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L’Arpège, a celebration of vegetables

February 15, 2012

After writing a series of articles dedicated to the Parisian palaces, let’s have a closer look at the best Parisian restaurants according to the Michelin ranking. 10 restaurants have indeed kept their 3 Michelin stars in 2011. Their prestige, outstanding cuisine and creativeness have clearly made the difference for these 10 extraordinary places. All of them however have their own peculiarities, whether it is their history, their location or their key role in the French gastronomy.

The first article dedicated to these exceptional places is about l’Arpège, located in the 7th arrondissement, just in front of the Rodin Museum. From the outside the restaurant looks very low-key. It is quite easy to walk by and miss it. A quick look at the menu is enough however to make you realize you are in for one of the most amazing experiences of French finest cuisine!

Once you enter the dining room, you may at first be surprised by its relatively small size. As per the wishes of Chef Alain Passard, it is chic and classy. The objective of the place is to give you as much tranquility as possible in order to be in the best conditions to enjoy the culinary treat you are about to indulge yourself in. Each table is carefully set with plates designed by Italian artist Claudio Colucci and little ornaments made of small vegetable substances like cinnamon, liquorice or slices of ebony. It is a clear indication of what is to come…

What made Alain Passard famous is his unconditional love for vegetables and fruits. Each one is carefully selected by the chef himself and comes from his own kitchen’s garden, where no machine is used.

L’Arpège got its first Michelin star in 1987 and the second one in 1988. Nine years later, it finally got the third one, 10 years after the opening.

The restaurant is famous for the following dishes:

– Ravioli simmered in a broth of Jerusalem artichokes

– Squid carpaccio

– Duck steak with its vegetables

– Apple pie served with roses

– Crystallized tomatoes pie

Chef Alain Passard was born and raised in Brittany. He developed a passion for gastronomy very early as he lived close to a bakery. He started his career in a small suburban city 30 kilometers away from Paris. His peers describe him as a humble and respectful person with an authentic sense of hospitality. For two years, Passard was followed by Christophe Blain, a writer and cartoonist who wrote a comic book to describe the whole process of cooking from the selection of produces to the handling of pans and dishes: “En cuisine avec Alain Passard”. As a complimentary gift, 16 recipes are included. A nice preview of what you may taste at l’Arpège!


84, Rue de Varenne

75007 Paris

+ 33 1 47 05 09 06

Opened Monday to Friday – Lunch and dinner

Tasting menu at 320€

4 Comments leave one →
  1. February 17, 2012 6:03 pm

    Pierre, do you know the price of the lunch menu. Visited the website but they leave any mention of pricing out. Roz

  2. February 17, 2012 7:30 pm

    Dear Roz,

    There’s a lunch menu at 130 euros.


    • February 22, 2012 8:16 pm

      Thanks Pierre for that, I find with wordpress that you have to revisit the old blog post comments to find if the author has replied, not the best system as we forget to do so when busy and so many more emails are coming in to attend to.

      • February 22, 2012 11:26 pm

        You’re right, next time I’ll email you too!

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