Forget what you knew and open your mind. From the moment you enter L’Etoile you are transported into an ambient atmosphere of relaxation. The lighting seems to be the main ingredient with blue and rose lights softly playing off the white linens and modern clean lines. The bar is a comfortable lounge with soft music perfect for conversation as you enjoy your aperitif.
We’re seated in front of a large window with a clear view of the Arc de Triumph which seems to be 50 feet away. The rose light of the dining room frames the glowing gold monument so beautifully your heart is struck with romance no matter who your company is. At this dinner I am accompanied by Elise Welch, my hairdresser in town styling for fashion week, along with Alexandra and Sandrine of L’Etoiles PR firm. The vibe in the room is tranquil and I’m noticing ages ranging from 10 years to 70 and everyone looks pleased.
We’ve asked the ladies to decide on all aspects of the dining experience. We’ve already had a white Rhone for aperitif and are jumping right into the reds with a 2003 Chateau Haut- Laplagne from Puisseguin Saint Emilion. I’ve had Foie Gras everywhere so why should I stop now? Foie Gras de canard au naturel, served with an amazing plum chutney and toasted breads and served on a unique plate with a slot for each toast. Also presented fashionably on gray slate rock are the Gambas croustillantes “Panko”. The tempura shrimp are served with an innovative and delicious tomato and ginger syrup that disappeared quickly.
Sandrine chose another red, this time from my favorite region, The Rhone. The 2006 Cote Rotie R. Rostaing opened nicely with ripe dark fruits on the palate. Scallops might seem an odd pairing but were rich enough to stand up to the wine. L’Etoile’s Grosses St Jacques Croustillantes were perfectly cooked and the contrast between the spice of the green mustard and the sweet crispy parsnips was absolutely tantalizing. I switched entrées with Elise and tried her Souris d’agneau confite au thym. The lamb fell easily from the bone and the dark rich gravy and vegetables brought a whole new earthy experience to the wine.
Although full and quite satisfied we indulged in dessert. They brought an assortment of goodies for us, my favorites being the Macaron cremeux fruits de la passion and the Sabayon gratine mandarine made with Imperial Liquor, although the chocolate souflee was decadent. The perfect exercise now is to take a tour of the club. In addition to the bar and restaurant upstairs L’Etoile features dance club downstairs with cocktail seating and plenty of space to dance to the DJ’s selections. There is a spacious outdoor patio with white sails and dreamy curtains. It is warm and cozy and a unique find in Paris.
Frederic Ballion, the ever present Master of Ceremonies, is skilled in the art of receiving and gives priority to renew the spirit and style of the restaurant with the help of talented collaborators, designer Ricardo Haiat and Chef Julien Chicoisne. It is an experience all should have in this city of love.
12, Rue Presbourg
75016 Paris, France
+33 1 45 00 98 63