• Vegetarian Degustation at La Tour d'Argent (Paris, France)

Duck.  Duck blood.  Vegetarians beware.

These were the words from reviews about La Tour d’Argent.  It was to be a special lunch (like all the others), this one with the excuse of Batille Day. I did not want to go.  I did not want to pay for mediocre vegetarian food, even if it were in a beautiful location.

Tip to La Tour d’Argent: let people know you are also exceptional at vegetarian cuisine.

La Tour d’Argent is perhaps the most famous restaurant in Paris attracting foreign and local celebrities alike.  Set in a beautifully ornate room with a view of the Seine, your breath is taken before the meal even begins.  Despite being just as famous for its prices as its duck, the lunch time menu is outstanding value at €68 for three courses plus appetisers.  Service is extremely formal and I felt like royalty drinking tap water out of a silver goblet.

We started with warm, crisp cheese triangles with mustard and tomatoes with olives.  Wine to begin was a Coudoulet de Beaucastel from Cote-du-Rhone, 2005.  It was served chilled (like all the reds I had been served in France) with berries on the nose extending into the taste, tannins and soft wood on the end.  It had a bit of sediment and tasted spicier after eating bread.  It was an interesting wine and I liked it.

Zucchini mousse was served with fried garlic on top.  It was smooth, almost like a froth, but it did not taste at all like zucchini.

Mozzarella foam came with green peeled tomatoes; refreshing.  There was soft, fresh Mozzarella with a cheesy crust, red tomatoes, basil, garlic and pesto oil.  The mozzarella was salty.

Next was a work of art.  It smelt of garlic and contained lots of it along with pumpkin cream, dried tomato and veggies.  The broccoli was super soft.  There was a purple, stewed nectarine, a bitter baby aubergine, soft carrots, shallots, zucchini, fennel and squash.  Some of the vegetables were salty, which contrasted well against the sweetness of the nectarine.

Uncharacteristically, I selected the ice-creams for dessert.  The vanilla was incredibly flavoursome and creamy, same for the rose.  The raspberry sorbet and the strawberry sorbet were refreshing in texture but still intense in flavour.

I tasted the apricot tart that the others had orders.  It was served with fresh strawberries, a crunchy pastry, dried and then rehydrated apricots and pistachios.

To end were chocolates.  The waiter arrived with a selection from which we were able to choose.  The tarragon truffle was rich and smooth with dark chocolate.  The milk and tea had a strong tea after taste and was smooth and sweet.  The rich, dark chocolate was smooth and intense.

My expectation of La Tour d’Argent had been low, and I was extremely happy to find them over exceeded.  For vegetarians thinking about trying this restaurant, don’t worry.  They may be famous for duck, but they will also look after you tremendously well.

La Tour d’Argent
15 Quai de la Tournelle
75005 Paris, France
+33 (1) 43 54 23 31