During the four months I lived in Paris, I dined at many fine institutions but none of them measured up to the experience I had at L'Astrance. Given that Paris is (arguably) still Europe's gastronomic centre and the standards for excellence are higher, eating at a three-michelin star Parisian restaurant is perhaps the pinnacle of fine dining. Usually, these grand experiences come with three figure price tags but L'Astrance offers a 5-course lunch menu for only €70 - and this doesn't count all the little samples you get to taste in between the courses! Having made a reservation three weeks in advance, I was eager to try the magnificent dishes that would soon blow me away.
The experience met all of my high expectations as each dish was carefully constructed, perfectly sourced and excellently balanced. It was as if the chefs knew which ingredients to pair, and in what proportions, in order to produce the optimal sensations on one's palate. Also, every single element of each dish added something vital to the overall flavour profile, whether it was the texture of a meat, the consistency of a purée or the richness of a cream. Even more, the service was at a standard I have never seen; wine glasses were filled in the subtlest manner, fallen cutlery was picked up at the stealthiest pace and the seemingly infinite knowledge of the waiters and sommeliers was made available to the restaurant's guests. Honestly, it's been a while since I've been so impressed by how artful (and even scientific) cooking can be. In summary, the unique experience of dining at L'Astrance leads one to develop a truer appreciation for the culinary arts and exquisite service.
4 Rue Beethoven
€70 Lunch menu