129, Avenue de Parmentier
+33 1 43 57 45 95
When the company that I work for decided to send me to the UK for 10 days, I made the decision to also visit Paris for the weekend. I haven’t travelled solo in a number of years, so I was admittedly a little nervous. Even though I was travelling by myself I am still a dedicated foodie and so whilst the scared part of me was in favour of staying in the hotel for my only dinner in Paris, the majority of me was like “Are you CRAZY?! Get out there, girl!” So get out there, I did. I had my heart set on visiting Le Chateaubriand because:
1/ It is #15 on the San Pellegrino “Best Restaurants in the World” list.
2/ It was listed as being quite casual, rather than high-end.
3/ It was quite affordable at €60 for the set menu (wine pairings make it €120).
As I didn’t have much time to pre-plan or book ahead, I was thankful that the restaurant has a “no reservations required” policy after 9.30pm. I ended up getting there incredibly early and hung around the doorway for about an hour and a half, waiting for a table. Luckily, I was third in line and ended up with a seat at the bar. Perched at the bar, I got to watch all of the comings and goings.
What struck me as interesting was that the restaurant is very casual, which was not at all what I was expecting from what has been deemed one of the best restaurants in the world. The waiters weren’t in fancy suits and conversations weren’t stuffy (I even saw many of the waiters taking shots of booze at the bar). The decor was very simple in its approach; cream walls, warm lighting, and bare-bones furniture, but it still had a feeling of warmth and comfort without the formalities.
You will have to excuse my very limited knowledge about what I ate that night. Firstly, the menu doesn’t include the names or descriptions of the amuses bouche, my French is non-existent, and whilst they tried to tell me the dishes in English, the accents were incredibly strong so I couldn’t always understand what I was eating. It made for a very unusual meal as I’m used to knowing what I’m putting in my mouth, however, it was enjoyable.
Saint jacques, moules (mussles), verdure (greens)
Bouef (beef), racines (roots), raifort (horseradish)
This was probably the most unusual dessert I’ve ever eaten. I think the waiter said the yellow thing on top was a yolk and when it burst in my mouth, it was an incredibly unusual sensation.
I’m definitely glad that I made the effort to visit Le Chateaubriand, even if some of the dishes were lost on me. How would I rate it against the likes of other “best restaurants in the world” such as The French Laundry, Per Se, or Eleven Madison Park? Well, those restaurants are quite different so it is a little unfair to judge them side-by-side, however, I didn’t think that Le Chateaubriand was at the same scale as the aforementioned restaurants. Yet, I can admire how innovative the dishes are, and I think the value for money was certainly there.