Le Grand Vefour: Outstanding. Transporting. Exceptional. 125 Euros.
Gaya: Good. Nice. Enjoyable. 76 Euros.
Saint-Honoré: Amazing. Delicious. Casual & friendly. 39 Euros.
I would gladly pony up the 125 Euros for another Grand Vefour experience. But I would not pay out my own pocket to go back to Gaya. While it was tasty, the value is just not there as last week’s visit to La Régalade Saint-Honoré proved.
There was no fuss with the reservations. A friendly welcome. And it was one of my best meals in Paris.
The feasting started with a country jar of tart cornichons, bread and chicken liver terrine. I enjoyed the crunch of a couple cornichons, passed on the liver and ordered a (well-priced) glass of Bordeaux.
And then it was time to make some declarations from the three-course, 33 Euros prix-fixe menu. Which was really, really tough.
There were at least two, if not three things, I wanted to try for each course. In the end, I was thrilled with my choices.
To begin, thick, buttery white asparagus with Parmesan, parsley and a beautifully poached egg.
Moving on: risotto with peas, topped with chicken and green asparagus. Perfectly cooked and proportioned.
And since I went heavy on the plat, I opted light on dessert: a lovely rhubarb compote with berries, mascarpone and crumbled shortbread.
And as an added bonus, since it's always nice to end a meal with a spot of chocolate, I got to indulge in my friend’s ridiculously rich praliné cake (next to it, my friends, was a scoop of ganache. Ridiculous.)
A third of the price of lunch at Le Grand Vefour? I believe it.
But Gaya costing nearly twice as much as this out-of-this-world meal? That's a little absurd. Maybe I'll just have to go back again to make sure it was really as good as I remember.