Tuesday, May 8, 2007

Paris: Pierre Gagnaire-Food as Art

I've saved the best for last. If you remember in a previous post, I had the most difficulty orchestrating reservations at PG via E-mail, but it was definitely worth it. Pierre Gagnaire is located in the Hotel Balzac, not too far from the Arc de Triomphe. The dining room is intimate and cozy accented by blond woods and white cloths covering the tables. Here, as at La Tour d'Argent, I was brought a little stool to set my handbag on. Any place that takes care of my handbag as well as me gets brownie points upfront.

The most gallant gentleman wonderfully translated each and every single item on the detailed menu and its ingredients for us. We opted not to go for the multi-course prix fixe meal as we had been warned beforehand that with all the amuse-bouches (see fifth photo) that faced us, we would get full quickly. It is a shame that I can't recall what we had and didn't ask for a copy of the menu that evening so you will have to bear with my rudimentary descriptions of the remarkable dining experience we had, which really don't do the meal justice. In essence, my dining companion selected a crab-themed display of various courses while I selected one that had langoustines. The overall theme of the evening was a marriage of unexpected ingredients. I'll let the photos do most of the talking, athough I was so in awe of the vanilla souffle I had for dessert that I completely forgot to take a picture of it; it was the most amazing souffle I have had in my life.

Mid-way through our meal, Gagnaire himself appeared in the dining room with that glorious mane of white hair. It's funny, but I felt as if I was meeting George Clooney when he stopped by to talk with us and ask us where we were from. When I told my husband about his great hair, his response was, "Well, I hope he had some sort of hair net or hat back there." Nice eh?

Regardless, Pierre Gagnaire was a fantastic experience and one that should be had by everyone at least once in their lifetime. Special thanks to Suzie & Winston for the great recommendation!

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