Sometimes, life could be sooo easy. Reserve at L’Ambrosie in Paris, board a train from Frankfurt in the morning and then indulge in one of the best culinary experiences this planet can offer…
Wait, there was this Astrance happening the night before. Clearly a mistake in hindsight, but nevertheless another experience. We literally walked off the blues and got a good sleep, woke up and could already feel the suspense crawling up.
Arriving at the Place des Vogues is like entering another world within Paris. Here the city has patina, a perfect place for a restaurant like L’Ambrosie. A bit ancient, a bit old-school, deliberately tugged away from the masses, an address for the establishment, for regulars (people visiting the restaurant a few times per week!) – so French, so Paris…
Sometimes you encounter those rare moments where you are just puzzled what just had happened. Stepping out in a beautiful but a bit chilly Autumn night this last November we couldn’t help but wonder whether this surrealistic theatre had been indeed real. Was there a hidden camera?
No-one came following us and uplifted the masquerade… Looking at the bill that amounted to 740€ for two 6-course meals with a more than mediocre wine pairing made me realize that this was not a dream – this was the second worst three star meal ever – only to be topped by Sant Celoni back in 2008.
To be fair, Pascal Bardot is a visionary chef – he basically was the first to break with the conventions of the great posh houses and tried to do ‘his’ thing. After years with Alain Passat at L’Arpege he opened Astrance in 2000. Less formal in a cosy setting tugged away in a quiet side-street, he served a carte blanche menu from the beginning and was an instant success – people came raving, the restaurant was constantly booked-out and indeed was awarded the third star in 2007. My first lunch there in 2009 was good and solid at three star level, but our recent dinner was merely one star level, if at all. Rightfully so, the Guide Rouge retracted the third star in his 2019 edition.