Alain Passard’s famous 3* restaurant Arpege is unusual in that it is in a quiet but central area of Paris in the Rue de Varenne in the heart of the 7th Arrondissement - an area more populated by beautiful residences and embassies and right off the beaten tourist track.
Established in 2000, Arpege received its third Michelin star in 2010. Passard specialises in offering beautifully presented seasonal vegetables, with everything else working around what is growing right now. He has established three kitchen gardens, each supplying different produce, one in Sarthe in the Pays de la Loire, one in the Eure and the other in the Manche in Normandy – three separate gardens offering different produce at different times of the year.
As you would expect a meal at Arpege is an experience and very different from so many over-rich French restaurants, 3* or otherwise. Alain Passard has made the menu totally his own, and if he’s there when you visit you’ll find him greeting the diners and discussing the relative merits of a particular root vegetable, presentation or choice of course with you.
Incredible desserts include a coffee sorbet whipped up at your table at the very last minute, Ile Flottant, and a wonderful Tarte au Pommes flavoured with roses.
Always booked up well in advance, if you’re making a trip to Paris and want an unforgettable experience then book a table at Arpege. As one of the greatest chefs in Paris as of this moment, this is an experience not to be missed.
I was lucky enough to be taken to Arpege on this trip to Paris, and the strawberries with parmesan and onion, the speciality Robe des Champs – a dish featuring the vegetables of the season, beautifully arranged and not to be missed - and my beautifully prepared sole will be remembered for a very long time. Not to mention the macaroons flavoured with such things as rhubarb and basil, and minute tartes aux pommes that arrive whether or not you take coffee.
84, Rue de Varenne
+ 33 (0)1 47 05 09 06
Open Monday to Friday for Lunch and Dinner