One of the restaurants I was looking forward to was 3 starred Pierre Gagnaire at Rue Balzac. H’s family had graciously invited us to have dinner there in 2011 and I was filled with all sorts of expectation.
Pierre Gagnaire has been described as a creative genius and I agree. It was a gastronomy journey that took over 4 hours. Every dish came in parts, there was never just 1 plate. Each plate that came draws you in visually and all the flavours and textures on the plate complemented each other. There were a few dishes that had Asian influences, like Thai and Japanese, and even though it was really delicious, I wish there wasn’t the French-Asian fusion concept.
Desserts deserve a special mention as they were divine. We were stuff at the end of the mains but we ate all 4 desserts, all different and complex. The flavours were very delicate on the palate and it was surprisingly very light. Fini en beauté!
There were 2 things towards the end that left me with a bitter taste. Firstly, as the dinner progressed, the time wait in between dishes got longer, sometimes up to 20min. Secondly, I requested for a cheese substitute and not only was it replaced with a unintelligent butterhead lettuce tossed with olive oil and balsamic vinegar, but they forgot about me! The rest of the table was served their truffle cheese and I was left plateless while my salad remained behind me on the serving table for a good 10min before any waiter noticed. There was no apology when I was finally served my salad.
When you are paying these prices at a 3 star restaurant, you expect the whole experience, the food and service to be nothing short of excellent. I was so mad that I sent an email to Mr Gagnaire to complain and I am pacified after getting his (or the secretary) explanation and an apology.
Objectively I have to say the food was pretty damn good except for the 2 service flaws that spoilt my whole experience. Bad luck perhaps!
Dinner was €265 and consisted of 7 courses + 4 desserts and many small additional dishes.
6 Rue Balzac