Understated elegance, innovative refined cuisine, warm service have made Ledoyen a favorite among Paris favorites

By Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox

Chef Le Squer and Patrick Simiand

Chef Le Squer and Restaurant Manager Patrick Simiand

Making dining choices in Paris can be challenging. A myriad restaurants await us depending on our culinary preferences and budget. Even in the rarefied top tier of gourmet dining there are many worthy options. For those who take the time to explore unexpected treasures can still be found. Hidden in plain site steps from the famed Champs Elysees is Ledoyen. Even among the city’s culinary giants Christian Le Squer, the restaurant’s reserved executive chef, stands out.

Caramel a la fleur de sel, Givré de Citron

Caramel a la fleur de sel, Givré de Citron

We favor Ledoyen because since our first visit the restaurant has consistently delivered a superb experience. Over the years, the restaurant’s blend of elegance and warmth have made us feel welcome while the cuisine has drawn us back. Although all our meals there have been outstanding, our most recent lunch stands out for its balanced perfection.

Silk scarf brightens my travel wardrobe

By Laura Scheiber
Photos by Matthew Harris

silk scarf

I love scarves. As a native Arizonian living in New York City, I find they help keep me warm during the long winter months (which is how I justify owning at least 20 of them). Always on the hunt for a scarf with a unique design, I was pleased to discover the Camilla Olson Chiffon Scarf in marigold which has become my new favorite formal accessory.

I first wore the Camilla Olson scarf to dinner at an upscale restaurant in Brooklyn, New York. I purposely wore an outfit I typically might bring while traveling to see if I should add the scarf to my fundamental travel wardrobe. As someone who prefers to pack light, I usually bring neutral color clothes that can easily be mixed and matched. This is particularly true for a trip that demands active wear during the day, and dressier outfits at night.

Close Up Scarf

The problem is that my travel clothes tend to be rather dull. On my night out in Brooklyn, the vibrant marigold scarf added pizazz to my ordinarily simple black top, skirt and tights. The golden orange color, reminiscent of a Hawaiian sunset sky, had flecks of burnt orange scattered throughout, which gave the scarf a sophisticated look. 

Testing out the scarf in a different context, I wore it to work. Though light in weight, the 100 percent silk material kept my neck warm and protected against the bitter cold during my walk to the subway station. Shortly after arriving at my office, a colleague gushed, “What a beautiful scarf!” Not 10 minutes later another colleague asked where I had gotten such a gorgeous scarf. 

Criss Cross Scarf

With over six feet of material, the scarf is long enough to be worn in a variety of ways. Throughout the day, I enjoyed experimenting with different styles, including a loosely draped shawl, a long flowing stole, and a scarf wrapped snugly around my neck. The soft sheer chiffon material gave my outfit a flirtatious and feminine look.

I aim to be a conscientious consumer, so I was happy to learn that the design process included recycled materials and that 15 percent of online sales were earmarked for a college scholarship fund to support entrepreneurial women. Thanks to the hand printed process, I was also pleased to learn that no other scarf in the world has the exact same pattern. 

Wearing Chiffon Scarf

What I like most about my Camilla Olson (Camilla Olson, 805 Melville Avenue, Palo Alto, California 94301, +1 (650) 255-4518, http://camillaolson.com/, info@camillaolson.com) chiffon scarf is that it transforms my otherwise dull outfits, giving them a sophisticated look. The silk is light in weight, which makes it ideal for traveling. Knowing that my scarf has a unique design makes it extra special. I look forward to spicing up future outfits with my marigold scarf. 

Another dining experience worth repeating at Le Cinq in Paris

By Elena del Valle
Photos by Gary Cox

 Assorted amuse busch

Our amouse bouche at Le Cinq

For more than six years we have been fans of Le Cinq, one of the best known dining venues in Paris, France. The restaurant’s elegant dining room, outstanding service and refined cuisine draw us back regularly.

Slicing the autumn game pie

The autumn game pie

On our most recent visit we were rewarded with Chef Eric Briffard’s superlative seafood dishes. We also sampled a seasonal game pie, a specialty only available during a two week window, which was as rich as it was filling.

Serving lobster from a special cooking pot

One of the senior staff serving lobster table side from the cooking pot

Friendly, accommodating staff volunteered menu recommendations and assisted us with wine selection. The table side fanfare and partial meal preparation added a special touch to the occasion.

Persimmon sorbet with dates

Persimmon sorbet with dates

Our biggest challenge? That by the time the mignardise cart of sweet treats arrived at the conclusion of the meal we had run out of space. The restaurant had a solution for that, a box filled with caramels and nougats for us to take home. We remembered the restaurant and our delicious lunch every time we reached for a piece of candy for the few days that the boxes lasted. It’s those small touches and the memorable meals that bring us back when there are so many fine dining choices in the City of Lights.