home, right? And because when it's 98 degrees Farenheit with 98 percent humidity in Washington, I won't feel like eating anyway. Or at least that's what I'm telling myself.

This week's episode in gastronomic excess was lunch with the French ladies at Le Grand Vefour, a restaurant that's been operating in the Palais Royal since the 18th century. (Okay so it was closed during the first part of the 20th century but there's no reason to get technical.)   Guy Martin is the chef and while it was a huge scandal when the restaurant went down from 3 Michelin stars to 2, it's certainly not lacking in character and showmanship.  And for my money, the main dining room is among the prettiest you will find in Paris. 

The place was quietly buzzing with a crew of black and white attired waiters and sommeliers, and every time you turn your head, someone's there offering you something more to eat. The cheese tray was half the size of my dining room table, and the dessert I ordered as part of the luncheon menu morphed into three with the addition of the mignardises (little bites that normally accompany your coffee) and a special cake from M. Martin's native Savoie.  And if it wasn't the most transcendent meal I've had, it certainly was attractive, each course being its own mini work of art.

My dessert was a concoction of strawberries and rhubarb (and vanilla ice cream) inside a hard candy tube and topped with cotton candy.
The only problem with going out to lunch with the ladies is that my family still needs to eat come dinner time even if the cook has already had quite enough.


Paulita said...

That's why God made cereal, to feed the rest of the family when you don't feel like cooking. The meal sounds luxurious

Sweet Freak said...

I'm so happy you went, Anne! I just enjoyed my little vicarious moment through you. :)

Starman said...

I like to compare the presentations at different restaurants. I think your diet plan is quite practical.

Sasho said...

I'm already in mourning about your leaving. But I hope you're planning another blog upon your return to the US. After so long away, who better to regale us with the absurdities and conundrums that is we the people.

Andi said...

I ate there for lunch last October and loved it, sublime. My only complaint was the amount of sweets at the end. But my hubby and I definitely did NOT eat dinner after that meal!

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