But there are also several restaurants in diverse locales in the U.S. that have mastered the art of serving up Paris on a plate, and their authenticity is indisputable. Here are several ways to get your Paris foodie fix while you plan your trip to the real city of lights:
Omni Hotels: The hotel chain’s seventh installment of its “Flavors of the World culinary” series now shines on France. If you visit an Omni Hotel, request a “Flavors of France” menu prepared by 45 of the brand’s chefs and culinary leaders who recently embarked on a tour of France in quest of the authentic foodie experience. Expect to find dishes like the Triologie de Gougeres (cheese puffs filled with zucchini and mint) to the Seared Sea Bass with Fingerling and Morel and Fallot Black Currant Vinaigrette. The special menu also features choice wines from the Burgundy, Rhone Valley and Bordeaux regions and runs through December 2011.
La Fourchette Bistro Francais, Charleston, SC: Sometimes referred to as “America’s Paris,” the city of Charleston hosts several Parisian restaurants and French bistros, and among them is La Fourchette Bistro Francais. Its menu features items from the Moules A La Bretonnes (Mussels steamed with shallots, butter, garlic and white wine) to its traditional French Beef Tartare.
La Grenouille, New York, NY: This New York French culinary icon is a lavish affair, serving traditional cognac-flambee veal kidney with mustard to frog legs in butter tomato garlic sauce. Be prepared to enter another era in dining.
Le Bec-Fin, Philadelphia, PA: Ornate and opulent, the restaurant serves a seasonal menu that serves fine entrees and rich, ornate desserts spearheaded by Executive Pastry Chef Cedric Barberet. Some mouth-watering items like the Sponge Cake Soaked in Myers Rum Syrup Garnish with Pastry Cream & Fresh Fruits.
Everest, Chicago, IL: Known as one of the most expensive restaurants in the U.S., Everest is a place that’s really known for its quality French fare. The views (the 40th floor of the Chicago Stock Exchange) and the menu are hard to beat when it comes to the flavors of France. From the Terrine of Foie Gras, Alsace Vieille Prune, Black Mission Figs to the desserts, Chef Joho’s vision is authentic and edgy at the same time.
Photo: Andrew Kelly