17, avenue Franklin Roosevelt (8)
I ate at Lasserre once before, with my family in 1966. My father reveled in the name association.
Fast forward 45 years. It remains an elegant, memorable experience; fine food, luxurious and beautiful soundings, a corps of serving staff from uniformed doorman to liveried elevator attendant who delivers you one floor up to a tuxedoed maitre d’. Sommeliers and waiters with tails and runners in starched white jackets carrying large silver trays navigate generously spaced tables and rolling carts. An experience from another era – and it may have been in 1966. But unlike La Tour D’Argent (see 5th), while historic and with some appeal, Lasserre is something of a relic. Lasserre is full at a Thursday Christmas season lunch, 90% French and unfazed by astonishing prices, softened deceptively by a special lunch menu of three courses for 80€.
At lunch, three choices in each category, no supplements: Sautéed fish with fall vegetables, a “ragout” of fish and shellfish with beurre blanc, daurade, sliced (tableside) veal shank, pear tartlet, chocolate pastry. All excellent, if not 3-star.
A ballet of swooshing tails, rolling carts, silver domes, golden utensils (for dessert). And except for a chilly receptionist downstairs, all friendly and welcoming, without a hint of condescension.
Lunch with special menu served only Thursday and Friday. There are some less expensive wines. Do not be shy to ask for them. We didn’t. A 30€ glass of red wine, 12€ coffee and 12€ tea moved the check into a different category, but still way below a la carte dinner, offering a 195€ “chef surprise” six course tasting menu.