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Hollande treats Obama to three-star French cuisine

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Hollande treats Obama to three-star French cuisine
Obama, Hollande and several ministers enjoy some posh French nosh. Photos:AFP
08:51 CET+01:00
The French president François Hollande spoiled his US counterpart Barack Obama on Monday night by treating him to a fancy meal at a famous Michelin three star restaurant in the heart of the Marais.

President Francois Hollande chose to entertain Obama not in the gilt splendour of the Elysee Palace, but at L'Ambroisie, a restaurant with three Michelin stars in the swanky Place des Vosges square.

French Prime Minister Manuel Valls and US Secretary of State John Kerry were among the 12 people who sat down to dinner at the exclusive eatery.

The restaurant is normally closed on a Monday but opened especially for the esteemed guests.

The Michelin three-star restaurant, where the diners will pay up to €360 ($381) a head, is run by the chefs Mathieu and Bernard Pacaud.

Needless to say security was tight with the whole of the Place de Vosges sealed off to traffic and helicopters buzzing overhead and armed guards standing by.

But all that didn’t seem to affect the convivial atmosphere with Obama, a huge fan of traditional French gastronomy, allowing Hollande to choose his meal.

“I will follow the advice of the president,” Obama told Hollande when asked what he would be ordering.

It may have been a wise move from the US president who would probably have had no idea what he was ordering, without the help of a translation.

Obama ended up tucking into some wild fish from Brittany before a cheese board featuring matured comet, Roquefort, Brie de Meaux and Poitou goat’s cheese, which was followed by chocolate cake.

All of the posh nosh was washed down with white Burgundy, a red Bordeaux and wine from Banyuls.

The two-hour meal was brought to a close at 10:10pm, with Hollande or at least a member of staff picking up the hefty bill.

Earlier in the day France pulled out its culinary big guns Monday for one of the greatest kitchen challenges ever: cooking lunch for the largest one-day gathering of world leaders in history.  Here's a look at the menu

The L'Ambroisie restaurant has mixed reviews on travel website Tripadvisor, earning four out of a possible five stars on the site's own review scale.
 
While the majority of diners ranked the eatery as an "excellent" place for a meal, there are no less than 27 reviews saying the experience was "terrible"
 
As a result, the restaurant doesn't even rank in TripAdvisor's top 2,500 restaurants in the French capital. 
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