To my daughter and myself, one of the most fulfilling and satisfying culinary experience was to be able to select and eat at dining establishments and to discover at a later date that they have managed to gain an additional Michelin star or two after our visits. For me, such examples include the 3* L’Arpege when Passard was only a one star or the 3* Sushi Saito in Tokyo when it too was only a 1*… For my daughter, it was the 2* David Toutain who was only a 1* when they visited the establishment just prior to the Covid outbreak.
When my travelling and eating companion of our upcoming Paris Food crawl overheard exchanges by my daughter and me pertaining to the above caption subject. He challenges me to pick a restaurant or two for our upcoming trip that might be primed to receive a promotion or a new star or two in the near future after we returned home?
Any thoughts, fellow foodies? Established places like Septime or Frenchie, rising star like La Condesa or new kid on the block like Granite…may be Le Clarence from 2* to 3*?! …may be some yet to be discovered off-the-radar hidden gem?
Two years ago my husband and I dined at L’Oiseau Blanc which had no stars. I thought, wow I have no idea what it must take to get a Michelin star, because the meal was exceptional, the service attentive, and the room and bathroom ( I only saw one) were very classy. Plus you get an Eiffel Tower view.
The following year it got its first Michelin star. Then last year it got a second. I think this place really wants a third.
Based on your interesting feed back, a back-to-back comparison between the 2* Le Clarence and L’Oiseau Blanc should be FUN!! May be I need to re-shuffle our schedule ( again! ) to squeeze this in?! But then, got a hunch some more intriguing suggestions might crop up and screw that up?! Ha!
Hi Charles, I have a feeling you may find other more noteworthy comparisons. Also, I can’t see how to edit my post (the pencil icon is gone). But it should say — I went there three years ago, in 2019 pre-Covid, what seems like a lifetime ago.
Also, when is your trip? Just wondering if you will be going before I do. Very interested in your reviews.
Keeping our fingers crossed!..Will be arriving in Paris on 17th September. Unsure about departure date since we have plans to either go to Bordeaux, Lyon or Strasbourg for some food+wine tour?! If so, might use $$$ planned for the more expensive Parisian 2*-3* to eat at better value multi-stars elsewhere?!
Usually, I don’t recommend a place that I have only visited once but a recent rave review in Le Figaro confirmed my impression that Les Parisiennes in the new Hotel du Faubourg St Germain is very star-worthy. The chef, Thibault Sombardier (one of my chef/ cheffe crushes) previously had a star for his very superior fish restaurant, Antoine (now no more), and I expect his talent will earn him a star at Les Parisiennes. At the moment, the prices are quite affordable and it’s a relative bargain for the quality of the cuisine.
The only impediment to a star is the somewhat classic menu that does not usually endear itself to Michelin inspectors and that doesn’t allow Sombardier much room to demonstrate his considerable talent. At my one and only meal, many of the classic dishes were, however, updated and had some magic touches.
BTW, the only starred restaurant in Paris that still does classic dishes is the grossly overpriced and tourist-favourite La Tour d’Argent.
Thank you for the heads-up Daniel!
Actually, based on past history, I found reviews by Le Figaro quite reliable and often their discovery a revelation. In fact when I was stationed in Paris on a mega-project years ago, my immediate boss & supervisor ( an avid foodie who lived and die on the little red book ) took notice of Le Figaro’s review of Passard’s L’Arpege, gave the place a try and followed his career from no star to three macaroons!
Another great place we tried after a Figaro’s review was ‘Regain’…a 1* that for some reason did not manage to survive?! However, when we ate there, the food and presentation was nothing short of amazing!
The local food critics are, however, not infallible. I have followed rave reviews to some restaurants that, for me, were very disappointing.
In the case of Les Parisiennes I had my own taste of it prior to the review and the raves were simply confirmations of my own impressions.
A little note of caution about the future reliability of hotel restaurants. They sometimes open with a bang and then evolve into a whimper after the accountants push it towards a more lower common denominator. Sombardier is a very strong chef and I imagine tensions with the management will arise. Who knows what Les Parisiennes will be like when you are in Paris in September ?
A little blast (and lesson) from the past. I was once a huge fan of Le Lulli in the Grand Hotel du Palais Royal. Superb star-worthy modern French cuisine at great prices. Rave reviews in Le Figaro and by most other local food writers. When it failed to get a star after its first year, the management fired the chef and turned the restaurant into an unremarkable snacky cafe with a very boring international menu.
The only red flag I see about the Les Parisiene story is that for a restaurant inside a 5* Boutigue hotel close to L’ Atelier Joel Robuchon, their 3 course lunch is only 38 Euro!!..too good a deal?!
I love the dinner menu at Les Parisiens. So going to swap out something for it. Going in two weeks.
Competitive pricing is often a very important tool for new hotels and new restaurants. So, yes, Les Parisiens is a remarkable bargain at the moment.
Atelier Joel Robuchon (which I find formulaic, soulless, somehow not very French, and probably better experienced in Las Vegas or Tokyo) has a predominately well-heeled clientele from the US and Japan where the Robuchon brand is well established and well-known. I don’t see how its proximity will affect Les Parisiens’ more price sensitive and less “fixed” target market.
Just to clarify, because there are other restaurants with similar names. The restaurant in question is Les Parisiens at the Hotel Pavillon Faubourg Saint-Germain.
Looking forward to dining there.
As for L’Atelier Joel Robuchon, All the branches I have visited, be it in Hong Kong or Tokyo…are located in upscale expensive districts where equally expensive competitors are also located. So, it’s only natural to assume something out-of-whack with their menu’s pricing?!
@Trish. The menu at La Grande Brasserie would probably also appeal to you. Trad done impeccably. https://www.grandebrasserie.fr/#menu
Thanks, I’ll check it out!
Just a hunch, and I’m not very talented in Michelin-speculating.
I don’t know how many stars Maxim’s has currently, actually it sounds like a joke, probably below star level, as if there were negative stars. But something happened recently, the new chef is Nicolas Castellet, formerly (long ago) at L’Auberge du 15, if anyone remembers.
What if Nicolas could earn back Maxim’s respectability (and this beautiful, historic place does deserve it) by getting it a star? I, for one thing, believe he’s able to make it.
Based on what I know, Maxim’s owner had been having a decades old feud Michelin. As such, Michelin had declined to list Maxim in their little red book irrespective of how great the food was/is. Have not heard things have changed?!
Well, in that case, no Michelin expectations. And Maxim’s is ridiculously expensive. But Nicolas is a great chef. So, let’s do the math.
Older friends of ours chose Maxim’s while on a romantic visit to Paris. It occurs to me that Maxim’s and Septime share the similarity of name recognition on one’s return home. As opposed to telling your friends you went to a new under radar place, those not in the current loop would respond, “Oh, Maxim’s!” (or “Oh, Septime.”)
This is good to know. Based on this, we snagged a Saturday late lunch res there on May 21. Cannot wait.