It’s been 5 years since we ate at Pierre Gagnaire, a long standing Paris restaurant with 3 Michelin stars. While Chef Gagnaire moved his talents to Paris in 1996, he now has many restaurants but this one in the Hôtel Balzac is his flagship, where it has been there 15 years. It has a separate entrance from the hotel and a small bar area where you enter. It is a medium sized place spread over several rooms. The main dining room was redone by Carolyn Quatermaine who used pages of books to cover the walls with recipes some of which were handwritten by Pierre Gagnaire’s father who was a cook. The well spaced large tables are draped with double long white clothes and set with fine linen napkins. The lighting is lowered and there is no music in the background. Along with the carpet, many wood surfaces and padded chairs the noise level is low and because of the spacing conversations remained private. The menu offers a la carte options, a tasting menu and the night we were there a truffle tasting menu. Wine pairings are available for the tasting menu. We opted to start with a cocktail, order our own wine and have the tasting menu. Service and pacing were excellent and portion control generous. They did bring the truffles by to tempt you to add them to something or order that menu. Continue reading
This was a place I really looked forward to going back to after our first meal there a couple years prior. The service surprisingly had some holes but then Gagnaire was not in the house this night. One of the features of this place is that they like to serve a number of plates at the same time and they add to your meal with a number of amuse bouche to begin and sweets to end the meal.