Food + Wine

World's Most Romantic Restaurants

by Lexi Dwyer

GILTY PLEASURES

Where: Les Ambassadeurs, Paris, France

Why Go: Finding a romantic meal in this city may be as easy as parking yourself on a bench and tucking into a croissant, but since the French do sumptuous overindulgence like nobody else, why not treat yourself to an extravagant meal in a temple of haute cuisine like this one.

A Side of Atmosphere: "Restraint" is not a word one would associate with either the Hôtel de Crillon, which dates to 1758, or its restaurant, where seven types of marble cover the floor and walls, frescoed cherubs and clouds dominate the ceiling, and massive mirrors exaggerate the room's already-grand scale. Ladies: Take a cue from Marie Antoinette—who reportedly had music lessons in one of the adjoining salons—and don your deepest décolletage.

Appetite for Seduction: Jean-François Piège is considered one of the city's most deft truffle handlers, which is not insignificant, considering that chefs here use these wrinkled, aromatic fungi as liberally as an Italian cook might use garlic. Piège's herb salad, which is playfully encased in elaborate layers of black truffle that get "unwrapped" at the table, has a cult following. And the meal is topped off by a parade of after-dinner accoutrements (macaroons, chocolates, gravity-defying confections, tisane plants, and—bien sûr—cheese).

The Hot Seat: Table 18 has the best perspective of the Place de la Concorde, where Marie met her rather unromantic end.

Les Ambassadeurs
Hotel de Crillon
10 Place de la Concorde
Paris, France
Tel: 33 1 44 71 16 16

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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