Annie Mariel and I love good food… so we knew we had to experience some of the fine dining Paris has to offer, vegetarian style.
We were extremely lucky to score some tickets to the premiere of the French opera Mireille, at the Opera Garnier. We had wanted to buy tickets to this show for about 3 months prior to our trip, but it was not until 1 hour before the show that we actually got tickets… So it was only fitting that we celebrate this achievement or lucky strike with a nice dinner.
We were recommended Costes by the concierge at the Intercontinental Hotel right in front of the Opera. Located in fancy Rue St. Honoré, the choice could not have been better. I was pleasantly surprised the menu included true vegetarian options. This is what I ordered: A salade caprese with tomates cerises and buffalo mozzarella fromage, a quinoa risotto with asparagus tips and a sorbet made of fruits rouges. Truly delicious… costly, but exquisite.
Aside from the restaurant’s food, the ambiance is really nice. Our server was super nice and cheery, putting aside all the rumors of Parisian people being rude. Nice-looking people frequent this restaurant, so it’s nice for people gazing. And for a night cap, the bar has a great atmosphere too.
Annie Mariel was keen on going to dinner to Buddha Bar. It was a favorite of hers from a previous visit to Paris. So I followed suit. I was a bit unimpressed by their vegetarian options… if it’s vegetarian it also spicy and I do not do spicy well. Because the menu is sushi-heavy, I though the best bet was to order some vegetarian rolls… NOT!
I had to almost “threaten” that I was merely going to watch my friend eat before I could convince the server to ask the sushi chef to make some vegetable rolls for me. He almost argued with me the sushi rolls were already made and that was the reason I could not request anything specific… sushi rolls already made?!?!? Is this Buddha Bar or the sushi counter at Costco or my local supermarket??? Really?? Please!!
After much negotiation and convincing, this is what I finally ordered – Vegetable Spring Rolls and a custom-made vegetable roll, with asparagus, cucumbers and some other pickled vegetables I could not recognize. It would have been better with cream cheese in it, but I was not about to piss-off the server and chef once more… and I got about 3 huge spring rolls, I guess he took seriously my threat that I would not eat anything there and tried to put as much food on the plate from the stuff I did order.
We were sitting right in front of the Buddha statue… the music a bit too loud for my taste. The bar extremely expensive – we paid 15€ for a drink each. The French guys who go there, super nice thanks to Pierre and Matthieu. They were great company and because their Spanish or English was so-so, we were able to speak French almost exclusively with them. Superbe!!!
Traditional French cooking is not very vegetarian friendly, but a vegetarian can still find great eats fine-dining in Paris, even if we need to “threat” a few people for it.