Recently, while on our honeymoon in Paris, my husband Michael and I dropped over a grand on dinner … not just any dinner, mind you, but dinner at Les Ambassadeurs Restaurant in the famed Hotel de Crillon.  Mere words cannot describe the evening we had in the finest restaurant in all of France, but I will seek to do it justice here. We took a black Mercedes taxi to the hotel (of course, all the taxis in Paris are black Mercedes but it was still tres chic), and we looked like dignitaries in our finest formal wear and my glittering (costume) jewels that I wore for our wedding.   The beautiful dining room overlooked the Place de la Concorde which was incredible for a French history buff like me.  I could just imagine poor Louis XVI trembling on the scaffold before Monsieur Guillotine as I gazed outside the gilded arched windows.
  Dining room

There were four or five different servers assigned to wait on us during our dinner, and we were pleased to personally meet the talented (and young!) chef and sommelier. We began our culinary marathon with a glass of pink champagne and decided to throw caution (and cash) to the wind and “go for it” with the six-course tasting menu.  Each course was paired with a fine wine, and it took nearly four hours to complete our meal. We had lobster, asparagus, duck liver, chicken glazed with morel mushrooms, a panoply of stinky cheeses that my husband adored, a praline dessert with chocolate mousse and banana and lime ice cream, and because our wonderful server knew we were on our honeymoon, an extra course of strawberry sorbet served on a plate that read “Congratulations” in chocolate sauce.

dessert

A delightful surprise from our server Nicolas.

   

I was droning on and on about the historical significance of the venue and happened to mention my minor obsession with Marie Antoinette — et voila! — our server arranged for us to be escorted to the Salon de Marie Antoinette toute de suite.  The salon was a magnificent ballroom with a balcony overlooking the illuminated and sparkling Tour Eiffel, the American Embassy, and all of Paris. The adjacent ballroom was teeming with cameras, lights, and shoes galore for the next day’s photo-shoot with the mannequins (or what we call models). We left the Hotel de Crillon much poorer but thrilled over the once-in-a-lifetime dining experience we just shared.  Thankfully, the cash our friends and family members generously provided as wedding gifts tempered our sticker-shock upon receiving the 900 Euro l’addition.  We had a hearty laugh while perusing the bill back in our hotel room and noting the 75 Euro-per-glass wine we had consumed like water.   Alas, when in France, …

sante

Sante’!

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