Yak's Home Page
Introducing Yak
Yak's Rating Scale
Yak's Burgundy Primer
Tasting Notes Archive
Wine & Food Adventures

PICTURES * All highlighted text has pictures "behind" it!! * PICTURES

"Taillevent" - ParisaaaaaaaaaJean-Claude Vrinat

If it is at all conceivable to call the best restaurant in the world - a "Home away from Home" - then Taillevent deserves this title.
They knew we were coming all the way from Israel to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversary there, and they saw to it that a real celebration it will be... Discussion of the wines that will be served was faxed to and fro beforehand.
Monsieur Vrinat himself was absent on the night we were there as he was invited to conduct the Gala dinner at the Raffles Hotel in Singapore which celebrated its own anniversary the day after.
However, the instructions he left and the regal yet disalarmingly charming attention we got from my friend Frederic Guidoni, the non-plus-ultra Maitre d', were simply out of this world!
As we always do at Taillevent, we had many "half dishes" instead of the standard three-course meal. It was a sheer pleasure and a total experience way beyond the sublime quality of the dinner itself. From the Kir Royale we started with, thru all the exquisite dishes, from the fantastic wines that accompanied them, to the dessert Tokay and Grande Champagne Cognac they pampered us with, from the Gateau they brought with the elaborated "Happy 25th Anniversary Mr & Mme Shaya" inscribed on it to the bottle of the Taillevent-commissioned Cognac with my name "Jacob Shaya" printed beforehand on the label which they presented me with to take home at the end.
All that and more made all four of us re-affirm what we knew all along - Taillevent is the best restaurant in the world!

Creme de Cresson au Caviar Sevruga
(Watercress soup with Sevruga Caviar)
Cannellonis de Tourteau, Sauce Ravigote
(Crab-meat stuffed Cannelloni)
Coquilles St. Jacques poelees aux Poireaux et a la Truffe
(Scallops fried with leek and truffles)
Bar Ligne au Cresson
(Sea Bass with watercress)
Boudin de Homard a la Nage
("Sausage" skin stuffed with Lobster in white cream)
Ballottine d'Agneau rotie a la Perigourdine
(Roasted Lamb 'fillet', Perigour style)
Foie de Canard au Pain d'Epice et au Gingambre
(Duck liver in Spice Bread and Ginger)
Lievre a la Royale
(Royal [Louis XIV] Hare stew)
Crepes soufflees au Citron vert
(Crepes in green lemon sauce)
Griottes de Fougerolles en Chaud-Froid
(Cherries in hot & cold sauce)
Fantasie a la Liqueur de Mandarine
(Fantasy in Mandarine Liquor)
Sorbets aux trois Parfumes
(Sorbets in three flavors)
Le Plateau des Fromages
(Cheese Plate)

Again, not counting the 'presents', coffee, petits-fours etc.
I have not tasted all the dishes, but the "Crab Cannelloni" and the "Lievre a la Royale" were for me the epitomes of culinary delights.

Now for the wines:

Kir Royale

1986 Corton Charlemagne, Coche-Dury

Fully mature and minerally-rich nose. Wet stones and steel knife combine with succulent pears and peaches on the palate. Sublimely harmonious though lost most of its acidity. One of the best Corton Charlemagne I ever had. Superb!
MARK: 18/20.

1976 Bonnes Mares, G. Roumier

Very good looking for a 21 years-old (B). Giant and multi-layered aroma. Marvelous 'Bourgogne Nose', leather, wet forest floor, mature sweetish fruit. Concentrated taste, still fruity with plenty of vigor. Mouthfilling and extremely long. Extraordinary!
MARK: 19/20.

1991 Mad Birsalmas, Aszu 5 Puttonoys, Royal Tokaji

Nice nose of ripe peaches, caramel and some citrus fruit. Pleasantly sweet, not hugely concentrated with plenty of acidity. Very good but not more.
MARK: 16/20.

Cognac, Grande Champagne AOC "Reserve Familiale", George Jobit

Yak's Home Page
Introducing Yak
Yak's Rating Scale
Yak's Burgundy Primer
Tasting Notes Archive
Wine & Food Adventures

Copyright 1996-97.
Jacob "Yak" Shaya.