FAMILY TRAVEL: Top Table
LUCAS CARTON, PARIS
Saturday 18 December 1999
Lucas Carton, 9 place de la Madeleine, 75008 Paris (00 33 1 42 65 22 90)
Clientele and view
Ladies who lunch - and still manage to fit into Chanel and Mugler - sit next to handsome couples nibbling each other, as immaculate, tail- suited waiters glide by, bearing food on silver trays.
Design and service
In 1925, Francis Carton bought Restaurant Lucas. He created seven salons, with a discreet rear door so politicians could slip in and out unnoticed. Others entered by the front. Alain Senderens took over and won three Michelin stars.
Violet-coloured banquettes, outsize antique mirrors and carved-wood panelling make a perfect setting to give her a bijou from Faberge across the road.
Jackets and ties, even if you're Brad Pitt. If you don't bring one - Cerruti has a store right next door, Ralph Lauren is opposite, and Gucci round the corner.
Cellars hold 45,000 bottles but, as head sommelier Jerome Moreau says, if you order just one bottle, it may match just one dish perfectly. So this may be the only three-starred joint to offer great wines by the glass (see below).
A Booker-winner. Try Ma Polenta aux truffes blanches avec son verre de Corton Charlemagne 1990 (cpounds 95) or Lievre a la Royale d'apres la recette d'Antoine Careme pour le Prince de Talleyrand avec son verre Chateauneuf du Pape, Chateau de Beaucastel 1985 JP Perrin (pounds 102).
Menu's off the charts, but has a FFr395 (pounds 39.50) lunch.
Oh yeah, and the food
Raviolis de petoncles aux courgettes for my rock-star companion. My noix de St-Jacques marinees a l'huile epicee almost too beautiful to eat. Mains was cabillaud tiede infuse a la badiane, tomate confite, bayaldi de courgettes a la coriandre, with Moroccan-influenced pastilla de lapin fermier au foie gras et rosemarie for my rocker. My eyes watered at mille- feuille a la vanille. And he'll dedicate new album to coulant de chocolat Madong millesime dans sa croute de brioche au cacao.
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