Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Paris, France - Benoit

First opened in 1912, and now helmed by Alain Ducasse (with the promise that he would keep it exactly as is), Benoit remains one of the oldest and most traditional bistros in Paris. The only bistro in the City of Light to have one Michelin star, Benoit, with its dark wood, lace curtains, red velvet seats, brass, mirrors and impressive porcelain dinnerware, sings to its past and remains authentic to its culinary roots.

Cheese puffs
Pink champagne

The service is impeccable and the staff, including the sommelier, are very well trained; there is no typical French condescension here. As for the food, the quality is superlative and dishes are unfussy enough that each individual ingredient stands out on its own. I am definitely adding Benoit to my list of Paris staples. Here is a look at what we devoured:

Cookpot of seasonal vegetables
Preserved duck foie gras, toasted Parisian brioche
Pan-seared fillet of Brittany John Dory, potatoes from Noirmoutier and fresh garlic flowers
Milk-fed lamb from Aveyron, violet mustard, spring vegetables, cooking jus
Nantua-style sole fillets, lightly creamy spinach leaves
Vanilla mille-feuille
Eton Mess
Homemade Madeleines

The 38 three course tasting menu at lunch is a veritable bargain and a great way to experience this restaurant on a budget.

A special thank you to my dear friend for treating me to a sumptuous dinner here and allowing me the opportunity to experience Benoit for the first time!

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