2020 is fast drawing to a close, but the French will not be able to visit restaurants this festive season. Fortunately, restaurants have come up with several new concepts to offer foodies a chance to feast on gourmet dishes prepared by chefs complying with food security requirements.
Here are some of the best options for your Christmas lunch or dinner.
Online deliveries and click & collect services
Ever keen to satisfy fine dining enthusiasts, chef Eric Frechon has already launched the Brasserie Lazare’sChristmas and New Year’s Eve menus. They feature traditional festive fare such as foie gras, lobster sausage and poularde with vegetables, followed by Brie cheese and a beautiful yule log from patissier Benoît Castel.
Other chefs such as Akrame Benallal (his eponymous restaurant has a Michelin star), Stéphanie Le Quellec (who runs the Michelin two-star La Scène), and Thomas Boullault at L’Arôme, a Michelin one-star restaurant near the Champs Élysées, will be concocting delivery and takeaway versions of their signature dishes for customers within Paris proper and the inner ring road – to be paired, if you so choose, with wines handpicked by the chefs. Be prepared for ‘Oohs’ and ‘Ahs’ around the table.
Meanwhile, Guy Savoy has created a multi-course festive menu for delivery or click & collect using his new service ‘Le Chiberta, traiteur avec Guy Savoy’. Jean-François Piège too has adapted very quickly to come up with his ‘Jean-François Piège à la maison’ (at home) option, with a different menu at each of his restaurants. Stéphane Jégo’s restaurant L’Ami Jean has devised menus (including a vegetarian option) with individual dishes attractively presented in the restaurant’s own cocottes and dinnerware to create that authentic dining-out feel.
Another way to treat yourself to a high-end dining experience without leaving home is to order one of the incredible menus (from a full-course gourmet dinner to a delicious brunch) devised by the chefs at Paris’s palace hotels (make sure you order in advance). You would usually go to one of these renowned establishments to indulge in their festive menu. In 2020, you can order the Christmas menu to come to you! One example is the five-star Prince de Galles on Avenue Georges V – the menu is available with Delivroo, so customers can still enjoy signature dishes from the hotel’s executive chef Gérald Poirier. Details of Le Meurice six-course feast are now available online; the menu is paired with champagne from artisan growers Amaury Bouhours and Cédric Grolet (make sure you order before 20 December). Other palace hotels with festive menus that foodies can swoon over are La Réserve (available to pre-order now), the Georges V and the Ritz (menu available soon).
You don’t have to opt for a traditional Christmas menu; there are plenty of chic options for an alternative Christmas or New Year’s Eve meal. A few to try: menus from chefs like Guillaume Sanchez at Ne/So, Tomy Gousset at Tomy& Co and David Toutain, or restaurants such as Septime, Bel Ordinaire and Papillon.
Et si vous voulez vraiment vivre une expérience unique, il est possible de faire venir un chef à domicile pour vous cuisiner votre menu en direct !
And of course, for a truly unique experience, you can hire a private chef to cook you the perfect festive dinner in your own home!
Dinner recipe boxes
Or you could pretend to be the great chef concocting festive food at home. Antonin Bonnet, the chef who owns both Quinsou restaurant and boucherie Grégoire, the adjoining butcher’s, is putting together a box with all the ingredientsfor his signature turkey recipe, together with a detailed how-to. The box contains a turkey ready for roasting as well as the stuffing, sauce and cooking juices.
Other chefs are offering pre-cooked Christmas box meals, ready to be assembled – like the five or seven-course menus devised by Bruno Verjus of the Michelin one-star restaurant La Table.
And, to keep things festive yet light the next day, try Tour d’Argent’s ‘Le brunch de la Tour’, a box containing duck terrine, two kinds of spreads (beetroot and asparagus), chocolate shortbread and one flavour of jam, together with a signature tea blend.
Those little extras
Can’t afford to splash out on a full-course festive meal? You can still add a touch of fine dining with treats purchased in shops, or as a click & collect order. Some options: terrines from Maison Vérot, seafood platters from reputed fishmongers or the well-known brasserie La Lorraine, vegetables from Les Vergers Saint Eustache (the top produce grower at Rungis Market) and cheese from some of the finest cheesemongers, each a ‘Meilleur Ouvrier de France’ (Best Craftsman in France) - Quatrehomme, Laurent Dubois or the cheese shop Fromagerie Barthélemy, supplier to the Elysée Palace.
As for desserts, the most talented patissiers have ramped up their creativity – such as Cédric Grolet, whose creations can be found in his own shop on Place de l’Opéra and the patisserie at Le Meurice; Philippe Conticini, Pierre Hermé and Yann Couvreur, among others.
Michelin-starred restaurants and upscale hotels also offer sinful treats and stunning yule logs. Shops and restaurants are going all out as 2020 draws to a close to keep festive cheer intact!
More info on Yule logs
When it comes to drinks to accompany your festive foods, you can choose from the carefully curated selections of wines and spirits available through home delivery or click & collect at wine merchants of repute such as maison Cattier, Septime, Maison du Saké and Maison du Whisky.