This is what the Lasserre looked like in 1965 when Vincent and Mary’s Treasury of Great Recipes was published.  It looked exactly the same last week in 2012.  Except the hydrangeas have been replaced with orchids and there is a new – but very similar carpet.  Everything else stays the same, thank goodness.  I had a divine and special lunch there, waited on hand and foot by about 17 different waiters.   I tried not to be dazzled by the scarlet and brass of the man whose job it was solely to escort diners up in the lift, but I did have to confess to him that I was VERY HAPPY to be there as we ascended to the dining room.

Vincent said of the Lasserre: “It is everything a chic Parisian restaurant should be.  The food is beautiful, the service impeccable, and the best-dressed women in the capital are to be seen there” I concur.  He continues: “This could all add up to just another stuffy, high-class restaurant, but Rene Lasserre’s imaginativeness prevents that.  For although you dine indoors, under crystal chandeliers and seated on cut-velved chairs, you can still dine under the Paris sky.  The center section of the ceiling slides back, and at night you can look up and see the star-spangled sky, and smell the inimitable Paris air.”

Would it?  Would it?  Would it?

It did!  It did!  TWICE!

The food was magnificent.  This is what I had:

Oeuf Mollet Mentecato
(Soft Boiled Egg Mentecato Style)

Medallions de biche aux poivres, legumes d’automnes en beaux morceaux
(Doe medallion with pepper. Nice pieces of Autumn’s vegetable)

 

Mousse legere a la noix de coco, pampelmousses confit.
(Light coconut mousse, candied grapefruits)

Do you like my little table pet?  The silver pheasant?  Here he is in all his glory.

He did keep me company but next time I will ask if I can have the horsie…

And if I wasn’t as full as a bull after all that amazing food, there was a little treat to end the meal.

Madeleines and Chocolate Truffles

Oh yummy, yummy.  Everything was so FRENCH.  So delightful and so perfect and so delicious.  Best meal ever.

And someone in the corner was having Crepes Suzette – and when I got home I remembered that there is a recipe for this speciality of the Lasserre (“Pannequets Souffles Flambes”) in the Treasury so one day  shall make these myself.  But there is no way I could do it with as much panache as the lovely friendly waiter…

The Lasserre has a little trademark – the casserolettes they use to bring delicious sauces and gravies to the table.  Sometime around the dessert course a waiter I hadn’t seen before came to the tables with a little tray of porcelain casserolettes for each of the lady diners.  I managed to get mine home in once piece (along with a beautifully wrapped goodie bag of the madeleines and truffles I couldn’t eat) and I will cherish it as a momento of the most memorable meal of my entire life.  Magnifique!

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