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La Tour d'Argent

15-17 quai de la Tournelle, 5th. Metro Pont Marie.
Open : Tues 7h30-9pm. Wed-Sun noon-1h30pm, 7h30-9pm.. Average :  180 Euros. Credit : Amex, DC, MC, V. Non-smoking room.

On 29 april 2003, la Tour d'Argent celebrated its millionth mallard served since 1890, which makes us curious about the numbering system : how exactly were they able to predict the big day months in advance? In any case, it's always a thrill to be handed a numbered postcard, which you can keep as a souvenir or give to the waiter to post. Our lunch got off to an inauspicious start, through no fault of the restaurant : told to arrive  no later than 12h30pm, we then waited an hour for one member of our party to show up. Two of our group of five wore jeans and one (the only parisian by birth) asked for a Coke. The teenage waiter stood as if waiting for the pinch line, before scurrying off to find out whether such a thing exists at la Tour d'Argent (thankfully, it doesn't). Despite our rather eccentric behavior, which included rejecting the young sommelier's suggestion of a Savigny-les-beaune for a less suitable 1990 Fixin (87euros), staff were delighted  throughout. Ordering  from the 65 euros lunch menu, which is really the way to go here, four of us had the signature quenelles de brochet (surely the best of paris), and one rebel enjoyed the duck and foie gras terrine.  None of us could resist the caneton roti Pierre Elby, duck à l'orange served on apple compote, with a spinach-and-cream feuilletté on the side.  The fabulous view on the Seine has a way canceling out flaws in the food, so were were able to overlook the fact that the duck was cooked through rather than rosé as requested. Desserts are a highlight here : a wine-red poached pear, caramelised apple millefeuille and intense chocolate tart delivered. No the best food in Paris, but certainly one of the best experiences.

1st Arrondissement : Le Grand Vefour
1st Arrondissement : Le Carré des Feuillants
1er Arrondissement : L'Espadon
2nd Arrondissement : Le Vaudeville
4th Arrondissement : Hiramatsu
4th Arrondissement : L'Ambroisie
5th Arrondissement : La Tour d'Argent
7th Arrondissement : Le Jules Verne

8th Arrondissement : La Brasserie Lorraine
8th Arrondissement : Maxim's

8th Arrondissement : Alain Ducasse Plaza Athénée
8th Arrondissement : Lucas Carton
8th Arrondissement : Laurent
8th Arrondissement : Ledoyen
8th Arrondissement : Fouquet's
8th Arrondissement : Taillevent
8th Arrondissement : Le V Four Seasons
8th Arrondissement : Les Ambassadeurs
12th Arrondissement : Le Train Bleu
17th Arrondissement : Guy Savoy

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