Saturday, February 26, 2011

My first three star meal. Paris, 1969 La Tour D'argent

My first three star meal.  Paris, 1969  La Tour D'argent.

Stars in my eyes, Ellen and I entered this temple of dining with a feeling of reverence. I had booked a month in advance and requested a table with a view of Notre Dame. We were greeted by an elegant man in a tux, taken to a lovely elevated table, and then greeted again by Claude Terrail. I had decided that quenelles and pressed duck would be the meal, and we added another app (probably something with foie gras). Ellen does not drink wine, so I selected three half bottles, a white burg, a red burg. and a Bordeaux. I'd lie if I said I remembered which ones, but they were very good.

The room was magical, and the view of the cathedral, lit up by the restaurant, was truly awesome. The quenelles were light as air and in a delicious sauce. I remember the white had good acidity and was a match for this course. The pressed duck was, of course, a ritual. We were shown the bird, given its numbered tag and served in two courses. We watched the duck being pressed and the blood and juices running into a silver cup below. 

The meal was good, but not having any standards of comparison, I can't be objective except to say the tastes were delicious. The service was amazing. 

As we left, we entered a small elevator with the walls covered in red plush. The doors slid open, and instead of being in the lobby, we were in a wine cellar. A man with a tastevin greeted us, and led a tour though the twisting museum of meals and bottles that, to a neophyte wine collector, was a mind-boggling event. I'll never forget it and can see it clearly in my mind's eye. 

The carte is huge, so the scan does not do full justice to its "majesty."

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