World’s Best Restaurants

Recently, the (UK) Guardian newspaper came out with their list of the world’s 50 best restaurants. They also list awards for another 50, so it’s really a top 100 list, but far be it from me to argue with the editors of the Guardian. Six of the top restaurants are in Paris, and three of those are featured in the just-released 2nd edition of Andy Herbach’s Wining & Dining in Paris.

9781593602130Here are the three restaurants and brief descriptions from author Andy Herbach’s reviews in our book:

L’Arpege (#12 on the list): 7th/Métro Varenne, 84 rue de Varenne, Tel. 01/47.05.09.06, www.alain-passard.com. The emphasis is on vegetables at Alain Passard’s award-winning restaurant.

Alain Ducasse/Restaurant Plaza Athénée (#47 on the list): 8th/Métro Alma-Marceau, 25 avenue Montaigne, Tel. 01/53.67.65.00, www.alain-ducasse.com. Expensive and highly praised, with an award-winning wine list. Reservations well in advance are a must, as are jacket and tie.

 L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon (#63 on the list):
7th/Métro Rue du Bac, 5 rue de Montalembert, Tel. 01/42.22.56.56, www.joel-rubuchon.net. Joël Robuchon presents fine dining in a relaxed setting. You’ll dine with others at seats surrounding U-shaped bars. Reservations only for first sitting.

Pick up a copy of our book or order it from amazon from the link above, if your travels take you to Paris in the near future. Our book offers another 147 restaurants in all price categories to choose from, in addition to the three pricey — but truly excellent — places in this post!

Two New Paris Guides

We’ve just released two new Paris guides in the last month: Valerie Gwinner’s Open Road’s Paris with Kids, 4th Edition, and Wining & Dining in Paris, 2nd Edition, by Andy Herbach & Karl Rauum.

paris_kids

In Valerie’s book, you’ll learn everything you could possibly want to know about taking the kids with you to the City of Lights. Yes, we know, Paris is the quintessential romantic city, but it is also an incredible place for the kiddies to explore everything from the labyrinth of the catacombs to tracking down Nicholas Flamel, from racing miniature sailboats in Luxembourg Gardens to hunting for gargoyles at Notre Dame! Color photos, text, and maps.

9781593602130

 

As for Andy and Karl’s guide, not only will you learn all about the wines of each region of France, but you’ll get the lowdown on Paris’s top 150 restaurants, wine bars, wine stores, cooking classes, food shops and more – plus a very handy French culinary glossary and pronunciation key. Wine recommendations and favorite dishes are recommended throughout, as are historic restaurants and budget dining tips. Features great illustrations and 43 maps!

Staying at the Trémoille

So, to wrap up my series on the three wonderful hotels we stayed at in Paris and Amsterdam, here is my post-trip report on the five-star Hotel de la Trémoille. I knew it would be terrific, but it exceeded my expectations in every respect. The hotel is an elegant bastion of refined service, classic French decor, with lovely rooms and appointments.

In our forthcoming revised fourth edition of Open Road’s Best of Paris, which is due out in print next month and which you can pre-order now at amazon by clicking here, we selected the Trémoille as one of our favorite hotels in Paris. Here is the full review from our guidebook:

“La Trémoille is located not far from the Arc de Triomphe, a few blocks from the Champs-Elysées in what is known as the “Golden Triangle.” Originally built in 1883, La Trémoille is now a modern hotel that underwent extensive renovations ten years ago. There are 93 elegant rooms, including 13 suites, decorated in more than 30 color schemes.

“And here’s something you don’t see everyday: they have installed a private compartment (a “Hatch,” they call it) in each room opening up to the hallway, so that room service can be brought to and from your room without their staff entering your room. Now that’s privacy! The rooms are refined, comfortable, spacious and sound-proofed. You will find plush fabrics, Molton Brown bath products, a small terrace or, if you book a suite, you’ll be treated to panoramic city views from a private balcony.

“There is a fitness center (really a workout room), spa, and sauna. The bar and sitting area just off the lobby (see photo above) is a welcome amenity after a long day of tramping around the city. And the hotel’s restaurant, Louis 2, is a good alternative if you wish to stay in for the night, although there are plenty of other good restaurants within a five-minute walk.

And that’s our write-up for this wonderful hotel. We had such a great time here we’re sure you will too. Consider the luxurious Trémoille next time you’re in Paris.

Paris in the Springtime

I love Paris in the springtime, goes the song, and as our daughter hasn’t yet seen the City of Light (or as the author of our Best of Paris calls it, the “City of Promise” — see below) we thought this is as good a time as any to show her that Paris is more, much more, than the ancient home of alchemist Nicholas Flamel of Harry Potter fame! (If you’re traveling with kids and want to do this, details are spelled out for you on pages 83-84 of our Paris with Kids).

Why does Open Road author Andy Herbach call Paris the City of Promise?  Because “around every corner is the promise of another beautiful street, another bistro filled with people eating delicious food (Paris is a city where you have to work at having a bad meal), another building that in any other city would be remarkable, but in Paris is just another building.”

So we’re heading there in late March using all three of our guidebooks for planning (in addition to the book above we’ve been perusing our Paris with Kids (see link above) and Eating & Drinking in Paris).  Everyone knows the main attractions in Paris, but even at or near the biggies there are some great activities that many tourists haven’t heard about.

For example, many of you will visit the Louvre, the world’s largest and perhaps most impressive museum.  Here’s a tip from Valerie Gwinner, our Paris with Kids author:  instead of entering through the famous glass pyramid or one of the other main entrances, go instead to the Portes des Lions entrance along the Seine, which will take you into the southwest wing of the museum.  You’ll know it by the pair of lions on either side of the entrance.By all accounts there is rarely a line at this entrance, and when there is it moves very quickly.  If you really want to avoid crowds, visit late in the day or on Wednesday evenings when the museum is open til 9:45 pm.  Everyone goes to see the Mona Lisa, with very good reason, but on the theme of lesser-known gems — and there are many here — we’d suggest the underground exhibit of the medieval Louvre, featuring the castle’s foundations and moat walls, as well as cool artifacts like the gold helmet of King Charles VI.

If you’re traveling with kids in tow, we’d suggest making a deal with them:  a few hours (that will likely be their limit!) seeing some masterpieces, and then off to the nearby Tuileries Gardens, where they can ride a ferris wheel in the Fetes du Tuileries, rent a toy sailboat in the central fountain, or even go for a pony ride.

Photo by ellevalentine at flickr.com