It’s no secret that France is practically bursting with wonderful places to eat and drink. For a visitor, this could come at the expense of being overwhelmed by choice. French chef and host of Taste le Tour, Gabriel Gaté, is here to help you with his personal list of French restaurant favourites on the eve of the final season of Taste le Tour.
Though Gaté is a man of exquisite taste, he too knows the value of a well-cooked meal presented in a pleasurable dining space and sold for the right price. These factors are also important to Gaté as they create an inclusive experience.
“As a favourite restaurant I thought was very special, in Paris there is a restaurant called Le Grand Vefour, and it’s one of the most romantic in Paris – it’s also very old as it was opened in 1784 and has the most outstanding décor.”
“You [can] sit on the seats where Napoleon was or the top opera singers or actors, and it’s right in the centre of Paris very close to the Louvre. If you are not rich you go there for lunch and it will be about half the price.
“The thing with a good restaurant is they don’t serve bad meals – they might serve a different fish, caviar vs sardines but it’s just so delicious.”
“It’s one of the most romantic in Paris – it’s also very old as it was opened in 1784 and has the most outstanding décor”
For those who prefer to escape the city lights, an honourable mention also went to The Brasserie Excelsior in Nancy.
“When you google it you will understand,’ Gaté says.
“It’s one of those places where there are mosaics on the floors, mirrors, leather couches, copper, and decorations. It’s busy, there is a relaxed atmosphere and the waiters are very slick. There you eat traditional French cuisine, the dishes French people like, like snails, steak tartare, or seafood platters.”
Gaté says anyone can come in at any time of the day to eat, have a glass of wine, or just a quick snack. “It is affordable – probably less than the average price of a restaurant in Sydney,” he adds.
“The restaurants I mentioned aren’t even listed in the top 50 because [the ones that are listed] focus on fashion so much. The thing is, if you want to choose a top restaurant, it’s a restaurant you should be able to go with your parents and where your children should be able to enjoy something.”
There is however one adult-centric restaurant Gaté cannot resist – though it sits at the more luxurious end of the dining budget.
“Restaurant Paul Bocuse, of course. He was a friend, a master, his restaurant is just amazing – a theatre. We just don’t have anything like that.”
The Best of Taste le Tour with Gabriel Gaté airs every night from Saturday 6 July and finishes Sunday 28 July 2019. Visit the Taste le Tour website to catch-up on episodes online, scroll through recipes or find out more about the show.