Contrary to public opinion, a restaurant critic's job is not all a bed of rosy veal and sublime sauces. Still, there are enough highlights to urge one on to yet another restaurant in search of a meal worth remembering - and reporting. Here are the local French meals that, even after two weeks in France, kept me eager for the next eating adventure.
Le Lion d'Or - Fresh foie gras with the veal, fresh truffles in the sauces I did not expect to find this side of the Atlantic.
L'Auberge Chez Francois - Just a simple country inn, it bills itself, but a country inn with crab wrapped in a gauze of mousse, deer pate of distinction, tarts and pastries of greater sophistication than almost any you can find downtown.
Le Bagatelle - Beautiful compositions and beautiful tableside choreography elevate the presentation of a dinner which shows careful attention to culinary detail from the vegetables through desserts.
La Bergerie - Metro should be extended to Alexandria, if only to make the parillade des pecheurs more accessible to the dining public.
Chalet de la Paix - It is a toss-up whether to resist the venison or the veal normande. Order both.
La Chaumiere - Hope for a cold day as an excuse to order couscous, but start the evening upstairs at Le Grenier au Vin with a glass of wine and a nibble of rillettes.
Company Inkwell - Oyaters warmed with shallots, poached salmon in beurre blanc are gentle backgrounds to a good deal of gentle treatment by the staff.
Dominique's - This year's emphasis on freshness - from quail eggs to venison - has raised the level of dining in this below-ground restaurant.
Le Gaulois - One day sweet, moist scallops; another day pale, tender veal; each day a fragile tart, and all at everyday prices.
Jean-Pierre - It is the highly seasoned dishes, the rockfish with mustard cream and the lamb chops will green peppercorns that pull me back for more.
Le Provencal - The prospect of an occasional scallop mousse with sorrel sauce is enough to compensate for a lot of life's frustrations.
Rive Gauche - Try anything - scallops, lobster - as long as it is steamed and served with beurre blanc.