|Guerlain's flagship boutique, 68 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, decorated for Mother's Day|
Can you keep a secret? Good! Because I've been wanting to tell you about a restaurant where elegant Parisians organize birthday dinners for their friends and doting mothers treat their daughters to pre-shopping lunches. The recently opened Le 68 Guy Martin first caught my attention when the Parisian press was all aflutter with the news that Guy Martin, one of the most famous French chefs, and Thierry Vasseur, the "nose" of the renowned perfume house Guerlain, had combined talents to create a unique restaurant where gastronomy meets the world of perfume.
The aptly named Le 68, located on the underground level of Guerlain's flagship boutique at 68 Avenue des Champs-Élysées, quickly became one of my favorite spots for afternoon tea during the grey winter months. After purchasing a tube of Guerlain's Terracotta foundation, I would find myself drawn down the marble steps of the historically listed monument. "Since you're here," an inner voice would whisper, "You may as well have a macaron or a Petite Robe Noire (Little Black Dress) pastry." Always amenable to decadent treats, I readily agreed.
|Carpaccio of Sea Bass at Le 68 Guy Martin|
Last Thursday was a red letter day because it was the first time that I had the foresight to make lunch reservations for Le 68. The plan was to savor Guy Martin's creations while interviewing Élodie Berta of the Paris Convention and Visitors Bureau about her experiences as a judge of Paris's annual "Best Baguette" competition. When my starter arrived, I somewhat abruptly informed Élodie that we would have to schedule another meeting because there was no way that I would be able to take notes. Each and every bite of the delicately flavored carpaccio of sea bass, aloe vera, tofu and cucumber marinated in ginger deserved 100% of my attention. With delicate flower petals sprinkled on top, it was a multi-sensorial voyage. Fortunately, Élodie, who was equally intent on her white asparagus lightly perfumed with orange blossom water, concurred with my proposal.
|Peking Duck with honey accompanied by braised tuberous-rooted chervil, |
chanterelles, Séchuan pepper, orange and cardamom at Le 68 Guy Martin
While waiting for our main course of Peking Duck with honey, Élodie and I admired the glistening Baccarat chandeliers and the large trompe l’œil windows that seemingly fill the room with light. With the exception of the floral patterned table tops that distract somewhat from the masterpieces created in the kitchen, Le 68's decor is as harmonious as Chef Martin's sophisticated dishes.
For dessert, I couldn't resist the one-size-fits-all La Petite Robe Noire, named after Guerlain's fresh, enigmatic and exhilarating perfume. Strewn with red rose petals, Élodie's pink La Parisienne (The Parisian) looked almost too beautiful too eat.
Le 68's pastries are also available for take-away.
Le 68 Guy Martin, lower level of the Guerlain Boutique
68 Avenue des Champs-Élysées
Open every day for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea, dinner and Sunday brunch. 8:00am until 11:00pm.
Phone 33 (1) 45 62 54 10
|One size fits all - Guy Martin's Petite Robe Noire (Little Black Dress)|