9 Place des Vosges,
75004 Paris, France
Tel. +33 1 42 78 51 45
Food type: French
Paris. The city is the playground for the rich and famous. If you can afford it, it offers some of the best food that money can buy. The accolade of 3 Michelin Stars still stands for a restaurant delivering the pinnacle of gastronomy. This is especially true given Michelin’s rapid expansion worldwide with the necessity to dole out new 3 stars to sell more guides and generate headlines. L’Ambroisie is the grand daddy of all of Paris’ 3 star temples with Bernard Pacaud holding the full monty since 1988 – a time where Michelin had yet to expand outside Europe. When a restaurant has held 3*s for such a long time, there is of course a fear that the accolade may be one of historical value. Yet, even with todays eating trends of tweezed flowers and foraged herbs, many serious foodies still consider Pacaud’s cooking as the pinnacle of gastronomy.
Truth is, I have never dared make a reservation at L’Ambroisie. Perhaps its my inability to speak French. Maybe its the stories of the haughty service here. Or indeed the astronomical prices commanded for a starter alone. I have always looked in admiration at the photos other people post but never had the guts to pick up the phone. But it was recently, following the sudden passing of pastry chef Laurent Jennin (of Le Bristol fame) did it strike me that time will wait for no one. I had only been eating at Epicure two weeks prior to his passing. As someone who truly enjoys French gastronomy, I really wanted to experience the masterworks of these great maestros while they are still around. Pacaud will be 70 this September and while still a spring chicken in relative terms compared to Michel Guérard and Paul Bocuse, you have to wonder how many years he still has left cooking before he hangs up his frying pan. So with a little bit of egging on by Kang, I booked a table for two for a nice, leisurely Saturday lunch.