Headed to Paris? Even if you don’t have the budget to book a room at one of the city’s sumptuous five-star hotels, you can still dip your toe into Parisian glitz and glamour by splurging on one of these on-property experiences.
Dinner: V Restaurant at Hotel Vernet
Seated in one of the leather banquettes beneath the romantic stained-glass dome designed by Gustave Eiffel, it’s impossible not to have a pinch-me-I’m-in-Paris moment. With only 35 seats, V Restaurant is a paean to the talents of the chef Richard Robe, a master of French gastronomy who coaxes intense flavor from seasonal products and delights in reimagining historic dishes for contemporary diners. This winter, à la carte highlights include the V pie — a puff pastry filled with a savory mélange of duck, foie gras and porcini mushrooms — and a modern take on an 18th-century recipe, Lievre à la Royale: slow-braised rabbit stuffed with foie gras and a roulade of Parmesan-crusted cannelloni pasta brimming with stewed meat and crushed juniper berries.
The seven-course tasting menu (€95, or around $105) deftly balances richness with lighter, acidic dishes: think crayfish carpaccio with avocado and passion fruit purée, risotto laced with chanterelle mushrooms and chorizo, and “Le Chocolat” puffed pastry for dessert.
Hotel Vernet, 25 Rue Vernet, 75008 Paris, France
Cocktails: the Duc de Morny Library at La Réserve Paris
Tucked into Avenue Gabriel in the tony 8th Arrondissement, a brush with Belle Époque glamour can be had at La Reserve, a mansion-turned-hotel originally built for Napoléon III’s half brother, the Duc de Morny. The bar is one option. But, the splendid library, a jewel-toned nook with coffered ceilings, herringbone parquet floors and deep green furnishings set off by walls lined with 3,000 antique books from the 19th century, offers more of an intimate, feels-like-home ambience, especially if you nab a seat in front of the (original) wood-burning fireplace. Here, you can enjoy a signature cocktail (the library opens to the public at 5 p.m. daily) like the Femme Fatale — Champagne mixed with lime, cucumber and elderflower liqueur, or the Bain de Folie, a sweet blend of raspberries, lime, Hendrick’s gin, Chambord, egg white and fresh mint.
La Réserve, 42 Avenue Gabriel, 75008 Paris, France
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