Les Pres d'Eugenie--Michel Guerard
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Les Pres d'Eugenie--Michel Guerard Restaurant Review: It's hard to believe that any other place in France approaches the refinement and perfection of Christine and Michel Guérard's little Second Empire kingdom. In the magnificent kitchens--there are two--Guérard, far from resting on his laurels, continues to experiment. Yet he remains modest and makes adjustments in response to the slightest criticism. He was the first to prepare gourmet low-fat meals, which remain faithful to the joyous harmonies of Southwestern cuisine. His fine sensibilities and his matchless technique account for the refinement--without excessive sophistication--and the vivid flavors in dishes like grilled langoustine aspic with a warm salad of spring onions and a crunchy Parmesan galette, truffles à la tartoufle accompanied by a divine vegetable risotto, chicken breast grilled with bacon in the fireplace, and slow-cooked ox jowl pot-au-feu with a powerful truffle sauce. Like the desserts, the wines harmonize perfectly with the cuisine, with a preference for Madirans and Jurançons, and the white Tursan "Baron de Bachen" from Guérard's own vineyards. This is a restaurant that is as much a feast for the eyes as for the taste buds, with its handsome Colonial-style country décor, fine paintings, and white-painted woodwork. Service is provided by charming waitresses dressed in old-fashioned costumes.