France is Calling

The truffle trip is near.

Like many who read this blog, I’ve been teased by the promise of black truffles here in America. Yes, you can order them but they never live up to their tremendous expense where a $40-50 surcharge is not unusual. The problem? Truffles are fragile and their taste deteriorates rapidly. The best way to eat them is immediately from the source – dates agreed upon, flights booked, here we come.

The itenerary:

Gagnaire – the chef’s chef, home of my favorite meal of all-time, creative without being forced, delicious without being ordinary.

L’Arpege – the master of vegetables, sublime preparations of vegetables you never imagined possible.

L’Ambassadeurs – the former chef for Ducasse, ridiculous ingredient quality, a little lacking in the creative department but truffles should be very good here (if not insanely expensive.) The restaurant is on the cusp of receiving its third Michelin star.
L’Astrance – some say the best chef in the world right now, just promoted to 3 Michelin stars, definitely the most ambitious chef in the world. My meal in April had promise; this recent report seems to hold a similar opinion.
La Tupinaregional cooking in Bordeaux, very very close to the truffle source. Wood oven, duck fat fries, loads of foie, and spit-roasted Paulliac lamb – what won’t be good?

L’ Aubergade – unique preparations, sometimes failing miserably, but again, he’s next door to the truffles.

Cordeillan Bages – a 2 star Michelin restaurant that many say deserves 3 already, creative yet unforced, a truly unique voice in Bordeaux.

Gaya – Gagnaire’s fish-only place, more trendy than haute, a meal to relax between meals.  On the May trip, Gagnaire was the only French restaurant that served excellent fish.  These recent diners didn’t order much fish but it looks promising.

Meurice and L’Ambrosie were planned but both happened to be closed during my week there. Maybe next time.

If you like food, despite your political affiliations, there truly is nowhere better to eat than France.

- chuck

  • C

    Dude. Your ongoing decision not to visit Italy is graduating from a mere slight to an outright insult on the country! And it’s truffles you seek! Go to Italy!

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  • Trufflepig

    I applaud your selfless dedication to the cause of eating as much French food as possible. Right on.
    Next time, get to the Auberge de l’Ill in Alsace and have their truffe sous la cendre. Or anything else, for that matter. It’s all tasty.
    This is my new favourite blog. Look me up next time you’re in Paris and we’ll hit l’Ami Jean like we’ve never tasted bacon before.
    Jack –