We had lunch at L’Arpège in 2011 and it was easily one of the best dining experience we’ve had. Alain Passard’s 3 star restaurant in the 7th kept me tickled and wowed with each dish that came.
With Passard’s focus on vegetables, his creativity shines through. How many ways can you cook a carrot? It is hard to imagine that a vegetable can be the main focal point, but oddly enough you forget that fact and just focus on each plate that comes. Each dish draws you in visually with its colourful presentation and the myriad of tastes matched perfectly.
Even though I thoroughly enjoyed each dish, I was worried that this would be the most expensive vegetarian meal in my life. To my relief, we had fish and chicken as 2 of our main dishes. The flavour of each were very delicate so as not to overpower the vegetables that was paired with it.
On a personal note, cheese is something I cannot appreciate – the smell makes my stomach turn and the taste … perhaps the closest way to describe my reaction – it is like durian to the non-Asians. So I am grateful that the kitchen prepared a smoked potato substitute for my cheese course. Even though it was a very simple dish, I was very happy that I was served something other than a green salad!
Lunch took something like 3 hours but the food was well worth it. Service was excellent, just the right amount for us to feel special and not too stuffy. The atmosphere was still light and casual despite being a 3 star restaurant. And yes, we were stuffed despite it being mainly vegetables.
8 course lunch at €120, with a couple of additional in between dishes.
84 Rue de Varenne