The reservation for the dinner on 17 April had been locked, well before the fire, 15. Hoisted by the elevator up to the room, hanging in the sky of Paris, we discover Our-Lady amputated, but standing. The night was falling. As if a lamplighter walked the city, the monuments, one by one, began to flicker, since the Pantheon up to the tour Saint-Jacques, passing by Saint-Eustache and the diadem of the Opera Bastille. Not the cathedral that, in its illumination reduced post-disaster, was served way half-mourning for customers of la Tour d’argent.
What the heck would we do in this institution founded in the Sixteenth century, whose name became a common noun, a generic term synonymous with “grand restaurant”, without knowing too much if this is still good up there? For a long time, the Tower has capitalised on her legend launched by Henry III, who discovered there not the cup-and-ball but the range, a breathtaking view, the eye blue in the buttonhole of the owner, the late Claude Terrail, the carpet matches her eye, the dance of the ducks (in the blood, always present in the map, although less in majesty is overwhelming), the treasures of a wine cellar with vintages that cannot be found elsewhere. But the flowers, the kings and the old bottles are no longer enough. The address, over time, has lost its luster and its stars: there were three, then two, Michelin makes him currently the alms of a single.
The capital at your feet the entrance of The parisian hotel founded in the XVI e century. Jean-Christophe Marmara/ LE FIGARO
This is unfair. Comically unfair. Philippe Labbé has taken over the stoves three years ago and straightened out the bar. Because, as you know, the Silver Tower is now a very large restaurant. In other words, the plate including competition, the panorama and the kitchen is in harmony with the uniqueness of the place. A word of the service, led by Stéphane Trapier. This is without doubt one of the better-calibrated of Paris, perhaps the best. Precision of the gesture, accuracy of the word. Check out the master sommelier, the grace with which we rid your water of its crumbs, those details that you ask a house ; listen to how people speak to you dishes, with a kindness devoid of any contempt that makes you mouth water.
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There may never have set foot in a hotel of this category and take an immediate pleasure to be carried away by the professionalism of a team that goes four to the happiness of each client. Whether it is the one of the American couple installed at the bow, lady in long dress set with brilliants, sir pupils flashing, these four Italian-speaking strong, these three guys without a tie that align the bottles of anthology, of the English who had already been with his grandfather and looks up to today his 12 year-old girl learning to flambé the pancakes, Miss. The prices of the Silver Tower and of Babel are high? Yes. Very. But a certain kind of happiness has no price, and if one comes here for a special occasion, Philippe Labbé and Stéphane Trapier will make it unforgettable, with the complicity shimmering of the Seine river. Of course, the carpet and the sconces are fashioned since 1960, but no matter, because the real scene is behind the glass: it’s Paris at your feet.
the hall of The restaurant, where the precision of the gesture combines with the correctness of the verb . Jean-Christophe Marmara/ LE FIGARO
Let’s move on to table, where it runs through a wine list so big that next to it, the Dictionary in twenty volumes, is a flyer for a rave party for the district. The small tartar of lobster under her veil of grapefruit, which gives it a great look, unusual jellyfish edible place the bar up high enough so that all the hopes are allowed: splendor of the crustacean, and the balance of the seasoning, bold bitterness, we should not get bored.
The “white asparagus of the farm of Nogaret, poached and disguised their juices, harlequin beads of egg yolk, praline, almond, caviar osetra Imperial, lemon Meyer” (89 €) confirm it. As big as drumsticks, drum-major on which nature would have resumed her rights, they are dotted with flowers and other ingredients to be delicious. The praline is the find of engineering, which gives its stamp to the exercise of the spring imposed – the asparagus. The emulsion offers the discrete impulse tangy, required to switch from delicious to sensational. At this stage, the prawns are giant – the word is weak – caught in some abyss off the coast of Scotland come to you tighten the clip – the word is exactly chosen, because the critters are living. They are returning to the kitchen and return a few minutes later, the “heads crisp in their juices”, “tails barely cooked in flavor of iodine” (130 €). This can be “taste the fingertips,” if you want, but this is no less exquisite with a fork. The size gigantic lobsters goes hand in hand with a palatability increase and “chew”, as they say heads, not common. The technique fades behind the exceptional product, the star of the plate.
The most beautiful pavement, this evening, this is the sea
then Comes a back of salmon from the Adour half-baked, “almond and citron corsica, chiffon almonds pralinées, marinara orgeat” (95 €). The fish, in the form of a wedge of orange, a texture that is stunning, is supported by an effective committee support: an emulsion of shellfish flavored with orgeat. Around him, the keys of cauliflower, citron, almond, prohibit the vapidity and wander the spirit.
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But the most beautiful pavement, that evening, it is the sea that will be thrown on the plate with the fillet of turbot grilled cabbage sea and strawberries, green apples, new confit with lovage, juice, condiments, butter hazelnut” (115 €). We would have liked to see the whole specimen before it is made to accommodate, but no doubt did he not in the room: the thickness of the section, comparable to that of a chateaubriand competition, lets imagine a turbot of a considerable diameter. The same reflection as for the lobster all the time: the sheer size of the fish gives to his ambassador plump, perfectly cooked, a dress and a flavor that is incomparable. The strawberries green, hidden in the cabbage of the sea, provide the acidity required and a raised floral-very refreshing.
for dessert, the strawberries are ripe, “méli-mélo in a bouquet of garden flowers elderberry and rose silver, yarrow missed” (39 €). You say that 39 €, it is expensive, the mille-feuille missed that, except that obviously it is not missed at all: the pastry was not bunk but scattered to facilitate the tasting. Fresh, fruity, crisp, perfect to take the elevator again and, gently, back down on earth, while your mind and, if you were well accompanied, your heart will remain in the stars.
La Tour d’argent. 17, quai de la Tournelle (Paris Ve ). Tel.: 01 43 54 23 31. Menu 105 € (déj.), 360 € (6 services) and € 380. On the map, from less than 250 € excluding drinks. Cellar phenomenal. Closed Sunday and Monday.