114 Faubourg: A Michelin-Starred Masterpiece in Le Bristol Hotel
Located inside the legendary and refined Le Bristol Hotel in Paris is 114 Faubourg, a two-floor restaurant that was awarded a Michelin star in 2013. We had the opportunity to dine there at the invitation of the restaurant while on a recent trip to Paris, and were very impressed with the décor, service, attention to detail, and sheer deliciousness of everything we were served.
The inviting dining room is comfortable, stylish, and slightly whimsical with shades of purple, orange, and gold, and walls covered in huge photos of flowers. Renowned chef Éric Fréchon oversees all of the hotel’s restaurants (including the three-Michelin-star legend Epicure), but the menu created by chef Jean-Charles Cauquil is classic, refined, and not too fussy, making 114 Faubourg a perfect counterpart to its better-known neighbor.
To start your meal, the king crab eggs with ginger and lemon mayonnaise are a must-order; ceramic “eggs” are filled with a layer of eggy, lemony mayo and a generous pile of crab. It’s a joy to eat, and one of the finest crab preparations I’ve ever encountered. Your standard beet salad gets an upgrade by partnering marinated beets with aged balsamic vinegar, blackberries, roasted walnuts, and smoked housemade burrata; and the duck pâté en croûte is one of the finest versions of the dish you’ll find anywhere. For our main course, sole was offered simply grilled or sautéed meunière style; we opted for the latter and were served a perfectly golden-brown filet with a side of hazelnut brown butter. Grilled French sirloin came topped with compound “café de Paris” butter and a mound of perfectly cooked fries; it can easily go head to head with any of the finest steak frites in Paris. Sole meunière and steak frites are two simple and classic French dishes, and these renditions were just about flawless.
And while we’re on the subject of flawless French classics, we had high hopes going into dessert that 114 Faubourg’s chocolate soufflé would stand up with the best of them. It delivered and more: We’re just going to come right out and say that this was the best soufflé we’ve ever had. Rich and chocolatey but still so ethereally light that we thought it risked floating away, it had a slightly crisp and cakey crust that gave way to a pool of what can only be described as chocolate mousse descended from the heavens. A twist of housemade cognac ice cream on the side served as a perfect counterpoint.
114 Faubourg may not receive as much attention as its three-Michelin-starred neighbor, but, in our opinion, it’s just as worthy of praise. It’s also a lot more affordable: A two-course lunch for €56 ($62) is a steal, and there’s a five-course set dinner menu for €114 ($126). Gluten-free and vegetarian menus are available as well.