Lumière Brasserie

Mille-feuille - not really traditional, but tasty
Mille-feuille – not really traditional, but tasty

***** (5 stars)

Amazing experience all around! Since this is the Fairmont's only restaurant, we were expection more of a coffee shop feel, and indeed this would be a great place for breakfast, but it also has a wonderful evening ambience.

Our waiter was one of the best we've ever had, incredibly personable and knowledgeable about food and especially wine.

We started with the delicious baguette and chicken liver mousse. Then we shared a "plateau" of crab, oysters, and prawns, which was just the right size. We finished with a couple of cheeses, but there are plenty of tempting entrees.

We'll no doubt eat here again during this stay.

Lumière Brasserie
2025 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067

Gabriel Kreuther


***** (5 stars)

Gabriel Kreuther is wonderful in all respects, from ambiance to food to service. For me, it is the successor to Eleven Madison for the crown of Best Restaurant in New York, and one of the best in the US.

The dining room, with its dramatic arc of salvaged wood beams, is both open and intimate, with the tables spaced far apart to make each one cozy, and the ceiling high enough to afford a pleasant sound level. A glass wall affords a view of the kitchen, which is a busy hive of about twenty chefs and cooks under the supervision of Chef Kreuther. The atmosphere seemed more convivial than in many of the Michelin kitchens I've encountered.

The restaurant's recommendation for first-time guests is the Six Course Tasting menu. This is not only a great recommendation but a great bargain. At $215 (as of this writing) it is, in short, a steal. I don't know how they came up with the number six, but including amuse bouche and ending sweets, there were at least 15 different dishes over a three-hour period.

Speaking of dishes, these were some of the most beautiful serving pieces I've ever encountered, and the glassware is stellar as well.

As for the food, it is almost pointless to describe it, as everything was wonderful, and it was impossible to pick favorites. It changes regularly, but I will mention a few that rank among the best dishes I've ever had: pate de foie gras (best flavor/texture I've encountered), smoked heirloom tomato consume (more of a gelatin, and endlessly intriguing), sturgeon tart (delicate flavorful and complex), and all the breads (there were at least four, accompanying various dishes).

As mentioned earlier, service was near perfect, with two dozen wait staff performing an intricate (and high speed) choreography to synchronize each course at each table.

Compared to the food prices, the wine bottle prices seem like less of a deal, but are certainly not unreasonable for Manhattan. The wines by the glass are an interesting assortment of styles and places of origin.

This is my new favorite restaurant in New York.

Gabriel Kreuther
41 W 42nd St
New York, NY 10036

Bistro Jeanty

Crème Brûlée au Chocolat
Salmon carpaccio
Smoked trout
Lobster bisque
French onion Soupe a l’Oignon
Duck liver mousse

***** (5 stars)

We had the most delightful Christmas lunch here. The place was packed, and I can see why–If we lived nearby it would become out Christmas tradition.

This is an absolutely authentic French bistro, right down to the jars of mustard on the table, and the basket of wonderfully fresh and crusty baguette slices.

We started with the Sturgeon caviar, which was served with all the proper accompaniments, including blinis, and the duck liver mousse, which was smooth and creamy, and perfect with the spicy mustard.

Both the lobster bisque and French onion soup were excellent. The bisque was a bit thinner style than usual, but just as flavorful without being so rich as to seem like a sauce. The French onion soup was one of the best I’ve had, with the perfect amount of cheese seared onto the top, and a balanced, flavorful base.

My wife enjoyed her smoked salmon carpaccio. The smoked trout wasn’t exactly what I was expecting, begin more like smoke salmon, so just keep that in mind if you are expecting a more traditional dried preparation.

Our waiter encouraged us to try his favorite creme brulee, and it was good advice. There is a layer of chocolate mousse somehow sandwiched between the nicely burnt sugar crust and the creamy creme brulee. I have no idea how they did that!

The wine list is excellent, and even more impressive is the backside of the menu, with many, many wines offered in 4 different pour sizes.

We sat outside in the patio, which was closed in and heated for the winter, and it was lovely, and quieter than the bustling interior.

All the wait staff were very efficient and friendly. Definitely a great choice for our Christmas celebration!

Bistro Jeanty
6510 Washington St
Yountville, CA
(707) 944-0103

The French Cafe

Alpine crepe
Tuna sandwich
Cinnamon Dolce Latte

***** (5 stars)

In addition to a nice selection of authentic pastries. The French Cafe offers crepes and sandwiches. By Alpine crepe was very generously stuffed with meats and potatoes. My companion’s tuna sandwich was served on a huge croissant, and accompanied by fries.

They also have the usual assortment of hot and cold coffees, which are well prepared and served in nice glassware.

Although you order at a counter, they bring the food to your table. There is also a nice outside eating area.

The French Cafe
16412 New Independence PkwySte 140
Winter Garden, FL
(407) 500-4050

Pour La France!

Provence salad with salmon
Croque Monsieur
Salmon tartine
Cafe and bar

**** (4 stars)

This cafe is operating far above the level of most airport restaurants. The menu is indeed a french bistro menu with a few American concessions.

Salmon tartine was en excellent appetizer, with a nice stack of smoked salmon, cucumber and pickled onions on cream cheese coated toast.

Croque Monsieur was the traditional grilled ham and cheese sandwich, and the ham itself had been nicely seared.

The Provence Salad was a nice combination of mixed greens, olives, feta, and onions. I had it topped with salmon, which was perfectly cooked and wonderfully flavorful.

There is an interesting selection of beers, and of course wines.

Service was friendly and attentive.

Pour La France!
8900 Peña BlvdDenver International Airport, Terminal B
Denver, CO
(303) 317-9472

Eiffel Tower

Frozen soufflé

Ocean seafood salad

Cream of onion soup




**** (4 stars)

I was expecting this place to be very touristy, so I’m shocked to come away feeling it is one of my favorite restaurants in Vegas. In fact, I enjoyed it more that Jules Verne in the real Eiffel Tower!

The room is beautiful, and the view of the Strip and the Bellagio fountain can’t be beat. The atmosphere is sophisticated without being stuck up.

The lunch menu offers a nice assortment of French-inspired cuisine focusing on the lighter side. I loved the torchon appetizer and my Ocean Seafood Salad (btw, what other kind of seafood is there?)

The frozen souffle was an interesting dessert. Try ordering a glass of Amaro and pouring into the ice cream at the bottom–delicious!

The wine list is decent, and the prices normal for the Strip.

This is one of the few Vegas restaurants I think is worth a return visit, because it is about more than just the novelty of the experience.

Eiffel Tower
3655 Las Vegas Blvd S
Las Vegas, NV
(702) 948-6937

Per Se




Extensive selection of half bottles

Oysters and Pearls

Yellow fin tuna


Parker House roll



Assortment of Desserts

**** (4 stars)

Whenever I go to Per Se I come away comparing it to all the other top-rated restaurants I’ve been too. Although I think the staff is wonderful, and the restaurant is beautiful and beautifully situated, I can’t convince myself that the food lives up to expectations. It’s all beautiful, but there are no home runs.

In its favor, it has perhaps the best selection of half bottles of wine I’ve seen anywhere, so you can put together an amazing tasting to match your meal. But I think you’ll find that the food doesn’t live up to the wines.

On this latest visit, the best course was the quail, and the most forgettable was a completely mundane lamb chop.

The desserts were the best. Usually when a restaurant fills the table with a half dozen small desserts, many of them are misses; but at Per Se each dessert deserved to be there, and provided a lovely variety to end the meal.

If you’re looking for a sophisticated experience with great service and a beautiful view, and if cost is no object, the Per Se is a great choice. If you’re looking for the best food in the city, this is not it.

Per Se
10 Columbus Cir
Fl 4
New York, NY 10019
(212) 823-9335

Le Grill de Joël Robuchon





Cheese soufflé


Ice cream and sorbet assortment

***** (5 stars)

l’Atelier is one of my favorite restaurants around the world, so I always try to visit when I’m in a city that has one. However on this Monday night only Le Grill was open, so we decided to try it, and we were glad we did.

Le Grill offers a relaxed environment, a reasonably priced and very interesting menu, and an excellent wine list. Service is as perfect as at all of Joel Robuchon’s restaurants, professional, yet never stuffy. It’s wonderful to have such an excellent meal experience without it having to be a production number.

Le Grill de Joël Robuchon
85 10th Ave
New York, NY 10011
(212) 488-8885




Sorry, there’s only one rib left for you. We fell on the rest like hungry wolves.

Trio of ice creams and bombe

Brussels sprouts



**** (4 stars)

This popular cafe serves good food with a bit of a French influence to some dishes.

We started with four appetizers. The one we absolutely loved was the Sticky Asian Pork Ribs, which were coated in a wonderful soy-infused teriyaki sauce. Popcorn Cauliflower was also very good, especially dipped in the leftover rib sauce! Warm Brussels Sprout Caesar and Roasted Broccoli and Grilled (cold) Shrimp were both just okay.

Everyone also liked their entrees, which included the Steak Frites, Salmon, and a Cheeseburger.

For dessert we had a housemade ice cream trio and a Chocolate Bombe, both of which were also good.

The wine list is a bit obscure, but we found some interesting selections, and prices are reasonable.

Service was attentive and friendly.

667 Vernon Ave
Glencoe, IL 60022
(847) 786-4324

Taix French Restaurant


Ceasar salad


***** (5 stars)

It’s sad that so few of the old school restaurants are left in Los Angeles. Taix is one of those great holdouts that harken back to the days of traditional French recipes in comfortably posh surroundings.

The restaurant is divided into a number of rooms, from a dark, clubby bar to an elegant high-ceilinged dining room.

Recipes are traditional and represent excellent examples of classic French cuisine: country style pate, escargot, tarragon cream sauce on your fish.

The highlight for me is the wine list, which offers a nice selection of domestic and international wines at the lowest prices in town. Most are at or near retail. What other restaurant offers a half bottle for $14? That’s less than the price of a glass at most places. If for nothing else this is a great reason to visit Taix!

Taix French Restaurant
1911 W Sunset Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90026
(213) 484-1265