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Robert Brown

Le Clarence: Chateau Haut-Brion’s luxury Paris Restaurant

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Several of the more sophisticated gastronomic travelers and writers I know consider Le Clarence, the restaurant off the Champs-elysee, to be the best recent addition to the Paris haute-cuisine scene in years. They all love it. The highly-regarded wine and restaurant writer and founder of Gastromondiale Vedat Milor has written a compelling review you will find here:

 

https://www.gastromondiale.com/food1/2018/10/30/le-clarence-the-return-of-french-fine-dining

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The chefs handled the fish perfectly, i.e. they did not compromise the firm flesh, yet the fish retained its juiciness.

 

 

Gee, I wonder what is such a cooking technique where the fish is firm and juicy, still very pink but obviously cooked.  :D

 

That John Dory too, is cooked "unilateral".

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i do say that the cooking here, along with recent instagram posts on ledoyen, looks very compelling and the kind of cooking one would wear a tie for. 

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If I had to have a business meeting there I wouldn't mind (and then I'd be wearing a tie anyway!), but otherwise it'd be hard to convince me it's worth going back. 

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oddly, i did not read your review that way I took:

 

"Delicious overall but now what you expect from a two star place in 2018. "

 

and most of the rest of your review to be pretty strong praise on the Orik scale. 

 

I did not take you as someone to wear a tie to a business meeting. 

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First, maybe that typo is misleading - now -> not.

 

Second, I wrote what I intended - if there was a meal booked there and I had to go, I wouldn't mind, but there just isn't something about the food that compels me to return.

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no, typo wasn't misleading, definitely doesn't look like what you would expect from a 2 star in 2018. just the review seemed more enthusiastic than what you describe now. 

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Maybe to build on the thought, what are you looking for in a two star place in 2018? Or, at least, if we’re taking about a place that is cooking traditionally - assuming that assessment is correct - where is Clarence falling short? The initial comments - stunning, ethereal and very good - were suggestive of a meal that, but for the fancy modernist oven, was operating at a pretty high level.

 

(Maybe it’s because I generally think of your preferences as being in line with Milor)

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Ok, Le Clarence is really pretty good. Very grand , impeccable service, some decent wine at reasonably sane markups. I got the 5 course option, which was quite a lot of food as each course apart from the cheese course was 5 dishes. The cheese was excellent. The food, was not quite cutting edge insanely delicious, but there were a lot of very good things to eat. Only a few genuinely brown dishes. A few mild asian touches (some XO sauce or something that tasted just like it at one point I think).

 

For example the meat course was some quite young lamb, with an anchovy on top, some squid ink jus, some other jus, with a side plate of a large tasty morel mushroom with some ham, and another side plate of a deep fried artichoke with some foie gras on top, and another side dish of a little strip of crispy lamb (breast) with a little crunchy salad.

 

Not texturally very interesting overall.

 

If you want to dress up and go somewhere fancy this would be a very good choice. And it's kind of good value in the context of that type of restaurant in Paris.

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This place is still quite excellent but I'm getting a little tired of seeing people who ate at Maison, Le Clarence and Table on a trip to Paris.  You would think there are only 3 restaurants in this town.

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