Restaurant Reviews

Restaurant Reviews

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Fed up with celebrity chefs drizzling sauces over undercooked pieces of meat? I am!

I regularly dine out and am happy to share my restaurant experiences, and views on food, with you.

Sunday, August 29, 2004

Restaurant

L’Alsace
39 Avenue Des Champs Elysees
75008 Paris
France

Phone: - 01 5393 9700

Website www.restaurantalsace.com

Overview

Eva and I were in Paris on the 60th anniversary of its liberation from Nazi occupation. We decided to try one of the many restaurants on the Champs Elysees, and opted for L’Alsace.

L’Alsace is a restaurant specialising in the cuisines of the Alsace region of France, and is open an impressive seven days a week, 24 hours a day. It is described as the ambassador of Alsacian cuisine.

Ambience

L’Alsace was an enormous restaurant and bar, with dining areas on both the ground and basement levels; plus a lively alfresco dining area on the Champs Elysees.

We opted for an open window seat, on the very edge of the Champs Elysees. This afforded us an excellent view of the hustle and bustle of this most famous of Paris thoroughfares. Which, even though it was close to midnight, was packed with people.

The décor of L’Alsace was opulent and elegant. The ceiling was dark panelled veneer contrasting with the mirrored walls, the tables were laid with linen cloths.

Even though the restaurant was enormous, it was heaving with people; and had an excellent atmosphere.

Menu

The menu was a homage to Alsace cuisine, and contained a splendid array of sausages, pigs totters, pork, calf liver escalope with parsley and garlic, breast fillet of duck with peaches and tagliatelle, rib of beef grilled on the bone, Veal Paillard in breadcrumbs and seafood dishes. The menu was in English and in French.

Service

The staff were friendly, efficient and spoke English.

Food

We both chose the quiche for our starters. This was a splendid dish, a generous cut of home made quiche; prepared with cheese and local ham, served with a good quality salad.

An excellent way to start our gastronomic tour of Alsace.

I chose the Choucroute Maison, the house speciality, for my main course. This was partly cooked on a primus stove near our table, and consisted of boiled potatoes, a massive quantity of well flavoured sauerkraut, four different types of regional sausage, boiled smoked fatty bacon, a boiled ham hock, a slice of gammon and smoked ham.

The serving was so large, that half of the dish came on a separate silver platter resting on a hot plate.

I was impressed with this hearty feast, maybe my cardiologist would not have been so impressed at my eating this at 11:00pm; but life is for living!

The meal was excellent, the meat tender and flavoursome; complemented by the cabbage with mustard seeds and potatoes. I managed to finish it all, just!

Eva went for a boiled ham hock for her main course. This was well cooked, the tender ham falling off the bone when teased with the knife. As an added bonus, the hock had been shaved.

It came with a rich sweet honey sauce and mashed potatoes.

Absolutely superb!

We decided that we could not manage a dessert. No surprises there then.

The meal, which included a very good bottle of Gewurztraminer, came to 76 Euros before service.

Overall Opinion

A first class restaurant, make sure that you have a healthy appetite before you go though.


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