|La Cristal Room Baccarat|
Imagine a room with sparkling crystal chandeliers, white linen tablecloths, exposed brick walls, intimate lighting and a playful oversized chalkboard. French designer Philippe Starck has transformed the former dining room of art patron Marie-Laure de Noailles' sumptuous townhouse into one of the most romantic restaurants in Paris.
|A table for two at La Cristal Room Baccarat|
La Cristal Room Baccarat, located on the first floor of the Baccarat Museum in the 16th arrondissement, is also one of my favorite places to take friends for lunch. Heidi from Switzerland and Carolyn and Kathi from Boston have all succumbed to the charm of sipping wine out of iconic Harcourt 1841 stemware, the oldest in the Baccarat archives, while savoring the culinary stylings of Michelin-starred chef Guy Martin and Adrien Manac’h.
Enticed by the Cristal Room's new autumn menu, I was pleased when Élodie agreed to take a break from her busy job at the Paris Visitors Bureau to join me for a leisurely lunch. After careful deliberation and a couple of consultations with our charming waitress, I finally decided on the smoked eel with leek foam and a quail egg for my starter. From the moment that I took my first bite, Elodie's news about the Christmas illuminations on the Champs-Elysées and the ice-skating rink on the first floor of the Eiffel Tower during the holidays was eclipsed by the exquisite combination of flavors in my mouth.
|My starter: smoked eel with leek foam and a quail egg|
By the time that our main courses arrived, Élodie and I had abandoned any pretext of talking about upcoming events in Paris. The "City of Light" was overshadowed by my roasted pork loin and braised cheek served with mushrooms and Bak Choy and Élodie's saddle of lamb, carrots purée with cumin, dates and lime juice. Our desserts, pear soufflé with Williamine sorbet and Black Forest cream cake with Manjari chocolate sorbet, proved to be equally enticing.
Insider's tips: After lunch, be sure to visit the Baccarat Museum. The entrance price is waived when you dine at the Cristal Room. If you ask, they'll switch the language of the film shown in the first room of the museum to English. It showcases the steps involved in making Baccarat crystal.
Before you leave, take a look at the Baccarat boutique on the ground floor. It's magnificently decorated for the holiday season.
Baccarat is celebrating its 250th anniversary with Crystal Legend, an exhibition at the Petit Palais. Masterpieces of the world’s most celebrated crystal maker will be on display in the Grandes Galeries from October 15, 2014 until January 4, 2015.
Cristal Room Baccarat
11, place des Etats-Unis
Tél : 01 40 22 11 10
Open from Monday to Saturday with valet parking for lunch (12:00 to 2:00 pm) and dinner (7:30-10:00 pm).
Please click here to see all of the photos from Élodie's and my lunch at the Cristal Room Baccarat.
|Pear soufflé with Williamine sorbet|
|With its satin walls and black crystal chandelier, the private Salon Rose is much in demand.|