Paris Bests 2010 - Mortstiff Opens the Envelopes

Where were my all-around most satisfying Paris restaurant experiences in 2010? I’m glad you asked. Here they are, more or less in order of preference. Each links to the more complete reviews. Three-way tie for number 5 – these were restaurants that may not have been at the starry-eyed Michelin level, but where I had some really tasty meals and I want to go back in 2011. Good enough.

Top Five (or Seven)

1. L'Agrume – best smile in Paris, surprising fixed menus,
great price/quality. Two trips, both equally great.

2. Le Chateaubriand – I said it before, I’ll say it again – best meal I had all year in a Paris restaurant. Hip and noisy (the atmosphere), multi-course meal with plenty of experimentation and unique ingredients. Possible to get a table! Possible to get a table!

3. La Gazzetta - Rounds out my favorite fixed-menu triumvirate, fresh offbeat combinations – sea urchin and beet, oysters under crushed tomato. Take me back, sweet viginie.

4. Rino – Not the pinnacle as I had been led to expect, but still the best rouget I’ve ever had. Some work on dessert and who knows how high we go next time.

5. Lilane / Fabrique 4 / La Beure Noisette – decisions, decisions:
Lilane for being so unexpectedly good and laid back.
Fabrique 4 for its potential.
La Beure Noisette for the old-timey bistrot feel – we got in the last day before their renovation, so the return should be revealing.

Honorable Mentions

Yam ‘Tcha
– Innovative, fresh cooking with an Asian twist. Would have made
top five (or eight?) if they hadn’t kicked us out in the pouring rain to wait and if they hadn’t dramatically raised their prices as soon as they got that star. Rename Yam ‘Tsk?

La Table d’Eugene – I know it was good, but not as memorable as my first visits there.

Le Gaigne - see above. Very good meal near Beaubourg, I'm just sorry I don't remember it better.

Ze Kitchen Galerie – Would have been listed if I had actually eaten there in 2010. Shocked to realize I never got around to it. That will be corrected in ’11.

Biggest Disappointments -better luck next time . . . if there is a next time.

Pramil - Rated at TripAdvisor as number 14 out of 6354 restaurants in Paris. It's good, but it's not that good. I would go so far as to say nothing to write home about. I did write, to TripAdvisor, and they quickly pulled my critique. Boo to TripAdvisor and their censors.

L'Aromatik - They try, but my ears are still ringing from the din, and the bloody summer heat reminds me of an evening spent in hell.

Au Petit Marguery - just couldn't get into those wild birds.

Random Bit(e)s
Lafayette Gourmand, Blvd Haussmann - a mind-boggling cornucopia of colors and aromas, including two of my favorite spots in Paris:

Best Take-Away Thai - Blue Elephant stand at the food court. You'll want one of everything. They also have a chain of restaurants in major world cities. The one in Paris is at 43-45 rue de la Roquette (Bastill) - worth a visit?

Best Alcohol Selection - Bibliotheque du Vin, Lafayette Gourmand, Blvd Haussmann.
Why they stopped carrying my favorite single malt, Bunnahabhain, I do not know, but there are many alternatives. And where else can you purchase a bottle of Remy Martin cognac Louis XIII dans sa carafe for a mere 29,080€?
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