With the stinging reviews of the local Parisians still ringing in my ears from the night before, we headed off to two-starred Lasserre for what could have been a very interesting dinner.
I wasn't supposed to be here though. Originally, this meal was booked for Alain Passard's legendary (and three-starred) l'Arpege. But due to a fire or something of that nature, it was no more. With only a week's notice I scrambled to book the first dinner I could at a sufficiently starred restaurant (with the tally in mind). That place was Lasserre.
It almost wasn't here, in fact. After the Louvre I wanted to be a lame tourist and go to McDonalds and order a Royale with cheese, a la Pulp Fiction. But I couldn't see just the normal Royale on the menu, so I stood back. But my travelling/dining companion didn't. He ordered an entire meal. Large, of course. For reasons that are still not clear. Due to equal parts fullness from that meal, and anger towards me for not getting anything, he nearly bailed on dinner. I think he still has a while to go before he realises that eating is sometimes more related to a pushing through of the pain barrier.
We get the lift up to the dining room on the second floor and the beauty of the place hits you immeditely. A lot of white, lillies, some moss, green, gold trimmings and, oh yeah, AN OPEN ROOF! That's right, Lasserre has a retractable roof. And when it's open and the cool breeze (that smells so sweet because it's Paris) hits you, it feels damn good.
We're seated near two incredibly scary-looking/powerful men and their dates, probably the two most beautiful women in the entire world. Creatures so divine that they are too precious to risk taking them outside in the day. But I don't look because those men will probably kill me without too much bother. So we get stuck into the tasting menu. That will distract me.
And the food is good. Those Parisians were crazy (clearly they were if they thought Taillevent was great). It's not world-beating, but it's damn fine. Dishes like the foie gras stuffed maccaroni with cheese and truffle sauce. And the pigeon with foie gras. They were all good.
The Parisians did have a point though, the place wasn't cheap, particularly if you ordered a la carte. It wasn't mind-blowingly expensive either though.
Lasserre was more about the experience than the food, I think. While the food was good enough to compete with a lot of the other restaurants at the same level, it's strengths were in the service, which was excellent, and the setting, which, as mentioned above, was stunning.
Also a good place to go if you have two of the most beautiful women in the world on your side and you want them to get some fresh air, but also don't want them to go outside.
Michelin star tally: 27