LIFESTYLE

SEP 20, 2010

French Impressions

By Privy Editor

Where do we even begin the discussion about French and French-influenced cuisine? We’ve already mentioned the Michelin-star-rated NYC giants in a previous issue, but this time around we want to highlight a few gems on the other side of the U.S. as well as in Asia.

 

Creme de la Creme (San Francisco)

What better place to start us off than Thomas Keller’s world-renown French Laundry in Yountville, CA (about 40 miles north of San Francisco in Napa Valley)? Inspired by the charm of the French countryside, this U.S. fine dining mecca invites patrons to experience a taste of perfection from the comfort of a two-story stone cottage. The French-influenced contemporary American restaurant generally has a two-month-long waitlist—and for good reason. One member deems it “simply the best restaurant I’ve ever been to.”

 

 

A Foodie's Favorite (Los Angeles) 

For some straight-up French, one Privy member/French food enthusiast recommends Melisse, “[his] favorite French and one of [his] top 5 restaurants in LA.” He takes us through a play-by-play of each course of his tasty meal at the “beautifully remodeled” establishment which “oozes modern, sophisticated elegance.” Evidently he’s not the only one enamored with Melisse; Angelenos and Michelin folks (one of four LA restaurants awarded two stars) alike have showered it with praises.

 

 

Sibling Rivalry (Las Vegas)

Though considered by some to be the more affordable little sister to Joel Robuchon’s three-star flagship restaurant next door, L’Atelier de Joel Robuchon in Las Vegas seems to have no trouble holding its own in the competitive environment that is the Strip’s dining scene. Robuchon, named “Chef of the Century” by influential French restaurant guide Gault Millau in 1990, delivers up what one of our members calls a “superb experience” that he “enjoyed…from beginning to end.”

 

 

Parisian Import (Hong Kong)

One Privy member does not mince words when he calls Hong Kong’s Caprice at the Four Seasons “absolutely [his] favorite French restaurant in town." But his high praise is not surprising, since Caprice imported Executive Chef Vincent Thierry from Paris’ renowned three-Michelin-star establishment Le Cinq. The maitre d’, Jeremy is also a Le Cinq import and reportedly keeps “the best [cheese selection] in Hong Kong.” Caprice boasts two Michelin stars itself, and spectacular views of Victoria Harbour and the Kowloon Peninsula don’t hurt either.
 

 

South of France (Shanghai)

...in Shanghai! The southern French cuisine served up at Allure inside Le Royal Meridien Shanghai is considered by some to be the best in town. One of our members was “very impressed” by the “excellent food.” Some of Chef Michael Wendling’s more well-known dishes include a white bean soup with black truffles and porcini mushrooms and a sautéed black cod in a nut-brown butter with bone marrow, stewed shallots, and red wine sauce. The atmosphere is one of casual elegance, and the open kitchen provides for a nice show.

 

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