Monday, October 1, 2012

Les Philosophes: It Just Doesn't Get Better Than This

Les Philosophes Paris Les Philosophes Paris-Steak Les Philosophes Paris-Foie Gras Les Philosophes Paris-Tarte Tatin
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Ahhhh... Paris!

No place on Earth evokes such emotion in me. It literally is, my favorite place on the planet. I have spent numerous evenings wandering its cobbled streets. I have eaten countless meals in this ancient, beautiful, expensive and slightly pompous place. And I keep coming back for more. When I was much poorer my wife, then girlfriend and I would drive from West Sussex to Paris and spend the night in our 1989 BMW 325i. We would park in one of the abundant underground parking garages, usually run by a company called Da Vinci. They are always clean and reasonably priced. Well, when you compare it to even the most modest Paris hotel room.

On this occasion, we were traveling as three. My uncle had flown over from the U.S. and was taking us to Paris for a quick weekend getaway for our 4th wedding anniversary. One evening, after a long day at the Louvre we took a chance and tried to get a table at Robert et Louise on Rue de Veille du Temple. A restaurant I highly recommend to everyone I talk to about Paris. Unfortunately, trying to get a table at such a restaurant on a Saturday night in Paris is harder than getting Lady Gaga tickets for half price in Madison Square Gardens. We were turned away, tails tucked between our legs, shoulders slumped, into the streets of Paris. Like Gavroche in Les Miserables, nobody wanted us.

But alas, all was not lost. Meandering along the small walkways we came upon our salvation; Les Philosophes. A small bulb went off inside my head and I realized if we could get a table a brilliant meal was before us. Although I had never been Les Philosophes is a restaurant often mentioned in travel guides and online for its amazing food and reasonable prices. It did not disappoint.

Seeing others having it all three of us ordered the Pave de Rumsteak au Poivre with Potatoes and Wild Mushrooms and for starters we split the Foie Gras and Tarte Tatin. It doesn't really get much better than this. Paired with a lovely Bordeaux, I truly couldn't ask for more.

This is what's so great about Paris. You can wander around as much as you like, stop off at a place that looks nice and that has a good crowd and chances are you're going to have a terrific meal. They just know how to do it right. No fuss, just honest food, prepared with style and love.

For anyone visiting Paris I highly recommend both Robert et Louise and Les Philosophes. Although, I do give the edge to Robert et Louise and very much hope to make it there on my next trip to Paris. And yes, I will call ahead.